Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, son of a miller, was born on 5 July 1606 in Leiden, where he studied under J. I. van Swanenburgh c.1620-3. In 1631 he settled in Amsterdam where he married Saskia van Uylenburgh (1612-42) and in 1634, and established a successful portrait practice. Some extravagance led to his bankruptcy in 1656; his collections were sold off in 1658 and he became in legal terms the employee of Hendrickje Stoffels, his common-law wife, and his son, Titus. He died in Amsterdam on 4 October 1669 and was buried in the Westerkerk (View of the Westerkerk, Amsterdam, by Van der Heyden). When the Wallace Collection was bequeathed to the nation in 1897 it was generally accepted that it owned twelve pictures by Rembrandt. By the early 1990s critical study of these paintings had led to only one, the portrait of Titus, remaining as an unquestioned work of the master. The others were attributed to other artists, some contemporary with Rembrandt and some later followers and copyists. However, since the 1990s four of the paintings, the Pellicorne portraits, The Good Samaritan and the portrait of Rembrandt himself have been re-attributed to Rembrandt by several prominent scholars.
Trevor Caffoor, one of our project’s ‘Wallace Collection Ambassadors’ has expressed a lot of interest in Rembrandt and his works of art that we have in the Collection. Trevor has recently been following the Rembrandt Research Project and thought that other followers of the Wallace Collection’s ‘Treasures From the East’ project might be interested in the discoveries of those working on the Rembrandt Research Project. Over the last few years the Rembrandt Research Project has become the authority on whether a work of Rembrandt is genuine and has helped to organise and categorise his paintings. Last year they released a film titled ‘Out of the Shadows’, which documents their recent techniques and discoveries:
It would be interesting to have your thoughts on the project and the paintings linked to Rembrandt we have in the Wallace Collection and so please do upload your comments to this blog post.