Exhibitions

Room 209

The Netherlands 1600-1700
Rembrandt and his Time

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69) is the most famous Dutch 17th century painter. He was apprenticed at the age of 15, and at the age of 19 he set up a workshop that specialised in history painting and portraits. A few years later he began to take on students; a practice he would continue throughout most of his life. 

Rembrandt's Workshops, A Young Woman Resting her Hands on the Picture Frame, after 1641.

Rembrandt's Workshops, A Young Woman Resting her Hands on the Picture Frame, after 1641.

Rembrandt is known for his special ability to convey states of mind. One of the painterly devices he used for this purpose was the contrast between light and shadow.

Rembrandt used light – natural light as well as divine and mysterious light – as a narrative element and to bind his compositions together.

Another artistic device concerns how he builds up his paintings in layers upon layers. His manner of painting is coarse, sketch-like and ephemeral.

Such paintings must be regarded from a certain distance to allow the visual input to coalesce into an optic image. In Rembrandt’s art the brushstrokes live lives of their own.

Updated: 10.sep.2014
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