Rembrandt van Rijn


Rembrandt van Rijn is widely regarded as the preeminent master of the Dutch Golden Age, which spanned the 17th century. He is remembered for his acute observations from daily life, as well as the ability to translate settings, figures, light, and the surroundings of his subjects with such intensity that his paintings are not only realistic, but also relatable. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Rembrandt did not specialize in a specific painting subject and was prolific in biblical and mythological narratives, self-portraits, commissioned portraits, landscapes, still lives, and animal studies. Along with mastery of form, his works are characterized by chiaroscuro—dramatic lighting that can create vivid contrasts and engender emotion. He even added the “d” in his given name “Rembrant” to brand himself as a master of light play: in Dutch, “rem” means “obstruct” and “brandt” means “light.” Although he studied Italian Renaissance masters, Rembrandt did not idealize his images—when he painted depressing scenes of destruction, homelessness, and even himself, he detailed wrinkles, dirt, and the invisible weight on the shoulders of the pathetic.

Read more

Editorial (2)

See all
How A Pair of Newlywed Portraits Auctioned for $182 Million
How A Pair of Newlywed Portraits Auctioned for $182 Million

With our series Price Tag, we aim to demystify art auctioning, and debunk the surrounding myths. In each installment, we’ll…

Sticks & Stones: Ink
Sticks & Stones: Ink

In our new series Sticks & Stones, we take a deep dive into medium. Each installment features one of art history’s most…

Playlists (27)

See all
Ancient Traditions
The Prado Museum: Curated Picks

Works (99)

Date addedTime periodName