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Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)

Rembrandt - Self Portrait



This self-portrait shows Rembrandt as a young man in a military outfit. The Gallery has a large range of prints by Rembrandt, thanks to the Agnes and Norman Lupton bequest of 1952.

Rembrandt HARMENSZOON VAN RIJN (b. July 15, 1606, Leiden, Holland. Oct. 4, 1669, Amsterdam).

Dutch painter, draftsman, and etcher of the 17th century, a giant in the history of art. His paintings are characterized by luxuriant brushwork, rich colour, and a mastery of chiaroscuro.

Numerous portraits and self-portraits exhibit a profound penetration of character.

His drawings constitute a vivid record of contemporary Amsterdam life. The greatest artist of the Dutch school, he was a master of light and shadow whose paintings, drawings, and etchings made him a giant in the history of art.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born on July 15, 1606, in Leiden, the Netherlands. His father was a miller who wanted the boy to follow a learned profession, but Rembrandt left the University of Leiden to study painting.

His early work was devoted to showing the lines, light and shade, and color of the people he saw about him. He was influenced by the work of Caravaggio and was fascinated by the work of many other Italian artists.

When Rembrandt became established as a painter, he began to teach and continued teaching art throughout his life.

In 1631, when Rembrandt's work had become well known and his studio in Leiden was flourishing, he moved to Amsterdam. He became the leading portrait painter in Holland and received many commissions for portraits as well as for paintings of religious subjects.

He lived the life of a wealthy, respected citizen and met the beautiful Saskia van Uylenburgh, whom he married in 1634. She was the model for many of his paintings and drawings. Rembrandt's works from this period are characterized by strong lighting effects.

In addition to portraits, Rembrandt attained fame for his landscapes, while as an etcher he ranks among the foremost of all time.

When he had no other model, he painted or sketched his own image. It is estimated that he painted between 50 and 60 self-portraits.

Article By: Dave Roberts.

First Published: 2007.

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam



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