Baroque and Rococo





The Mystery of the Revealed Form



 Baroque and Rococo Art Map
     Rembrandt van Rijn
     Rembrandt - a never-ending experience  
     Rembrandt the thinker: The structural conception of Rembrandt's early pictures  
     The encounter between observer and subject  
     From interpretation to observation: The Night Watch  
     Observation as comprehension: The Staalmeesters  
     The search for life in the picture: Susanna and the Elders  
     The search for life in the picture: The Return of the Prodigal Son  
     The mystery of the revealed form: The Jewish Bride  
     Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn -1606-1669: Chronology  
     Rembrandt - DRAWINGS  




Harmenszoon van Rijn




The Artist in his Studio
Oil on canvas, 25,5 x 32 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn born on 15 th July in Leiden,
the eighth of nine children to Neeltje van Suijttbroeck and her husband, Harmen Gerritsz van Rijn.


Rembrandt's parents, having had all his brothers trained as craftsmen, send him alone to the school for Latin.
After seven years' schooling, Rembrandt enrols in the Philosophical Faculty of Leiden University to study Classics.


He abandons his studies after a shott time, starting a period of instruction under the Italy-trained painter Jacob Isaacsz van Swanenburgh. However, he is influenced to a considerably greater extent by the succeeding apprenticeship of six months under Pieter Lastman, the Amsterdam artist of history paintings.


Return to Leiden and foundation of his own studio in conjunction with Jan Lievens.
Rembrandt produces history paintings, initially following Lastman's models; in addition, he executes physiognomical studies, resulting in numerous self-portraits, together with engravings and etchings, for which Callot's engravings partly provide the inspiration.


Constantijn Huygens, the widely educated secretary of the governor, Prince Frederik Hendrick, comes to Leiden, and develops great interest in Rembrandt and his art.




An Old Woman: The Artist's Mother
Oil on panel, 61,3 x 47,3 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor



Huygens' patronage leads to commissions and initial successes, as two works by Rembrandt are purchased by the English Crown and many copies of his paintings Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver and The Raising of Lazarus are soon to be found.


His father dies on 27th April.


Inspired by his initial success and drawn by the up-and-coming capital, Rembrandt moves to Amsterdam, where he lives in the house of Uylenburgh, the art-dealer, in the Breestraat, soon making a name for himself as a portrait painter of well-to-do Amsterdam patricians.


Thanks to Huygens' mediation, Prince Frederik Hendrick acquires a number of paintings and commissions the Passion cycle. In addition, Rembrandt receives the commission to paint a portrait of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, the surgeon, which he completes before the year's end. A total of thirty paintings result in the course of this year.


The Ship of Fortune

The University of Michigan Museum of Art


Rembrandt marries Saskia van Uylenburgh, niece of the Amsterdam art-dealer and daughter of a wealthy patrician, on 2nd July. He becomes a member of the Guild of St. Luke, in order that he may train pupils and apprentices as a self-employed master. The names of eight of the pupils working in his studio are still famous today, among them Ferdinand Bol and Govert Fhnck.


Baptism on 15th December of Rembrandt's first son, Rumbertus, who dies after only a few months.
Work on the paintings Samson Threatening his Father-in-law, The Abduction of Ganymede and The Sacrifice of Isaac.


The Van Rijns move into the Nieuwe Doelenstraat, where Rembrandt begins to deal in works of art and start an encyclopaedic collection of exotic items, scientific and historical objects, and animals and plants.
He paints The Feast of Belshazzar, The Blinding of Samson and, in the course of the following years, a series of portraits depicting Saskia, among them the double portrait The Prodigal Son in the Tavern.


After Saskia's relations accuse her of squandering money, Rembrandt initiates legal proceedings. Baptism of their first daughter, bearing the name Cornelia; she, too, dies after a short time.


El puente de piedra



On 5th January Rembrandt purchases a new house in the Breestraat, undertaking to pay it off within five to six years. Completion of the fifth and last picture for the Passion cycle.


Baptism on 29th July of their second daughter named Cornelia, who likewise dies shortly afterwards; Rembrandt's mother dies one month later. He begins to paint landscapes and to engrave.


Baptism on 22nd September of their son Titus.


Following the completion of The Night Watch, Saskia's death, on 14th June, results in a caesura and crisis in Rembrandt's life. So as to relieve the widowed father, Geertge Dircx and - in the summer of the same year - Hendrickje Stoffels join the household. Rembrandt commences work on his most famous etching, the 100 Guilder Print. His graphic works are met with ever-increasing popularity and are frequently copied and reproduced in engravings, especially for altarpieces.


Jews in the Synagogue


Geertge quarrels repeatedly with Rembrandt, and finally takes him to court on the grounds of an unfulfilled promise of marriage. Hendrickje testifies against the plaintiff.
Geertge is sentenced to several years in the prison at Gouda.


Antonio Ruffo, the Sicilian patron, awards Rembrandt the commission for the painting Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer; it is completed in the following year.


Despite numerous commissions, the fees from pupils and the proceeds from etchings, Rembrandt's debts are such as to compel him to continue to borrow money.




Hendrickje is summoned before the Amsterdam Council of the Reformed Church, which reprimands her for immoral cohabitation with Rembrandt.
The third daughter to bear the name Cornelia is baptized on 30th October.


The title of the house is transferred to Titus' name on 17th May. Shortly thereafter, Rembrandt is declared bankrupt.


Rembrandt's house and collections are auctioned; however, the sum thereby raised is insufficient to cover his debts. He moves into the Roozengracht, where he leads a secluded life along with Mennonite and Jewish friends. Louys Crayers becomes Titus' guardian; after a long court case, he is successful in his attempt to have the boy's part of the inheritance returned to him from his bankrupt father's estate.


Titus and Hendrickje employ Rembrandt in their art shop. Despite leading a secluded existence, he maintains many contacts.
He continues to keep pupils occupied and execute commissions, such as the portrait of the board members of the Amsterdam Clothmakers' Guild, The Staalmeesters, which he completes in 1662.


Paisaje con Castillo



Antonio Ruffo purchases the painting of Alexander the Great and commissions a portrait of Homer.


Death of Hendrickje.


Christ Seated Disputing with the Doctors



Titus reaches majority and receives his inheritance. Rembrandt is occupied with The Jewish Bride.


Titus marries Magdalena van Loo on 10th February, but dies half a year later and is buried on 7th September.


Rembrandt now lives at the house of his daughter-in-law, and becomes godfather to his first granddaughter on 22nd March.
He dies on 4th October,
without having completed the painting Simeon with the Christ Child in the Temple.


Winter Landscape


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