Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn – Dutch 1606-1669

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Self Portrait ca. 1630
Self Portrait, ca. 1630
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, known commonly only as Rembrandt, is considered a master of Western Art. With more than 600 paintings and about 2,000 drawings and etchings, (and even more that have been lost as time passed) he is one of the most prolific artists of all time. The variety of the subjects used in his work is amazing when compared to others who specialized in only certain types of painting. Nudes, landscapes, portraits, everyday scenes, birds and animals, historical and mythological figures, biblical subjects, and self-portraits are all to be found in his creations.

Rembrandt was born in Leiden, The Netherlands on July 15, 1606, the son of a miller of modest means. His education was not neglected, but the university bored him and he later dropped out to study art. He began with a local teacher and then left to study in Amsterdam where he mastered his lessons in six months. He returned to Leiden and at only 22 was already taking on students. He moved back to Amsterdam in 1631 and later married Saskia van Uylenburgh, the cousin of a successful art dealer who would enhance his career, introducing him to wealthy patrons who commissioned portraits from him. His other paintings were greatly sought after and he was making enough money to afford a huge house filled with many famous works of art.

Unfortunately, however, his private life was not so successful. Of his and Saskia's four children, only one survived infancy and Saskia herself died in 1642. He was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1656 after his ostentatious lifestyle exceeded even the substantial funds he was making as a painter, teacher, and art dealer. He was forced to auction off his treasured art collection as well as his house. He began to focus more on painting for his own enjoyment rather than for commission and his paintings from this time are thought to be his best, showing a depth of richness and spirituality missing in the precise brushstrokes of his earlier works.

Hendrickje Stoffels, a housekeeper whom he had hired in 1649, had become his common law wife and Rembrandt used her as a model for several of his paintings. He often called friends and family into his studio to serve as ideals for historical and mythological paintings, disguising them as portrayals of famous characters. Sadness still seemed to follow him, however, when in 1663 his second wife died, followed in 1668 with the death of his only surviving child, Titus. Rembrandt himself lived less than a year afterwards, dying on October 4, 1669.


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Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits Hardcover – February 1, 2005 by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. (Author), Volker Manuth (Contributor), Peter C. Sutton (Contributor), Anne T. Woollett (Contributor)

One of the most fascinating aspects of Rembrandt's extraordinary artistic career is his suite of brooding half-length portraits of religious figures from the late 1650s and early 1660s. Painted during a difficult time in the artist's life—when he no longer enjoyed a ready market for his works and may have turned to his deep religious convictions for solace—these images are among the most evocative Rembrandt created. For years scholars have debated whether these paintings were intended as a series, yet until now these works have, unbelievably, never been shown together.

Art in the Making: Rembrandt (Art in the Making) by David Bomford, Jo Kirby, Ashok Roy, Alex Ruger, Raymond White – Paperback: New Edition 256 pages Publisher: Yale University Press (September 18, 2006)

Rembrandt (1606–1669) is generally regarded as the finest painter of the Dutch “Golden Age.” This new edition of Art in the Making: Rembrandt (published on the 400th anniversary of the artist’s birth) reexamines 21 paintings firmly attributed to Rembrandt and 6 now assigned to followers. It reassesses his technique, materials, and working methods in the light of significant scholarly developments over the last 20 years, addressing problems of attribution that were hardly touched on in the original, groundbreaking edition of 1988.
Introductory essays by distinguished conservation, curatorial, and scientific specialists cover the artist’s studio and working methods, the training of painters in 17th-century Holland, and Rembrandt’s materials and technique. The essays are followed by handsomely illustrated catalogue entries on 27 paintings. A comprehensive bibliography provides a rich source of information about the practice of oil painting, not only for Rembrandt but for 17th-century Dutch painting in general.

How Rembrandt Reveals Your Beautiful, Imperfect Self: Life Lessons from the Master by Roger Housden – Hardcover: 256 pages Publisher: Harmony (April 26, 2005)

Rembrandt, one of the greatest artists of all time, was spectacularly successful in his twenties and thirties, bankrupt by his fifties, and died an unsung death in 1669 at the age of sixty-three. Along the way, he had to bury four of his five children and the two loves of his life, and he had to look on while his patrons chose the predictable but uninspired work of his pupils over his own increasingly innovative style. Yet adversity seemed only to deepen his faith and his genius. His self-portraits, especially, are testimonies to the human spirit, to eyes that can see beyond the confines of the visible world, but also to the human soul, its tenacity and its aspirations, and to the human body, its beauty, its sagging truth, its essential loveliness, whatever its shape or form.

This is a deeply moving and uplifting book. Part biography, part history, part art appreciation, it takes the example of Rembrandt’s life and work as inspiration for the strength we need to live with passion and an unflinching acceptance of who we are.

Roger Housden shows how the incredible life and work of Rembrandt van Rijn can serve as a wise and honest mirror to clarify our own hopes, struggles, and aspirations. The book consists of six lessons that draw on Rembrandt’s self-portraits and life story: Open your eyes; Love this world; Troubles will come; Stand like a tree; Keep the faith; Embrace the inevitable

Rembrandt's Journey: Painter, Draftsman, Etcher by Clifford S. Ackley, Ronni Baer (Contributor), Thomas E. Rassieur (Contributor), William W. Robinson (Contributor) – Hardcover: 304 pages Publisher: MFA Publications (November 2003)

Rembrandt changed the course of art history not only as a painter but also as a draftsman and printmaker. His output of some 300 etchings and drypoints represents a lifelong commitment to printmaking unequaled by any other 17th-century painter and comparable only to Picasso in our own time.

Rembrandt's Journey unfolds the richness and diversity of Rembrandt's career as an etcher in the context of his paintings and drawings. Illustrated with nearly 200 works in all three media, this book traces the remarkable evolution of Rembrandt's art over four decades, from the robust physical energy of his early productions to the breadth, simplicity and meditative beauty of his later work. It establishes new and important connections among these works and among the three media that the artist explored throughout his career. It encompasses the wide range of his vision, from the tragic and spiritual to the earthy and comic. And it gives full due to Rembrandt's narrative sensibilities, showing how he endowed his figures (particularly in biblical scenes) with unprecedented psychological nuance and vividness.

Published to accompany the first comprehensive American survey of his work in decades, Rembrandt's Journey offers a fresh, authoritative view of this endlessly familiar, yet still unknown, artist. Essays by Clifford S. Ackley, Ronni Baer, Thomas E. Rassieur and William W. Robinson. Clothbound, 9.5 x 10 in./304 pgs / 80 color

Fictions of the Pose: Rembrandt Against the Italian Renaissance Hardcover (April 2000) Stanford Univ Press


Fictions of the Pose: Rembrandt Against the Italian Renaissance Paperback, 534 pages (April 2000) Stanford Univ Press


Rembrandt / Not Rembrandt in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Aspects of Censorship, two volumes Paperback, 432 pages, Yale University Press, boxed edition (1995)


Rembrandt as an Etcher: A Study of the Artist at Work by Christopher White – Hardcover: Second edition 296 pages Publisher: Yale University Press; 2nd edition (August 11, 1999)

This extensively illustrated volume provides the definitive account of Rembrandt`s etchings and their significance within the artist`s larger body of work. With eloquence and deep insight, Christopher White analyzes the technical, stylistic, and iconographic features of selected etchings, traces their close relationship with the artist`s drawings, and reveals how Rembrandt made the medium uniquely his own.

Rembrandt's Eyes by Simon Schama – Hardcover, 640 pages (November 1999) Knopf

Schama re-creates Rembrandt's life and times with all the verve and panache of a historical novelist—while never for an instant losing his scrupulous grip on recorded fact and detail.

Rembrandt: A Genius and His Impact by Albert Blankert – Hardcover, 450 pages (May 1998) Consortium Book Sales & Dist

The publisher: In recent years Rembrandt's oeuvre and influence have been hotly debated. A number of paintings hitherto said to be his have been reattributed by some scholars to pupils or even to obscure followers. This lavishly illustrated book, containing essays by some of the world's leading scholars on seventeenth-century Dutch art, is the first critical review of the present state Rembrandt studies finds itself in as a result.

Rembrandt Hardcover (September 1996) Random House Value Publishing Inc.

The dramatic masterpieces of this great Dutch painter are collected here in one remarkable volume. Includes Night Watch, Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer, and 62 others in full color. 7 3/4 X 10 1/2.

Rembrandt's Self-Portraits: A Study in Seventeenth Century Identity by H. Perry Chapman – Hardcover 189 pages (February 1990) Princeton Univ Press


Rembrandt's Self-Portraits: A Study in Seventeenth-Century Identity by H. Perry Chapman – Reprint edition; Paperback (October 1992) Princeton Univ Press

H. Perry Chapman has produced the first comprehensive treatment of the entire body of Rembrandt's self-portraits in their cultural and historical setting and in the context of the artist's life. Prevailing scholarship has tried to discredit the idea that the self-portraits stemmed from any particular inner need, but Chapman counters by presenting fascinating evidence that they represent a conscious and progressive quest for individual identity in a truly modern sense. "H. Perry Chapman, in my view, gives us the Rembrandt we need in the 1990s. . . . [Her] sensitivity to questions of style and expression, combined with original research, leads to a conclusion . . . that `Rembrandt's lifelong preoccupation with self-portraiture can be seen as a necessary process of identity formation or self-definition'—in short, autobiography."—Walter Liedtke, The Journal of Art "Chapman is a graceful writer. Her arguments are balanced, well documented, and vigorously pursued. . . . The publication of this book is cause for gratitude and joy." —Thomas D'Evelyn, Christian Science Monitor

Rembrandt's Enterprise: The Studio and the Market by Svetlana Alpers – Paperback Reprint edition (January 1991) Univ of Chicago Pr (Trd)

"With the publication [of Rembrandt's Enterprise], Svetlana Alpers has firmly established herself in the front ranks of art historians at work today. . . . The book is not a long one. Yet, there is more perceptive scholarship packed into its four chapters than is typically found in a whole shelf of the more common outpourings of academic writers. Rembrandt's Enterprise is less a book of archival discoveries than of fresh interpretation of the revered artist and his milieu. . . . Alpers makes us see how Rembrandt's complex and enormously popular art has embedded itself in our ways of thinking about who we are and how we live, even in the late 20th century."—Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Herald Examiner

Rembrandt: The Master and His Workshop, 2 Vol. Boxed Set by Christopher Brown, Pieter Van Theil – Hardcover (December 1991) Yale Univ Press

Contains two volumes which together discuss Rembrandt's life, technique, the organization of his workshop and the critical response to him. They present studies of 51 paintings, 40 etchings and 40 drawings definitely attributed to Rembrandt and discuss work attributed to his pupils.

Rembrandt: Master of the Portrait (Discoveries Series) by Pascal Bonafoux –
Paperback, 175 pages, Published by Harry N Abrams (Pap), 1992

Rembrandt, one of the greatest painters of all time, was sensationally successful as a young man but lonely, bankrupt, and virtually ignored by the end of his life—when he painted some of his most powerful works. This book traces his life and career and analyzes his paintings, including his unique handling of light, which would change the course of art forever. 204 illustrations, 169 in full color.

The Dutch Masters: Rembrandt
Color, Dolby, NTSC
DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006
Run Time: 50 minutes

Some art lovers believe that Rembrandt's abilities as a portraitist have never been surpassed, and it is, perhaps, his famous series of self-portraits that best demonstrate his genius. His paintings characteristically depict group portraits, landscapes, and religious work.

The Dutch Masters Boxed Set / Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Rubens, Bosch, Bruegel Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC; Run Time: 300 minutes
DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006

The Great Artists chronicles the lives, times and works of the men whose genius has captivated the art world for generations. Informative and entertaining, the series highlights important events in each artist's life, explores their stylistic trademarks, and provides detailed explanations of their techniques.

Rembrandt: The Painter at Work by Ernst Van De Wetering – Paperback: 354 pages; Publisher: University of California Press; Revised Edition edition (April 6, 2009)

Rembrandt's intriguing painting technique stirred the imaginations of art lovers during his lifetime and has done so ever since. In this book, now revised, updated, and with a new foreword by the author, Rembrandt's pictorial intentions and the variety of materials and techniques he applied to create his fascinating effects are unraveled in depth. At the same time, this "archaeology" of Rembrandt's paintings yields information on many other levels and offers a view of Rembrandt's daily practice and artistic considerations while simultaneously providing a more dimensional image of the artist.

Rembrandt: His Life & Works in 500 Images by Rosalind Ormiston – Hardcover; Lorenz Books (June 16, 2012)

An illustrated exploration of the artist, Rembrandt van Rijn, his life and context, with a gallery of 300 of his finest works. This is a fascinating biography that explores his early years, his personal life and the historical context of the early 17th century. It analyzes his creative progress and the artistic influences that led him to develop his work from the grand Baroque to a less exuberant style.

The Rembrandt Book by Gary Schwartz – Hardcover: 384 pages Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (October 1, 2006)

With international attention focused on the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt von Rijn’s birth, the world’s leading Rembrandt expert weighs in with a penetrating—and accessible—examination of the Dutch master’s life and art from both the biographical and the art historical perspective.

Rembrandt was an esteemed artist in his own time as well as in the present, yet there is much debate over how many paintings and drawings can really be attributed to him, and popular scholastic opinion varies widely. In his lively text, accompanied by 700 full-color illustrations, Gary Schwartz addresses the central controversies, providing art historians, students, and art lovers with essential new insights to help clarify the mysteries surrounding the great painter.

A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings IV: The Self-Portraits (Rembrandt Research Project Foundation) by P. Broekhoff, M. Franken, L. Peese Binkhorst, K. Groen (Contributor), P. Klein (Contributor), J. van der Veen (Contributor), M. de Winkel (Contributor), Ernst van de Wetering (Editor), J. Klilian (Translator), K. Kist (Translator), M. Pearson (Translator) – Hardcover: 690 pages Publisher: Springer; 1st edition (November 28, 2005)

After the publication of Volume III the approach of the first three volumes needed to be revised. It had become clear that the strictly chronological method employed in those books would not be effective for the final period, covering 1642 until 1669 (the year that Rembrandt died). The project group therefore chose for a method in which larger groups of pictorially interconnected works were studied, such as the self-portraits, portraits, historical paintings etc. Rembrandt's workshop practice was scrutinised more closely as well.

In Volume IV the focus lies on Rembrandt's self-portraits. During this research it became obvious that matters of authenticity cannot be viewed separately from questions relating to the original function and meaning of these works. Rembrandt's intriguing life-long practice of portraying himself in front of a mirror is examined in depth in this volume. As a result, not only has the group of approximately forty painted self-portraits gained transparency, but also new insights have been developed regarding Rembrandt's drawn and etched self-portraits. The problems of authenticity relating to a substantial amount of self-portraits which in the past were attributed to Rembrandt in this volume receive an unexpected nuance: through a combination of technical and stylistic research it is demonstrated that some of Rembrandt's self-portraits were in fact painted by others in his workshop. In clear and accessible explanatory texts the different paintings are discussed. Among the many illustrations are life-size colour reproductions of the faces of the self-portraits under discussion. Details are shown where possible, as well as the results of modern day technical imaging like X-radiography.

The volume contains an—in several respects eye-opening—essay by the head of the Rembrandt Research Project, Ernst van de Wetering, on the problems of authenticity and function of Rembrandt’s self-portraits. In addition, the book includes groundbreaking contributions by Marieke de Winkel on the meaning of dress and costume in Rembrandt’s self-portraits, by Karin Groen on the use of grounds in Rembrandt’s workshop and in paintings by his contemporaries, and a study by Jaap van der Veen concerning 17th-century ideas about authenticity in art. This work of art history and art research should be part of every serious art historical institute, university or museum. The enigma of Rembrandt’s self-portraits, one of the most compelling phenomena in art history has been unravelled by Ernst van de Wetering with unprecedented thoroughness.

Rembrandt's Women by Julia Lloyd Williams (Illustrator) – Hardcover, 272 pages (July 2001) Prestel USA

The essays explore a variety of issues, ranging from the 17th-century Dutch notion of female beauty (was flab more attractive then?) to the significance of handkerchiefs held by women in portraits of the era. A key theme in these pages is the way Rembrandt's transformation of traditional mythological and biblical scenes featuring nude women created a new level of erotic immediacy.
Scholars have unearthed some interesting answers to questions like, What sort of woman in 17th-century Amsterdam would allow herself to be portrayed nude in a work of art?

Rembrandt by Himself by Christopher White (Editor), Quentin Buvelot (Editor) – Hardcover, 256 pages (August 1999) Yale Univ Press

Scrutinizing his own features time and time again, Rembrandt left an extensive pictorial autobiography-his surviving self-portraits include 45 oil paintings, scores of drawings, and over 30 etchings. This absorbing book explores how Rembrandt`s self-portraits developed over his life span, why the genre was so important in his work, and how his innovative style influenced his contemporaries.

Landscapes of Rembrandt by Boudewijn Bakker, Maria van Berge-Gerbaud – Hardcover, 392 pages (January 1999) Uitgeverij Thoth


Rembrandt's Bathsheba Reading King David's Letter (Masterpieces of Westerm Painting) by Ann Jensen Adams (Editor), Eric Jan Sluijter (Contributor), Svetlana Alpers (Contributor)


A Weekend With Rembrandt by Pascal Bonafoux – Hardcover, 64 pages, Published by Rizzoli Intl Pubns, 1994

Readers witness the joys and rigors of the creative life as Rembrandt guides them through a hypothetical weekend of his career illustrated by his own work and vintage photographs.

Rembrandt (First Impressions Series) by Gary D. Schwartz – Hardcover, 92 pages, Published by Harry N Abrams, 1992

A biography of Rembrandt describes the artist's childhood, his apprenticeship with a painter, his job at the court of the Prince of Orange in the Hague, and his success.

Rembrandt's Landscapes by Cynthia P. Schneider – Hardcover, 289 pages (May 1990) Yale Univ Press


Rembrandt Studies by Julius S. Held – Revised, Hardcover, 211 pages, Published by Princeton Univ Press, 1991


Rembrandt (World of Art) by Christopher White Paperback, Published by Thames & Hudson, 1984


The Complete Etchings of Rembrandt: Reproduced in Original Size by Rembrandt Van Rijn, Gary Schwartz (Editor), Rembrandt Van Rijn; Bk&Pst/rep Edition – Paperback, Published by Dover Pubns, 1994


Rembrandt (1936)
Starring: Charles Laughton, Gertrude Lawrence Director: Alexander Korda
Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Release Date: June 19, 2001
Run Time: 90 minutes
Available Subtitles: Spanish, French
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

This character study joins the painter at the height of his fame in 1642, when his adored wife suddenly dies and his work takes a dark, sardonic turn that offends his patrons. By 1656, he is bankrupt but consoles himself with the company of pretty maid Hendrickje, whom he's unable to marry. Their relationship brings ostracism but also some measure of happiness. The final scenes find him in his last year, 1669, physically enfeebled but his spirit undimmed.

Rembrandt 400 Years (2006)
Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC
DVD Release Date: August 8, 2006
Run Time: 74 minutes

Rembrandt is the most famous painter of all time. This DVD lifts the veil giving you an intimate view of the Master Artist and his work and world. The Era of Rembrandt, the Golden Age revives.

Rembrandt (1987) Black & White, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
Language: Dutch
VHS Release Date: January 1, 2002
Run Time: 98 minutes


Rembrandt by Himself
Color, NTSC
VHS Release Date: March 27, 2001
Run Time: 27 minutes

Rembrandt (1606-1669) is the best-known and most influential Dutch artist of the seventeenth century, and, through his self portraiture, he remains one of the most recognizable of all artists.

Rembrandt's Masterly Brushstrokes Color, NTSC
VHS Release Date: June 26, 2001
Run Time: 30 minutes

Rembrandt wanted the surface of his paintings to sparkle, and he achieved his desired result by developing paints of a highly specialized formula. His paints contained secret ingredients known only to the artist, and have eluded discovery until now.

Rembrandt: Painter of Man
Color, NTSC
VHS Release Date: January 1, 1998
Run Time: 56 minutes

Here is a detailed look at one of THE most important of art projects. This mural-sized painting is removed from the museum wall for reverent restoration by elite world experts. It is then placed on a floor scaffold that is rigged for restoration with no damage to the canvas, by artists fixed horizontally several inches above the painting. The documentary offers a before-during-and-after trip through this incredible process, capturing the mystery and majesty of Rembrandt's work. The restoration of "Night Watch" took months, during which the public was permitted partial viewing from behind a glass wall. Highly recommended for art lovers as well as for those who are curious about the narrow, exciting world of restoration.

Rembrandt & His World Color, NTSC
VHS Release Date: June 26, 2001
Run Time: 45 minutes

Rembrandt's home for many years of his life was in Amsterdam where he and his wife kept a huge number of paintings to satisfy his mania for collection, and to provide inspiration for his own work. This program presents the restoration of his house and contains insights into Rembrandt's personality.


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