Completed inRembrandt van Rijn's The Night Watch is not only a highlight of a career that spanned over paintings, but also acclaimed as arguably the greatest portrait of the Dutch Baroque era.
His pre-eminent position is, however, a relatively recent one; eighteenth and nineteenth-century connoisseurs and critics preferred Gerrit Dou and Nicolaes Berchem. The artist's life was relatively uneventful and the all-too-few known facts do little to explain the development of his genius.
Born the son of a Leiden mill owner, the young Rembrandt attended the local university in but in the following year was apprenticed to the now-obscure but then relatively important local artist Jacob Isaacsz.
In Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, where he was apprenticed to the much more fashionable Pieter Lastman, but he only remained there for a year and then returned to Leiden.
Odysseus and Nausicaa panel, 90 x cm. However, it is not Lastman who was the most important formative influence on the young artist but the fact that he shared a studio throughout the latter part of the s in Leiden with Jan Lievens.
In fact, they seemed to have derived ideas from one another; Rembrandt did not always lead the way" Rembrandt's debt to Lievens is proved by the Los Angeles Raising of Lazarus see right a.
It was not until that Rembrandt was to receive his first important commission, for the Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp see right b. While the picture is obviously a great step forward for Rembrandt, who had mostly concentrated on small panel pictures of religious and mythological subject matter until this time, the painting of anatomy lessons 'was a matter of course at the period.
More usually, however, the doctor concerned is shown explaining the different parts of the skeleton. It is quite astonishing how the artist, from the moment that he"made the final and decisive move to Amsterdam inwas to be so successful as a society portraitist and a painter of official commissions.
His formal portraits of these years are numerous, good examples being the pair of father and son and mother and daughter in the Wallace Collection, London.
Rembrandt's most fruitful relationship was with Constantin Huyghens, who was the secretary to the Stadholder Prince Frederick Henry of Orange.
Jan Lievens painted Huyghens's portrait which is at present on loan to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and it was through Huyghens that Rembrandt received the commission to paint a Passion series of at least five pictures which were to occupy him at intervals during the s.
He was also sufficiently esteemed by the Orange household to receive a commission to paint Amelia von Solms, the Stadholder's wife. This picture has in fact been identified recently; it was formerly thought to represent Rembrandt's sister or his wife Saskia.
Rembrandt married Saskia van Uylenborgh in She was the daughter of a wealthy burgomaster from Leeuwarden in Friesland, and until her untimely death in she served as a model for a large number of his religious and mythological pictures.
She appeared in the guise of Artemisia see right c. Madrid, Prado and Rembrandt also painted several single portraits of her, as well as the memorable double portrait of The Artist with Saskia on his Knee see right d.
The s was a period of conspicuous success for the artist and his pictures rarely contain that quality of insight into the human condition of misfortune and sadness which characterizes his later work. Already Rembrandt was a passionate observer of human nature, but he had not yet acquired the skill to take it further.
He concentrated on the dramatic, but with a surprising range. In spite of their brutality there is an optimistic and self-assured feeling in almost all the pictures in this period.
Only occasionally in the self-portraits, which he did throughout his life, is there a sense of introspection and melancholy which was to strengthen in his maturity and dominate his late years. Rembrandt's most important painting was the Night Watch see right f.
It is now difficult to imagine with hindsight what an impact it must have had on the unsuspecting Amsterdam public.
The sitters complained that they had not been given equal prominence. Quite obviously Rembrandt had no intention of painting them in a neat line. But in attempting to produce a feeling. He succeeded in integrating a large number of figures so that they appeared natural and at the same time gave the composition a sense of balance and order exactly as Titian, whom he much admired, would have done.
The death of Saskia in deprived Rembrandt of his chief model and his domestic security. But she left him a small income of the condition that he did not remarry. Not surprisingly, following the public failure of the Night Watch, the s see a decrease in the artist's activity--there are no large compositions as ambitious as the Anatomy Lesson, the.
Blinding of Samson or the Night Watch. Instead his paintings become broader in handling and more intimate in feeling and scale. A perfect example of this is the so-called Hendrickje Stoffels in Bed see right g. It was in the s that Rembrandt took a great interest in landscape.
Occasionally they are given a narrative subject, as in the Rest on the Flight in Dublin; at other times they are simply concerned with light and atmosphere as in the surprising little Winter Scene see right h. In turning to the highly specialized genre of landscape Rembrandt did not rely on the traditions and conventions of the local specialists.
He seemed to ignore the art of his contemporaries but relied heavily on the art of the past. He drew a copy of Leonardo's Last Supper, presumably from an engraving or a painted copy; he copied Persian miniatures and he made sketches of Raphael's Baldassare Castiglione Paris, Louvre and of Titian's so-called Ariosto London, National Gallery when it passed through an Amsterdam saleroom.
Thus Rembrandt's source material is as complex as it is elusive. The finding of a particular source or precedent for one of his pictures does not produce a simple explanation far the picture's inspiration.The Night Watch Without a doubt the most famous of all Rembrandt’s paintings, The Night Watch is a group portrait of the militia company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburgh (in the center).
The Night Watch is one of the most famous Dutch Golden Age paintings. The painting is famous for three things: its colossal size ( cm × cm ( ft × ft)), the dramatic use of light and shadow (tenebrism) and the perception of motion in what would have traditionally been a Location: Amsterdam Museum on permanent loan to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
A comprehensive guide to the life and art of Rembrandt van Rijn with hundreds of hi-quality images of paintings, etchings and drawings.
complete online catalogue of rembrandt's painting; read about rembrandt's painting; selected paintings divided in 3 sections (below) the 'night watch' rembrandt's house; dutch pronunciation guide.
Rembrandt, painting in the 17th century, became a master of light and shadow, a technique reflected in his landscapes as well as such portraits as his monumental group portrait now known as Night Watch.
Van Gogh, born in. If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *heartoftexashop.com and *heartoftexashop.com are unblocked.
Rembrandt's most important painting was the Night Watch (see right f.) of It is now difficult to imagine with hindsight what an impact it must have had on the unsuspecting Amsterdam public.
The sitters complained that they had not been given equal prominence. Quite obviously Rembrandt had no intention of painting them in a neat line.