Rembrandt van Rijn is considered one of the most important and influential artists of European history. His life began in 1606 in what is now the Netherlands where he attended Latin school until being apprenticed under a few notable, local painters. He eventually went on to open his own studio in 1624. From that point forward he gained notoriety among wealthy members of Dutch society and was commissioned to do works for them until he moved to Amsterdam.
After his move to Amsterdam, Rembrandt began his preference for creating portraits. He also developed a lavish lifestyle and only ended up avoiding bankruptcy in 1656 by selling his collection of art and rarities which included busts of Roman emperors, antique Japanese armor, and Old Master paintings and drawings. This lifestyle eventually led to his being banned by the painter's guild to which he was a member.
Throughout his life, Rembrandt was subjected to great personal loss, including a son and two daughters in infancy and his first wife to tuberculosis. He also eventually lost his son and the mother of his daughter before his own death in 1669.
The four prints displayed here highlight Rembrandt's range and skill: The first "Descent from the cross" was created at the height of his career. This work depicts very strong emotion and seems almost like a painting in its quality.
The next print is one of over one hundred self-portraits that Rembrandt created during his lifetime including approximately fifty paintings, thirty-two etchings and seven drawings.
"Ecce Homo" is Latin for "Behold the Man". These words were attributed to Pontius Pilate, where he presents a tormented Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. Note the faces in the crowd and their various expressions.
This last Rembrandt print shown here is an etching of Rembrandt's mother. He often used his mother as a model.