Fig. 148. Abraham entertaining Jehovah. Etching, 1656,
bittern. Ten pictures by the master, large and small , adorned a small
apartment, in which there was a wooden bed. The contents of the kitchen
and the passage would be less interesting to the reader.
It is a melancholy document to which we are indebted for this glimpse
into the interior of Rembrandt's dwelling. It is the inventory of the master's
moveable property, taken by the officers of the bankruptcy court with a
view to public auction. Rembrandt must at all periods have enjoyed a
considerable income; he himself declared in court, at the time of his
marriage with Saskia, when he was accused of extravagance, that he had
an ample provision of property. But he spent his money open-handed;
when Saskia was no longer there to receive present after present of jewellery,
the amateur's passion for collecting swallowed up all the revenues of the
artist; even the not inconsiderable fortune which Saskia left him was not
Since the beginning of 1653 Rembrandt had borrowed several large
sums which he was not able to repay when they fell due, and so in the
summer of 1656 he found himself in the evil plight of being declared
bankrupt. In May 1656, when he foresaw that this result was inevitable,
Rembrandt transferred the right of ownership in his house to his son Titus,
who was still a minor, in order to make some provision at least for him,
Knackfuss, Rembrandt. lO
in addition to his moiety of Saskia's fortune. But after the greater part
of his goods and chattels had been sold , towards the end of 1657, and
the remainder of his prints and drawings been dispersed in a second
auction some time later, his house, too, was put up for sale in January 1658.
This led to a prolonged lawsuit between the guardian of the young Titus
and Rembrandt's creditors. It was not till 1665 that the case was finally
Fig. 149. Janus Lutma, famous goldsmith at Groningen. Etciiing, 1656.
deqided in favour of the former and Titus van Ryn came into complete
possession of the property which came to him by inheritance from his mother.
When Rembrandt's house was cleared of its contents, he found shelter,
with Titus, Hendrikje and a little daughter Cornelia, whom the latter. had
presented to him in October 1654, in the Crown Imperial inn (Keizerskroon),
and it was there that the auction of his property took place.
In order to enable the master to live for his work with as much
freedom from anxiety as was possible under these circumstances, Hendrikje
Fig. ISO. Portrait of an Architect, painted in 1656. In the Cassel Gallery.
(From a photograph by Franz Hanfstangl, Munich.)
set up a business to deal in pictures, prints, woodcuts and curiosities, in
partnership with Titus, who had made some attempts at painting, but without
much success. On the 15''' December 1660 this partnership in business
was concluded in all due form before a notary and two witnesses, and it
was expressly declared that Rembrandt was to remain , with free board
and lodging, and live with the partners in the firm, to whom he was to
make himself useful so far as possible.
In such a deplorable situation Rembrandt did not lose either the courage
or the power to work. In the room of an inn, where he lived in a
miserable way on credit — the bill at the Crown Imperial which he paid
in 1660 is still preserved — and, later, in hired lodgings, which he was
continually changing after a short residence, robbed of everything which
had furnished his studio with comfort and decoration , he continued to
produce the most splendid works. In the fatal year of 1656 he painted,
in addition to the pictures already mentioned, a counterpart to his former
Anatomy Lesson for the Guild of Surgeons ; this picture, unfortunately,
was destroyed by fire in the eighteenth century, with the exception of a
small , damaged fragment which is preserved in the Amsterdam Museum.
Moreover a "Denial of St. Peter" in the Hermitage at St. Petersburg belongs
in all probability to this year.
In the following year he produced a picture of wonderful effect, the
"Adoration of the Magi", at Buckingham Palace. The Virgin sits in a
humble and modest posture before the stable, and holds out the Child,
who is brightly illumined with rays of heavenly light , towards the eldest
of the three kings , who has knelt down along with two of his retainers,
and bends his brow to the child's feet as he presents his offering. Joseph
keeps quite modestly in the shade under the thatched roof of the stable.
The second king takes from the hands of a page, whom he motions aside
with a silent gesture, the precious gift which he is about to offer. The
third , with a gesture of astonishment at finding the new-born monarch in
such poor surroundings, steps out of darkness into the light, the reflection
of which makes the gold and jewels flash on his own rich kingly apparel.
The figures of the retinue, the umbrella-bearers, and the other sumptuously
attired people who have found their way to this shed under the guidance
of heaven, are lost in the darkness of the night. The magical effect of
light makes the picture one of the most charming of Rembrandt's works.
Hardly any other of the great masters has been able to express such a
fervent devotion as he displayed by the two figures who kneel before the
Infant Jesus. The like may perhaps be found in the most earnest pictures
of the late Gothic period, but nowhere else (Fig. 152).
The master's own portrait of the year 1657 is in the Dresden Gallery;
one seems to catch a sUght smile quivering on the painter's lips; so long
as he knows himself to be in full possession of his art , he can smile at
every mishap. Then, again, the pose of his head is erect and dignified in
the splendid portrait of himself, to be dated, perhaps, a year later, in the
Pinakothek at Munich (Fig. 153). There is a masterly piece of portrait-
painting in the bust of a young man with long curls in the Louvre, of 1658.
This is the date of an etching of Christ and the Woman of Samaria
at the well. A pen and Indian ink drawing in the Albertina agrees so far
with this etching, from which it differs as completely with regard to com-
position as it does from the early etching of the same subject, that a
picturesque and imaginative landscape contributes greatly to the general
effect (Fig. 154).
About this time, however, the master began to lose his taste for etching,
though he produced a very effective print in 1659, representing Peter healing
the man lame from his birth under the Beautiful Gate of the Temple (Fig. 1 56).
Fig. 152. The Adoration of the Magi. Painting of 1657 at Buckingham Palace.
(From a photograph by Braun, Clement & Co., Dornach and Paris.)
The Berlin Museum possesses a biblical picture of 1659, "Jacob wrest-
ling with the Angel". Another picture in the same place, "Moses dashing
to pieces the Tables of the Law", is of about the same date. There is
a masterly portrait of 1659, a half-length of an old man, in the National
In 1660 the master painted himself in his working clothes, his grey
hair covered with a white cloth , and his palette in his hand ; his skin is
furrowed, but his eyes still shine, full of life, under his brows. The Louvre
possesses this admirable likeness, which throws into the shade even the
older portrait of the master by himself in the same collection.
In the following year he completed the most perfect of all his works,
the portrait-group of the managers ("Syndics", as they are called), of the
Drapers' Guild at Amsterdam. As he had produced the best work of his
F'g- I53- Portrait of Rembrandt by himself, painted about 1658. In the Pinakothek, Munich.
(From a photograph by Franz Hanfstangl, Munich.)
early period in the Anatomy Lesson, and that of his period of prosperity
in the Night Watch, so too in old age he once more crowned his other
achievements by a corporation-picture. But whereas in the first picture
Fig. 154. Christ and the Woman of Samaria. Drawing in the Albertina, Vienna.
(From a photograph by Braun , Clement & Co., Dornach and Paris.)
he had aimed at the strictest fideUty to nature, whilst he had attempted
in the second to make a poetical picture out of a subject commonplace in
itself, he now united both sides of his accomplishment in the maturity of
his power. He produced a picture as natural and free from affectation as
possible, with a simple, even Hght, without surrendering in the least the
charm of colour of which he alone possessed the secret; he composed a
poem in colour, without doing anything to spoil his convincing fidelity to
life. In this picture, so magnificent in its simplicity, Rembrandt said the
last word of his art. At a table covered with an oriental cloth, the ground
of which is red , sit four gentlemen , engaged in auditing the accounts,
while a fifth is just rising from his chair. All five are dressed aUke, in
black coats, broad white collars and black felt hats ; behind them stands 'a
servant, bare-headed, also in a black coat and white collar; the wall of the
room is panelled with brown wood. Out of these few colours the master
has made a picture of indescribable harmony; every object has its plain
and definite local colour, yet the whole is saturated , as it were, with a
brownish-golden tone. An appearance of substantiality is realised in the
highest possible degree, and there is no doubt about the speaking resemblance
of the portrait of each one of the persons who appear. They live before
our eyes (Fig. 155). The picture was originally hung in the " Staalhof " ;
now it is one of the ornaments of the Ryksmuseum at Amsterdam, where
it throws into the shade even the most excellent portraits by other masters.
The last date which occurs on an etching by Rembrandt is 1661. This
last dated w'ork of his needle is the portrait of his friend Coppenol, now
a man of sixty-two, whom he had already portrayed several times in the
course of his life on canvas or on copper.
The Louvre has a picture of the same year, painted with an almost
audacious mastery, representing the Evangelist St. Matthew. In the same
gallery is a painting of rather later date, of a portly and well-dressed Dutch
woman with a little boy on her lap ; the boy has wings on his shoulders,.
and by this we observe that Venus and Cupid are the persons represented.
This, his last mythological picture, is the final proof that Rembrandt had
no notion of painting such a subject. But he proved himself once more
a consummate painter of biblical subjects in a striking picture, with life-
sized figures, of the Return of the Prodigal Son (in the Hermitage, St. Peters-
burg). The Van der Hoop Museum at Amsterdam contains a picture of
1662, splendid in its colouring, of which the subject is not easy to under-
stand. It goes by the name of "The Jewish Bride", and represents a
handsomely-dressed young woman, whom an elderly man of dignified bearing
approaches with an affectionate demeanour. A certain excitement, one
might almost say, is betrayed by the manner in which these pictures ot
the last years of Rembrandt's life are handled ; one might suppose that
the master, who had striven so conscientiously after perfection his whole
life long , and had made continual progress , was seeking by unexampled
Fig. 156. Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. Etching, 1659.
Fig- 157- Portrait of Rembrandt by himself towards the close of his life.
In the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch, London. (From a mezzotint by Richard Earlom.)
audacities of painting to find some possibility of a further advance, though
he could not exceed the perfection of the "Syndics".
This is very striking in the large and beautiful family-group, the por-
traits of a husband , wife and three children , in the Brunswick Museum.
The portrait of a woman in the National Gallery, London, and that of the
poet Jeremias de Decker in the Hermitage are dated 1666. The latter
was an old friend of Rembrandt's ; nearly thirty years before he had written a
sonnet in praise of Rembrandt's picture, "Christ appearing to the Magdalen",
now at Buckingham Palace ; now, too, he thanked the master in a poem
for the likeness which the latter had painted, " for friendship, not for gain",,
and praised the fame which Rembrandt had won "in spite of Envy,,
wicked brute ! "
Once more the master proved his inexhaustible freshness of thought
and keenness of observation in a series of portraits of himself with which
he brought his career as an artist to a close (Fig. 157). The striking
picture of "Christ at the Column" in the collection at the Grand-Ducal
Palace at Darmstadt passes for his last work. The date on it is read as
1668, but it is doubtful whether 1658 ought not rather to be read.
Hendrikje Stoffels had probably died soon after 1661, and her little
daughter Cornelia does not seem to have outlived her childhood. Rembrandt
lost his son Titus, who had only recently married, in September, 1668.
He himself had contracted a fresh marriage with Catharina van Wyck, by
whom he had two more children. The master's laborious life, which had
been brightened by fame and brilliant success and then clouded by the
hard dealings of destiny, came to a close in the autumn of 1669. The
list of burials in the Westerkerk at Amsterdam records his funeral as
occuring on the 8^^ October 1669.
It is remarkable how soon the story of his life was lost in obscurity.
A mixture of anecdotes derived from the pupils in his studio, and ill-
natured calumnies which originated in the same circle, had to serve for a
biography till the researches of Dutch scholars in the nineteenth century
brought truth to light from the original documents. His reputation as an
artist, however, was too great to be affected by envy. The best masters
of the art of engraving exerted themselves to reproduce Rembrandt's
paintings. Mezzotint, especially, a style of engraving which was invented
in Germany towards the end of the Thirty Years War, and immediately
rose to great popularity, especially in England, was found a very suitable
means of rendering his effects of chiaroscuro. Some of our illustrations
(Fig. lOi, 108, 121, 145, 157) are taken from such mezzotint engravings
by English and German artists of the eighteenth century. In the second
half of that period, the greatest engraver of the time, G. F. Schmidt,
engraver to the King of Prussia, reproduced numerous pictures by Rem-
brandt in etchings which imitated Rembrandt's own manner of etching.
In spite of the excellence of these etchings , they do not reproduce Rem-
brandt's works with absolute fidelity; that period was not sufficiently free
from prejudice to be able to enter without reserve into the spirit of another
age; it strikes us, especially, that G. F. Schmidt, Uke a true child of his
age, did not understand the simple naturalness of expression which seems
to us to-day one of Rembrandt's chief titles to fame as an artist; the
eighteenth century artist, unintentionally, no doubt, has almost always put
a theatrical expression into the eyes of Rembrandt's people, which is
absolutely foreign to the original. To make the master's scattered works
generally known by reproductions of undisputed accuracy is a task, which
REMBRANDT. 1 57
has been reserved for photography in its modern perfection. In addition
to the splendid photographic reproductions of the treasures of single col-
lections which have recently appeared — the photographs of F. Hanfstangl
of Munich from the pictures in the Cassel Gallery demand a special mention —
the publications of the firm of Braun & Co. of Dornach (Alsace) are the
These publishers have sought out the chief works of Rembrandt, as
of Raphael, Holbein and other masters, in the various collections of Europe,
from Madrid to St. Petersburg , from London to Naples , and reproduced
them in photographs which cannot be bettered. It is a special merit of
this firm that they have also photographed the master's drawings, and so
made accessible to the pubHc a treasure which was previously almost
unknown. An acquaintance with Rembrandt's drawings is of the greatest
interest nowadays, when this master is prized more than ever. It can be
said of Rembrandt that his fame has constantly increased, for we need not
attach too much importance to the opinions of individual connoisseurs of
the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century
who failed to understand , still more to feel , the merits of a painter, to
whom it was certainly impossible to apply a standard of criticism which
regarded the imitation of the antique as the foundation of all art.
Comparing Rembrandt with his older partners in glory, it must be said
that admiration was accorded to him the more readily, because at the be-
ginning of the period in which he flourished the last of the painters who
could be put in the same rank with him were dead — for the two great
masters of the Spanish school who lived in his time did not count, since
they remained quite unknown outside their native country; because com-
parisons and partisanship, which are the bane of all enjoyment of art,
were thus avoided , and because no one has come after him whose name
can be mentioned in the same breath with his. He was the last of the
painters who can be called really great.
Abraham and Hagar, 64.
„ and Isaac, 96, 97, 136.
„ entertaining the angels, 121, 137.
Actium, Battle of, 30.
Amsterdam, 4, 10, 16, 18, 33, 37, 58, 67, 90,
91, 131. 151-
„ Breestraat , Rembrandt's house in,
„ Keizerskropn Inn, 146.
„ Oude Kerk, 92.
„ Ryksmuseeum,»90, 94, 148, 153.
„ Six Collection, 86, 104, 138.
„ Snykamer, 22.
,, Staalhof, 153.
„ Statue of Rembrandt, 75.
„ Van der Hoop Museum, 154.
,, Westerkerk, 156.
Anatomy Lesson, 19 — 22, 148, 151.
Anslo, Claes, 86.
Asselyn, Jan, 102, 103.
Ben Israel, Menasseh, 58, 131.
Herchem, Nicolaes, 102.
Berlin, Exhibition of Old Masters at, 5.
„ Museum, 4, 18, 86, 93, 94, loi, 120,
,, . Print Cabinet, 46.
,, Private Collections, 5, 94.
Blanc, Charles, 38 83.
Bonus, Ephraim, 104.
Bride, the Jewish, 82, 154.
Brosamer, Hans, 142.
Brouwer, Adriaen, 141.
Brunswick Gallery, 118, 155.
Bruyningh, Nicolaes, 118.
Carpenter's Family, the, 83.
Carracci, Annibale, 142.
Cassel Gallerj-, 5, 10, 34, 36, 63, 71, 94, 100,
116, 133, 134, 138, 157-
Cats, Jacob, 54.
Christ among the Doctors, 1 1 8.
,, healing the sick, 123 — 127.
,, preaching, 122.
Circumcision, 1 30.
Cock, Frans Banning, 90.
Concorde du Pays, la, 115.
Coppenol, Lievens Willenisz, 22, 153.
Comelissen, Jan, 90.
Cranach, Lucas, 142.
Daniel, Vision of, 120.
Darmstadt Gallery, 156.
Descent from the Cross, 38 — -41, 134, 142.
Diana at the bath, 16.
„ and Endymion, 17.
Dis^section legalised, 19.
Dresden Gallerj-, 35, 48, 50, 68, 87, 148.
,, Print Cabinet, 45.
Diirer, Albrecht, 53, 56, 117, 144.
Diisseldorf Gallery, 42.
Dutch art, characteristics of, i, 2, 20.
Elsheimer, Adam, 4.
Emmaus, disciples at, 44, 45, 112, 128.
Eyck, Jan van, 142.
Faustus, Doctor, 107, 108.
Flemish art, i.
Flight into Egj'pt, 28, 29.
Fortune, Adverse, 30.
Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, 42, 54, 71, 72.
Ganymede, Rape of, 51.
Gold-weigher, the, 73.
Golf, game of, 129.
Gotha Museum, 5-
Grotius, Hugo, 54.
Hague, the, 54.
,, ,, Picture-Gallery, 12, 66.
Holbein, Hans, 77, 142, 157.
Holland, Independence of, I, 115.
Holy Family, 16, 83, 100.
Honthorst, Gerard, 5.
Hundred Guilder Print, 123 — 127.
Huygens, Constantyn, 72.
Isaac, Sacrifice of, 136.
Italian influence on Dutch art, 4, 8, 27.
Jacob and Esau, 89.
,, and Laban, 87.
,, blessing his grandchildren, 138.
„ wrestling with the angel, 150.
Jason and Creusa, 109.
Jerome, St., 92, 112, 117, 128.
Jews, 10, 58, 106.
Jonghe, Clemens de, 118.
Joseph accused by Potiphar's wife, 131.
,, telling his dreams, 68
Krul, Jan Harmensz, 34.
Lastman, Peter, 4, 142, 143.
Lazarus, Raising of, 26, 93.
Leyden, 4, 5, 10, 55.
Leyden, Lucas van, 142.
Lievensz, Jan, 141.
Linden, J. A. van der, 55.
London, Buckingham Palace, 34, 86, 95, 148, 156.
„ Grosvenor House, 102.
,, National Gallery, 42, 50, 64, 91, 94,
100, 103, 132, 150, 155.
Lorch, Melchior, 142.
Lutma, Janus, 137, 138.
Magi, Adoration of the, 148.
Manoah, Sacrifice of, 87.
Mantegna, Andrea, 142.
Matthew, St., 154.
Maurice, Prince of Orange, 54, 142.
Meckenem, Israhel van, 142.
Medea, 109, iio, iii, 144.
Michelangelo, 142, 144.
Money-changer, the, 4.
Mordecai, Triumph of, 80.
Moses with the Tables of the Law, 150.
Munich, Alte Pinakothek, 16, 39, 149.
Nativity, 42, 130.
New York, 83.
Night Watch, the, 90, 151.
Palma Vecchio, 142.
Pancras, Burgomaster, 34.
Paris, the Louvre, 34, 35, 64, 83, 100, 112,
113, 118, 132, 139, 149, 150, 154.
,, Private Collections, 63, 83.
Paul, St., 4-
Peter, St., 5, 148, 149.
Petersburg, St., Hermitage Gallery, 16, 62, 66,
71, 86, 88, 94, too, loi, 121,
133, 148, 154, 155, 157-
Presentation in the Temple, 12, 13, 16.
Prodigal Son, 59, 154.
Proserpine, Rape of, 18.
Raimondi, Marcantonio, 126, 142.
Raphael, 142, 157.
Rembrandt, see Ryn.
Rotterdam, Boymans Museum, 115.
Rubens, Peter Paul, 141.
Ruytenberg, Willem van, 90.
Ryn, Cornelia van, 146, 156.
Ryn, Harmen Gerritsz van, 3, 38.
Ryn, Neeltje (Willemsdochter) van, 3, 38, 71.
„ „ Portraits of, 6, 71, 134.
Ryn, Rembrandt van: —
Education, 3, 4.
Earliest pictures, 4.
Early monogram, 5.
Earliest etchings, 6.
Portraits of himself (etchings),
7,8, 29, 34, 62, 75, 76, 105.
Portraits of himself (paintings),
5> 34, 35, 48, 50, 86,
104, 134, 148, 150.
Removal to Amsterdam, 10, 18.
Publication of banns, 37.
Marriage, 47, 145.
Drawings of animals, 67, 68.
Printing of the etchings, 70.
Different states of etchings,
Unfinished etchings, 80, 81.
Landscape etchings, 84, 85,
Use of supernatural light, 89.
House in Breestraat, 92, 140,
141 — 145-
Collection of works / of art,
Ryn, Rembrandt van : —
„ ,, Death, 156.
„ „ Reproductions of his pictures,
Rj-n, Saskia (van Uylenburgh) van, 36, 37, 47.
92, 139, 140, I45> 146.
„ „ Portraits of, 46, 47, 48, 61, 82,
Ryn, Titus van, 92, 139, 145, 146, 148, 156.
Samaria, Woman of, 43, 149.
Samaritan, the Good, 28, 113.
Samson, Betrayal of, 5, 63.
„ Marriage of, 68.
„ Menacing his father-in-law, 52.
Saskia, see Rj-n.
Schmidt, G. F., 156.
Schongauer, Martin, 142.
Seghers, Hercules, 103, 141.
Shepherds, Angel appearing to the, 42.
Ship-builder and his wife, 34.
Silvius, Jan Comelisz, 32, 37, 94.
Six, Jan, 86, 98, 100, loi, 102, 109, 138, 144.
Six's Bridge, Etching, 98.
Stephen, St., 59.
Stoffels, Hendrikje, 140, 146, 156.
Stuttgart Museum, 4.
Susanna, 66, loi.
Swanenburgh, Jacob van, 4.
Swartenhondt, Admiral, 95.
I S\Tidics, the, i^f— 153, I55-
Tholinx, AmoM, 138.
Titian, 62, 142.
Tobias and th^ Angel, 65, 66, 103.
Tulp, Nicholaes^ 20, 21, 90.
Turenne, Marshal, 115.
Uylenburgh, Rotft)ertus, . 36.
Uylenburgh, Sasfcia van, see Ryn.
Ujlenbogaert, Jan, 54.
Uj-tenbogaert, the Receiver, 73.
Vienna, Albertina, 12, 64, 65, 67, 68, 85, loo,
120, 121, 149.
„ Imperial Gallery, 71.
„ Liechtenstein Gallery, 17.
,, Schonbom Gallery, 63.
Yinci, Leonardo da, 133.
Virgin and Child, 86.
Virgin, Death of the, 77. ,
Miet, Jan Jorisz van, 143.
Westphalia, Peace of, 115.
Willemsdochter, Neeltje, see Ryn.
Windmill, the, 84, 85. ^
Wyck, Catharina van, 156.
Youth surprised by Death, 76.
Zeevaert lof De, 30.
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