Rembrandt

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  • Topic: Rembrandt, Saskia van Uylenburgh, Hendrickje Stoffels
  • Pages : 3 (865 words )
  • Download(s) : 271
  • Published : February 6, 2006
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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is generally considered one of the greatest painters in European art history and the most important in Dutch history. Rembrandt was also a proficient printmaker and made many drawings. His contributions to art came in a period that historians call the Dutch Golden Age (roughly equivalent to the 17th century), in which Dutch culture, science, commerce, world power and political influence reached their pinnacles. In all, Rembrandt produced around 600 paintings, 300 etchings, and 2,000 drawings. He was a prolific painter of self-portraits, producing almost a hundred of them (including some 20 etchings) throughout his long career. Together they give us a remarkably clear picture of the man, his looks, and — more importantly — his emotions, as misfortune and sorrow etched wrinkles in his face. Among the prominent characteristics of his work are his use of chiaroscuro, often using stark contrasts, thus drawing the viewer into the painting; his dramatic and lively scenes, devoid of any rigid formality that contemporary artists often displayed; and his ostensibly deeply felt compassion for mankind, irrespective of wealth and age. His immediate family — his wife Saskia, his son Titus, and his common-law wife Hendrickje — often figured prominently in his paintings, many of which had mythical, biblical, or historical themes. Rembrandt was born on July 15, 1606 in Leiden, the Netherlands. Conflicting sources state that his family either had 7, 9 or 10 children. His family was quite well to do; his father being a miller, his mother a baker's daughter. As a boy he attended Latin school and was enrolled at the University of Leiden, although according to a contemporary he had more inclination towards painting. His parents gave in and he was apprenticed with a Leiden history painter, Jacob van Swanenburgh. After a brief but important apprenticeship with the famous painter Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, Rembrandt opened a studio in Leiden, which he...
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