Rembrandt’s 407th Birthday Today

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July 15, 2013 by genelup

The_Nightwatch_by_Rembrandt

I visited Rembrandt’s house (in Amsterdam, Holland) where on display were scores of the 17th Century master’s etchings and engravings.  For the record, his name is Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.  He lived in Amsterdam for 46 years where he painted almost 500 paintings and hundreds more of etchings, ink and pencil sketches.

The next day, I walked to the Rijksmuseum Art and History Museum where I saw Rembrandt’s famous work entitled “Night Watch.”  It depicted the civic guards highlighted by two officers who would go out to defend the ramparts of Amsterdam.  He was commissioned to do that painting, and each person in the painting agreed to pay a portion of the fee to him.  However, some of those in the painting balked because they were in the shadows or were completely obscured.  One chap even had half his face covered by someone else’s outstretched arm.  People in Amsterdam stopped buying his works, and Rembrandt had to hide from creditors.  He went bankrupt, and he ended up working for his son and his own mistress.

(Author’s Note: This passage was taken from my book, “My Life Shattered then it got worse, until…” a 1968 memoir when I bummed Europe & Morocco.  Rembrandt was born July 15, 1606, exactly 407 years ago today. His “Night Watch” painting is pictured above.)

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