Room 23

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Rembrandt and Rembrandt School

Rembrandt van Rijn was the most inventive and influential artist of the Dutch Golden Age. He moved to the bustling city of Amsterdam in about 1631, in search of fame and more lucrative commissions.  He found immediate success as a portraitist; works like 'Portrait of Aechje Claesdr.' reveal the vivid immediacy of his likenesses. Rembrandt’s ambition also led him to paint historical subjects, using strong contrasts of light and shadow to enhance the impact of his scenes.

Rembrandt’s distinctive painting style, his dramatic use of light and shadow and his sensitivity to human emotion attracted numerous followers. His last pupil, Aert de Gelder, continued working in his style into the 18th century.

Complementing figural paintings by Rembrandt and his followers are the tranquil pastoral scenes of Aelbert Cuyp. Many of Cuyp’s paintings, such as ‘The Large Dort’, are set in the environs of his native city of Dordrecht. Abundant livestock and golden sunlight reflect the peace and prosperity enjoyed by the new Dutch Republic.