Rembrandt Rembrandt van Rijn, one of the most skillful printmakers and painters in European art history, was born in 1606 on July 16, during the period known by historians as the Dutch Golden Age. Rembrandt van Rijn died in 1669 on October 4.

For students:  Short Biographies or Profiles make perfect subjects for Informative Essays.  Same rhetorical style.  (A book report is also an Informative assignment.)  CAUTION:  It is easy to slip into plagiarism in these papers.  An essay should not read as a Wikipedia entry!  Add your personality through your tone (casual and personal). Decisions you make about which facts to emphasize and which to omit is an editorial decision!   –Miss McCulla

Having enjoyed commercial success during his early adult years, Rembrandt’s later years were marked by severe financial problems and personal tragedy.  Even so, the Dutch Master’s paintings and etchings were favored throughout his entire life, and his high reputation as an artist never faded, and for two decades he taught some of the most significant Dutch painters.   

Rembrandt’s most important creative victories are exemplified particularly in his self-portraits, portrait paintings of his contemporaries and illustrations of religious Christian events. The artist’s self-portraits create an intimate and unique biography, in which the Master surveyed himself with the utmost sincerity and without vanity.

The themes of narrative and landscape painting as well as portraiture were Rembrandt’s favorite subjects throughout his career. Research shows that he was particularly admired by his contemporaries, who considered him as a masterful interpreter of biblical writings for his specialty in expressing emotions and detailed attention.

His painting style developed from a ‘smooth’ way, characterized by a meticulous technique in portraying form, to the ‘rough’ treatment of richly textured surfaces, which allowed for an illusionism of style suggested by the paint’s tactile quality itself.

For most of his career Rembrandt created well-received etchings, between 1626 and 1660. He was closely involved in the printmaking entire process, printing hundreds of etching samples of himself.  When circumstances forced the painter to sell his printing-press, he virtually abandoned the art of etching. Even earlier, during the tragic year of 1649, no dated work was produced.

Rembrandt painted his most famous work The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq between 1640 and 1642. The Dutch called this enormous painting De Nachtwacht and the Night Watch by Sir Joshua Reynolds due, upon the work’s discovery, the artwork was so defaced and dimmed by time that it was nearly indistinguishable and it looked almost like a night scene. After the painting was cleaned, it became clear to represent broad daytime—a group of musketeers walking from a shady courtyard into the bright sunlight.

Admirers can see Rembrandt’s most notable collection of artwork at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, including De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch) as well as Het Joodse Bruidje (The Jewish Bride). Het Mauritshuis in The Hague displays numerous of his self-portraits. And Amsterdam’s Rembrandt House Museum is the master’s preserved home, displaying an extensive collection of his etchings.


Miss McCulla is a retired English teacher of 32 years.  She has Mastery of the grammar and mechanics of English, and has taught expository, fiction writing, and rhetorical skills to hundreds of students and aspiring writers throughout her career.  She has written/edited/self-published five books, and currently manages and edits a writing blog called The Underground Tutor where she gathers essays, articles, entries, papers, manuals, profiles, criticisms and analyses just like those asked of students and writers in the university and publisher houses.

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March 15, 2019   41   mary    Informative Essay  
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