15.07.

1606: Birth of Rembrandt – Dutch Painter with an Unusual Name

1606: Birth of Rembrandt – Dutch Painter with an Unusual Name
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 15 July 1606
  • Interestingly, the name Rembrandt was quite rare in the Netherlands in his time and still is. Apparently, this name is of Germanic origin, and is etymologically derived from the word "ragin” (advice) and "brand"(sword).

On this day, in 1606, the famous painter Rembrandt was born. 

The full form of his name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, where “Rembrandt” is a personal name, “Harmenszoon” was after his father (who was named Harmen) and “van Rijn” is a surname. At the age of 26, he started to sign his works only with his first name “Rembrant” (he later added the letter “d” and signed as “Rembrandt”). It is assumed that signing only with his first name was probably inspired by great artists of the 16th and 17th centuries – for example, Michelangelo, Titian and Raphael – who were mostly known only by their first name.

Interestingly, the name Rembrandt was quite rare in the Netherlands in his time and still is. Apparently, this name is of Germanic origin, and is etymologically derived from the word “ragin” (advice) and “brand”(sword). As a painter, Rembrandt belonged to the Dutch Golden Age, i.e. a time when the country was one of the leading world powers (in trade it even surpassed much larger countries such as France, Great Britain and Spain).

Rembrandt was born in Leiden, famous for the oldest university in the Netherlands. Leiden is located approximately between Amsterdam and The Hague, and was once an important cultural center, especially because of the mentioned university. Later, Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, where he died in 1669 at the age of 63.

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