The Dutch 17th century was a period of immense creativity in the field of art, with ever increasing numbers of painters producing works for a burgeoning art market. A new middle class, with a taste for paintings and beautiful objects, and a background in commerce, began to commission and collect portraits, still lifes, and landscapes to decorate their homes.
Amidst this vibrant activity the figure of Rembrandt van Rijn stands above all others.
Not only a master painter, Rembrandt was also a genius printmaker and highly accomplished draughtsman. The range of his work was enormous; from grand group portraits, such as 'The Night Watch' (1642, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), and formal depictions of Amsterdam’s wealthy merchants, to intimate pictures of his family; from paintings of biblical subjects to a series of telling self portraits that act as a revealing autobiography.
Our detailed knowledge of Rembrandt’s life story – early success, financial troubles, widowerhood and loss of children – make the richness of his painted legacy even more compelling.
This talk explores his life and work against the background of Amsterdam's wealth and prosperity.
This course complements 'Stories of art: 1600-1600.'
Jo Walton is an art historian and lecturer specialising in the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance and on aspects of British art of the 20th century. She has worked extensively with The Arts Society, The Art Fund, and local art groups around the UK.
Can't make Thursday evening but don't want to miss out? No problem, you can watch again.
This session will be recorded and made available to you for one week.
A video of the lecture will be uploaded and available for you to watch via your National Gallery account by the afternoon of Monday, 15 April. Just be sure to watch it by the following Monday lunchtime, as it will be taken down on Monday afternoon.