REMBRANDT’S WORKS: HIS MOST IMPORTANT PAINTINGS AND WHERE TO SEE THEM
Rembrandt’s works and masterpieces you must know to really know one of the most important artist in Europe.
In this post you’ll find Rembrandt’s most important works, all useful information to know where you can admire them and some curious facts about the life of the most important artist of the Art of the Dutch Golden Age.
THE ANATOMY LESSON OF DR. NICOLAES TULP (1632)
Commissioned from the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons, the painting portrays professor Nicolaes Tulp while dissecting a body for scientific purposes.
Each character is a portrait, and in the book held by an assistant you can read the name of the participating surgeons.
A curious fact: the corpse has been identified: it’s the body of Adrian Adrianeszoon known as “Het Kindt”, a criminal sentenced to death by hanging in Amsterdam in January 1632.
The work is housed in the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.
THE NIGHT WATCH (1642)
Rembrandt’s masterpiece is certainly “The Night Watch”, a group portrait where the artist portrayed the members of the Civilian Militia of Amsterdam, commanded by Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch.
“The Night Watch” depicts the moment when captain Cocq orders the militiamen to make an inspection tour, and Rembrandt is able to paint perfectly the excitement of the moment before the soldiers do their duty.
The painting hangs in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and for more information read the post I dedicated to the work- The Night Watch.
According to Greek mythology, Danae, daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos, was imprisoned by her father, who was afraid that the prophecy according to which his grandson would kill him, fullfilled.
Unfortunately, Zeus fell in love with the girl and reached her, where she was imprisoned, in the form of golden rain. A child was born from their union, Perseus, who, like the oracle had announced, killed his grandfather by mistake.
Everything is lavish in Rembrandt’s painting and a light, almost divine, illuminates beautiful Danae.
The work hangs in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
SELF-PORTRAIT AT THE AGE OF 63 (1669)
Rembrandt’s works and self-portraits might be another title of this post, because no other artists painted so many self-portraits as he did.
His face appears in around 30 etchings, 12 drawings and more than 40 paintings, and if we could line them up, we would see Rembrandt in all stages of his life.
They are works the artist made for himself, for study purposes and to examine various emotions that can came through a portrait well done.
Among all, my favourite is the last, entitled “Self-Portrait at the age of 63”, painted few months before his death (he painted his first self-portrait at the age of 22 and I put it at the beginning of this post).
It wasn’t a good time for him: his beloved wife was dead and even his son and many friends of him had passed away. His face is not happy, maybe only a little tired, but he is resolute and secure; in addition, his hand was still capable of putting emotions on the canvas.
The painting is on display in the National Gallery in London.