“Dutch painter, draughtsman and etcher. From 1632 onwards he signed his works with
only the forename Rembrandt, no doubt an imitation of the great Italians such as
Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, on whom he modeled himself, sometimes
literally. He certainly equaled them in fame, and not only in his own country. His
name still symbolizes a whole period of art history rightfully known as “Holland’s
Golden Age”. In 1970-71 a great exhibition in Paris was devoted to it under the eloquent
title Le Siècle de Rembrandt. His fame is partially due to his multi-faceted talent.
Rembrandt was not only a gifted painter but also an inspired graphic artist: he has
probably never been surpassed as an etcher, and he often seems inimitable as a draughtsman.
His subjects reflect his manifold talent and interest. He painted, drew and etched
portraits, landscapes, figures and animals, but, above all, scenes of biblical and
secular history and mythology. Contemporary critics ascribed the highest artistic
value to his history paintings, as opposed to his portraits, which were regarded
as a necessary evil.
Rembrandt combined theory and practice, inventing, for instance, a new kind of painting,
the “tronie” or portrait head, a compromise between portraiture and history painting.
Rembrandt executed about 400 paintings and over 1000 drawings. The number of his
etchings can be somewhat accurately estimated at 290.”
(Biographical source: Turner, Jane, ed. The Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan