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Painter - Rembrandt
A 1659 self-portrait by Rembrandt, created when he was 53 years old.

Painter - Rembrandt

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born on the 15th of July 1606 in the Dutch city of Leiden. Between 1620 and 1625 he trained as an artist under the painters Jacob van Swanenburgh and Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam. His education over, Rembrandt returned to Leiden where his artistic career began and by 1628 he had students of his own.

In 1631 Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, where he began painting large biblical and mythological scenes and an abundance of portraits. In 1634 he married Saskia van Uylenburgh who sadly died eight years later, after which Rembrandt's work-rate slowed and he painted no more portraits other than of himself.

To avoid bankruptcy Rembrandt had to sell his house and he was banned from trading by the Amsterdam painters' guild. Because of this Rembrandt's son Titus sold his works. Titus died in 1665 and his father followed on the 4th of October 1669 at the age of 63.

One of the most admired artists of all time, Rembrandt's works were the epitome of the Dutch Golden Age.

For a closer look at the pictures, please click on them to enlarge.
1.
The Stoning of Saint Stephen is thought to be the oldest surviving painting by Rembrandt. How old was the artist when he painted it?
17 years old
19 years old
21 years old
23 years old
This was probably the first painting Rembrandt created following his training under Pieter Lastman who specialised in biblical scenes. Rembrandt has included himself in the painting. The artist's face can be seen behind the stoners and directly above Stephen's head, looking on in horror
2.
Painted in 1631, this picture shows which mythological character chained to some rocks?
Andromeda
Helen
Cassandra
Penelope
Andromeda was the daughter of an Ethiopian king who was chained to a rock to be sacrificed to the sea monster Cetus as a punishment for her mother's boastful vanity.
Unlike most other artists of the time, Rembrandt painted more realistically and included women's imperfections rather than idealising them
3.
Painted in 1632 the portrait Jacob de Gheyn III has been stolen four times since 1966, earning it what nickname?
Thieves' Rembrandt
Travelling Rembrandt
Robbers' Rembrandt
Takeaway Rembrandt
On the four occasions the painting was stolen it was found again; once on the back of a bicycle, once underneath a bench in a graveyard, once in a taxi, and once in a luggage rack at a train station!
The painting is only 30cm x 25cm (12 x 10 inches) making it very easily portable. This may be one of the reasons it has been stolen so often
4.
Painted in 1633, this is Rembrandt's only seascape. What is its name?
Passage of the Mediterranean
The Tempest
The Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Rough Seas
The scene is the Christian story of Jesus calming the waters, which is related in Mark's Gospel.
The painting was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the American city of Boston in 1990, and has yet to be recovered
5.
Another biblical scene, (this time from the Book of Daniel) depicting whose feast?
Nebuchadnezzar’s feast
Abednego's feast
Belshazzar's Feast
Shadrach's feast
Rembrandt is thought to have gotten the Hebrew letters in the painting from his friend, the Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel, although he miswrote one of them.
The writing on the wall says Mene, Mene, Teqel, Upharsin which translates into English as numbered, weighed, divided
6.
This 1653 painting shows the Greek philosopher Aristotle with his hand on a bust of which ancient poet?
Homer
Herodas
Hesiod
Hipponax
The painting could be interpreted as science deferring to art, or as the rich man envying the life of the poor.
It was bought by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art for $2.3 million (£1,343,000) in 1961, making it the most expensive painting in the world at the time
7.
The 1660 painting, Titus as a Monk, is of which of Rembrandt's relatives?
His father
His brother
His nephew
His son
Far from being a monk, Titus was in fact an art dealer, specialising in his father's works. Rembrandt often used his son, the only one of his offspring to survive into adulthood, as a model. Titus died in 1668 - one year before his father
8.
This historical painting, The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis, was created by Rembrandt in 1662. Later cut down to its current size, how large was it originally?
Approximately 20 square meters (215 square feet)
Approximately 30 square meters (323 square feet)
Approximately 40 square meters (431 square feet)
Approximately 50 square meters (538 square feet)
Painted as a commission for the burgomasters of Amsterdam, the work was originally 550 cm (18ft) in both hight and width. It was returned to Rembrandt, who was never paid for the work. He cut it down to its present size (196 cm x 309 cm ((77 in x 122 in)) in order to sell it. Before then it was the largest and most prestigious painting of Rembrandt's career
9.
Painted in 1662 The Sampling Officials was commissioned by the men it features who were members of which guild?
The Brewers' Guild
The Drapers' Guild
The Jewellers' Guild
The Innkeepers' Guild'
The men, who are shown comparing some fabric to exemples in a swatch book, are (from left to right): Jacob van Loon, Volckert Jansz, Willem van Doeyenburg, Frans Hendricksz Bel, Aernout van der Mye, and Jochem de Neve
10.
One of Rembrandt's final works, this piece depicts which biblical parable?
The servants and the talents
The good Samaritan
The rich man and Lazarus
The return of the prodigal son
This parable in particular made an impression on Rembrandt and he created several drawings, paintings and etchings of the subject.

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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