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30 of 66 paintings
When this portrait was made, Philips Lucasz. was in his thirties and an important official in the Dutch East India Company. He had been in charge of the company’s fleet, which had sailed home from the East Indies in December 1633 and was to leave Holland again on 2 May 1635, shortly after this pi...
Not on display
This is one of dozens of self portraits by Rembrandt. We see the artist in confident pose – self-assured, dressed in expensive-looking fur and velvet, his hat laced with jewels. But, though he is a Dutchman living in the 1640s, Rembrandt is wearing the clothes of a gentleman of the 1520s and his...
This man is wearing the habit of an order of monks founded to follow the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi. His pose, eyes cast down and apparently lost in thought, reflects the Franciscan way of life – one of simplicity and prayer. This may be a portrait of an individual friar, or perhaps a t...
Not on display
This is one of three self portraits Rembrandt made just before his death in 1669. About 80 survive from his 40-year career, far more than any other artist of his time. He painted them for different reasons – to practise different expressions, to experiment with lighting effects, and also to sell...
The optical illusion created by this painting is a powerful one. Rembrandt has used contrasts between light and dark – for example, the blacks and whites of the sitter’s clothes, the highlights on her nose and the heavy shadow under her chin – to create a highly convincing three-dimensional effec...
This melancholy image of an old man lost in thought is one of a group of studies made by Rembrandt in the 1650s. They were not portraits of individuals – the identity of the sitter wouldn‘t have been considered relevant, either to the artist or the person who bought the painting. They were known...
The sitter – whom Rembrandt did not name – has an almost regal poise. She looks down on us from a slight height, her right hand resting on what must be part of the arm of a chair, but which has the air of a sceptre. She wears expensive pearl earrings and jewellery and what seems to be a fur mantl...
Not on display
Christ’s body has just been taken down from the Cross, and his family and followers mourn over him – a moment known as The Lamentation. Rembrandt laboured over this small monochrome picture. He began by making an oil sketch on paper, then tore out a section and mounted the rest on canvas. He cont...
Not on display
This is one of a pair of portraits of a husband and wife, one of the richest couples in the Netherlands. Jacob Trip, who made much of his money as an arms dealer, had been married to Margaretha de Geer for nearly 60 years. The paintings, both in the National Gallery, were made to hang together, a...
A burst of brilliant light shines on the newborn Christ, who is watched over by Mary, Joseph and a gathering of worshippers and onlookers. The source of the light is hidden, so it seems to radiate directly from the sleeping child, illuminating the faces of all around him.The scene represents the...
Not on display
This image of a man lit dramatically from one side as he grasps his walking stick and stares rather aloofly at the viewer is probably not a portrait. Rather it is a study of a character type, dressed in an exotic costume intended to evoke an earlier era.Portraying figures in imaginary historical...
Not on display
This painting of a grey-haired man apparently lost in thought is not intended to be a portrait of a real person, but is an example of a tronie. This genre, popular at the time, depicted personality types.It is signed Rembrandt halfway up on the right-hand side; scientific analysis suggests that i...
Not on display
‘Ecce Homo’, the Latin title of this painting, is taken from the Bible, and means ‘Behold the man!’ These were the words of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, when he was sitting as the judge during the trial of Christ. Pilate, here shown wearing a turban and rising to his feet, is pres...
In his great dramatic painting, Rembrandt tells a story from the Old Testament (Daniel 5: 1–5, 25–8). The man in the gold cloak, enormous turban and tiny crown is Belshazzar, King of Babylon. His father had robbed the Temple of Jerusalem of all its sacred vessels. Using these to serve food at a f...
Rembrandt’s pensive Saint Paul belongs to a series of half-length pictures of religious figures that the artist painted in the late 1650s and early 1660s. The dark picture is devoid of unnecessary details, but the saint’s traditional attributes are just about visible: an open book sits on the tab...
A cold, grey light creeps through an open window into a room that is itself very old – no glass in the window, a heavy wooden shutter, an open fire with an earthenware pot beside it. The light falls onto an old man. He sits facing into the room, his hands clasped, his head lowered, his face almos...
Rembrandt’s painting, unique for him in its tender intimacy, shows a young woman almost up to her knees in a stream. She lifts her shift and looks down with a little smile of pleasure at the cool water rippling against her sturdy legs.Although it’s not certain, this woman may be Hendrickje Stoffe...
This is one of the largest paintings ever made by Rembrandt, and one of only two life-size equestrian portraits of ordinary citizens in the history of Dutch art. The rider has been identified as the prosperous businessman Frederik Rihel. His bright yellow jerkin, fancy gloves, shimmering sleeves...
Some of Rembrandt’s most powerful paintings are of men and women immersed in thought, depicted with bold brushwork and dramatic, shadowy light effects. Slumped sideways across a chair, one hand gripping the wooden arm and the other resting lightly on his temple, this elderly man is in just such a...
Margaretha de Geer was married to Jacob Trip – an extremely wealthy merchant and arms dealer – for nearly 60 years. Rembrandt painted large-scale likenesses of each, which were originally designed to hang together. Both are now in the National Gallery.This smaller portrait of Margaretha was paint...
The Roman goddess Diana threatened death to any man who saw her bathing. Actaeon, who came across her in a forest pool by accident, was turned into a stag and torn to pieces by Diana’s hounds.In this painting, the figure beside Diana looks more like a satyr (a mythical creature – half man, half g...
Not on display
This atmospheric painting shows a lonely figure seated in front of a huge volume open on the table before him. Brilliant sunlight floods through the gloom onto the wall of the room. Much of the image’s power lies not just in the dramatic tension between light and dark, but in the way the artist h...
This is one of a pair of portraits of a husband and wife, one of the richest couples in the Netherlands. Margaretha de Geer had been married to Jacob Trip for nearly 60 years, and the two portraits, both in the National Gallery, were made to hang together, almost certainly in one of the grand rec...
A woman weeps on the steps of a shadowy temple, while members of the Jewish ruling council gather round. Afraid of Christ’s popular preaching, they planned to trick him into transgressing the Jewish law. They said to him: ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law...
Saskia van Uylenburgh, the daughter of a burgomaster of Leeuwarden in Friesland, was Rembrandt’s first wife. Here, she is 23 years old; they have been married for a year. She is dressed as Flora, the Roman goddess of spring and fertility.Her gorgeous gown is a seventeenth-century version of Renai...
We are in the middle of a card game. One figure stares directly at us, a look of apparently benign amusement on his face as he holds his hand close to his chest. By contrast his opponent is focused intently – perhaps even short-sightedly – on her hand, deliberating on how to play next. Judging fr...
Not on display
Rembrandt was a teacher as well as an artist – and he knew how to school apprentices in his workshop so that they could paint just like he did.In this portrait we can see many of the skills and techniques that Rembrandt used with such great effect. Look at the intense and detailed focus on the fa...
Not on display
This portrait is one of Carel Fabritius’s final works, made in the last year of his short life. He was apprenticed to Rembrandt between 1641 and 1643 and is generally considered one of his most talented pupils.Although it is impossible to be sure – no documented likeness of Fabritius exists – thi...
This wild and desolate landscape painting was once attributed to Rembrandt. In 1960, its attribution changed to Hercules Segers, but now it’s considered to be by an imitator of Segers’s imaginative and highly original etchings.As most of Segers’s are, the landscape is imaginary. The rushing strea...
Not on display
This moody landscape is Jacob de Wet’s only landscape without biblical figures, though the stunted, windswept tree in the foreground and the castle tower behind it are repeated – with variations – in his painting Abraham and Melchizedek (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin). At this point in the...
Not on display
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