Art for the Ages

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a famous Dutch painter who lived during the Dutch Golden Age. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest visual artists of all time, acclaimed in three different media: painting, drawing and printmaking.

Rembrandt grew up in an affluent family, living in an upscale neighborhood in Leiden, a town in the Dutch Republic. He enrolled in the local university at the age of thirteen. Soon after that, he served in three painting apprenticeships before striking out on his own. He was strongly influenced by Italian painters, although he never left his native country to study, as many of his contemporaries did. Rembrandt opened a studio at the age of eighteen, and began accepting his own students two years later.

As Rembrandt grew older, he moved to Amsterdam, where he established a flourishing business selling his paintings. His opulent spending habits prevented him from becoming financially successful, as he continued to accumulate debt, eventually causing him to lose his house. At the end of his life, Rembrandt died a pauper, buried in an unmarked grave.

Rembrandt’s life was marked by tragedy. He and his wife Saskia lost their first three children within a short time after their birth. Their fourth child, Titus, survived into adulthood. Saskia died shortly after the birth of Titus.

The works of Rembrandt are characterized by religious themes, many of his paintings depicting scenes from the New Testament. He is also well known for his self-portraits, which reveal his character in a revealing and honest fashion. His wife Saskia is also a subject in many of his paintings.

Acknowledgment goes to Wikipedia for providing much of this information.

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