Media File
Rembrandt van Rijn
Date: Dutch painter, draftsman, and printmaker, 1606–1669
Biography: Dutch painter and printmaker, the son of a miller. At the age of 14 he was enrolled at the University of Leiden, but he soon left to study art - first with a local master, Jacob van Swanenburch, and then, in Amsterdam, with Pieter Lastman, known for his historical paintings. After six months he returned to Leiden and set up his studio. Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam in 1631; his marriage in 1634 to Saskia van Uylenburgh, the cousin of a successful art dealer, enhanced his career, bringing him in contact with wealthy patrons who eagerly commissioned portraits.

In contrast to his successful public career, however, Rembrandt's family life was marked by misfortune. Between 1635 and 1641 Saskia gave birth to four children, but only the last, Titus, survived; her own death came in 1642- at the age of 30. Hendrickje Stoffels, engaged as his housekeeper about 1649, eventually became his common-law wife and was the model for many of his pictures. Despite Rembrandt's financial success as an artist, teacher, and art dealer, his penchant for ostentatious living forced him to declare bankruptcy in 1656. These problems in no way affected Rembrandt's work; if anything, his artistry increased.