Rembrandt van Rijn, aka Rembrandt
(Dutch, 1606 - 1669)
Self Portrait aged 54
by Rembrandt van Rijn
This person is associated with: Dutch Golden Age

Dutch Golden painter and etcher.

The most celebrated and influential Dutch painter whose intimate psychological studies of human nature and emotions makes him an instantly recognizable and admired artist to this day.  His self- portraits are some of the most revealing and penetrating of all portraiture, in the way he could spontaneously capture his inner feelings.  He painted most types of genre from evocative religious scenes through mythology to numerous portraits.  He was equally adept at sketching, drawing and etching.  He ran a large workshop with a team of students. This has made attribution extremely difficult and many of his works in public and private hands have still not been totally authenticated.  Because of his popularity in the following century Rembrandt can claim many imitators. Where credible evidence has been proven, those works that were formerly attributed to the artist or are still unverified, have been described in the titles of his works on display here.

Rembrandt was his first name and he wanted to be known by this in the manner of his heroes, Michelangelo and Raphael. He was a master in the way he managed light and dark in his works, known as chiaroscuro; best displayed in the well-known ‘Nightwatch’, which also shows movement, unusual at that time.

Rembrandt was born in Leiden in the Netherlands and attended school there before going to Leiden University in 1620.  He later was apprenticed to a local painter, Jacob van Swanenburgh, and worked there for three years. In around 1624 Rembrandt joined the studio of Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam and remained there for six months. This proved crucial in the manner he developed as an artist. His style for mythological and religious subjects took on a dramatic form in the use of lighting and the gestures of his figures. He produced his earliest known work, ‘The Stoning of Saint Stephen’ (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon) in about 1625. He was now working as an independent artist in Leiden.

In 1631-2 Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, where he remained for the rest of his life.  It was at this time that his output concentrated  on individual figures from biblical times (his apostles for example).  He also started to paint self-portraits and portraits of his family.  His earliest known commissioned portrait was of Nicolaes Ruts, an Amsterdam merchant, in 1631 (Frick Collection, New York). This established him as the leading portraitist in Amsterdam and he concentrated on portrait painting over the next few years.The ‘Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp’ (1632, Mauritshuis) was his early entry into group painting.  He also painted a number of important religious works during the 1630s.

In 1634 he married Saskia van Uylenburgh, a cousin of one of his art dealer contacts and he produced a number of tender portraits of her. In 1639 he moved into his new house (now the Rembrandt Museum) in Amsterdam.  Of the four children he had with Saskia, only Titus lived into adulthood (1641-68). Rembrandt painted a number of portraits of his son. But Saskia died in 1642, the year the artist painted his most famous subject, ‘The Night Watch’ (Rijksmuseum).This is the culminating work of a series of portraits of Dutch militia, particularly associated with another Dutch master, Frans Hals.  This painting shows considerable drama that Rembrandt introduced, with its powerful lighting, movement and character studies in place of the formal standing positions favoured by Hals and similar portraitists.

From the mid-1640s Rembrandt's fortunes changed and in the late 1640s Rembrandt had a relationship with Hendrickje Stoffels, who was much younger than the artist; this produced a daughter in 1654. However, Rembrandt was living beyond his means, having bought a substantial collection of antiquities, drawings, prints and in 1660 he sold his house and moved into smaller premises. He continued to receive commissions and was active up until his death in 1669, having outlived Hendrickje and Titus.

He was the master to Dou.

Name:Rembrandt van Rijn
Dates:1606 - 1669
Nationality:Dutch
Sex:Male
Self Portraits
This artist has 715 artworks in the database. Add more!
Top owners of works by this artist
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam(Netherlands - Amsterdam)145 artworks
Private collection77 artworks
Uknown owner73 artworks
Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, NY(United States - New York)33 artworks
British Museum(United Kingdom - London)29 artworks
Gemäldegalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin(Germany - Berlin)26 artworks
Hermitage Museum - St-Petersburg(Russian Federation - St. Petersburg)26 artworks
National Gallery - London(United Kingdom - London)25 artworks
Musée du Louvre(France - Paris)17 artworks
National Gallery of Art - Washington DC(United States - Washington)15 artworks
Mauritshuis(Netherlands - The Hague)12 artworks

Discussion forms will be added in the future, most likely Autumn of 2013.
Creative works made by this person are in the PUBLIC DOMAIN (not copyrighted).

Explanation:
This person died over 70 years ago (in 1669).