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Happy Birthday Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Happy Birthday Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Did you know that today is the artist Rembrandt’s birthday? 

If he was still with us today, he would be 415 years old.

Throughout the year, we’re going to be sharing a few of our favourite artist’s birthdays and sharing some interesting facts about their life. If you have an artist you’d like us to feature, let us know via

Rembrandt was a draughtsman, painter and printmaker.  His artwork is priceless today and yet, when he died he was a pauper.

Born in 1606 in Leiden, Netherlands he later moved to Amsterdam in 1631, where he died in 1669.

He married Saskia van Uylenburgh, the cousin of a successful art dealer in 1634.  This completely changed his life as he was now in contact with the wealthy, who eagerly commissioned portraits.

Saskia was his model for some of his paintings and drawings.  When she died in 1642, it left him with a baby son and a sorrow so deep, he actually gave up painting in oils for several years.

Unlike others during the Dutch Golden Age era he never went abroad, few of his paintings did either.  It was his printmaking that was exported and by which he became known across Europe.

An interesting fact, is that his surname was originally spelt Rembrant and in 1633, for unknown reasons he changed it to Rembrandt.

He is considered one of the greatest storytellers in art.  He captured people in their various moods.  He was known as an artist who favoured realism, which led to some critics claiming that he preferred ugliness to beauty.

Rembrandt was also known for his diversity.  To name just a few genres he painted portraits, landscapes, historical scenes, biblical subject matter and animals.

In the late 1640’s Rembrandt had to sell his home, paintings and printing press as he had overspent his fortune.  It is believed the death of his partner Hendrickje Stoffels, and his beloved son Titus contributed to his decline.  He never recovered financially, and he died in poverty.

In March of 1990 13 works, including Rembrandt and Vermeer’s pieces were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, USA. 

Considered one of the largest heists ever, the works have never been recovered and to this day would be valued at over $500 million.

The Museum is still offering a $5 million reward for the return.  So, if you know where they are, now is the time to speak up!

In memory of Rembrandt, we would like to suggest a few landscape paint by number kits.

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