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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

            People consider the Dutch painter and etcher, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, an important figure in Dutch history. He achieved success at a very early age but had personal tragedies and financial hardships in his later years. Many are familiar with Rembrandt's reputation. Rembrandt's works show his greatest accomplishments. Mainly his childhood and home life influenced his works. Steadfastly, Rembrandt van Rijn, the greatest Dutch portrait painter of all time, revealed his brilliance by creating realistic masterpieces of poor, working-class subjects, and the ones he loved and lost.
             Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden, Netherlands on July 15, 1606. The son of Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn, a miller, and Neeltge van Suydtbrock, the daughter of a baker, Rembrandt was the youngest of at least nine children. At the age of seven, he attended the Latin School in Holland. Rembrandt then entered the University of Leiden seven years later. His parents allowed him to take up painting, assisting him to Jacob van Swanenburgh, a pedestrian painter of portraits and architectural scenes. Rembrandt spent three years in Jacob's studio, learning the mechanics of painting. In 1624, he traveled to Amsterdam to work for six years with Pieter Lastman, who made a deep impression on Rembrandt. In Pieter's studio, mythological and religious subjects attracted Rembrandt. He especially became interested in Biblical subjects, shown in many of his works.
             At the age of nineteen, Rembrandt van Rijn returned to Leiden, as an independent artist, making headlines quickly. In 1628, a jurist from Utrecht visited Leiden and wrote highly about Rembrandt in his notebook. "The Leiden miller's son is greatly praised, but before his time" (White 19). On June 8, 1633, Rembrandt married Saskia van Ulenborch. Saskia was born on August 2, 1612. Her father, a former Burgomaster of Leeuwarden, past away when Saskia turned twelve.

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