Rembrandt The Late Works at the National Gallery: unearthly brilliance

This is a fabulous exhibition.

That's How The Light Gets In

Rembrandt, Self Portrait as the Apostle Paul (detail)Rembrandt, Self Portrait as the Apostle Paul (detail), 1661

On 5 October 1669 the sheriff’s men are called to Rembrandt’s house on the Rozengracht in Amsterdam, fetched there by his 14-year old daughter Cornelia, his only surviving child and sole offspring of his relationship with Hendrickje Stoffels whose death six years earlier had left him distraught.  Rembrandt lies dead, and there is a lot of sorting out to be done.  The great painter’s final years have been marked by many misfortunes – the death of loved ones, and  bankruptcy only avoided in 1656 by selling most of his paintings and large collection of antiquities.  He has debts outstanding, there will be multiple calls upon whatever estate remains from both family and creditors, and there is his burial to be paid for.  So an inventory must be made of the contents of the house.

Rembrandt, Simeon with the Infant Christ in the Temple, c 1669

Rembrandt, Simeon with the Infant Christ in the Temple, c 1669

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