Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Julia. Julia Wonders, “Who was Rembrandt?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Julia!

If you’ve been WONDERing with us for a while, you may have read about several famous artists. Maybe you know all about Frida Kahlo, Maya Angelou, or Leonardo da Vinci. Today’s Wonder of the day is about another name you might recognize—Rembrandt!

Who was Rembrandt? This famous artist was born in the Netherlands in 1606. His full name was Rembrandt van Rijn, but today, we remember him by his first name. 

As a kid, Rembrandt attended the Latin School in his hometown of Leiden. Later, he started at the University of Leiden at the age of 14. However, his desire to create art eventually led him down a different path. Rembrandt left the university to learn to paint. He first studied with Jacob Isaacsz van Swanenburgh in Leiden and later with Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam. 

Soon, Rembrandt built a solid reputation as a talented painter. He became most well-known for his portraits. Soon, he began working with an art dealer,Hendrick van Uylenburgh. He married Uylenburgh’s cousin, Saskia.

What made Rembrandt’s art special? Many consider him an expert of light and shadow. This helped him produce lifelike portraits unmatched by most other artists of his time. In addition to paintings, Rembrandt also produced impressive etchings and sketches.

In the 1630s, Rembrandt saw a great deal of success. He sold many paintings and also took on students. He and Saskia moved into a large house in a wealthy area of Amsterdam. They had four children, but only one—Titus—lived to adulthood.

Rembrandt’s later years became difficult. Saskia died in 1642, and Rembrandt soon fell into financial hardship. He declared bankruptcy in 1656 but continued to paint and sell his art. He also had another child, Cornelia, with his long-term partner, Hendrickje Stoffels. Rembrandt died in 1669 and was buried in an unmarked grave.

Today, Rembrandt is still a giant in the art world. His works hang in museums like the National Gallery of Art, The Met, and the Louvre. Pieces also hang in The Rembrandt House Museum, which was formerly the house he bought with his wife, Saskia. Many of his most famous paintings are self-portraits

Other well-known works by Rembrandt include “The Night Watch,” “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp,” and “The Sampling Officials.” Another well-known painting, “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” has been missing since 1990. It was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Have you ever seen a Rembrandt painting? He had a style all his own. What other forms of art do you admire? The world is full of amazing artists—you could even be one of them!

Standards: CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.W.10, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.SL.1, NCAS.A.1, NCAS.A.2, NCAS.A.3, NCAS.A.7, NCAS.A.8

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