Portrait of van Rijn Rembrandt

Rembrandt van Rijn Painting Reproductions 7 of 13

1606-1669

Dutch Baroque Painter

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15, 1606 - October 4, 1669) is generally considered one of the greatest painters in European art history and the most important in Dutch history.

Rembrandt was also a proficient printmaker and made many drawings. His contributions to art came in a period that historians call the Dutch Golden Age (roughly equivalent to the 17th century), in which Dutch culture, science, commerce, world power and political influence reached their pinnacles.

Works
In all, Rembrandt produced around 600 paintings, 300 etchings, and 2,000 drawings. He was a prolific painter of self-portraits, producing almost a hundred of them (including some 20 etchings) throughout his long career. Together they give us a remarkably clear picture of the man, his looks, and - more importantly - his emotions, as misfortune and sorrow etched wrinkles in his face.

Among the prominent characteristics of his work are his use of chiaroscuro, often using stark contrasts, thus drawing the viewer into the painting; his dramatic and lively scenes, devoid of any rigid formality that contemporary artists often displayed; and his ostensibly deeply felt compassion for mankind, irrespective of wealth and age.

His immediate family - his wife Saskia, his son Titus, and his common-law wife Hendrickje - often figured prominently in his paintings, many of which had mythical, biblical, or historical themes.

Life
Rembrandt was born on July 15, 1606 in Leiden, the Netherlands. Conflicting sources state that his family either had 7, 9 or 10 children. His family was quite well to do; his father being a miller, his mother a baker's daughter. As a boy he attended Latin school and was enrolled at the University of Leiden, although according to a contemporary he had more inclination towards painting. His parents gave in and he was apprenticed with a Leiden history painter, Jacob van Swanenburgh. After a brief but important apprenticeship with the famous painter Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, Rembrandt opened a studio in Leiden, which he shared with friend and colleague Jan Lievens. In 1627, Rembrandt began to accept students, among them Gerard Dou.

By 1631, Rembrandt had established such a good reputation that he received several assignments for portraits from Amsterdam. As a result, he moved to that city and into the house of an art dealer, Hendrick van Uylenburgh. This move eventually led, in 1634, to the marriage of Rembrandt and Hendrick's greatniece, Saskia van Uylenburg. This was obviously a marriage for love. Although she came from a good family (her father had been burgomaster of Leeuwarden), Saskia was an orphan and was probably not very wealthy. She lived with her sister in Frisia and did not have many 'grand' connections in Amsterdam. These events, however, are widely disputed.

In 1639, Rembrandt and Saskia moved to a prominent house in the Jodenbreestraat in the Jewish quarter, which later became the Rembrandt House Museum. Although they were affluent the couple had several setbacks in their personal life. Three of their children died shortly after birth. Only their fourth child, a son, Titus, who was born in 1641, survived into adulthood. Saskia died in 1642 soon after Titus's birth, probably from tuberculosis.

After her death he began an affair with Titus's nurse, a widow called Geertje Dircx. This ended in a lawsuit. Geertje claimed that Rembrandt had broken his promise to marry her, and demanded that the council force him to marry her. The council did not go that far but Rembrandt was asked to pay her a lot of money. He then cooperated with Geertje's family to have her locked up in a 'spinhuis' (house of correction) in Gouda.

In the late 1640s, she was succeeded as Rembrandt's mistress by the much younger Hendrickje Stoffels, who initially had also been Rembrandt's maidservant. In 1654 they had a daughter, Cornelia, bringing Hendrickje an official reproach from the Reformed church for "living in sin." Rembrandt was not summoned to appear for the Church council because he was not a member of the Reformed church.

Rembrandt lived beyond his means, buying many art pieces and especially prints (often used in his paintings), and rarities, which probably caused his bankruptcy in 1656. He had to sell his house and move to a more modest accommodation on the Rozengracht. Here, Hendrickje and Titus started an art shop to make ends meet. However, Rembrandt's fame did not wane in these years, since he received an important commision for a large history piece for the newly built city hall.

Rembrandt outlived both Hendrickje and Titus. In the end, only his daughter Cornelia was at his side. The bereaving death of his much beloved son took heavy toll on Rembrandt and soon after that he died October 4, 1669 in Amsterdam and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Westerkerk.

Periods, themes, and styles
It was during Rembrandt's Leiden period (1625-1631) that Lastman's influence was most prominent. Paintings were rather small, but rich in details (for example, in costumes and jewelry). Themes were mostly religious and allegoric.

During his early years in Amsterdam (1632-1636), Rembrandt used large canvases and strong tones and depicted dramatic scenes. Rembrandt painted many portraits in this period. Other paintings had biblical and mythological scenes.

In the late 1630, Rembrandt painted many landscapes and produced etchings about nature. In this period, his landscapes were tormented by nature, showing trees taken down by a storm or ominous skies with dark clouds.

Starting in about 1640, his work became more sober, reflecting the family tragedies that he had suffered. Exuberance was replaced by deeply felt inner emotions. Biblical scenes were now derived more often from the New Testament instead of the Old Testament, as had been the case before. Paintings became smaller again. An exception is the huge painting The Night Watch, his largest, which was as worldly and spirited as any previous painting. Landscapes were more often etched than painted. The dark forces of nature made way for quiet Dutch rural scenes.

In the 1650s, Rembrandt's style changed again. Paintings increased in size. Colours became richer, brush strokes stronger. With these changes, Rembrandt distanced himself from earlier work and current fashion, which increasingly inclined towards fine, detailed works. Over the years, biblical themes were still depicted often, but emphasis shifted from dramatic group scenes to intimate portrait-like figures.

In his last years, Rembrandt painted some of his finest self-portraits, showing a face on which grief and sorrow had left their marks.

Museum collections
In the Netherlands, the most notable collection of Rembrandt's work is at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, including De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch) and De Joodse bruid (The Jewish Bride).

Many of his self-portraits are held in The Hague's Mauritshuis.
His home, preserved as the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam, houses many examples of his engravings.

Prominent collections in other countries can be found in Berlin, St. Petersburg, New York City, Washington, D.C., The Louvre and the National Gallery, London.

The Night Watch
Rembrandt painted The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq between 1640 and 1642. This picture was called the Patrouille de Nuit by the French and the Night Watch by Sir Joshua Reynolds because, upon its discovery, the picture was so dimmed and defaced by time that it was almost indistinguishable and it looked quite like a night scene. After it was cleaned, it was discovered to represent broad day - a party of musketeers stepping from a gloomy courtyard into the blinding sunlight.

The piece was commissioned for the new hall of the Kloveniersdoelen, the musketeer branch of the civic militia. Rembrandt departed from convention, which ordered that such genre pieces should be stately and formal, rather a line-up than an action scene. Instead he showed the militia readying themselves to embark on a mission (what kind of mission, an ordinary patrol or some special event, is a matter of debate). His new approach caused a row, especially among the militia members who ended up at the back of the scene and were hardly visible. Payment was delayed. Parts of the canvas were cut off to make the painting fit on the designated wall when it was moved to Amsterdam town hall in 1715.

This painting now hangs in the largest hall of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It is a large painting that takes up the entire back wall - despite having had bits cut off - and is arguably one of the most impressive paintings displayed there.

296 Rembrandt Paintings

Pilate Washing His Hands, n.d. by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Pilate Washing His Hands n.d.

Oil Painting
$1628
Canvas Print
$50.52
SKU: REM-8980
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 130.2 x 167 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Man in a Red Cloak, n.d. by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Man in a Red Cloak n.d.

Oil Painting
$1015
Canvas Print
$49.94
SKU: REM-8981
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 38.4 x 31.1 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Portrait of a Man with a Breastplate and Plumed Hat, n.d. by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Man with a Breastplate and Plumed Hat n.d.

Oil Painting
$1418
Canvas Print
$49.94
SKU: REM-8982
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 121.3 x 98.4 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Man in a Beret, n.d. by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Man in a Beret n.d.

Oil Painting
$961
Canvas Print
$54.10
SKU: REM-8983
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 75.9 x 62.9 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Portrait of a Woman Wearing a Gold Chain, 1634 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Woman Wearing a Gold Chain 1634

Oil Painting
$1668
Canvas Print
$57.93
SKU: REM-8984
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 69.5 x 53 cm
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts, USA

Portrait of a Man Wearing a Black Hat, 1634 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Man Wearing a Black Hat 1634

Oil Painting
$1394
SKU: REM-8985
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 69.9 x 53 cm
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts, USA

Old Man in Prayer, n.d. by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Old Man in Prayer n.d.

Oil Painting
$1151
SKU: REM-8986
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 75.3 x 59.7 cm
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts, USA

Reverend Johannes Elison, 1634 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Reverend Johannes Elison 1634

Oil Painting
$1932
SKU: REM-8987
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 174 x 124.5 cm
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts, USA

Mevr. Johannes Elison (Maria Bockenolle), 1634 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Mevr. Johannes Elison (Maria Bockenolle) 1634

Oil Painting
$1861
SKU: REM-8988
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 174.9 x 124.1 cm
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts, USA

The Circumcision, 1661 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

The Circumcision 1661

Oil Painting
$1509
Canvas Print
$56.68
SKU: REM-8989
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 56.5 x 75 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

Lucretia, 1664 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Lucretia 1664

Oil Painting
$1613
Canvas Print
$64.40
SKU: REM-8990
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 120 x 101 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

Man in Oriental Costume, c.1635 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Man in Oriental Costume c.1635

Oil Painting
$1644
Canvas Print
$57.24
SKU: REM-8991
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 98.5 x 74.5 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

A Polish Nobleman, 1637 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

A Polish Nobleman 1637

Oil Painting
$1625
Canvas Print
$51.73
SKU: REM-8992
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 96.8 x 66 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

A Young Man Seated at a Table (possibly Govaert Flinck), c.1660 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

A Young Man Seated at a Table (possibly Govaert Flinck) c.1660

Oil Painting
$1080
Canvas Print
$61.23
SKU: REM-8993
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 109.9 x 89.5 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

Self-Portrait, 1659 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Self-Portrait 1659

Oil Painting
$1275
Canvas Print
$58.34
SKU: REM-8994
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 84.5 x 66 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

Saskia van Uylenburgh, c.1634/35 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Saskia van Uylenburgh c.1634/35

Oil Painting
$1122
Canvas Print
$58.75
SKU: REM-8995
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 60.5 x 49 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan, c.1658/60 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan c.1658/60

Oil Painting
$1270
Canvas Print
$62.33
SKU: REM-8996
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 99.5 x 83 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

The Raising of Lazarus, c.1630 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

The Raising of Lazarus c.1630

Oil Painting
$1074
Canvas Print
$63.43
SKU: REM-8997
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 96.3 x 81.3 cm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California, USA

Portrait of a Man, 1632 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Man 1632

Oil Painting
$1062
Canvas Print
$57.52
SKU: REM-8998
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 57.8 x 43.8 cm
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA

Portrait of a Young Artist, c.1647 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Young Artist c.1647

Oil Painting
$1020
Canvas Print
$66.88
SKU: REM-8999
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 99.4 x 89 cm
Frick Collection, New York, USA

Self Portrait at the Age of 63, 1669 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

Self Portrait at the Age of 63 1669

Oil Painting
$1284
Canvas Print
$75.24
SKU: REM-9000
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 86 x 70.5 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

A Bearded Man in a Cap, c.1655/60 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

A Bearded Man in a Cap c.1655/60

Oil Painting
$1025
Canvas Print
$79.97
SKU: REM-9001
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 78 x 66.7 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

A Franciscan Friar, a.1655 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

A Franciscan Friar a.1655

Oil Painting
$1094
Canvas Print
$68.22
SKU: REM-9002
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 89 x 66.5 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

An Elderly Man as Saint Paul, c.1659 by Rembrandt | Painting Reproduction

An Elderly Man as Saint Paul c.1659

Oil Painting
$1098
Canvas Print
$78.59
SKU: REM-9003
van Rijn Rembrandt
Original Size: 102 x 85.5 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

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