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Paris Art Studies  -  Spring 2009

Rembrandt van Rijn 1606 - 1669

1606 – Born in Leiden on 15 July, last of nine children of a miller.

1618-19 – Attends Latin School.

1620 – Enrols at University but never studies there.

1621 – Apprenticed to Leiden history painter Jacob van Swanenburgh.

1624 – Studies for 6 months with history painter Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam.

1625 – Establishes himself as master in Leiden where he is very successful and takes on pupils and apprentices Gerard Dou and Isaac Jouderville.

1628 – Executes his first prints.

1629The Repentant Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver highly praised by Constantin Huygens the secretary of William of Orange prince of the Netherlands.

1630 – Death of Rembrandt’s father.

1631 – Leaves for Amsterdam seeking more commissions. Paints his first known portrait of an Amsterdamer, Nicolas Ruts. Uses professional engraver Jan Joris van Vliet to reproduce some of his designs and paintings (descent from the Cross) like Rubens who used prints to popularise his art.  Abandons reproductive prints by 1636.

1632-34 – Paints 46 portraits including the Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. Becomes very successful and popular.

1634 – Marries his landlord’s cousin Saskia van Uylenburgh. Becomes citizen of the city of Amsterdam and joins local guild of St Luke.

1635 – Moves into his first house. Birth of his first son who dies 2 months after birth.

1637 – Moves hose, Ferdinand Bol and Leendert van Beijeren become his pupils.

1638 – Birth of a daughter who dies a month after birth.

1639 – Buys great house in Amsterdam in the Anthoninsbreestraat (current museum).

1640 – A second daughter dies shortly after birth. Death of Rembrandt’s mother.

1641 – Birth of son Titus who will survive.

1642Death of Saskia. Hires Geetge Dircx as nurse for Titus. She will become his companion. 

1649 – Geetge Dircx takes him to court over breach of marriage promise. He is sentenced to pay her a 200 guilder yearly remittance. Beginning of affair with maid Hendrickje Stoffels.

1650 – Has Geetje detained at his own expense in poorhouse in Gouda.

1653 – Paints his Aristotle.

1654 – Hendrickje gives birth to a  daughter, Cornelia. Church attacks against Hendrickje’s morality. Art trade suffers from Anglo-Dutch war (1652-54). Paints portrait of Jan Six. Takes out a mortgage for purchase of his house.

1655 – He paints his second anatomy lesson with Dr Joan Deyman.

1656 – Liquidation of all his property: his own art, his art collections, household effects and house.

1658 – Leaves his house and moves to Jordaan district.

1660 – Enters into  contract with Titus and Hendrickje setting up an art dealership.

1662 – Paints Syndics and Conspiracy of Claudius for the Amsterdam Town Hall.

1663Hendrickje dies of the plague in July and is buried in rented grave.

1668Titus marries Magdalena van Loo and moves away. He dies same year. A daughter, Titia is born after his death.

1669 – Titia baptized, Rembrandt acts as godfather. He dies on 4 October and is buried in rented grave.

Recent Bibliography:


Bockenmuhl, Michael - Rembrandt, 1606-1669: The Mystery of the Revealed Form  - Taschen

Rembrandt: the Master and the Workshop – National Gallery London - by Christopher Leslie Brown, Jan Kelch, and Pieter van Thiel - 1991


Schwartz, Gary – The Rembrandt Book Harry Abrams 2006.

Van de Wetering, Ernst  Rembrandt: The Painter at Work  University of California Press 2000


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