Rembrandt: Portraits of the artist

Manipulated Rembrandt self-portrait, Musée Granet (©

Was he really a misunderstood genius? In the 400 years since he was born, the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) has been the subject of ever-changing myths and projections in films, novels and art theory. For some, like the poet Goethe and the painter Reynolds, he is the ideal of what an artist should be. For the French Romantics, he is the heroic revolutionary, and for many historians the epitome of the Dutch Golden Age. For Vincent van Gogh his work was the embodiment of feeling and compassion. And he has been seen as a hero by Marxists, Nazis and American millionaires alike. This programme was recorded to mark the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth.

Producer: Marijke van der Meer

Broadcast:  June 5, 2006