The greatest portrait painter in the world?
Rembrandt Van Rijn, 1606-1669

Acclaimed master of the self-portrait, forty of which survive today.

Rembrandt’s paintings will forever change the way we experience an artist’s self-portrait. Rembrandt revealed much more than his likeness in the paintings. He painted his turbulent life for all to see. The masterly portraits painfully expose the young man’s passion and recklessness, the middle-aged man’s haughtiness and sense of self-importance and the old man’s disillusionment.

Self-Portrait at an Early Age, 1629

Rembrandt, son of a miller of very modest means, arrives in Amsterdam full of ambition and hope.

Self-portrait with Hat and Gold Chain, 1633


“The most famous artist in Amsterdam.” He marries Saskia, a woman of good family, who bears 4 children. Rembrandt lives extravagantly, beyond his means.

Self-portrait at Age 63, 1669


Personal tragedy and financial woes strike. Three of Saskia and Rembrandt’s children die and Saskia soon follows. Rembrandt is involved in court battle with his surviving child’s nurse (and his mistress), where he is sued for breach of promise. Rembrandt’s grandiose lifestyle results in a forced sale of his house and most of his possessions.

1669: Rembrandt dies at age 63 and is buried in an unmarked grave in Amsterdam.

2013: A newly discovered Rembrandt self-portrait is valued at $30 million.

Question to ponder:  What would your self-portrait reveal?

Watch this video for a breathtaking trip through Rembrandt’s life!
Click here if unable to view the video.

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