Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher, one of the most prolific and influential artists in Europe of the 17th century.
Between 1629 and 1669 he painted some 60 penetrating self-portraits. He also painted religious subjects, and produced about 300 etchings and over 1,000 drawings. His group portraits include The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp in 1632 (Mauritshuis, The Hague) and The Night Watch 1642 (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), After studying in Leiden and for a few months in Amsterdam (with a history painter), Rembrandt began his career in 1625 in Leiden, where his work reflected knowledge of Elsheimer and Caravaggio among others.
He settled permanently in Amsterdam in 1631, and obtained many commissions for portraits from wea
lthy merchants. The Self-Portrait with Saskia (his wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh) about 1634 (Gemaldegalerie, Dresden, East Germany) displays their prosperity in warm tones and rich, glittering textiles.
Saskia died in 1642 and that year Rembrandt's fortunes began to decline (he eventually became bankrupt in 1656). His work became more sombre and with deeper emotional content, and his portraits were increasingly melancholy, for example Jan Six in 1654 (Six Collection, Amsterdam). From 1660 onward he lived with Hendrickje Stoffels, but he outlived her, and in 1668 his only surviving child, Titus, died too.
Why is Rembrandt van Rijn famous?
Rembrandt van Rijn was a 17th century Dutch painter and etcher.