Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669)
Rembrandt van Rijn is generally acknowledged to be one of the greatest painters in history. He was originally from Leiden, where his early career ran parallel to that of the painter Jan Lievens (1607-1674). Both painters were taught for some time by the Amsterdam painter Pieter Lastman (1583-1633) and they may have shared the same studio. However, in 1631 Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam. In 1635 he and his young wife Saskia van Uylenburgh moved into a rented house on Nieuwe Doelenstraat, where café De Jaren is today. The building was owned by the wealthy lawyer Willem Boreel. This is where their first child Rombertus was born, although sadly the boy only lived for two months. Two more children also died in the cradle. In 1639 Rembrandt purchased a house in the elegant Jodenbreestraat, today’s Rembrandthuis. His son Titus was born here two years later, and the following year his wife Saskia died. The period at Jodenbreestraat was Rembrandt’s heyday – here he painted the Night Watch for example – but he also experienced financial problems. In 1656 Rembrandt was forced to file for bancrupcy.
Image: City Archive Amsterdam