An artist creates many renowned works, but who studies their art first?
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, commonly known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch painter, draftsman, and printmaker who studied his work intensely before splashing it on canvas.
His hands were considered a god’s gift due to his incredible artwork.
He conducted a deep psychological study of each subject before putting it on the canvas, almost like an author who designs his character thoroughly.
He had mastery over portraits of all kinds, including biblical, historical, and mythological scenes.
A painter who is renowned for his works gives them the appearance of a period to which they belong.
Do you want to know what period Rembrandt paintings are from?
Table of contents
- Period The Artwork Belongs To
- The Night Watch
- The Storm on the Sea of Galilee
- The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp
- Bathsheba at Her Bath
- Self-Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar
- Return of the Prodigal Son
- Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild
- The Jewish Bride
- The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis
- Belshazzar’s Feast
- The Blinding of Samson
- Hidden Truths About Rembrandt
- Hey People
Period The Artwork Belongs To
Have you heard about the Dutch Golden Age or Baroque arts?
Years 1588-1672, were considered as the Dutch Golden Age period, which included Dutch trade, the arts, and science.
Rembrandt famous paintings reflect this period, with drama, richness, art styles, and glory added to them.
The same goes for the baroque arts.
Introduced during the 17th century, the period describes painting in detailed, dramatic, and exaggerated.
It’s often been represent as bizarre and irregular.
If you give a keen eye to the Rembrandt artwork, you will get a picture that includes these elements.
I know having our own insights is natural, but you need an expert who makes you understand the real theory behind the famous paintings of Rembrandt.
With this thought, here are some incredible Baroque paintings by Rembrandt, along with a detailed view of what his art speaks about.
1. The Night Watch
What is the most famous Rembrandt paintings? This!
But would it startle you if I said that the title of this painting is actually incorrect?
The painting is called The Night Watch, but the real truth is that the scene didn’t take place at night.
This work was commissioned for Kloveniersdoelen, the guild hall that exhibits musketeers.
The first look at this painting gives the impression that a group of soldiers is creating chaos among the people.
Yes, they are! But what for?
The real idea that led to this masterpiece was to invoke a sense of gratification and civic duty in the public.
The soldiers in the painting are striving to make the people aware of their responsibilities.
Although it is not a night scene, the dark shadow depicts the painting as having a night background, making it true to its title.
Currently, Rembrandt’s Night Watch exhibits in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, with a price tag of $82 million attached to it.
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Famous nude paintings of women have been part of art culture for a longer period of time.
Many artists have put their hands on this form in order to give the painting a feeling of eroticism.
Being a master in different forms, how can Rembrandt be behind in this field?
It is said that the woman in this painting is his first wife, Saskia, but later he replaced her face with that of his mistress, Geertje Dircx.
In 1985, the painting was exposed to acid at the Hermitage Museum.
Even Rembrandt tried to cut the piece twice with a knife. Fortunately, the work was restored in due time.
Danae is considered the most beautiful painting created by Rembrandt in the entire period.
Some have the analysis that the art belongs to mythological subjects.
Danae is one of the Greek mythological characters and the mother of Perseus.
This makes the viewer have a second thought about which theory this Rembrandt painting belongs to.
3. The Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Now you know what Dutch Golden Age and Baroque paintings are.
The elements that make them fall into this category are to be observed in the painting The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.
This art by Rembrandt is said to be the most dramatic work from this art period.
To depict the seriousness of his artistic intent, he produced this painting as an object.
He wanted to pursue the title of a painter known for his historical paintings.
However, he ended up with a work that showcases the theme regarding the marine timeline.
This thought produced a piece of artwork that has a combination of history as well as a seascape.
The real meaning behind this art was to show the period when followers were terrified of the storm and puzzled about the action they should take.
The components, such as drama, seriousness, or fear, make the whole work a masterpiece.
With a value of around $500 million, this famous Dutch painting once exhibited in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston but was somehow stolen in 1990.
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4. The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp
At the early age of 25, when Rembrandt just had four paintings attached to his name, he produced this triumph.
The title of this painting gives a clear picture of what Rembrandt tried to depict.
The seven surgeons are closely observing the examination of a body by Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.
But the interpretation is far deeper than it seems.
It highlights the connection between misconduct and repulsive deaths.
Although some have the conception that the painting depicts the instability of human lives.
The most fascinating part of this portrait is the seven attentive listeners, which grab the eyes of the viewers.
This artwork of Rembrandt was commissioned by Doctor Johan Deyman.
Currently, the painting is housed in the Mauritshuis Museum in the Netherlands.
5. Bathsheba at Her Bath
People have this question in mind: Which Rembrandt painting depicts a woman bathing in a tub?
It’s Bathsheba at Her Bath!
Before I analyze this painting, let me enlighten you with a short story!
The king named David’s eyes fell on a beautiful lady cleaning herself up.
After a few inquiries, he learned her name, which was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.
David gave her an invitation to sleep with him while her husband was away on the battlefield.
This tale became famous among the Dutch people.
Many famous artists incorporated the story into the moment where King David spied on Bathsheba.
But the painter Rembrandt, who always stood away from the crowd, fell for the moment when Bathsheba was bathing with an invitation in her hand.
He wanted to know about the delusions that Bathsheba was having during that time.
Will she accept the invitation? Or should she be faithful to her husband? Or obey the king’s command?
A thought about what a woman would decide in such a situation excites Rembrandt.
With excellent use of gold texture, the message of ideal beauty is being conveyed through this painting.
The famous Louvre Museum holds this masterpiece, which is admired by people around the world.
6. Self-Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar
Among Rembrandt’s portraits, Self-Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar is the most respected work.
In his later years, Rembrandt van Rijn discovered that his self-portraits could be the most famous works of his career.
But the question is, why is the self portrait by Rembrandt famous?
From my point of view, a painter is fully renowned when he knows how to paint himself first.
A self-portrait is proof of the artist’s awareness of oneself.
The self portrait is one of the famous Rembrandt paintings from the time when he was bankrupt.
Incorporating vulnerable situations about oneself completes you as a painter.
The National Gallery of Art holds this Rembrandt painting, which has a value of $18.7 million.
(You can also read: Paintings By Botticelli)
7. Return of the Prodigal Son
The most moving painting by Rembrandt is Return of the Prodigal Son!
Do you know why?
This is because of the connection shown between a father and son.
This captivates the attention of the audience by referring to the famous biblical legend of the same name.
The painting portrays a message about the son who has returned home after wasting his legacy in luxury.
He returns to his father with a thought of forgiveness and restarts his life by being a part of the family.
There are multiple expressions that Rembrandt has given to the father’s face, which add a touch of mixed emotions.
This oil painting on canvas is in the collection of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
8. Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild
Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild is marked as the largest commissioned portrait from the Rembrandt collection.
It’s also referred to as Sampling Officials, straight from the translation of its Dutch title, De Staalmeesters.
The Rembrandt paintings basically consist of a group of drapers inspecting a Persian cloth with a swatch book.
It was said to be one of the techniques used to examine the quality of cloth during the 17th century.
Given the classical effect of Baroque devices, this piece depicts the union of the group.
The fine structure and glowing color shade give the art a brilliant appearance.
The painting is currently housed in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, with no definite cost mentioned.
9. The Jewish Bride
What does the painting symbolize?
A couple? A father who is with her daughter on her wedding day? Or just a man and a woman posing?
I am raising this query because it has not been solved to date.
Many questions arose in the minds of the viewer after getting in contact with this artwork.
Let me help you get the answer!
The Rembrandt paintings depicts a father who is decorating his daughter on her wedding day.
Later that year, people discovered that the man was not her father but her lover or husband.
It is also believed that the couple that is shown in the picture is not Jewish.
But as the title “The Jewish Bride” has made an impact on the audience, eventually it has been accepted with this name.
Located in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the price of this mysterious painting could be unimaginable!
10. The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis
Numerous historical paintings are famous, but this painting by Rembrandt is one of the most powerful.
The title gives the meaning of some conspiracy that took place during that period of time.
What exactly was the conspiracy?
Claudius Civilis was a sharp leader who led a rebellion against the Roman empire.
It was based on Tacitus’s The Histories.
Claudius was imprisoned twice because of his rebellious conflict.
After his release, he built a conspiracy with the Batavian people and organized a revolt against the Romans.
In this Rembrandt painting, he has reflected the sword-oath moment taken by Claudius.
And if I told you that the scene depicted in the painting never happened, then?
It’s true! The scene about the oath never occurred in the first place.
The thought behind this masterpiece was to show a symbol of power and strength.
It depicts the capabilities of a man who arranges a plot against a huge empire with his supporting tribes.
Currently housed in the National Museum in Stockholm, this artwork has a priceless tag attached to it.
11. Belshazzar’s Feast
Do you know about the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament?
This artwork depicts the narrative from the book that speaks about “the writing is on the wall.”
King Belshazzar was an atheist and did not fear God.
He arranged a grand feast where he used the holy vessels from the Temple in Jerusalem, which was a sinful act.
As a result of this behavior, some Hebrew letters appeared on the walls.
Daniel summoned to translate the words and give a clear picture of the message.
The translation came as a shock to Belshazzar, as it said that “God has lessened the days of your kingdom and made a decision to bring it to an end.”
Later that night, Belshazzar was killed, and the kingdom was passed to King Darius.
Now you know the history that this artwork carries within itself, but what about the thoughts of the artist?
Rembrandt brought this artwork into existence as an attempt to establish himself as a great Baroque artist.
The expressions given to the character perfectly explain the scenario of the painting.
The shocked face of Belshazzar was a brilliant way for Rembrandt to express the feelings the king was going through.
All the original Rembrandts have a value of more than $300 million, which makes them remarkable!
12. The Blinding of Samson
Housed in the Städel Museum in Germany, this is one of the most violent Rembrandt paintings.
The painting here depicts the character Samson, who was a Herculean warrior.
He married a prostitute named Delilah, who was bribed by the enemies of Samson to know the secret of what made him powerful.
Samson revealed that his hair was the source of his strength, which Delilah later shaved while he was unconscious.
Eventually, the rivals entered the place and dug Samson’s eyes.
Rembrandt, as a Baroque painter, represents a brutal climax that consists of elements like drama, violence, and betrayal.
He knows what captivates the viewer’s eye and makes them question, “What exactly happened?”
An artist who is so famous during his period of time surely hides some secrets within themselves.
Eager to know some untold facts about Rembrandt? Here you go!
Hidden Truths About Rembrandt
- Rembrandt suffered from stereoblindness.
- It is believed that Rembrandt had various pupil who were said to create paintings on his behalf which raised a question on his originals.
- We know Rembrandt expanded his knowledge on various subjects, but his favorite subject was himself. He created more than 90 self-portraits.
- Rembrandt uses secret codes in his artwork, such as ciphers and riddles.
- He was a collector of art, which made him financially unstable and bankrupt.
- It is said that he produced three thousand paintings in his entire life, which is huge!
- Van Gogh held high regard for his work and for him as a painter; he later described him as a magician.
- Do you know how many Rembrandt paintings are there? Around 300 artworks.
Apart from the work he has provided to the people, these are the few truths that reveal a side of Rembrandt as a person.
I really appreciate you reading my blog, “Rembrandt Paintings,” till the end.
By giving the sense that you must have gained knowledge and gathered material for what you were looking for.
We know that each person has different insights, and we will be pleased to know yours via comments.
While reading, there is always one piece of artwork that catches your eye for a moment.
My eyes were captivated by “The Jewish Bride” painting, which makes me want to own one.
Which Rembrandt painting has your attention? Mention the painting in the comments section with a note about what really grabbed your attention.
And if I said that you could now own your eye catcher painting by Rembrandt, how would you feel?
It’s true! Click on the link below and let the masterpiece make it through your walls!
“The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp” is the most famous Rembrandt painting.
Rembrandt was well-known for his history painting and portraits commissioned by patrons.
Paintings by Rembrandt mostly revolve around the theme that portray dramatic biblical and mythologies scenes.
The art style that Rembrandt used were Baroque painting and Dutch Golden Age.
Rembrandt use “linen weave” canvas for his paintings.