rembrandt-laugh-dailymailRembrant Harmenszoon van Rijn, better known as the mononymous Rembrandt, was born on this day in 1606 and became one of the greatest painters and print makers in history, making today


Born in Leiden, Netherlands, the 9th child of a successful miller and his baker’s daughter wife, Rembrandt was educated in Latin school at the University of Leiden, where his artistic talent led him be apprenticed to painters Jacob van Swanenburg, Pieter Lastman and Jacob Pynas.

At the tender age of 19, Rembrandt opened his own shop with fellow young artist Jan Lievens. He began accepting students and painting portraits, and a few years later was discovered by influential art patrons and agents, and important commissions began to come his way.

In 1631 he moved to one of the world’s great art capitals, Amsterdam, which was also a city on the rise in international business importance, and Rembrandt flourished in this lucrative market.

He met and married his art agent’s cousin Saskia, and as he prospered they bought their own home and he began collecting the art of Old Masters and many valuable antiquities, but the good times didn’t last. Three of their four children died in early childhood, and then Saskia died of tuberculosis.

As his talent and vision grew, his life spun out of control, with a disastrous second marriage and constant money troubles. Even though he was a great success, a celebrated painter and teacher in his lifetime, Rembrandt was an artist, not an accountant, and his finances were a disaster.

He wound up selling his collections to settle debts, died broke at age 63, and was buried in an unmarked grave. He left the world, however, a wealth of vibrant, groundbreaking art, and the name Rembrandt is still synonymous with fine artist.

•Suggested Activities: Visiting an art museum.

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