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  



Rembrandt van Rijn

Leiden, 15 July 1606; d Amsterdam, 4 Oct 1669, bur 8 Oct 1669).

Dutch painter, draughtsman and etcher. From 1632 onwards he signed his works with only the forename Rembrandt; in documents, however, he continued to sign Rembrandt van Rijn (occasionally van Rhyn), initially with the addition of the patronymic ‘Harmensz.’. This was no doubt in imitation of the great Italians such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, on whom he modelled himself, sometimes literally. He certainly equalled them in fame, and not only in his own country. His name still symbolizes a whole period of art history rightfully known as ‘Holland’s Golden Age’. In 1970–71 a great exhibition in Paris was devoted to it under the eloquent title Le Siecle de Rembrandt. A century before, a popular work of cultural history by C. Busken Huet referred to the Netherlands as ‘the land of Rembrandt’. His fame is partly due to his multi-faceted talent. Frans Hals was perhaps at times a greater virtuoso with the brush but remained ‘only’ a portrait painter. Vermeer may have excelled Rembrandt in the art of illusion but was less prolific. Rembrandt was not only a gifted painter but also an inspired graphic artist: he has probably never been surpassed as an etcher, and he often seems inimitable as a draughtsman. His subjects reflect his manifold talent and interests. He painted, drew and etched portraits, landscapes, figures and animals, but, above all, scenes of biblical and secular history and mythology. Contemporary critics ascribed the highest artistic value to his history paintings, as opposed to his portraits, which were regarded as a necessary evil. Rembrandt combined theory and practice, inventing, for instance, a new kind of painting, the ‘tronie’ or portrait head, a compromise between portraiture and history painting. His most famous portrait commission was that of the Militia Company of Capt. Frans Banning Cocq and Lt Willem van Ruytenburch, a picture known by its nickname, the ‘Night Watch’ (1642; Amsterdam, Rijksmus.); it was praised in 1678 by Samuel van Hoogstraten on the grounds that the artist had made it into a ‘history’ instead of a mere group portrait. In 1641, the year before it was completed, J. J. Orlers, the artist’s first biographer, described Rembrandt as ‘one of the most famous painters of our age’.



The Angel Appearing To The Sheperds

Etching, burin, and drypoint, 261 x 218 cm
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich


Beggars Receiving Alms at the Door of a House

Etching, burin, and drypoint, 16.5 x 12.8 cm


The Circumscision in the Stable

Etching, 9.4 x 14.4 cm


Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

Etching, 9 x 11.5 cm



Etching (fourth state)
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris


Nude Man Seated on the Ground with One Leg Extended

Etching, 9.7 x 16.8 cm


Old Beggar Woman with a Gourd

c. 1630


Old Man Shading His Eyes with His Hand

c. 1639
Etching and drypoint, 13.8 x 11.5 cm


Old Man with Flowing Beard, Looking down Left



The Windmill


The Pancake Woman

Etching, 10.9 x 7.7 cm


The Adoration Of The Sheperds: With The Lamp

Etching, 10.5 x 12.9 cm


The Tribute Money

c. 1635
Etching, 7.1 x 10.3 cm


Boaz Casting Barley into Ruth's Veil

c. 1645
Pen and brush, 126 x 143 mm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The Three Crosses
(second state)
Drypoint and burin printed on vellum, 381 x 438 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Man with Wide-Brimmed Hat

Ink on light-brown paper, 160 x 98 mm
Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


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