Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, commonly known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch painter and etcher who is widely regarded as one of the greatest artists in European art history. He was born on July 15, 1606, in Leiden, Netherlands, and died on October 4, 1669, in Amsterdam.
Rembrandt parents were Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn and Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuytbrouck. His father, Harmen, was a miller, and his mother, Neeltgen, was the daughter of a baker. Rembrandt was the ninth of ten children in his family. His full name, “Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn,” reflects the Dutch naming convention of using “Harmenszoon” to indicate that he was the son of Harmen.
Rembrandt had four children with his first wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, whom he married in 1634. Rumbartus also spelled Rombertus or Rombout van Rijn Born in 1635, he lived for only two months and died in 1635. Cornelia van Rijn Born in 1638, Cornelia was Rembrandt and Saskia’s only surviving child. She lived to adulthood and married a man named Pieter Hovij, but there is not much historical information available about her life.
Rembrandt had three wives during his lifetime. Rembrandt’s first wife was Saskia van Uylenburgh, the daughter of a Frisian burgomaster. They married in 1634, and Saskia was a source of inspiration for many of Rembrandt’s early works. After Saskia’s death, Rembrandt entered into a relationship with Hendrickje Stoffels, who served as his housekeeper and became his common law wife. They had a daughter together, who was also named Cornelia, in 1654. Prior to his relationship with Hendrickje, Rembrandt had a brief relationship with Geertje Dircx, who had worked as a nurse for his son, Titus. This relationship resulted in legal troubles, including a breach of promise lawsuit brought by Geertje against Rembrandt. While Rembrandt had these three significant relationships, Saskia was his legal wife, and Hendrickje was his long-term partner and companion during his later years.
Rembrandt was known to have amassed a significant collection of art, antiques, and curiosities, which he kept in his house. He was interested in various artifacts, both exotic and historical. Rembrandt was a part of the vibrant artistic and intellectual community in Amsterdam during his time. He enjoyed spending time with fellow artists, scholars, and patrons, engaging in conversations and discussions.
Rembrandt was an innovative artist who constantly experimented with painting and etching techniques. He enjoyed exploring new artistic methods and materials in his free time. Rembrandt had many pupils who studied under him in his studio. Teaching and sharing his artistic knowledge might have been a source of enjoyment for him. Like many of his contemporaries, Rembrandt appreciated music, literature, and other cultural pursuits of the time.
Rembrandt’s work is known for its remarkable use of light and shadow, a technique called chiaroscuro, which adds depth and drama to his paintings. He was a prolific artist, creating a vast body of work, including portraits, landscapes, historical scenes, and biblical subjects.
Rembrandt produced well over 600 paintings, nearly 400 etchings and 2,000 drawings. Most expensive Rembrandt ever sold at auction is the Portrait of a man with arms akimbo painted in 1658, which sold for $33.3 million in London in December 2009. A 1915 report by Hofstede de Groot described this painting as follows: “827a. An admiral from Holland. shown in London, 1847, at the British Institution, №45. included in George Folliot’s collection. Horst Gerson’s 1968 catalog of the Columbia University art collection included a piece that had been sold in May 1930 from the Folliot collection. Huntington Hartford, a wealthy businessman associated with the A & P grocery chain, reportedly paid $185,000 for it. In 1958, he gave it to the University.
Thomas Scott Kaplan is the world’s largest private collector of Rembrandt’s works. Rembrandt paintings rarely come to auction or private sale as they are in very high demand.
Some of his most famous paintings include “The Night Watch,” “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp,” and “Self-Portrait with Two Circles.” He is also known for his numerous self-portraits, which provide insights into his evolving artistic style and the aging process.
Rembrandt’s career can be divided into several phases, each marked by distinct styles and themes. His early work in Leiden was influenced by Caravaggio and other Baroque artists. In Amsterdam, where he spent the majority of his career, he gained fame as a portrait painter for the city’s elite, but he also delved into biblical and historical subjects.
Despite his artistic success, Rembrandt experienced financial difficulties in his later years due to extravagant spending and changing tastes in art. He declared bankruptcy in 1656 and was forced to sell his house and collection of art and antiquities. Nevertheless, he continued to paint and etch prolifically.
Rembrandt’s influence on the art world is immeasurable. He is celebrated for his innovative techniques, emotional depth, and the humanity he infused into his subjects. His work has inspired generations of artists and continues to be highly regarded in the art world.
Rembrandt’s art is prominently displayed in various museums around the world, with many holding notable collections of his work. Some of the top museums known for their extensive Rembrandt collections include the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam houses the most extensive and significant collection of Rembrandt’s work. It includes some of his most famous paintings, such as “The Night Watch” and many of his masterpieces.The Louvre Museum in Paris features several important Rembrandt paintings, including “The Supper at Emmaus” and “Self-Portrait with Two Circles.”
The National Gallery in London possesses a notable collection of Rembrandt’s paintings, including “The Jewish Bride” and “A Woman Bathing in a Stream.” The Met in New York has a substantial collection of Rembrandt’s work, including his iconic self-portraits and several important paintings.
The Getty Center collection includes works such as “An Old Man in Military Costume” and “Saint Bartholomew.” The Hague, Netherlands museum houses “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp” and several other Rembrandt paintings. The Art Institute of Chicago has a notable collection of Rembrandt’s etchings and drawings, along with paintings like “Old Woman Praying” and “Self-Portrait.” The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has a notable collection of Rembrandt’s works, including paintings, etchings, and drawings.