The artist's life and times

October 30, 2011 

Note: Paintings in italics are part of the "Rembrandt in America" exhibit.

1606Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is born July 15 in Leiden, The Netherlands.

1620Enrolls in Leiden University at age 14 but soon leaves to study art.

1621Apprentices with two painters, in Leiden and later in Amsterdam.

1624Returns to Leiden to set up his own studio.

"The Operation (Touch)." " The Three Singers (Hearing)."

1625Paints his first known dated work, "The Stoning of Saint Stephen."

1629Completes the first of what would be nearly 100 self-portraits.

"Self-Portrait (Study in a Mirror)."

1631Moves to Amsterdam to work with art dealer Hendrick van Uylenburgh.

1632Begins doing commissioned portraits, signing with his first name.

"Portrait of a Young Woman." "Portrait of an Old Man." "Bust of a Woman." "Bust of a Young Man with a Gold Chain." "Portrait of Marten Looten." "Portrait of a Man," probably a member of the Van Beresteyn Family. "Portrait of a Woman," probably a Member of the Van Beresteyn Family. "Portrait of a Girl Wearing a Gold-Trimmed Cloak." "Bust of a Young Man in a Gorget and Plumed Hat." "Joris de Caulerij."

1633 "Portrait of a Man in a Red Doublet." "Young Man with a Sword."

1634Marries van Uylenburgh's cousin Saskia. Becomes a citizen of Amsterdam and joins the painter's guild of St. Luke.

"Portrait of Reverend Johannes Elison." "Portrait of Maria Bockenolle (Wife of Johannes Elison)." "Self Portrait with Shaded Eyes."

1635Rents a larger studio in Amsterdam. First child, Robertus, is born Dec. 15; dies two months later.

Plague breaks out in Amsterdam, killing close to one-fifth of the city's population.

"Minerva in her Study." "Portrait of Anthonie Coopal."

1637 "An Old Lady with a Book."

1638Daughter Cornelia is born; dies three weeks later. Rembrandt sues wife's relatives for libel, accusing them of "spreading gossip that he is squandering her legacy by 'flaunting and showing off.' "

1639Moves to the "Rembrandt house" on Sint Anthoniebreestraat in Amsterdam.

1640Daughter also named Cornelia is born; dies soon after.

"Study of an Elderly Woman in a White Cap."

1641Son Titus is born.

1642Wife Saskia dies of TB at age 29. Geertje Dircx is hired as a nurse for Titus.

"The Night Watch."

1643 "Portrait of a Young Man in a Broad-brimmed Hat."

1648 "Portrait of a Man Reading."

1649Geertje Dircx wants Rembrandt to marry her, but it would cost him control of Saskia's inheritance. Geertje charges him with breach of promise. Hendrickje Stoffels succeeds Dircx as housekeeper.

1650Rembrandt has Dircx declared of unsound mind and confined to the Gouda House of Correction.

"Old Man Wearing a Red Hat." "Lamentation."

1652War causes economic slump.

"The Descent from the Cross."

1653Mortgage comes due; Rembrandt borrows to pay it, beginning a succession of events that would lead to bankruptcy.

1654Daughter also named Cornelia is born to Stoffels, Rembrandt's common-law wife.


1655Rembrandt auctions part of his art collection to pay his debts.

1656Rembrandt declares insolvency. Household belongings are inventoried and sold. The inventory lists 363 items, including 60 Rembrandt paintings, several books of his drawings and a large collection of work by Dutch, Flemish and Italian masters.

1657The rest of Rembrandt's art collection is sold at auction.

"St. Bartholomew."

1658Rembrandt's house is sold.

"Philemon and Baucis."

1659 "Self-Portrait."

1660Rembrandt's common-law wife and their son form a partnership to manage his finances.

"Titus, the Artist's Son." "Portrait of a Jewish Student (A Young Man with a Beard)." "Man in a Fur-lined Coat." "A Young Man Seated at a Table" (possibly Govaert Flinck).

1662 "Man in a Red Cap (An Evangelist?)."

1663Hendrickje dies of the plague in her mid-30s.

1665 "Portrait of a Young Man in an Armchair."

1666 "Young Man in a Black Beret." "Lucretia."

1668Titus dies of the plague.

1669Rembrandt dies on Oct. 4. At his death, his recorded belongings are "four green lace curtains, several pewter candlesticks, a brass pestle, earthenware dishes, old and new neckties, half a dozen pillowcases, four plain chairs, one old mirror, and three roomfuls of paintings, drawings, rarities, and antiquities."

Compiled by News Researcher

Teresa Leonard

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