fbpx
Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Rembrandt And His Saddest Love Story

Artists' Stories

Rembrandt And His Saddest Love Story

You know Rembrandt and his portraits in hats. You know his biblical scenes and his views of Amsterdam. You could recognize his style from afar. But do you know his saddest love story which considerably impacted on his painting and the rest of his life?

Rembrandt_-_Rembrandt_and_Saskia_in_the_Scene_of_the_Prodigal_Son_-_Google_Art_Project

Rembrandt, The Prodigal Son in the Tavern, a self-portrait with Saskia, c. 1635, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.

Rembrandt met Saskia van Uylenburgh in the house of her uncle who was an art dealer. She was a 21 years old girl from a respected and wealthy family – Rembrandt was no match for a girl from her social class. She must have been in love though, since against all conventions she really pressed for the marriage and a year after their engagement in 1633 they married. Nobody from Rembrandt’s family came for the celebration.

Harmensz_van_Rijn_Rembrandt_-_Flora_

Rembrandt, Flora, 1634, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Rembrandt adored Saskia. She posed for him very often and he loved to paint her. She hides behind many of the female characters painted by Rembrandt. Here you can see her as Flora, a goddess of flowers. She looks pregnant – at that time Saskia was pregnant too, with their first son Rumbertus who died after birth. Their next child, daughter Cornelia died too and so did the next daughter. Only the fourth child, son Titus, survived childhood.

portrait-of-the-young-saskia-1633

Rembrandt, Portrait Of The Young Saskia, 1633, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Sadly, after Titus’ birth in 1642 Saskia fell ill and she died a year after, aged 29. Rembrandt drew her even on her deathbed. After her death, his painting style changed. He focused on etchings and drawings, and abandoned oils for over seven years. Even when he returned to painting, his works were dark and penetrated with solitude and grief. Neither of his next two mistresses could have possibly taken the same place in his heart as Saskia.

THE SADDEST PART: With time, Rembrandt was getting poorer and poorer. He lost the inheritance after Saskia and he was forced to sell all his works. He was desperate to such an extent that he had to sell even Saskia’s grave. Heartbreaking.

Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

Comments

More in Artists' Stories

  • 20th century

    Christo and Jeanne-Claude: With Love through Art

    By

    If two people are born on precisely the same day, they must be destined to meet. He was Bulgarian, she was French. They met when he was called in to paint a portrait of her mother. They fell in love and began working together to create...

  • 20th century

    A Unique Artist Encounter: When Ara Güler Met Pablo Picasso

    By

    Whether photography is purely art or a branch of journalism can be a subject of discussion. For photographer Ara Güler, the artistic quality of his profession was definitely of secondary importance. He saw his photography projects as adventures that he took to document his age. One...

  • 20th century

    Dive into the World of Fairy Tales with Čiurlionis

    By

    Wouldn’t it be nice to immerse yourself in a fairy tale: hike among the heroes, fight monsters, visit enchanted lands? It would be a nice break from reality for sure. That is why today we present paintings that dwell in the fantasy world of fairy tales...

  • 19th Century

    Sisterhood in Art: Portraying Sisters

    By

    It’s not surprising that many artists having sisters, painted their portraits, especially early in their careers. They were probably easily available for modeling and they often supported the artists’ effort and careers. Each of the five portraits below depicts sisters in their own unique way –...

  • 20th century

    Living in the Shadow – Marie and Peder Severin Krøyer

    By

    Marie and Peder Severin Krøyer were a 19th and early 20th century couple, and, while their marriage and lives were far from ideal, history has judged them both to have been truly notable painters. When Peder Severin Krøyer met the young Marie, he was already an established...

To Top