Skip to main content

Baroque to Neoclassical Art

The best books, eBooks, articles, media and open access resources for Baroque, Rococo & Neoclassical art.

Focus on Rembrandt, Self Portrait

Rembrandt

Rembrandt van Rijn

Born July 15, 1606, Leiden, Neth.-died Oct. 4, 1669, Amsterdam Dutch painter and etcher. As a young man, he was apprenticed to masters in Leiden and in Amsterdam. His early paintings show his interest in the “spotlight effects” of light and shadow that were to dominate his later paintings. Early in his career he began the studies of his own face and the more-formal self-portraits that make up almost a tenth of his painted and etched work. After moving to Amsterdam about 1631, he quickly became the city's most fashionable portrait painter and a popular teacher.

His Works

In 1632 he produced the celebrated Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. Yearning for recognition as a biblical and mythological painter, in 1635 he produced The Sacrifice of Isaac and in 1636 Danaë. In 1634 he married Saskia van Uylenburgh (d. 1642), a woman of property. That same year he completed his largest painting, the extraordinary but controversial The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq (known as The Night Watch), which was a watershed in his life and art.

Late Life

For unknown reasons, his portrait commissions thereafter declined, and he began to focus his attention on etching, a medium in which he was self-taught. In 1656, after transferring most of his property to his son, he applied for bankruptcy. In his last decade he treated biblical subjects like portraits and also continued to paint self-portraits. These late works exhibit a lively brushwork and a new treatment of light. In addition to being an innovator, he was an acute observer of life and a sensitive renderer of those observations in his drawings, etchings, and paintings. The human figure, Rembrandt's central subject, contributes to the sense of a shared dialogue between viewer and artist, the foundation of Rembrandt's greatness and of his popularity today.

From CREDO Rembrandt (Harmenszoon) van Rijn: Concise Britannica Encyclopedia.

Art & Art History Guides

Home Access

""It's true, you can access most COM Library resources at home! COM Library’s catalog, and the thousands of eBooks and articles in our databases can all be accessed off campus. Just login with your COM ID# and last name.

More on Home Access