Rembrandt Van Rijn was born in 1606, the son of a well-to-do miller in the university town of Leiden. He matriculated at the University, but soon abandoned his studies to become a painter. Some of his earliest works were greatly praised by contemporary scholars, and at the age of twenty-five Rembrandt left Leiden for the teeming commercial centre of Amsterdam. There he made a rapid career as a portrait painter, married a wealthy girl, bought a house, collected works of art and curios and worked incessantly. When his first wife died, in 1642, she left him a considerable fortune, but Rembrandt's popularity with the public declined, he got into dept, and fourteen years later his creditors sold his house and put his collection up for auction. Only the help of his loyal mistress, and his son saved him from utter ruin. They made an arrangement by which he was formally an employee of their art-dealing firm, and, as such, he painted his last great masterpieces. But these faithful companions died before him, and when his life came to an end in 1669, he left no other property than some old clothes and his painting utensils.
Famous are Rembrandt's self-portraits, in which he observed himself in a mirror with complete sincerity. There is no trace of a pose in these portraits, no trace of vanity, just the penetrating gaze of a painter who scrutinizes his own features, ever ready to learn more and more about the secrets of a human face. Rembrandt also seems to have been able to get into the skin of all types of men, and to know how they would behave in any given situation. It is this gift that makes Rembrandt's illustrations of Biblical scenes so different from anything that had been done before. As a devout Protestant he must have read the Bible again and again. He entered into the spirit of its episodes, and attempted to visualize exactly what the situation must have been like and how the people would have moved and behaved at such a moment. He was also a graphic artist. He used a method which allowed him to work more freely and more qiuckly than was possible with the burin and that method is called etching.
The number of works attributed to Rembrandt varies. He produced approximately 600 paintings, 300 etchings, and 1,400 drawings. Some of his works are: St. Paul in Prison (1627); Supper at Emmaus (1630); The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (1632); Young Girl at an Open Half-Door (1645); The Mill (1650); Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer (1653); The Return of the Prodigal Son (after 1660); The Syndics of the Drapers' Guild (1662); and many portraits.
tobit and anna with a goat
the bliding of samson
philosofer in meditation
Christ and the woman taken in adultery
a girl at a window
self-portrait at an early age
the archangel leaving the family of tobias
see : http://www.rembrandtpainting.net/
source : Gombrich's The Story Of Art
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