The great Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn is born in Leiden on July 15, 1606, the son of a miller. His humble origins may help account for the uncommon depth of compassion given to all the subjects of his art. His more than 600 paintings, many of them portraits or self-portraits, are characterized by rich brushwork and color and a dramatic interplay of shadow and light.
Rembrandt prospered when he moved to Amsterdam but fell out of favor in his later years. However, economic and personal miseries never affected his mastery in many mediums. In addition to his many paintings, he produced 300 masterfully executed etchings and nearly 2,000 drawings.