Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn [1606 – 1669]

Self Portrait
Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

was born,
July 15, 1606
in Leiden, in the Dutch Republic [now the Netherlands].

An innovative and prolific master in drawings, prints [etchings] and paintings, he is considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.
With a wide range of subjects, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, and biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies.
Rembrandt never went abroad, but he was considerably influenced by the work of the Italian masters and Netherlandish artists who had studied in Italy, like Pieter Lastman, the Utrecht Caravaggists, Flemish Baroque, and Peter Paul Rubens.
Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called “one of the great prophets of civilization”. The French sculptor Auguste Rodin said:

“Compare me with Rembrandt! What sacrilege! With Rembrandt, the colossus of Art! We should prostrate ourselves before Rembrandt and never compare anyone with him!”

Needless to say that every painting ought to be seen in real life. Prints and even worse digital reproductions, don’t do justice to art. Especially art by great masters such as Rembrandt. My recollection of my first encounter with The Night Watch [see below] in Rijksmuseum was one I will never forget. Dumbfound, bewildered, overwhelmed and other such words, fail to convey my feelings!

So here’s a glimpse of this master’s work & [few] words
The Night Watch or The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq
Moving Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’ […a perspective of the size of the painting!]

The Night Watch has been under restoration for the past year and the museum is doing it in public. Check here: for details.

The Stoning of Saint Stephen, 1625 [The first painting by Rembrandt, painted at the age of 19!]

“Painting is the grandchild of Nature. It is related to God.”

The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis
Portrait of Saskia van Uylenburgh
Aristotle with a Bust of Homer

“Try to put well in practice what you already know; and in so doing, you will in good time, discover the hidden things you now inquire about. Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know.”

The Return of the Prodigal Son
The Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild
Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther

“Life etches itself onto our faces as we grow older, showing our violence, excesses or kindnesses.”

Pallas Athene
Young Girl at the Window
The Blinding of Samson

“Choose only one master – Nature.”

Belshassar’s Feast
Scholar at his Writing Table
Bathsheba at Her Bath [modelled by Hendrickje]
Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp

“Without atmosphere a painting is nothing.”

The Prodigal Son in the Tavern [a self-portrait with Saskia]
Portrait of Saskia van Uylenburgh
The Abduction of Europa

“Without atmosphere a painting is nothing.”

The Jewish Bride
The evangelist Matthew and the Angel

“An honest man always values earning honor over wealth.”

Portrait of Jan Six [a wealthy friend of Rembrandt]
Woman in a Doorway
Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph

“I can’t paint the way they want me to paint and they know that too. Of course you will say that I ought to be practical and ought to try and paint the way they want me to paint. Well, I will tell you a secret. I have tried and I have tried very hard, but I can’t do it. I just can’t do it! And that is why I am just a little crazy.”

A Woman Bathing in a Stream [modelled by Hendrickje]
Joseph’s Dream
The Archangel Raphael Leaving Tobias’ Family

“A painting is finished when the artist says it is finished.”

Sacrifice of Isaac
Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem
The Man with the Golden Helmet

“I am most astonished by what has been written about the [painting] ‘Alexander’, which is so well done that I must suppose there are not many lovers of art [amatori] at Messina. I am also surprised that Your Lordship [Don Antonio Ruffo] should complain as much about the price as about the canvas, but if Your Lordship wishes to return it as he did the sketch [schizzo] of Homer, I will do another Alexander.. .If Your Lordship likes the Alexander as is, very well. If he does not want to keep it, six hundred florins remain outstanding. And for the Homer [painting] five hundred florins plus the expenses of canvas, it being understood that everything is at Your Lordship’s expense. Having agreed to it, would he kindly send me his desired measurements. Awaiting the response to settle the matter.”

[Rembrandt’s letter, Nov/Dec. 1662, to buyer Don Antonio Ruffo from Messina, Sicily]

The Girl in a Picture Frame
The Polish Rider [Possibly a Lisowczyk on horseback]
Saskia as Flora
Bust of an old man with a fur hat [the artist’s father]

“A painting is not made to be sniffed.

[but viewed from a distance – see also Rembrandt’s quote in his letter to Constantijn Huygens, Amsterdam, 27 Jan. 1639]

An Old Man in Red
Rembrandt’s son Titus, as a monk
A Polish Nobleman
The Storm on the Sea of Galilee [Rembrandt’s only known seascape]

“A painting is complete when it has the shadows of a god.”

The Philosopher in Meditation

Self Portraits



Accompanied by 2 works written for Rembrandt

Cornelis Dopper (1870-1939)

Symphony No. 3Rembrandt

The Rembrandt Symphony was written in 1906 as part of a general Dutch celebration of the birth of Rembrandt.
Orchestra: Residentie Orkest • Conductor: Matthias Bamert

Hugues Dufourt

Le déluge (D’après Poussin)

Based on Rembrandt’s painting The Philosopher in Meditation
Ensemble Modern • Conductor: Dominique My

For more information on Rembrandt:


Be Safe 🏡

61 replies »

  1. He is a brilliant artist!
    I can’t say was, because he lives on through his paintings.
    I’m floored whenever I see his work.
    OR, as the hip hop guys around here say.. he did some sick dope shit!

  2. I was here, as my other self! LOLOL!

    Amazing artist!
    It’s as though he painted on black canvases.
    Love the shot of one of his paintings being moved!


    • Yes you were!!!!!!
      It’s the “Night Watch” being moved. Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?!!!
      I’m blown away each and every time I see his work!

  3. It’s a long time since I looked at these works, mostly in books, and it’s astonishing to think that they were painted such a long time ago! How people dressed at the time dates the paintings but one stands out as being almost modern, the painting of Jeremiah. For me, it feels like it could have been painted recently. What I find incredible about all his work is the texture: the texture of skin and fabric!
    Amazing! Thank you.

    • Oh, I agree with you… but then this artist really transcends time. His work has me in awe each and every time. Astonishing indeed! Thank YOU so much for your visit and comment. 🙏😊

  4. Ahh, an enjoyable 70 minutes of music!
    However, Rembrandt’s art surpasses all symphonies.. fugues, sonatas… well I know not of what I speak, but his work is beyond any words I have.

    Crazy to think this was all done 400 years ago.
    He certainly did a lot of self portraits, from all ages of his life. This seems to me to be the epitome of the origin of selfies. Wonder what he would think of phone cameras?

    I’d love to time travel.
    Sending the most artistic love I can!
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxo ❤ ❤

    • I completely understand how you mean it. Of course as a musician I couldn’t agree it but sometimes it could happen. I’ve always considered music a ‘greater’ (not the right word) art form. However Rembrandt really really is a great master and yeah… 400 years ago, imagine that!!!!!!
      I’d also live to time travel and meet those masters….
      More love sent to you with huge huge hugs
      …and more love!!!!!!!

  5. What an amazingly talented artist he was; a true master. I especially love his portraits.Thanks for putting this post together, Marina. I sense your passion for his work. xxx

  6. Wow, Marina, this is such a complete show. I was in Amsterdam last year. The Reichmuseum had a number of his works in restoration. But his house, which was beautifully preserved and restored into a fascinating museum, was open. What a guy!

  7. REMBRANDT — The MASTER of the Master Artists! I was in awe the time when I experienced his paintings in person, long ago.

  8. Now here’s one guy I will not joke around with when talking about his work. The depth of light and shadow… the subtlety… it’s almost like a benchmark to which we can compare the good to the great. One of my favs and most respected! 🙂

    • 1606…. one seriously wonders how much we’ve progressed since then! 😉
      If it was a benchmark, I doubt anyone would surpass it! 😉 Glad you enjoyed! 🙂

  9. He is my mentor.
    The lights. Such brush work. The base layers of white lead under paint. The thin transparent glazes.
    It takes years for a painting like this to mature – not sure if it every really dries to completion – and the changes as it lives.
    So remarkable. Thanks for putting this all together.

    • Which explains why they’ve been restoring for so long. In fact I believe that for the past year they’ve just been recording and analyzing… restoration hasn’t started yet!].
      So glad you enjoyed this. I think he’s a mentor to all artists and how could he not be ;-)!

  10. Oh WOW!!… just an amazing collection, and loved the video showing the construction in time lapse..
    Such magnificent pieces of art..
    And so loved this particular quote Marina..
    “Try to put well in practice what you already know; and in so doing, you will in good time, discover the hidden things you now inquire about. Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know.”
    Thought that profound..
    Sending Love and well wishes dearest Marina… ❤ 💖🙏💖

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