Artist. Born Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn in Leiden, the Netherlands, the son of a miller. He attended Latin School, and at the age of 14 he was enrolled at the University of Leiden where he studied science and anatomy before leaving to study with artist Jacob van Swanenburch. He then progressed to painting master Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, who taught him the techniques of light and dark. By 22 he had set up his own studio in his hometown and began to develop a favorable reputation. By 1631 he relocated to Amsterdam where he met and married Saskia van Uylenburgh some three years later, and with whom he had one surviving child. His reputation as a portraitist had grown and he began seeing numerous commissions including one which resulted in 'The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicholas Tulp' which became one of his first important works. In 1634, he became a member of the Guild of St. Luke, which gained him more work, such as commissions for religious paintings like 'The Blinding of Samson.' By 1636, his renown as a teacher allowed him to take on students but his finances remained precarious. In 1642 he accepted a commission that became one of the important works of his career, 'The Company of F.B. Cocq,' or 'The Night Watch' as it became known. In 1656, he was forced to declare bankruptcy, and he had to sell many of his paintings. His work from that period included some of his best known including 'Bathsheba' from 1654, 'Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph' from 1656, and a self-portrait from 1658. That same year his son, Titus, moved to protect his father's work from creditors by starting their own art dealership, for which the artist was only an employee, therefore not owner the works. Titus succumbed to plague in 1668 at 27, the artist followed some eleven months later having painted another three self portraits in the last year of his life. Art historians estimate there are as many as 600 of his works in collections around the world including over 50 self-portraits and thousands more etchings and drawings. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists in history, a master of shadows and light.
Bio by: Iola
Saskia van Uylenburgh