So today is Rembrandt van Rijn his birthday. He was born on this day 411 years ago, in 1606. De Dutch draughtsman, painter and printmaker is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art. And certainly the most important in Dutch art history. Rembrandt’s work depicts a wide range of style and subject matter. For instance, the fact the was specialized in not one, but three media; painting, drawing and prints, proves his wide interests.
The period in which Rembrandt was active as an artist was one of great wealth. Also known as the ‘Dutch Golden Century’. Rembrandt was innovative in his use of light and contrasts, creating a technique which is still being used in modern day photography. This technique leaves one side of the face subtly dark, with a small little triangular of light on the cheek of the subject. This makes the face seem slimmer and puts the focus on the cheekbones.
Paintings Rembrandt van Rijn.
Now, I would like to tell you a little something about Rembrandt’s last years and how he spend them in my beloved Jordaan district. Rembrandt shared a great passion for art and exotic items, causing him to spend more money than he made. This is why in the late 1650’s he filed for bankruptcy.
In 1658 he moved into a smaller apartment on the Rozengracht. If you walk up to the Rozengracht 184 you can find a plaque in his honor. His new home was very close to the Bloemgracht, where his atelier was and he taught some classes. Yes, the Bloemgracht indeed. The exact same canal where my home is nowadays, isn’t that something. This is where in 1662, he got the assignment for the important painting: ‘De Staalmeesters’. On the 4th of October 1669 Rembrandt died and was buried in the Westerchurch, nearby his home at the Rozengracht.
The Rijksmuseum offers a grand collection of original Rembrandt van Rijn’s paintings, also other Dutch masters as Vermeer and Hals can be found in the museum. The Rijksmuseum offers it’s visitors free tours and workshops on Rembrandt his birthday (excluding your entrance ticket of course). Also they serve a special breakfast to honor the painters birthday.