Posted on: October 27, 2014
Rembrandt van Rijn is one of the best painters in history. Known for many paintings that he made during his lifetime. Most people are familiar with his masterpiece, the “Night Watch”. Some people know him as the “master of light & shadow”. But only a few people know him as the inventor of the selfie. Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) grew up as a miller’s son in Leiden.
By his early 20’s he was already a talented artist. In the year 1631, Rembrandt van Rijn came to Holland’s capital to run the painting studio of rich art-dealer Hendrick van Uylenburgh. Portraits were the studio’s main source of income and Rembrandt and his staff churned out loads of them, including portraits of groups such as The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. There are many pictures of the Dutch painter, he created almost 100 self-portraits throughout his life. This makes up around 10% of his entire oeuvre.
Fun fact: Rembrandt etched the self portrait pictured below in 1628. Most likely this is the first selfie ever made.
Rembrandt’s very first selfie, made in 1628.
Rembrandt visited the Red Light District in Amsterdam and stumbled upon this hidden piece of art.
Rembrandt took a selfie at the Prinsengracht, with its lovely house boats and beautiful trees.
Did you know that Rembrandt van Rijn was a very hard worker? He made a total of 350 oil-paintings!
The equally famous dutch painter Johannes Vermeer made only 37 paintings throughout his lifetime. Johannes Vermeer is known for his work “The MilkMaid” and “Girl with the Pearl Earring”. In the old times painters made their colours themselves. This was a very time-consuming job. In the Rembrandt Museum it can be seen how these colours were made in those days.
Amsterdam, Museumplein, Iamsterdam logo.
The Dutch painter at a bar with his name.
Apart from the 350 oil-paintings, Rembrandt made many etches. He was a man who really liked to draw. Like many masters this was his starting point. Later he went into the more elaborate craft of painter and etcher. Etchings are very difficult to make, they requires several stages of work.
Go see the Rembrandt House in Amsterdam’s Jodenbreestraat, where the process is shown by staff of the house! A real etching press at the first floor completes your knowledge of etching.
He saw all these key locks (also known as love locks) on a bridge in the centre of Amsterdam.
The Dutch painter got himself a delicious Dutch treat. Two herrings with some pickles and onions!
One of the main reasons why the Dutch master of art is such a top-artist, is the way he depicts people. Rembrandt was a true master of this style. Even today, when you look at them, you see they are truly living persons with their own character and the mood they were in. When you look at his painting, the depicted person could be your neighbour, mother or friend!
Selfie at an Amsterdam Dance Event sign.
Amsterdam, Rembrandt Square.
Amsterdam Red Light District.
Rembrandt van Rijn was truly a master of light. The Italian painter, Caravaggio, was his fore bearer, but the Dutch painter succeeded to take that quality to a complete new level.
Street art on the Warmoesstraat in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
He saw this modern piece of street art in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
This is Rembrandt van Rijn having another Dutch treat. A sausage of the HEMA.