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 Rembrandt van Rijn, he created almost 100 self-portraits throughout his life. This makes up around 10% of his entire oeuvre. Pictures of Rembrandt van Rijn were done in paintings, etchings or drawings.
The other day we’ve noticed that Rembrandt made a bunch of new selfies throughout Amsterdam. And yes, we’ve got all those pictures of Rembrandt van Rijn! This is what the selfies of the famous Dutch painter looks like:
Fun fact: Rembrandt etched the self portrait pictured below in 1628. Most likely this is the first selfie ever made. It is one of the rare old Pictures of Rembrandt van Rijn in Amsterdam
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 house they show how these colours were made in those days.
Apart from the 350 oil-paintings, Rembrandt made many, many etches. Rembrandt van Rijn 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.
One of the main reasons why Rembrandt 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 a Rembrandt painting, the depicted person could be your neighbor, mother or friend!
Rembrandt van Rijn was truly a master of light. The Italian painter, Caravaggio, was his fore bearer, but Rembrandt succeeded to take that quality to a complete new level.
He took this selfie on the Albert Cuyp market. Having his first Stroopwafel…
Click here to see more of Rembrandt’s work! Or share these awesome selfies with your friends: