Rembrandt is probably the most famous Dutch painter of the seventeenth century. His works are greatly loved today, but he was not always so well regarded. His life was one of a dramatic rise and fall, unfolding during the Golden Age of the newly formed Dutch Republic.
Rembrandt’s public acclaim and wealth as a painter came to him as a very young man. His images were vigorous, psychologically compelling but also often less than flattering. By his middle age taste had shifted to more idealized visions, and by the time of his death in 1669 Rembrandt was destitute.
But whether the public was with or against him, Rembrandt continued to paint with the same passion, and arguably the art he produced in his final, destitute years is his most intimate, sensitive and open.
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Another good concise and informational art biography in the "This is. . ." series, this one about the great Dutch Master Rembrandt. I think the illustrator, Nick Huggins, had a challenge when trying to evoke the work of the great painter. If he were working with a surrealist, he could do funky surreal spin-offs, but to do sketchy modern illustrations in juxtaposition with Rembrandt, it's a bit jarring.
But the bio I liked a lot. I knew a lot of this abrupt "rise and fall" story of Rembrandt's life, and of course knew he died basically in financial ruins, only to attain a status of one of the greatest painters ever AFTER his death.