(1606 – 1669)
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn was born on July 15, 1606 in Leiden, a center of religion and scholarship about 25 miles south of Amsterdam. He was the eighth of nine children; his father was a miller and his mother was a baker’s daughter. His birth coincided closely with that of the Dutch nation. In 1609, when Rembrandt was three, the seven northern provinces of the Low Counties (the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg) finally achieved independence from Spain. The new nation was called the United Provinces, although it was often referred to by foreigners as Holland, which was the largest and most prosperous of the seven provinces.
Rembrandt explored all themes in his etchings: Biblical, genre, landscape, portraits, and nudes. He was a great experimenter and often reworked a plate many times, producing salable prints of the various states. As the noted scholar K. G. Boon said; for Rembrandt, each etching “ originated … in the deeply felt need to make that particular print.” Rembrandt died in 1669 and is today considered the greatest of all etchers.
Boon, K. G., Rembrandt, The Complete Etchings, Henry Abrams, Inc., New YorkWallace, Robert, The World of Rembrandt 1606-1669, Time-Life Books, New York, 1968
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