Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in 1606 in Leiden
. He attended Latin school before enrolling at Leiden
in 1620 (although he never graduated).
Rembrandt studied painting under two famous Dutch painters; the
Leiden painter Jacob van Swanenburch, and the Amsterdam painter
Pieter Lastman. In Leiden, he set up a studio for independent artists.
In his early years as an established painter, Rembrandt painted numerous
biblical scenes. They were usually small paintings with great detail and
In 1631 Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam. Here he found a much larger
demand for portraits, that he painted on commission. He also taught many
pupils, including Ferdinand Bol, Govert Flinck, and Carel
Fabritius. Rembrandt also painted many historic scenes, and several
etches and drawings. In 1642, Rembrandt painted a historic group
portrait of the Company of Frans Banning Cocq, which later became
famous as "De Nachtwacht" (The Nightwatch, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).
Rembrandt married Saskia Uylenburgh in 1634, but a year after their
son Titus was born (1641), Saskia died. Rembrandt then took on his
housekeeper Geertje Dircks, and later Hendrickje Stoffels, with whom
he had a daughter in 1654.
Later in his life, Rembrandt built up considerable debts, and was
forced to sell his house and possessions. He died in 1669, and was buried
in the Westerkerk in Amsterdam.
Rembrandt is famous for his chiaroscuro, the use of light and
shade rather than color. His heritage consists of more than 600
paintings, and approximately 300 etchings.