Rembrandt , a well-known painter who became known for his self-portraits and biblical scenes, is considered one of the greatest painters in European history . He was a 17th-century painter and printmaker whose work came to dominate what has since been called the Dutch Golden Age . One of the most revered artists of all time whose greatest creative successes are seen in his portraits of his contemporaries, illustrations of biblical scenes, and self-portraits , as well as his innovative etchings and use of shadow.and light.


Personal information

  • When was he born:  07/15/1606
  • Where he was born:  Leiden, The Netherlands
  • When he died:  10/04/1669
  • Where he died:  Amsterdam, Netherlands

Who was Rembrandt?

Rembrandt was a painter and engraver considered the main master of the Baroque period in painting and engraving, becoming the most important artist to this day, thanks to his contributions to painting.


Rembrandt biography

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, was born in 1606 in Leida, Holland and was the ninth child of Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn and Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuytbrouck. His father was a miller and his mother the daughter of a banker . He had a basic education in Latin , and attended the University of Leiden . At the age of eighteen, he moved to Amsterdam to work with Pieter Lastman , a well-known painter of the time, and a few months later he opened his own studio in Leida. In 1631 he returned to Amsterdam and three years later he married Saskia van Uylenborch.


Despite being a famous and respected artist , he lived his last years in appalling conditions. Saskia, the love of his life, died and his huge debts made him sell his house and possessions. Several years later, her lover, Hendrickje Stoffels , and their son Titus passed away. Rembrandt died in 1669 destitute.


The main characteristics of Rembrandt were:

  • He liked to use chiaroscuro .
  • I was looking for a way to transmit the movement .
  • The volumes of his works were asymmetrical .
  • He had a complete mastery of pictorial technique .
  • He liked to capture religious themes .
  • One of its fundamental elements was light and it used chiaroscuro .
  • He gave importance to the golden color in his works and the contrasts between the areas that had lighting.
  • He used dark colors animated by means of red.
  • He gave his characters a lot of facial expression .

Rembrandt technique

His technique is generally described by art experts as ” oil ” or ” tempera .” He had many different styles and techniques to paint his works of art, including the Flamenga technique which involved painting in transparent and opaque color on wood panels previously prepared with white, the Venetian technique which involved an initial coat of paint serving as a base. for subsequent layers of neutral or monochromatic ink on the canvas, and the Direct Painting Technique in other words painting in a single color stage.

The primer was white, probably plaster , covered with a transparent printing brown of Burnt Umber which was a medium brown pigment by heating the oxide and was mixed with varnish , to give brightness characteristic golden their work. He layered his paintings with textures and applied some paint using a technique known as “filling . ” Some layers were thin enamels and many of the portraits were done from a somber palette of browns , whites ,grays and blacks although he also used brighter colors.


Despite being a world-renowned author, there are no records of recognitions that have been made during the artist’s lifetime.

Rembrandt works

Among his main works we can mention the following:


Among his most important engravings we can mention the following:

  • Small self-portrait (1627)
  • Self-portrait with a broad nose (1626)
  • Self-portrait with fur hat, framed (bust)
  • Forward Leaning Self-Portrait (1628)
  • Self-portrait with cape and wide eyes.
  • Self-portrait with eyes open.
  • Self-portrait as an oriental nobleman with a Kris
  • Self-portrait with Saskia (1636)


Some of Rembrandt’s most recognized drawings were the following:

  • Studies of a Woman and Two Children
  • Tita van Uylenburch, sister of Rembrandt’s wife, Saskia
  • Saskia with straw hat
  • River with trees
  • Child learning to walk
  • Cornelis Claesz Anslo


Among the main self-portraits made by Rembrandt were:

  • The painter in his studio, 1626
  • Self-portrait, 1628
  • Self-portrait with ruff or self-portrait with 23 years, 1629
  • Laughing Self-Portrait, 1629-1630
  • Self-portrait with wide eyes, 1630
  • Portrait with Saskia on the Knees or Parable of the Prodigal Son , 1635
  • Self-portrait leaning the arm on a parapet

Other paintings

  • The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp : a picture full of depth and drama and is the first group portrait painted by Rembrandt, where he shows an anatomy lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp to a group of surgeons on the corpse of a criminal who had hanged dead.
  • The Night Watch : The original name of the painting was The Military Company of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburgh . The painting shows the captain’s militia when he gives the order to march to Ensign Willem van Ruytenburch.
  • The return of the prodigal son : made in oil on canvas and is inspired by the parable of the prodigal son in the Bible . The fact that one arm belongs to a man and that of a woman is striking , symbolizing that God is father and mother at the same time.


Many artists in Germany and Venice adopted his style and for this reason he was revered in the Romantic era and for this reason he was described as a precursor to the Romantic movement and was seen as one of the most important figures in the history of art. His contribution to painting was also of great importance as it provided a touch more wide which is still visible.

Rembrandt has been cataloged as the only one of the artists of his time who touched on different themes, the one who expressed a deep metaphysical concern ; and he was the only one who painted and recorded  nudes , practices that continue to this day.


Some of the most recognized phrases of Rembrandt are the following:

  • The painter pursues line and color, but his end is Poetry.
  • Old age is a hindrance to creativity but it cannot crush my youthful spirit.
  • Sincerity is the eventual deception of all great men.
  • Practice what you know and this will help you see what you don’t know yet.
  • Without an atmosphere, painting is nothing.
  • Choose only one teacher: nature.

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