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Rembrandt van Rijn

(1606-1669)

Rembrandt is considered to be the greatest Dutch painter. He had a unique ability to find all humanity beautiful. He created many self portraits and is seen as art’s first major self portraitist. He always painted himself with penetrating realism, even as he grew older. Rembrandt was fascinated by the way faces reveal inner states of mind and how hand and body language convey emotions. Much of his work reflects his abilities to penetrate the human character. His vast output also reflects the restrained emotions and devout spirit of Calvinist Holland. You can see in his work that he has experienced the intense feelings he portrays. The interaction between light and shade in his paintings is the most significant and the main characteristic of his work.

Key artwork: The Night Watch

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