Without question, Rembrandt is one of the most important and prodigious artists in Western history, producing some 2,000 drawings, 600 paintings, and 300 etchings. Born in The Netherlands, he worked during the žDutch Golden Age,Ó when the countryŪs power in science, trade and politics were at their peak.
RembrandtŪs paintings are known for his dramatic use of light and shadow. Although the son of a miller, his genius was recognized at an early age.› By age 25 he was an established artist with a growing reputation, which lead to many commissions. His subjects were unlimited, including portraits, landscapes, self-portraits, everyday scenes and nudes. His scenes of biblical and mythological narratives often featured his family and friends as models.›Although he achieved great wealth, he also lived beyond his means and was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1656 and auction his vast collection of Renaissance sculpture, paintings, and other valued objects for a modest sum.› From that point on, Rembrandt focused on painting for his own enjoyment, and his later painting exhibit a richness of technique and spirit.