Rembrandt van Rijn
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a painter and printer, draughtsman, and printer, he is widely believed to be one of the great European artists. Some of his most famous works, such as the Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, are iconic. He was aware of and incorporated painting trends from other countries into his art even though he never left the Dutch Republic.
He grew up in the time now called the Dutch Golden Age due to the population’s general prosperity when innovation was admired. Rembrandt was the ninth child of a wealthy family. They supported his early interest in art and he apprenticed in Amsterdam. He became known for his portraits early in his career, and his series of self-portraits document his own life. He took etching, a new technology used for general printing, and made it into an art form. His prints were distributed far past the Dutch borders, and established his reputation as one of the great etchers during his lifetime.
His life was filled with tragedy including his wife’s death and bankruptcy from his spending habits, but Rembrandt’s paintings live on. Since his students often worked on his paintings, an international group analyzed all works attributed to him or his studio and evaluated them on a scale with completely by his own hand being the best.
Rembrandt created portraits, landscapes, biblical stories, allegories, portraits with exaggerated expressions, and of course, over forty self-portraits. They range in size from small and intimate to gigantic, and have continued to capture the world’s attention to this day.