At 14, Rembrandt enrolled at the University of Leiden but after a year of study he left to be an apprentice in the studio of Jacob van Swanenburgh and later Pieter Lastman. Rembrandt then moved back to his native Leiden where he opened his own studio with the artist Jan Lievens before moving to Amsterdam where he became a favourite Portraitist of the court.


The Night Watch (1642)


Rembrandt's painting style is typical of that in the Seventeenth Century Baroque period, with a great focus on the use of Chiaroscuro,an Italian term which translated literally means 'light-dark'. The period's sense of contrasts is clearly evident in Rembrandt's work and the relationships between light and dark, happiness and sadness and life and death play a central role in his painting. Some of Rembrandt's most famous pieces include The Night Watch (1642), which is at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (1632) which is at the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague.

Rembrandt had many students and imitators, and his studio was highly productive. In recent years, thanks to the Rembrandt Research Project and with the help of modern technology, several paintings that were previously attributed to the Master have been reassessed and credited to his imitators instead. Likewise some of those thought to be by Students have been reattributed to the Master. Today, there are only some hundred genuine works by Rembrandt, all of which are well documented.