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Rembrandt Art Prints and Posters
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born at Leyden in Holland, the son of Harmen, whose mill was by the River Rijn (Rhine), and Neeltge Willemsdochter van Zuitbroeck, or mum, as her nine kids preferred to call her. When he was seven Rembrandt went to Latin School and at 14 began Leyden Uni' (they started early them days, life expectancy being what it was).
In 1621 he became an artist's apprentice. His new teacher was a big Caravaggio fan and Rembrandt was soon completely hooked on the dramatic lighting effects made famous by the Italian wild boy of chiaroscuro.
At 19, whiz-kid Rembrandt set up a studio in Leyden and began to make a packet out of painting, teaching and art-dealing. By the 1630s he was married to Saskia, his model 'n' muse, and was even more loaded than the brushes with which he created his famous impasto style. In 1639 he paid a fortune for a house in Amsterdam on St Anthoniesbreestraat (the sign was almost as long as the street) which has since become the Rembrandt Huis Museum (but sadly, lacks an animatronic Rembrandt).
In 1656 Rembrandt's big spending got him into trouble when he found he'd blown all his gilders living it up. However, being made bankrupt seemed to spur on his creativity and many people think this final period was his best. During his lifetime Rembrandt made thousands of etchings and painted around 600 pictures including at least 50 self-portraits (thus enabling him to shave in the dark).Copyright Michael Cox