The sixteenth century in Europe was a time of unprecedented change. It was the beginning of the modern era, and it saw a revolution in almost every aspect of life. The century opened with the discovery of a new continent


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At some point in the years following Saskia's death, Rembrandt became sexually involved with Titus' nurse, Geertje Dirckx. In 1648 (when Rembrandt was 42), 22-year-old Hendrickje Stoffels joined the family as a housekeeper. By the following year she had supplanted Geertje in her master's affection and Geertje left. Apparently Geertje continued to cause problems; in 1650 Rembrandt, Hendrickje, and Geertje's brother had her committed to an insane asylum. She was freed after five years as the result of a petition by some friends.







Rembrandt produced etchings for most of his career, from 1626 to 1660, when he was forced to sell his printing-press and virtually abandoned etching. Only the troubled year of 1649 produced no dated work. He took easily to etching and, though he also learned to use a burin and partly engraved many plates, the freedom of etching technique was fundamental to his work. He was very closely involved in the whole process of printmaking, and must have printed at least early examples of his etchings himself.

  • Rembrandt produced etchings for most of his career, from 1626 to 1660, when he was forced to sell his printing-press and virtually abandoned etching. Only the troubled year of 1649 produced no dated work. He took easily to etching and, though he also learned to use a burin and partly engraved many plates, the freedom of etching technique was fundamental to his work. He was very closely involved in the whole process of printmaking, and must have printed at least early examples of his etchings himself.



At first he used a style based on drawing, but soon moved to one based on painting, using a mass of lines and numerous bitings with the acid to achieve different strengths of line. Towards the end of the 1630s, he reacted against this manner and moved to a simpler style, with fewer bitings. He worked on the so-called Hundred Guilder Print in stages throughout the 1640s, and it was the "critical work in the middle of his career", from which his final etching style began to emerge. Although the print only survives in two states, the first very rare, evidence of much reworking can be seen underneath the final print and many drawings survive for elements of it.

  • At first he used a style based on drawing, but soon moved to one based on painting, using a mass of lines and numerous bitings with the acid to achieve different strengths of line. Towards the end of the 1630s, he reacted against this manner and moved to a simpler style, with fewer bitings. He worked on the so-called Hundred Guilder Print in stages throughout the 1640s, and it was the "critical work in the middle of his career", from which his final etching style began to emerge. Although the print only survives in two states, the first very rare, evidence of much reworking can be seen underneath the final print and many drawings survive for elements of it.







Rembrandt married Saskia van Uylenburgh in 1634. She belonged to a patrician family and brought with her a substantial fortune.

  • Rembrandt married Saskia van Uylenburgh in 1634. She belonged to a patrician family and brought with her a substantial fortune.

  • He and Saskia purchased a large house in a good neighborhood in 1639. In 1641 Saskia gave birth to their son Titus. (He was their only child to survive; three others had died in infancy.) A year later Saskia died.

  • At some point in the years following Saskia's death, Rembrandt became sexually involved with Titus' nurse, Geertje Dirckx. In 1648 (when Rembrandt was 42), 22-year-old Hendrickje Stoffels joined the family as a housekeeper. By the following year she had supplanted Geertje in her master's affection and Geertje left. Apparently Geertje continued to cause problems; in 1650 Rembrandt, Hendrickje, and Geertje's brother had her committed to an insane asylum. She was freed after five years as the result of a petition by some friends.



Hendrickje lived with Rembrandt for another 15 years (until her death). In 1654 when she was pregnant with their daughter Cornelia, she was summoned before the Church Council (of the Low German Reformed Congregation): Hendrickie Jaghers, residing on Breestraet, having acted like a harlot [in her conduct] with Rembrant, the painter, will be summoned to appear within eight days" [Rembrandt Documents, p. 318] Rembrandt himself had also been summoned, but they dropped the matter when they realized that he was no longer a member of the Church. Rembrandt would almost certainly have married Hendrickje if it hadn't been for the stipulation in Saskia's will that he would lose the money/valuables inherited from her if he remarried.

  • Hendrickje lived with Rembrandt for another 15 years (until her death). In 1654 when she was pregnant with their daughter Cornelia, she was summoned before the Church Council (of the Low German Reformed Congregation): Hendrickie Jaghers, residing on Breestraet, having acted like a harlot [in her conduct] with Rembrant, the painter, will be summoned to appear within eight days" [Rembrandt Documents, p. 318] Rembrandt himself had also been summoned, but they dropped the matter when they realized that he was no longer a member of the Church. Rembrandt would almost certainly have married Hendrickje if it hadn't been for the stipulation in Saskia's will that he would lose the money/valuables inherited from her if he remarried.



The esthetic tastes of nowadays rank Jan Vermeer as one of the most original painters of 17th century Holland, despite the fact that he created no more than forty or so paintings. He remained relatively ignored during his own brief lifetime, and only in the 19th century his work was highly appreciated.

  • The esthetic tastes of nowadays rank Jan Vermeer as one of the most original painters of 17th century Holland, despite the fact that he created no more than forty or so paintings. He remained relatively ignored during his own brief lifetime, and only in the 19th century his work was highly appreciated.



Besides painting Vermeer also worked as an art dealer. He presumably took over the running of his father’s inn, the “Mechelen”, once his father died.

  • Besides painting Vermeer also worked as an art dealer. He presumably took over the running of his father’s inn, the “Mechelen”, once his father died.

  • Vermeer’s later years were overshadowed by a dramatic deterioration of his personal financial position. He got into debt.

  • In 1672 war between France and the Netherlands started. The only way the Netherlands could defend them was to open dikes and flood the land, but this ruined the agriculture.

  • Vermeer’s family was among those who suffered financially, because could not get rent for their estate any longer. His wife later commented, “Because of this and because of the large sums of money we had to spend on the children, sums he was no longer able to pay, he fell into such a depression and lethargy that he lost his health in the space of one and a half days and died.” Vermeer was buried on 15 December 1675 in the family grave at the Oude Kerk, Delft.









No drawings have been securely attributed to Vermeer, and his paintings offer few clues to preparatory methods. historians have speculated that Vermeer used a camera obscura to achieve precise positioning in his compositions, and this view seems to be supported by certain light and perspective effects which would result from the use of such lenses and not the naked eye alone; however, the extent of Vermeer's dependence upon the camera obscura is disputed by historians.

  • No drawings have been securely attributed to Vermeer, and his paintings offer few clues to preparatory methods. historians have speculated that Vermeer used a camera obscura to achieve precise positioning in his compositions, and this view seems to be supported by certain light and perspective effects which would result from the use of such lenses and not the naked eye alone; however, the extent of Vermeer's dependence upon the camera obscura is disputed by historians.



The principle of the camera obscura can be demonstrated with a rudimentary type, just a box (which may be room-size) with a hole in one side. Light from only one part of a scene will pass through the hole and strike a specific part of the back wall. The projection is made on paper on which an artist can then copy the image. The advantage of this technique is that the perspective is accurate, thus greatly increasing the realism of the image (correct perspective in drawing can also be achieved by looking through a wire mesh and copying the view onto a canvas with a corresponding grid on it).

  • The principle of the camera obscura can be demonstrated with a rudimentary type, just a box (which may be room-size) with a hole in one side. Light from only one part of a scene will pass through the hole and strike a specific part of the back wall. The projection is made on paper on which an artist can then copy the image. The advantage of this technique is that the perspective is accurate, thus greatly increasing the realism of the image (correct perspective in drawing can also be achieved by looking through a wire mesh and copying the view onto a canvas with a corresponding grid on it).







(1617 – 1691) was a Dutch perspective painter. De Witte was especially concerned with atmosphere.

  • (1617 – 1691) was a Dutch perspective painter. De Witte was especially concerned with atmosphere.

  • De Witte initially painted portraits as well as mythological and religious scenes. After his move from Delft to Amsterdam in 1651 de Witte specialized more and more in representing church interiors, and he painted the old church in Amsterdam from almost every corner. He sometimes combined aspects of different churches to depict interiors of ideal churches, populating them with churchgoers, sometimes accompanied by a dog. De Witte's unexcelled composition and use of light in his compositions created atmospheres that show them to be the real theme of each painting.







Following the arrest of his wife and child for thievery, De Witte was forced to indenture himself to the Amsterdam notary and art dealer Joris de Wijs, surrendering all of his work in exchange for room, board, and 800 guilders annuallly. De Witte broke the contract, was sued by the dealer, and forced to indenture himself further as a result.

  • Following the arrest of his wife and child for thievery, De Witte was forced to indenture himself to the Amsterdam notary and art dealer Joris de Wijs, surrendering all of his work in exchange for room, board, and 800 guilders annuallly. De Witte broke the contract, was sued by the dealer, and forced to indenture himself further as a result.



Records tell of his gambling habit and a fight with Gerard de Lairesse. According to history, after an argument about the rent, Emanuel De Witte hanged himself from a bridge on a very cold evening in 1692. The rope broke and De Witte drowned. Because the canal froze that night, his corpse was not found until eleven weeks later, in Spring 1692

  • Records tell of his gambling habit and a fight with Gerard de Lairesse. According to history, after an argument about the rent, Emanuel De Witte hanged himself from a bridge on a very cold evening in 1692. The rope broke and De Witte drowned. Because the canal froze that night, his corpse was not found until eleven weeks later, in Spring 1692



(c. 1628 - March 14, 1682), the most celebrated of the Dutch landscapists, was born in Haarlem.

  • (c. 1628 - March 14, 1682), the most celebrated of the Dutch landscapists, was born in Haarlem.

  • Characteristic of his early period, from about 1646 to 1655, is the choice of very simple motifs and the careful and laborious study of the details of nature. The time between his departure from Haarlem and his settling in Amsterdam may have been spent in travelling and helped him to gain a broader view of nature and to widen the horizon of his art.





Pieter Claesz (c. 1597-1660) was a Dutch still life painter, born in , Westphalia (now Germany) and active in Haarlem, where he settled in 1621. He and Willem Claeszoon Heda, who also worked in Haarlem, were the most important exponents of the breakfast piece. They painted with subdued, virtually monochromatic palettes, the subtle handling of light and texture being the prime means of expression. Claesz generally chose objects of a more homely kind than Heda, although his later work became more colourful and decorative. The two men founded a distinguished tradition of still life painting in Haarlem; but Claesz.'s son, Nicolaes Berchem, became famous as a landscape painter.

  • Pieter Claesz (c. 1597-1660) was a Dutch still life painter, born in , Westphalia (now Germany) and active in Haarlem, where he settled in 1621. He and Willem Claeszoon Heda, who also worked in Haarlem, were the most important exponents of the breakfast piece. They painted with subdued, virtually monochromatic palettes, the subtle handling of light and texture being the prime means of expression. Claesz generally chose objects of a more homely kind than Heda, although his later work became more colourful and decorative. The two men founded a distinguished tradition of still life painting in Haarlem; but Claesz.'s son, Nicolaes Berchem, became famous as a landscape painter.

  • Claesz's still lifes often suggest allegorical purpose, with skulls serving as reminders of human mortality.









(June 3, 1664 — Amsterdam, August 12, 1750)

  • (June 3, 1664 — Amsterdam, August 12, 1750)

  • Dutch painter. She specialized in still-lifes of flowers and fruits and still-lifes in outdoor settings, the large majority signed, with dated examples from 1681 to 1747 providing a sound chronology.

  • She is widely regarded as the most gifted woman in the history of the subject and among the greatest exponents of either sex.

  • Ruysch came from a distinguished and wealthy background. Her father, Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731), was an eminent professor of anatomy and botany, who published his fine collection of natural curiosities.





French Baroque in the form of Baroque architecture that evolved in France during the reigns of Louis XIII (1610-43), Louis XIV (1643-1714) and Louis XV (1714-74). French Baroque profoundly influenced 18th-century secular architecture throughout Europe.

  • French Baroque in the form of Baroque architecture that evolved in France during the reigns of Louis XIII (1610-43), Louis XIV (1643-1714) and Louis XV (1714-74). French Baroque profoundly influenced 18th-century secular architecture throughout Europe.

  • Although the open three wing layout of the palace was established in France as the canonical solution as early as the 16th century, it was the Palais du Luxembourg (1615-20) by Salomon de Brosse that determined the sober and classicizing direction that French Baroque architecture was to take.















His early work shows influences from Caravaggio, probably via his Dutch followers, and the genre scenes of cheats and fighting beggars clearly derive from the Dutch Caravaggisti, and probably also his fellow-Lorrainer, Jacques Bellange. These are believed to date from relatively early in his career.

  • His early work shows influences from Caravaggio, probably via his Dutch followers, and the genre scenes of cheats and fighting beggars clearly derive from the Dutch Caravaggisti, and probably also his fellow-Lorrainer, Jacques Bellange. These are believed to date from relatively early in his career.

  • He is best known for the nocturnal light effects which the Dutch Caravaggisti took from Caravaggio, and which La Tour developed much further, and transferred from mostly genre subjects in their paintings to religious painting in his. He painted these in a second phase of his style, perhaps beginning in the 1640s, using chiaroscuro, careful geometrical compositions, and very simplified painting of forms.



The three Le Nain brothers were painters in 17th-century France: Antoine Le Nain (c.1599-1648), Louis Le Nain (c.1593-1648), and Mathieu Le Nain (1607-1677). The three were born in Laon (Mathieu in 1607; Antoine and Louis were originally believed to have been born in 1588 and 1593, respectively, but those dates have since been disputed: they may have instead been born just before and just after 1600), and by 1630, all three lived in Paris.

  • The three Le Nain brothers were painters in 17th-century France: Antoine Le Nain (c.1599-1648), Louis Le Nain (c.1593-1648), and Mathieu Le Nain (1607-1677). The three were born in Laon (Mathieu in 1607; Antoine and Louis were originally believed to have been born in 1588 and 1593, respectively, but those dates have since been disputed: they may have instead been born just before and just after 1600), and by 1630, all three lived in Paris.

  • Because of the remarkable similarity of their styles of painting and the difficulty of distinguishing works by each brother (they signed their paintings only with their surname, and many may have been collaborations), they are commonly referred to as a single entity, Le Nain.





Nicolas Poussin, the greatest French artist of the 17th century, is considered one of the founders of European classicism, a movement in art, based on antique and Renaissance heritage.

  • Nicolas Poussin, the greatest French artist of the 17th century, is considered one of the founders of European classicism, a movement in art, based on antique and Renaissance heritage.





French artist best known for, and one of the greatest masters of, ideal-landscape painting, an art form that seeks to present a view of nature more beautiful and harmonious than nature itself. The quality of that beauty is governed by classical concepts, and the landscape often contains classical ruins and pastoral figures in classical dress.

  • French artist best known for, and one of the greatest masters of, ideal-landscape painting, an art form that seeks to present a view of nature more beautiful and harmonious than nature itself. The quality of that beauty is governed by classical concepts, and the landscape often contains classical ruins and pastoral figures in classical dress.








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