Saturday, July 15

Rembrandt

Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in Leiden to a family of modest means on this day in 1606. Rembrandt achieved a profound understanding of human emotion and nature coupled with brilliant technique. Much of his prodigious output portrayed Biblical and theological themes despite the fact that orthodox ideas and Scriptural vignettes were not considered serious subjects for art at the time in Holland. His works are characterized by chiaroscuro, or the contrast between light and dark.

2 comments:

Arts Aficionado said...

Arts Aficionado said...
Your comments about Rembrandt are accurate although I am not sure what you mean by "scriptural vignettes." Biblical themes were, in fact, trendy during Rembrandt's day.

Amsterdam is celebrating Rembrandt's 400th anniversary this year. One event was a special collection of fifty-five of his paintings displayed in his house through June, 2006. As I toured his house, I learned about his personal life.

After the death of his wife, his son's nanny became his mistress in a scandalous relationship known to all. Later he desired his much younger housekeeper. The nanny sued him and Rembrandt had her admitted to a mental institution.

He died unpopular, penniless, indebted and alone.

George said...

Actually, Biblical themes had fallen out of favor by Rembrandt's time. Instead, artists tended to paint mythological themes or even more commonly, synchronistic themes--where mythological characters and Biblical characters are portrayed in the same scenes, thus mythologizing the Scriptures. Rembrandt, for all his personal sinfulness, did not resort to such heterodoxy.