Rembrandt van Rijn (Born Leiden, 15 July 1606; d Amsterdam, 4 October 1669). Dutch painter, etcher, and draughtsman, his country's greatest artist. The son of a prosperous miller, he attended Leiden's Latin school before registering at the city's university in 1620, but he probably never actually studied there. At about this time he was apprenticed to the mediocre local painter Jacob van Swanenburgh (c.1571–1638), with whom he is said to have studied for about three years. However, much more important for Rembrandt's development were six months spent in Amsterdam with Pieter Lastman, c.1624. From Lastman he took not only his predilection for mythological and religious subjects, but also his way of treating them, with exaggerated gestures and expressions, vivid lighting effects, and a meticulous, glossy finish, as in his earliest dated work—the Stoning of St Stephen (1625, Mus. B.-A., Lyons).

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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