Google has dedicated today’s homepage to Rembrandt van Rijn, marking the Dutch painter and etcher’s 407th birthday. The Google logo includes a self portrait of the artist standing in front of a “Google” etching.
With more than 40 remaining self portraits, Rembrandt was known for the images he painted of himself along with portraits of his contemporaries and paintings of Biblical scenes. Beyond his talents as a painter and etcher, Rembrandt was also recognized for his skills as a printmaker. Rembrandt’s more famous works include Night Watch (originally titled The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq), Head of Christ, Man in a Gold Hat, Judas Repentant, Return of the Prodigal Son and many self portraits that chronicled Rembrandt’s life from his year’s as a young man through older age.
Born July 15, 1606, Rembrandt remains one of the leading figures in European art history, and is often considered the most important Dutch artist. He was a successful professional portraitist during the early part of his career and continued as a well-known, working artist until the end of his life.
While his art brought much success, Rembrandt’s personal life was full of sorrow, with only one his children – his son Titus – surviving infancy. His wife Saskia would die an early death, as well, at the age of 30 in 1642. Because of poor investments and a life spent living beyond his means, Rembrandt would eventually declare bankruptcy in 1656 and have to auction his own collection of art and antiquities to pay debts.
Buried in an unmarked grave, Rembrandt died on October 4, 1669 in Amsterdam.