Rembrandt and Dutch Painting 1640–1660
The paintings in this room show how Rembrandt’s style developed in the later years of his career. From the 1640s the artist employed more expressive brushwork and his paintings became more intimate.
Rembrandt vividly describes the people in his paintings with his lucid manipulation of light and the textures of his surfaces, which might range from translucent to three-dimensional. This looser style defied the general trend towards more elegant techniques in Dutch painting, but Rembrandt appears quietly assured in his Self Portrait at the Age of 63.
The works here also mark a period of intense political change. Aelbert Cuyp’s storm scene was painted in about 1645–50. This was a turbulent time: the Dutch provinces were struggling for independence from Spain, which finally came in 1648. Cuyp is better known for his tranquil pastoral views, such as The Small Dort, which reflect the good life enjoyed in the new Dutch Republic.