Rembrandt <<REHM brant>> (1606-1669) was one of the greatest artists of the Netherlands. He produced many fine paintings, etchings, and drawings.
Rembrandt was born in Leiden on July 15, 1606. His full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. He studied art first in Leiden and then in Amsterdam. In about 1625, he returned to Leiden.
Rembrandt’s early paintings were small scenes from the Bible and from history. His pictures had lively people and bright colors. Rembrandt soon became a success. He began to teach other painters.
In about 1632, Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam. There, he painted pictures of rich people. His painting of a doctor giving an anatomy lesson made him famous. He became rich and bought a large house. Rembrandt also painted other subjects. His most famous picture, The Night Watch, was painted in 1642. This painting shows a group of Amsterdam guards. He painted them as they had been in earlier times, when they were heroes.
In the 1640’s, Rembrandt’s house became too expensive for him to keep, and he had spent too much money collecting paintings. He also began to paint pictures to please himself—subjects that he was not paid for. When he ran out of money, his house and belongings were sold. But his art became even more wonderful. Years later, when he died, he left a large amount of money to his relatives.