Rembrandt images and biography
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Rembrandt
(1606-1669)

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See also: Baroque Art; One Man Show: Rembrandt

"Rembrandt never visited Italy but by the time he left his native Leyden to settle in Amsterdam in 1631, he had already been exposed to the latest developments in Baroque painting. The Dutch followers of Caravaggio had ensured that the thunderous use of light and shade and dramatic figures filling the picture surface had become familiar, as had the fluid, vigorous brushwork of Rubens and the thirst for grand, painterly illusions. Like Rubens, Rembrandt would have noted that Titian in his late work had gone in search of more reflective moods and discovered a new and glorious freedom in his brushstrokes.

"Of all the Baroque masters, it was Rembrandt who evolved the most revolutionary technique and who seemed to grow into the Italians' spiritual heir. By the middle of the 1630s he had long since abandoned conventional Dutch smoothness and his surfaces were already caked with more paint than was strictly necessary to present an illusion. He was weighing his sitters with jewelry solid enough to steal, vigorously modelled with a heavily loaded brush. Where others needed five touches he was using one, and so the brushstrokes had begun to separate and could sometimes only be properly read from a distance. The exact imitation of form was being replaced by the suggestion of it: to some of his contemporaries, therefore, his paintings began to look unfinished. It was from the Venetians that he had learned to use a brown ground so that his paintings emerged from dark to light, physically as well as spiritually. Yet, despite a palette that was limited even by seventeenth century standards, he was renowned as a colorist for he managed to maintain a precarious balance between painting tonally, with light and shade, and painting in color. Just as form was suggested rather than delineated, so the impression of rich color was deceptive.

"He worked in complex layers, building up a picture from the back to the front with delicate glazes that allowed light actually to permeate his backgrounds and reflect off the white underpainting, and generously applied bodycolors which mimicked the effect of solid bodies in space. Never before had a painter taken such a purely sensuous interest and delight in the physical qualities of his medium, nor granted it a greater measure of independence from the image."

- From "Techniques of the Great Masters of Art"

Further reading on Rembrandt:

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Rembrandt Images

1630 Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem
c. 1630 The raising of Lazarus
1631 A Scholar
1631 Portrait of Nicolaes Ruts
1632 Philosopher in Meditation
c. 1633 The raising of the cross
1634 Artemis
1634 Descent from the Cross
1634 Abraham and Isaac
c. 1635 Rembrandt and Saskia in the Scene of the Prodigal Son in the Tavern
c. 1635 The Feast of Belshazzar
1636 The Blinding of Samson
1637 The Archangel Leaving the Family of Tobias
1640 Self-Portrait
1640 Holy Family
1641 The Mennonite Minister Cornelis Claesz. Anslo in Conversation with his Wife, Aaltje
1642 The company of Frans Banning Cock preparing to march out, known as the Nightwatch
1642 David and Jonathan
1647 Susanna and the Elders
1647-49 The Little Children Being Brought to Jesus ("The 100 Guilder Print")
c. 1650 "The man with the golden helmet"
c. 1650 The Mill
1653 Aristotle contemplating a bust of Homer
1654 Bathsheba at Her Bath
1654 Hendrickje Bathing in a River
1654 Jan Six
1655 Joseph Accused by Potiphar's Wife
1658 Self-Portrait
1660 Portrait of the Artist at His Easel
c. 1660 Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan
1661 Self-Portrait
1662 The Syndics of the Clothmaker's Guild (The Staalmeesters)
c. 1662 The return of the prodigal son
1666 The Jewish Bride
1666 Detail from The Jewish Bride
1669 Self-Portrait



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