Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Leiden, July 15, 1606 – Amsterdam, October 4, 1669) was a Dutch painter, etcher and draftsman. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest painters and etchers in European art, and as the most important Dutch master of the 17th century. Rembrandt produced a total of about three hundred paintings, three hundred etchings and two thousand drawings. His work belongs to the Baroque and is visibly influenced by Caravaggism, although he has never been to Italy. His remarkable mastery of the play with light and dark, often using sharp contrasts ( chiaroscuro ) to lead the viewer into the performance, led to lively scenes full of drama. Rembrandt's oeuvre is considered by art historians [source?] divided into five periods, starting with the Leiden period (1625-1631). From about 1629 the development as an artist begins, with Rembrandt starting to work with contrasts and his interest in the treatment of light, after 1640 a austerity set in. In the 1650s brushstrokes are clearly visible and the colors richer.
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