The more you know

Rembrandt – Life and Works

It was born in Holland in a rich and animated cultural context; the bourgeoisie is often the patron of many paintings (portraits).
He was born in 1606, has eight brothers and is the son of a wealthy miller. He spends a lot of time in Italy studying the great masters of the Renaissance (Titian).
He was a great engraver and mainly used the etching technique. He collected all kinds of objects: paintings, engravings, clothes, fabrics with which he covered his models.

He had painful family events: his first son died a few months, two daughters died a few days, his wife Saschia died in 1641 giving birth to their son Tito. He will start a relationship with a girl in the service of his home in which he will have a child.
After squandering his earnings he was forced to borrow and went into debt until his works were auctioned. The son Tito will die before the father. Rembrandt dies in 1669.
He uses dense and lumpy brushstrokes to give materiality to the figures. Quick brush strokes often without drawing (Tiziano).
This style is modern and demonstrates Rembrandt’s painting prowess.

La Ronda at night

A large painting represents the night watchmen with their captain in the lead, in the exercise of their activity.
The faces are illuminated by the light of the torches, the captain and a child are strongly illuminated.
The strong contrasts between shadow and light create luministic effects.
The flashes of the diagonal rods present in the scene (flags, arquebuses), give the lights and a strong dynamism, also suggest the noise of the scene.

Anatomy Lessons

It is a photographic snapshot. The assisting doctors watch with amazement and attentive the dissection of a corpse by the master Tulp.
Rembrandt’s realism captures the moment objectively.
Strong contrasts of light and dark colors underline the expressiveness and concentration of the characters. Flemish painters used the camera obscura to better reconstruct the spatial structure of an environment through perspective and lights.


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