Rembrandt (1606-1669) was a famous Baroque artist from the Dutch Golden Age. He is most famous for painting portraits in the 1600s, but of course, his story goes much deeper than that! Early in life he hit it big and became the most popular portrait painter in that time and region. However, he then experienced tragedy after tragedy and ended up dying broke and alone, and was buried in an unmarked grave. Join us as we talk about this fascinating artist’s life, why his realistic portraits are still considered Baroque, and what caused his fall from popularity.

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This episode starts another 6-part series of amazing artists! In this series, we’ll talk about Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Monet, Degas, Morisot, and van Gogh. We begin with Rembrandt in the early Baroque period.

Want to brush up on your art history? We did a big-picture overview episode in 13 where we discuss our Art History Overview chart! You can download a copy here:


Rembrandt began his art career at a young age and quickly became known for, not only painting a portrait that clearly represented the patron, but also displayed their career, status, and wealth in a modest way that appealed to the conservative Christian culture in Amsterdam.

Rembrandt created a wide array of self-portraits, many with fun and interesting facial expressions. In contrast with the calm faces of Renaissance art, Rembrandt is known for the expressive faces in many of his portraits. So, our art project for this lesson is drawing a variety of facial expressions! This is a really fun art project and it teaches some very useful skills. You can purchase the full lesson plan with a 5-minute intro script about Rembrandt, instruction on drawing facial expressions, and directions for the art project. Each of our art lessons also includes modifications for different skill levels so all your students can participate!

Now it’s your turn! What questions do you or your students have about Rembrandt? Have you tried drawing some fun facial expressions like rembandt?

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