A photo taken by David Grubbs at the Gemäldegalerie on June 23 shows Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn’s “The Mennonite preacher Cornelis Claesz Anslo and his wife Aeltje Gerritsdr Schouten” (1641) covered in plastic with a bucket underneath it. (photo courtesy David Grubbs)

Heavy rain in Berlin may have put some Rembrandt artwork in a drippy situation. Brooklyn College music professor David Grubbs, who visited Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie today, June 23, captured a photo of the artist’s canvas “The Mennonite preacher Cornelis Claesz Anslo and his wife Aeltje Gerritsdr Schouten” (1641) wrapped in a thin plastic sheet. Along the work’s sides, pieces of duct tape appear to seal the cover to the walls and the painting’s frame. On the floor below, a white bucket sits on top of what appears to be a black tarp.

Grubbs told Hyperallergic that he visited the museum around 4pm and noticed “a leaky ceiling in the main Rembrandt room” of the Gemäldegalerie. In a tweet, he described “a steady patter of drops” descending from the ceiling into the bucket — merely inches away from the 382-year-old painting.

The severe rain comes after a historic wet period for Germany. At the end of May, the German Weather Service (DWD) reported that the country experienced the “wettest spring” in at least a decade, reporting higher levels of rain in both March and April. Although May had milder rainfall than the previous two months, the country’s north and east regions have been experiencing consistent severe weather fluctuations this month including thunderstorms and hail.

Today, the heavy precipitation also inconvenienced tennis fans, postponing the entire Friday schedule for the Berlin Open’s quarterfinals to Saturday, according to the Associated Press. The newswire service also reported flooded roads and railway closures due to the excessive rain.

In recent years, climate change has resulted in extreme weather patterns across Europe and the globe, forcing art institutions to adjust their visiting hours and at times close entirely for safety reasons.

The Gemäldegalerie boasts an impressive collection of 20 paintings by the Dutch Golden Age painter, as well as hundreds of other works spanning the 13th through the 17th centuries. It is unclear whether any of these works have been impacted by the alleged ceiling leak. Hyperallergic has reached out to the museum for more information.

In the section of the museum where the painting is located, several of the galleries have been temporarily closed for renovations while the institution is installing a new energy-efficient lighting system. Since the construction project began in October 2021, areas of the museum have closed and reopened in phases. In the meantime, highlighted artworks have been relocated to different galleries for viewing. The last phase of the renovation is set to be complete by this September.

Maya Pontone (she/her) is a Staff News Writer at Hyperallergic. Originally from Northern New Jersey, she currently resides in Brooklyn, where she covers daily news, both within and outside New York City....