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Rembrandt: Premiere Artist Of The Dutch Golden Age

1411 words - 6 pages

Of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn’s work we have an unprecedented catalogue of paintings, drawings, and etchings. He created more than twenty-five-hundred pieces. His paintings numbered more than five-hundred, his etchings, three-hundred and his drawings two-thousand. He captured the beauty in life and religion. His most notable works include his many religious narrative scenes, such as “The Blinding of Samson” or “Christ in the Storm.” Also of note are his many self portraits such as, “Rembrandt and Saskia in the Scene of the Prodigal Son in the Tavern.” He is also known for his depictions of Jesus. In his own time he was a renown portrait artist and after his death his popularity has grown and remained strong. He his the most famous artist of his era, the Dutch Golden Age.
Rembrandt lived in a time called The Dutch Golden Age. This was the seventeenth century. Holland had won its independence from Spain in the Eighty-Years war and was enjoying a time of prosperity (holland.com). It was a time and area of Protestantism, scientific advancement, and a huge blossoming of fine art (King). The merchants grew wealthy and were able to pay for art. The art of Rembrandt was highly desired by the new middle class (firstcenter.org).
His personal life is documented through public records, business contracts, and courtroom records. His personal life, like many other artists was plagued with financial difficulties and other trouble. The first part of his career and early life was primarily uneventful. He was born in the Netherlands on the fifteenth of July in sixteen-hundred and six (biography.com). His education began in a Latin school in Leiden. Gary Schwartz asserts in his “The Rembrandt Book” His parents wanted him to attend university, “...So that when he reached adulthood, he could serve and advance the city and the community with his knowledge” (Schwartz). Rembrandt had the potential to become a politician and govern the city of Leiden. His passion was in a field far from politics, however. He had a natural affinity for art. He was unwilling to comply or compromise with his parents and do both. Schwartz says, “He took his destiny into his own hands and became (a fully fledged) artist,” (Schwartz). Holding public office as well as painting and etching would have been a wise way to finance his passion instead of becoming dependent on it. His parents acquiesced and sent him to become apprenticed as an artist. He first worked under an artist in Leiden by the name of Jacob Isaacszoon van Swanenburg, the local master, and later for Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam (Schwartz, rembrandtpainting.net). In sixteen-hundred and twenty-seven Rembrandt's first commissions come from Frederik Hendrik. In total he is payed to paint fourteen pieces (Schwartz). During this time He works closely with another artist named Jan Lievens (Schama). Rembrandt’s earliest art sale was by an aristocrat from Amsterdam in sixteen-hundred...

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