A big chunk of Rembrandt’s work, including several famous self-portraits and arguably his most famous painting ever, The Night Watch (1642), was created over two decades while he lived in a central Amsterdam house. In celebration of the renowned master’s birthday, more than four centuries ago today, here’s a look at his former home.
The home, which is now the Rembrandt House Museum, seen here, had been drastically remodeled in 1627 and 1628. During the remodel, the home gained a story, a new facade and a triangular corniced pediment — a feature that was the height of modernity at the time, according to the Rembrandt House Museum website. The museum says the remodel was probably spearheaded by Jacob van Campen, who later was the architect for Amsterdam’s town hall, now the Royal Palace, on Dam Square.
During this time, he had a habit of buying old-master paintings and drawings, busts of Roman emperors and suits of Japanese armor, and built up a large collection of antiquities.
In the self-portrait shown here, which Rembrandt painted in 1640 shortly after moving into the house, he looks rather calm and confident, with perhaps just a hint of worry on his brow.