Dutch Baroque Painter, Engraver and Draftsman
Rembrandt, the master painter, is such a giant figure in the world of art we almost never use his last name. His works are notable for their singular brushwork, incomparable use of color and mastery of light and shadow. Rembrandt also changed the way people viewed other people, by portraying religious figures as human, and humans as soulful and poetic. Though his life was marked time and again by tragedy and trouble, his art grew ever more light and soaring.
Portraits, such as his Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp (1632), brought Rembrandt fame and riches. (This isn't surprising; one of the few things that the Protestant Dutch didn't condemn as idolatry was portraiture, and they had plenty of money with which to have themselves painted.) He also painted religious scenes (though it really wasn't "done" in that place in those times), as seen in Angel Leaving Tobit and Tobias (1637) and experimented with landscapes. Throughout this period, he began inserting more drama and interplay of light and shadow into his paintings.
Things went badly in 1642. His wife, Saskia, died after loosing three of their four children in infancy. On top of personal tragedy, his career took a disastrous turn when the subjects of his group portrait The Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch (commonly known as The Night Watch) were incensed by his seemingly random placement of their faces in dim light. Commissions dropped off, and Rembrandt - who'd always freely spent funds indulging his passion for collecting art and artifacts - found himself bankrupt. Undeterred, he packed up what was left, moved to humbler surroundings and continued creating and teaching.
Throughout the rest of his life, though personal troubles plagued Rembrandt, his artistic output was phenomenal and its subject matter (and tone) increasingly serene. He is credited with some 600 paintings, 300 etchings and 1,400 drawings. Of this total, nearly 100 works were self-portraits of a man on a continual journey of discovery.
Birth: July 15, 1606, Leiden, Netherlands
Death: October 4, 1669, Amsterdam
"Try to put well in practice what you already know. In so doing, you will, in good time, discover the hidden things you now inquire about."
Rembrandt's famous paintings:
Bathsheba at Her Bath
Hendrickje Bathing in a River
Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph
Rape of Ganymede
The Sacrifice of Abraham
Saskia as Flora
Saul and David
Susanna and the Elders
The Anatomy Lecture of Dr Nicolaes Tulp
The Blinding of Samson
The Holy Family with Angels
The Jewish Bride
Rembrandt and his paintings in Wikipedia
Rembrandt his art in WebMuseum