Learn About Rembrandt in Art History. Learn About His Art and Famous Paintings
"The Sacrifice of Isaac”, Rembrandt, 1635
Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606-1689, another of the Netherlands’ famous artists in art history, painted one of his of
his most famous paintings, " The Blinding of Samson" in 1636.
influenced by Caravaggio's religious art paintings where Caravaggio took time old bible stories and placed them in modern day settings. A good example is "The Calling of St. Matthew", 1599-
1602. The setting is the local corner tavern and the main characters are local street
Rembrandt used this same story telling device in the famous painting "The blinding of
Samson" 1636. Describing the artwork Delilah has deceived Samson, cut off his hair, and robbed him of his great power. Making sure Samson is no longer a viable enemy, the soldiers are actively destroying his eyesight.
The action is theatrical and dramatic, a mature Baroque art style. Two Philistine
soldiers have tackled Samson holding him on the ground ready for the spear
bearer. Arms and legs are flailing. The intense light streaming in from
outside the tent, almost totally silhouetting the spear bearer
heightening the drama.
Using a Flemish art characteristic of Peter Paul Rubens’ painting "St. George
and the Dragon", 1606-10, van Rijn painted the soldiers armor highly detailed and reflective.
Another famous painting by Rembrandt is "The Night Watch", painted in 1642.
"Night Watch", captures the excitement of the moment using dramatic Baroque lighting and active figures. The militia company is assembling for the visit Marie de' Medici to Amsterdam.
van rjin painted enough portraits of himself over his lifetime to record all of his stylistic art changes. In his "Self Portrait", 1666, he uses the frontal
engaging view of Jan van Eyck's, "Man in a Red Turban", 1433.
The portrait is straight forward, very detailed, not the ideal representation of the
High Renaissance. Bringing out his own personality and essence in the portrait, Rembrandt
painted the effect varying degrees of light and shade have on a face. He found that
different light intensities and contrasts could bring out different emotions and
feelings. The portrait is quite different from the Baroque, cavalier, aristocratic pose of Anthony
van Dyck's, , painted in 1635.
Van Rjin painted one of his famous paintings "The Return of the Prodigal Son", in 1665.
Since "The blinding of Samson" his style softened and mellowed. Gone are the highly active, dramatic strongly lit
theatrical settings, replaced by a moodier, more emotional, softly delineated picture
asking the viewer to share in the expression of forgiveness.
The soft shadows of the entire composition add to the personal reflective nature of the
painting. All figures seem to be sympathetic toward Rembrandts’ "prodigal son" except the
immediate figure to the right whose face is highly illuminated by a different light
source other than that of the father and the son. This seems to say not everyone here is
in agreement with accepting the son back into the household. Other famous artists of the Baroque art period are Frans Hals, and Diego Velazquez.
To view the entire gallery of Rembrandt paintings, click here.
Click on the graphics below to increase graphic sizes. At the same you time can also view an opportunity to purchase a poster or painting reproduction.