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Famous Artists Pt. 4: The Life of Rembrandt

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, more commonly known just as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Baroque painter and printmaker. One of the most admired artists of all time, Rembrandt is recognized for his innovative use of shadow and light and his skill for realism.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Born in 1606, in Leiden, Netherlands, Rembrandt attended elementary school there. He then attended the Latin School in Leiden, which mainly focused on biblical studies and classics. It is still unsure if he finished his studies at the Latin School, but it is believed that some time from 1620-1624 Rembrandt trained as an artist under two masters, Jacob van Sawnenburgh and Pieter Lastman. From them combined, Rembrandt began to gain knowledge and skills in visual art.

After his early years, Rembrandt moves into “The Leiden Period” of his life. In 1625, Rembrandt went to settle back in Leiden as an independent master. Over his time there his production as an artist was mainly focused on small-scale history paintings and tronies - a painting that depicts an exaggerated facial expression or people in costume. In 1628, Rembrandt painted The Artist in His Studio.

The Artist in His Studio

As his life went on, Rembrandt moved to multiple places and achieved productions of different types of art such as etching and his famous portraits. From 1631 to 1635 Rembrandt produced a substantial amount of portraits and a few group portraits.


His self-portraits were some of his most famous artworks, with their realism, use of light and shadow, and his painting technique. Rembrandt would often paint in layers, creating a ‘chunky’ textured feeling and look to his portraits. His uncompromising realistic methods of painting lead critics to believe that he preferred ugliness to beauty.

Over the course of his life, and even years after, Rembrandt was one of the most influential artists of history. His unique style and expertise are well known and studied by many. He quickly achieved an art-buying public for his history paintings and etchings, as well as his portraits, which are now admired in museums and galleries scattered across the globe. Rembrandt’s techniques and compositions are prominent in the study of art and his fame continues to rise as more people recognize his talent.


"Rembrandt" Biography, Sept. 16, 2019,

"The Artist in His Studio" RembrandtVanRijn,

Van de Wetering, Ernst."Rembrandt" Britannica, Jul. 11, 2021,

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