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Born:July 15, 1606LeidenNetherlands...(Show more)Died:October 4, 1669 (aged 63)AmsterdamNetherlands...(Show more)

Dutch painter & printmaker Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) is considered one of the greatest storytellers in art, unusually gifted in rendering people in various moods & guises. His works suggest an acute and loving attention toward the world around him and a strong understanding of the significant detail—a dual chất lượng that inspired later artists.


About age 10, Rembrandt entered the Latin School in Leiden, where he studied Classical & biblical works and oratory, but he soon left lớn train as an artist. He learned how khổng lồ render everything from landscape khổng lồ architecture, from still life khổng lồ drapery, from animals lớn people and how to arrange them in complex scenes.


Rembrandt created works in several genres, including portraits và “history pieces.” Group portraits included The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (1632), Night Watch (1642), & The Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers’ Guild (1662). “History pieces” included Judas Repentant (1628/29), Descent from the Cross (1632/33), Jacob’s Blessing (1656), và Conspiracy of the Batavians (1661).

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Rembrandt, in full Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Rembrandt originally spelled Rembrant, (born July 15, 1606, Leiden, Netherlands—died October 4, 1669, Amsterdam), Dutch Baroque painter và printmaker, one of the greatest storytellers in the history of art, possessing an exceptional ability lớn render people in their various moods và dramatic guises. Rembrandt is also known as a painter of light and shade & as an artist who favoured an uncompromising realism that would lead some critics khổng lồ claim that he preferred ugliness khổng lồ beauty.

Early in his career và for some time, Rembrandt painted mainly portraits. Although he continued khổng lồ paint—and etch and, occasionally, draw—portraits throughout his career, he did so less frequently over time. Roughly one-tenth of his painted and etched oeuvre consists of studies of his own face as well as more-formal self-portraits, a fact that has led khổng lồ much speculation.


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The vi xử lý core of Rembrandt’s oeuvre, however, consists of biblical and—to a much lesser extent—historical, mythological, & allegorical “history pieces,” all of which he painted, etched, or sketched in pen & ink or chalk. Seen over his whole career, the changes in Rembrandt’s style are remarkable. His approach lớn composition & his rendering of space and light—like his handling of contour, form, & colour, his brushwork, & (in his drawings & etchings) his treatment of line & tone—are subject khổng lồ gradual (or sometimes abrupt) transformation, even within a single work. The painting known as Night Watch (1640/42) was clearly a turning point in his stylistic development. These changes are not the result of an involuntary evolution; rather they should be seen as documenting a conscious search in pictorial and narrative respects, sometimes in discussion, as it were, with his great predecessors.

Rembrandt quickly achieved renown among Dutch art lovers & an art-buying public for his history paintings và etchings, as well as his portraits & self-portraits. His unusual etchings brought him international fame during his lifetime, và his drawings, which in fact were done as practice exercises or as studies for other works, were also collected by contemporary art lovers.

According khổng lồ the myth that evolved after his death, Rembrandt died poor & misunderstood. It is true that by the kết thúc of his life his realism had been supplanted by Classicism và had become unfashionable in Holland. Nevertheless, his international reputation among connoisseurs and collectors only continued khổng lồ rise. Certain artists in 18th-century Germany và Venice even adopted his style. He was venerated during the lãng mạn era và was considered a forerunner of the lãng mạn movement; from that point he was regarded as one of the greatest figures in art history. In the Netherlands itself, his fortunes have once again risen, và he has become a symbol of both greatness & Dutch-ness.

Early years

Rembrandt was the fourth of 6 surviving children out of 10. Unlike many painters of his time, he did not come from a family of artists or craftsmen; his father, Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn (1568–1630), was a miller. His mother, Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuytbrouck (1568–1640), came from a family of bakers.

The first name Rembrandt was—and still is—extremely rare. It is akin to more common Dutch first names such as Remmert, Gerbrand, and IJsbrand. The way Rembrandt inscribed his name on his work evolved significantly. As a young man, he signed his work only with the monogram RH (Rembrant Harmenszoon, “son of Harmen”); from 1626/27, with RHL; & in 1632, with RHL van Rijn (the L in the monogram presumably standing for Leidensis, “from Leiden,” the town in which he was born). At age 26 he began to sign his work with his first name only, Rembrant (ending only with a -t); from early 1633 onward until his death, he spelled his name Rembrandt (with -dt) & signed his works that way. It has been suggested that he began using his first name as his signature because he considered himself the equal of the great artists of the 15th & 16th centuries; Michelangelo (Michelangelo Buonarroti), Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), và Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) were also generally known by their first names.

Like most Dutch children of his day, Rembrandt attended elementary school (c. 1612–16), after which, from roughly 1616 lớn 1620, he attended the Latin School in Leiden, where biblical studies and classics were the main subjects taught. The school’s emphasis on oratory skills may have contributed khổng lồ his ability lớn “stage” the figures in scenes depicted in his history paintings, drawings, & etchings. It is not clear whether Rembrandt completed his course of study at the Latin School. His first biographer, Jan Janszoon Orlers (1570–1646), provided a laudatory half-page biography of Rembrandt within his Beschrijvinge der stadt Leyden (1641; “Description of the Town of Leiden”). There Orlers wrote that Rembrandt was taken out of school prematurely and, at his own request, was sent khổng lồ be trained as a painter. The fact that Rembrandt was enrolled in Leiden University on May 20, 1620, does not necessarily contradict this. Whether for tax reasons or simply because they had attended the Latin School, it was not unusual for Leiden boys to lớn be registered as students without being expected to attend any lectures. The extent of Rembrandt’s intellectual development and any possible influence this might have had on his work remain matters of speculation.

From approximately 1620 to 1624/25, Rembrandt trained as an artist. As was quite common in his time, he had two masters in succession. Rembrandt’s first master was the Leiden painter Jacob van Swanenburgh (1571–1638), with whom, according to Orlers, he remained for about three years. Van Swanenburgh must have taught him the basic skills & imparted the knowledge necessary for the profession. He was a specialist in architectural pieces and in scenes of hell & the underworld, which called for skill in painting fire & its reflections on the surrounding objects. In Rembrandt’s time this skill was considered distinct & demanding. It may well be that Rembrandt’s early exposure lớn this kind of pictorial problem underlies his lasting interest in the effects of light.

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Rembrandt’s second teacher, Pieter Lastman (1583–1633), lived in Amsterdam. According to Orlers, Rembrandt stayed with him for six months. Working with Lastman, who was well known at that time as a history painter, must have helped Rembrandt gain the knowledge & skill necessary to lớn master that genre. History painting involved placing various figures from biblical, historical, mythological, or allegorical scenes in complex settings. In the 17th-century hierarchy of the various genres, history painting held the highest position, because it required a complete command of all subjects, from landscape to lớn architecture, from still life to lớn drapery, from animals to, above all, the human figure, in a wide range of postures, expressions, and costumes. One Rembrandt biographer, Arnold Houbraken, mentions another Amsterdam history painter, Jakob Pynas, as one of Rembrandt’s teachers. (In 1718 Houbraken wrote the most extensive early biography và characterization of Rembrandt as an artist, although it was mixed with spurious anecdotes.)

On the basis of stylistic arguments, one could speculate on the impact that Jan Lievens may have had on Rembrandt during his training. Lievens, one year younger than Rembrandt và originally a child prodigy, was already a full-fledged artist by the time Rembrandt must have decided to become a painter. Although scholars know for certain only that Rembrandt and Lievens worked closely together for some years after Rembrandt had returned to Leiden about 1625, following his training with Lastman, the contacts between these two Leiden boys may have begun earlier. However, no trace of Rembrandt’s student exercises has survived.