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EMBRANDT
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ESEARCH COMMITTEE
Pioneers in Digital Research and Attribution

THE REMBRANDT VAN RIJN ABRIDGED BIOGRAPHY
ART STUDIES IN LEYDEN, CHAPTER IV

"...so that one could see already that he would become a famous painter," Appreciating his desires and his love for his art form, Rembrandt’s parents agreed to allow for him to commence in 1620 his training as an artist. He first became a student of a local Leyden artist whose name has not been recorded.
    Later in this same year, he started training with
Jacob van Swanenburgh, who painted architectural scenes and views of hell, as did so many Dutch painters of the day. Jacob van Swanenburgh, was the son of Isaac van Swanenburgh, a well-known painter and a former Burgomaster of Leyden. Jacob had studied in Italy, a luxury available to only a select few of the aspiring artists of the day. Unfortunately, Jacob did not benefit from the training he received in Italy, and his style remained stilted and morose. Still, Rembrandt trained with the younger van Swanenburgh for three years, until 1623. With Jacob van Swanenburgh, Rembrandt learned the fundamentals of drawing, etching and painting.
    It is recorded that the unusual talent Rembrandt possessed revealed itself early, "...so that one could see already that he would become a famous painter," as was reported in the "Beschrijvinge der Stadt Leyden. It may be that the circumstances of Rembrandt’s early environment stimulated him to develop a vitality that allowed him to succeed to levels far beyond those provided by his simple background.
    It further appears that Jacob van Swanenburgh did not make a deep or lasting impression on Rembrandt, as Rembrandt painted on almost every subject imaginable, except those architectural scenes and views of hell that were of such importance to van Swanenburgh.

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