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Rembrandt Paintings

Rembrandt Biography

We will begin with a short Rembrandt biography. Then we will move on the Rembrandt paintings, Rembrandt art.

Rembrandt was born in 1606 in Leiden, The Netherlands, and he died in 1669 in Amsterdam. He is my favorite painter of all time.

Early in his adult life Rembrandt was famous and wealthy but he lived beyond his means and ended up losing his home and his fortune. Though bankrupt in his later life he maintained a dignified countenance.

Rembrandt's self-proclaimed goal was to achieve "the greatest and most natural movement and emotion." He created roughly 600 paintings that portrayed the earthy and the spiritual in a preternatural way. He is generally considered a Dutch Baroque Artist. Among the most famous Rembrandt paintings are "The Night Watch" and "The Prodigal Son."

I would like to present Rembrandt art to you now. Each of the Rembrandt paintings are masterpieces. I love them to the degree that I commissioned copies to be produced of all but one of them (that will be rectified) and they are proudly displayed in my home, except for two I made gifts of to loved ones.

Rembrandt Art "Moses Breaking the Tablets" 1659


Rembrandt Paintings

The Ten Commandments represented the only occasion in human history when God wrote with His own hand (or finger). When Moses came down from the mountain with this most precious gift to humankind and saw his people worshipping the golden calf (idol worship was not new nor is it out-of-date now) he was so angry that he smashed them to bits.

Nonetheless, isn't it interesting that 3500 years later the Ten Commandments are still engraved on monuments, architecture and plaques ubiquitously in Western Civilization (if anyone remembers what that is). I am surprised that we succumb to vehement opposition to the Ten Commandments in the United States. They codify some pretty good ideas that I can't imagine such hostility against unless this truculence emanates from dark spiritual forces.

"Belshazzar's Feast" by Rembrandt 1635


Belshazzar's Feast by Rembrandt

"Belshazzar's Feast" by Rembrandt commemorates the Biblical story from the book of Daniel about Belshazzar. In a nutshell it means that we will die for our sins. Belshazzar was the prince of Babylon.  This story is the root of the idiom "I see the handwriting on the wall."

Rembrandt Art "the Visitation" 1640


Rembrandt Paintings "the Visitation"

In this, one of the most beautiful Rembrandt paintings, we see Mary the mother of Jesus as she visits her cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist. Elizabeth says to Mary, "Though art blessed among women."

Rembrandt Art "the Return of the Prodigal Son" 1662


Rembrandt "Prodigal Son"

The Prodigal Son is my favorite parable in the Bible. If one digs deep, there is so much content here I could write all day about it.

Suffice it to say the prodigal son was a wastrel like me, who came crawling home to his Father with an attitude of repentance and submission and surprisingly is received with great joy and honor, which makes the older son, who has always done all the right things, angry and jealous—unable, with his hard heart, to enjoy his Father's happiness. In fact, I think he is holding a dagger in this painting.

Such is the depth we can find in most Rembrandt paintings, but especially in the Rembrandt Prodigal Son.

Rembrandt Paintings "Christ in the Storm" 1633


Rembrandt Art

Rembrandt's "Christ in the Storm" represents the concept that the world is a dangerous place and our struggles can overwhelm us until we call on Jesus who is able to calm the stormy seas of life's troubles.

Rembrandt Paintings "Saint Paul at His Writing Desk" 1629


Rembrandt Art

The Apostle Paul wrote more of the New Testament than anyone else. This is miraculous considering Paul (Saul) hated Jesus before his conversion. This tells us that no matter how rotten and vicious a person may be, who is today completely opposed to God, that person might still be chosen by God in the future to be one of His greatest servants. God nearly always makes very unusual choices among persons (by human standards).

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Rembrandt "Night Watch" 1642


Rembrandt Night Watch

"The Night Watch" is the most famous of the Rembrandt paintings. I hope you have enjoyed this small gallery of Rembrandt art, and the brief Rembrandt biography. Thank you.


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 26, 2019:

Levertis Steel ~ Thank you for your warm words and wise words. I appreciate the visitation from you and your comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 26, 2019:

Thelma Alberts ~ Thank you for your kind compliments. You have seen these in person! I am jealous. I used to have a copy of 'Night Watch' in my office for years. I love it. There is nobody like Rembrandt. Thanks for visiting and you are welcome.

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on July 11, 2013:

"God nearly always makes very unusual choices among persons (by human standards)."

Yes. David and Solomon were also interesting choices considering the messes they got into, but I suppose that they were chosen because of their very willing servitude and moldable hearts.

"Christ in the Storm" and "The Night Watch" are among my favorites Rembrandt paintings.

Nice hub!

Thelma Alberts from Germany on April 06, 2013:

Great hub James. I have been to Amsterdam Museum years ago and I have seen those awesome masterpieces of Rembrandt. I like the Night Watch most. I think Rembrandt was a great painter. I love his paintings. Thanks for reminding me of those awesome moments inside the museum. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 12, 2010:

Lois K. Carscallen— Thank you for visitied my Hub. I did not know the answer to your question. My research shows that you are correct: Rembrandt did paint Mary as an older lady. I appreciate the education! :D

Lois K. Carscallen on December 11, 2010:

I have been told that Rembrandt portrayed Mary, the mother of Jesus as an older lady, not the "teen-age" virgin we are told by most preachers. Is there evidence in the paintings of Mary being an older lady, perhaps the age of her cousin Elizabeth?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 13, 2009:

Kym— I wish you had given me these words before I wrote this piece! :D

You are a wonderfully gifted connoisseur of Rembrandt's work. I so appreciate you adding these discerments of his work that I was unable to articulate.

Kym on July 13, 2009:

Rembrandt, I believe must have been touched by God. It seems he carried the Spirit into his biblical paintings. In Moses breaking the tablets you can see the pain on his face, the disappointment and really feel it. In Belshazzar's Feast you can really capture the fear of realizing that you are a sinner who will pay for your sins. Realizing that God IS real! In the Return of the Prodigal Son, the love represented there is really felt. Unconditional, the way it should be. Oh, Christ in the storm. Magnificent. I absolutly love it. Such turbulence, fear and total peace with Jesus. An absolute favorite of mine. St. Paul at his writing desk. An awesome artistic representation of the Apostle with so much of God's work to still complete. You can really feel his suffering, anguish and the burden he felt to win so many souls for God.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 25, 2009:

R Burow— I appreciate your gracious words both here and the fan mail you sent me. I am glad you liked this Hub. I love these paintings.

R Burow from Florida, United States on May 25, 2009:


I enjoyed this hub very much. The art work ... well that goes without saying. In addition, I very much appreciate your explanation of the deeper meanings behind the paintings. God Bless.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 24, 2009:

Thank you and you are welcome. It is my pleasure. I am blessed to live surrounded by beauty.

Frieda Babbley from Saint Louis, MO on May 24, 2009:

I'm tinged with jealousy. Very lucky you are. I've designed a house in my head and it has a very interesting art gallery in it. Wouldn't that be lovely? Ah, stuff to dream of and to keep one inspired. Thanks for sharing your art collection. It's wonderful to view. A reason for parties I bet.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 24, 2009:

Frieda— Thanks for reviewing them and letting me know your favorite. I have that painting right in my living room so I look at it every single day. It is a simple scene—but very appealing.

Frieda Babbley from Saint Louis, MO on May 24, 2009:

St. Paul at his writing desk is my favorite here.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 18, 2009:

Thanks for your comments. I shall check out Redlin. Right now. I appreciate the tip.

lefseriver on May 17, 2009:

I like the old classics also; yet being from Minnesota, Terry Redlin captures the out of doors in a good way from the Dakotas to Wisconsin....nice hub; good pictures.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 17, 2009:

jajeisan5892— I am glad you enjoyed them!  That makes publishing the Hub satisfying.  Actually, not too many years ago I took a couple art history classes—just for fun—and that is what spurred me on to have these copies made.  I appreciate your support.

jajeisan5892 from Los Angeles on May 16, 2009:

I really enjoyed looking at some of your Rembrandt collections here. Reminded me of art history class that I took in college. Great selections. Must be nice to look at them everyday at your home. What genius was he to depict history from bible in such vivid way.

Interested in more of your art articles to come...

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 16, 2009:

coffeesnob— Why, thank you very much! The Prodigal may be my favorite. I appreciate you for stopping by and leaving a note.

coffeesnob on May 16, 2009:

Rembrandt is one of my favorites. I have the Prodigal habging in my office. It always brings up the most vivid discussion. Great selection here.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 16, 2009:

C.S.— I know what you mean. Isn't human creativity amazing?! Monet, Dali . . .

C.S.Alexis from NW Indiana on May 16, 2009:

I can not pin point a favorite because i see so much craft in so many. I admire Picasso, Chagall, Monet, O'Keeffe, Dali, Angelo... on and on and no way to make a decision!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 15, 2009:

sepiroth— Yes I do. I have had copies made of each of these paintings so I can see them every day. I am glad you like them. Thanks for coming by and your kind comments.

sepiroth from Bohol on May 15, 2009:

Thanks for sharing, I really like these paintings. Do you have a copy of that painting in your house?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 12, 2009:

Ashley Joy— Dali is a worthwhile favorite to have. His paintings are incredible and beautiful. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Ashley Joy on May 12, 2009:

Rembrandt is amazing artist. But if I had to pick a favorite it would have to be Dali. His vision was just too creative and unique.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 11, 2009:

AEvans— I am pleased that you enjoyed reviewing the Hub. Coming from an obviously very popular star of the HubPages it is encouraging. I, too, appreciate Monet. Thanks!

Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on May 11, 2009:

Rembrandt is one of my favorites and Monet comes in the top two as well. What impressive photos and you certainly did Rembrandt justice by also writing a great article show casing him.:)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 11, 2009:

Johnnie— Thank you for the compliment. Starry Night is a great painting. I have been blessed to have viewed it up close in The City at MOMA. All paintings are far more impressive in person. I do like the Impressionists—but I only have so many walls! I do have one Renoir.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 11, 2009:

freddie— I appreciate you taking the time to view my page and leave a comment for me. There have been incredibly gifted artists on this earth. I suppose that is because we were created in the Image of God and He is pretty darned creative his own self.

I'm ready to jam but my drums are in Michigan and I am in Florida.

Johnnie Hennessee on May 11, 2009:

So along with all your other attributes, you are also an "artiste" LOL

Great hub, very informative...My personal favorite...Van Gogh...Starry Night

freddie on May 11, 2009:

The Prodigal gets it no doublt.. What's this about all these extremely gifted.. Amadeus... etc. I also freak out at the brilliance of Davinci.. and his forethought on inventions commonplace today.

James, you make us all celebrate and reflect. and when the heck are we going to JAM???

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 11, 2009:

Nemingha— You are welcome and thank you for your kind words.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 11, 2009:

Paraglider— Thank you for reading and responding. I do try to have copies made in the original size, such as my Titian, but in this case I had to go substantially smaller due to a lack of space. That was a good question, though. I agree that his self portraits are wonderful works of art.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 11, 2009:

Larry— Thanks for the link to that great song. I appreciate your encouragement. Judge Moore is indeed a great American. Even though those on his side are strictly playing defense (defending 300 years of the values that made America great), their opponents somehow get away with portraying them as on the offense (trying to impose something new on people out of the clear blue) and few younger folks seem to get this paramount distinction.

Nemingha on May 11, 2009:

An interesting selection of artwork --well presented as always. Thank you.

Nemingha on May 11, 2009:

An interesting selection of artwork --well presented as always. Thank you.

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on May 10, 2009:

Out of interest, is your 'Night Watch' copy also a full size reproduction? If so, you must have quite some house, as it takes up a whole wall in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Rembrandt's series of self portraits are also fascinating works.

Larry Lathrop from Maryland on May 10, 2009:

James, I very much enjoyed your prints. They are outstanding and I'm sure are given positions of honor in your home. I remember when they remove the Ten Commandments Monument from Judge Roy Moore's courthouse down in Alabama. We went down to Montgomery to support him the day that the despots moved them and "rode old Dixie down". Judge Moore came to speak in Maryland after they removed him from the bench. He is a good preacher and a great American.

For your listening pleasure.

My compliments, Sir

****The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down**by Joan Baez- live ?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 10, 2009:

Brute— Thank you very much!

TheMindlessBrute from Orlando,Florida on May 10, 2009:

Excellent selection of artwork here, James.Thumbs up!

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