Biography of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.

  • Birth Date : 1606-06-15
  • Death Date : 1669-11-04
  • Birth Place: Leiden, Netherlands
  • Death Place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Occupation : Painter
  • Gender : Male

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Rembrandt was born on 15 July 1606 in Leiden, the eighth son of a miller known as "Van Rijn" (Renli), who owned a windmill on the banks of the Rhine. His full name is Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. The family, which was Catholic in origin, later turned to Calvinism. The eldest son of a working-class member of the family, Rembrandt's older brother was a miller, like his father, another brother was a baker, and another was a shoe mechanic. Nevertheless, the family's financial situation was good, and they sent Rembrandt to the Latin School in Leiden.

In those years, Leiden was a city of culture with a well-known university, an enormous infrastructure in the fields of arts and sciences. one of the remarkable art schools of the 16th century was also founded in Leiden. The chief artist of the Leiden School, which is considered the most important school of Dutch, was Lucas van Leyden. Leyden was a master engraver, as was Rembrandt. His detailed meticulous art is considered the pioneer of a style characterized as subtle painting, which Rembrandt also applied.

Later, Rembrandt began taking lessons from Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam. Six months later, in 1624, he completed his education. Lastman's work distinguishes him markedly from the painters with whom he had previously worked. The seated style of Lastman left a lasting impression on his talented student. Rembrandt studied Lastman's paintings in detail, patiently and meticulously copied his compositions. Thus, he became thoroughly adept at creating large scenes and making references to past works. He even went further and made the compositions more striking by adding extensive jokes to the paintings that Lastman copied from him, mastering them beyond his reach.

After completing his studies under Lastman, the 19-year-old painter, who returned to Leiden in anticipation of a professional career, was looking forward to a bright future. Together with Jan Lievens from Leiden, who, like himself, was a student of Lastman, they set up a joint workshop. Working in a very close style to each other, the two young artists gave works in a subtle painting style that they received from Lastman and that reflected their admiration for the painters from Utrecht. At that time, although their success was limited to the city in which they lived, it would not be long before they gained fame on a very large scale.

Rembrandt took Gerrit Dou, who was only 15 years old, as his first student in February 1628. Dou stayed with him until Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam in 1632. Having an original style of his own, Dou became the most important representative of the tradition of fine painting after Rembrandt.

The turning point in the career of Rembrandt and his partner Lievens occurred in 1628 with a visit to the workshops of Constantjn Huygens. Huygens, a diplomat, had considerable influence in art circles. Huygens was very impressed by these two young painters and ordered Lievens a self-portrait, and Rembrandt a portrait of his brother. For several years, he took over the protection of these two painters and arranged for Lievens to move to England, and Rembrandt to take orders from the palace. He has presented his works to international collectors. In addition, Huygens encouraged Rembrandt to turn to religious and mythological issues.

As his reputation and economic comfort grew, Rembrandt decided to leave Leiden when his father died in 1630. in 1632, he left Leiden never to return and moved to Amsterdam, which became the largest commercial and artistic center in the country. His broker friend Hendrick van Uylenburch introduced him to distinguished clients by arranging a room and workshop for him to stay in. In order to decipher his name among collectors, art lovers and the richest customers of Dutch, he had to do only portraits for a while. On July 22, 1634, he married Saskia, a relative of van Uylenburch, who came from a rather distinguished family. This marriage meant a significant rise in his social status for the miller's son. Saskia modeled in many of the painter's paintings. The couple had a son named Rombertus in 1635. However, the baby was able to live only two months.

Thanks to his successful marriage and the high fees he received from painting, he became almost overnight as rich a man as members of the high society. in 1635, when he was only 29 years old, he left the house of van Uylenburch and moved to a stylish house on the banks of Amstel. He also kept a workshop large enough for himself that he could take a lot of students. The painter also kept in touch with Huygens, so that he was well known around the palace in The Hague. Also, the fact that he openly did not support any religious beliefs allowed him to receive orders from both Catholics and Mennonites, and Jews. It is also read from the gaudy scenes that the artist reflects on this luxurious life and his exclusive surroundings in his works.

Rembrandt, one of the greatest engravers ever, produced impressive works in this field with his perfect mastery of the variety and technique of his subjects. He used the technique creatively by using black-and-white, light-shadow contrasts in his engravings. Although Rembrandt made most of his earnings from engravings, this would not be enough to save him from future bankruptcy. Meanwhile, after his famous painting dec 1632 "Doctor Tulp's Anatomy Lesson", he signed another masterpiece; "Night Watch" (1642). This painting, which is in the Amsterdam Museum, is the largest-scale and best-known painting by Rembrandt and the 17th. the century is one of the most important examples of European art.

However, the artist's reputation and wealth will decline after an unfortunate incident. His wife Saskia has given birth again after their three children died shortly after they were born. However, his body, which was weakened after 4 births, could not withstand the fatigue caused by childbirth and died of tuberculosis. Their son Titus, who was born, was baptized in 1641. After Saskia's death, Rembrandt was left all alone with a small child. Soon after, she began to have a forbidden relationship with the child's nanny. He was excluded from society and religious circles because of his forbidden relationship. Gradually abandoned by his students and friends, Rembrandt could no longer often take orders. He also started spending all his money on collections of strange items. His relationship with nanny Geertje, who was happy for a while, also ended when Rembrandt had an affair with a woman named Hendrickije Stoffels. In Geertje, he appealed to the court, accusing the painter of promising to marry and then reneging on his promise. Rembrandt was found not guilty in court, but he would have to pay alimony of 200 gulden every year.

His work with other European collectors also barely balanced his financial situation after the local people turned their backs on him. However, the fact that customers started turning down the paintings and asking for the fee they paid back collapsed Rembrandt's economic situation from good to good, and eventually his entire private collection and house were sold as a result of the foreclosure on it in 1658.

Rembrandt adored his son Tirus. Later, Hendrickie had another daughter by Stoffels, but Titus was a bitter memory of his beloved wife Saskia, who had died. The painter has made many portraits reflecting his fondness and love for his son.

Rembrandt moralman, whose second wife also died in 1663, had completely collapsed. However, five years later, he also lost his only asset in life, his son Titus. Titus, who died young, was buried in tears on March 22, 1668. he dedicated his 1668 painting "The Return of the Prodigal Son" to his son Titus. A few years later, the painter, who also lost his daughter from his second wife, was left all alone in life. She tried to forget her pain by giving herself to her paintings.

Rembrandt devoted the last pictures of his life, darkened by the pain of his losses, that is, in a sense, the last pages of the diary that he kept throughout his life, to self-portraits. The painter, who was becoming more and more attentive to Titian, died in 1669.

By the time Rembrandt was 63, all of his loved ones had died. In the last year of his life, he painted a portrait of old age. on a rainy, dark day in 1669, after a dinner of bread, wine and cheese, he watched this picture of himself for a while. Her eyes grew old. He put out the candle in his hand. He slept lying on his bed. He never woke up from this sleep again. The calendars showed the date October 4, 1669. He was buried on October 8 with a simple funeral ceremony.

From his early years, he preferred historical paintings as a genre and made works based on religious mythological and literary stories that could be compared to the Italian Renaissance. Although he was a competent portrait painter, he preferred larger subjects. 20 With a strong narrative in his portraits. the painter, who inspired the impressionists of the XVIII century, brought Flemish painting to the highest level with his use of light and shadow and his broad sense of humor.