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REMBRANDT (REMBRANDT HARMENSZOON VAN RYN):

Dutch painter; born at Leyden July 15, 1606 or 1607; died at Amsterdam Oct. 8, 1669. He was a contemporary of Manasseh ben Israel, with whom he was on terms of intimate friendship and whose portrait he painted in 1645 and etched in 1654. In 1655 he etched four small illustrations for Manasseh's "Piedro Gloriosa o de la Estatua de Nebuchadnezzar" (Amsterdam, 1655). The plates, which are preserved in the British Museum, represent Nebuchadnezzar's dream, the visions of Ezekiel, Jacob's dream, and the combat between David and Goliath.

For a long time Rembrandt lived in Breedstraat in Amsterdam, near the Jewish quarter; and there he collected the types and models which he used for his paintings of Biblical subjects and of the Jewish life of his time. As the earliest existing portraits of Jews and as the work of one of the greatest portrait-painters of all time they are both artistically and anthropologically important. Following is a list of Rembrandt's works of Jewish interest, with the dates (approximate or actual) of the paintings and the galleries or collections in which they are to be found (the works are enumerated in Biblical-historical sequence):

Jewish Beggar.(From an etching by Rembrandt.)Portraits of Seventeenth-Century Jews by Rembrandt.(Reproduced by permission from Bode, "The Complete Works of Rembrandt." Copyright by Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris.)Portraits of Seventeenth-Century Jews by Rembrandt.(Reproduced by permission from Bode, "The Complete Works of Rembrandt." Copyright by Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris.)Old Testament and Apocryphal Subjects.
  • (1) Abraham Entertaining the Angels (1636). St. Petersburg, Hermitage.
  • (2) Abraham Receiving the Angels (1638), Vienna, Schönborn-Buchheim Gallery.
  • (3) The Dismissal of Hagar (1640), London, Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • (4) The Dismissal of Hagar (1650), England, Earl of Denbigh's collection, Newnham Paddox.
  • (5)Abraham's Sacrifice (1635), St. Petersburg, Hermitage.
  • (6) Abraham's Sacrifice (1636), Munich, Pinacothek.
  • (7) Rebekah and Eliezer (1634), Vienna, Schönborn-Buchheim Gallery.
  • (8) Isaac Blessing Jacob (1636), England, Earl of Brownlow's collection, Belton House, Grantham.
  • (9) Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (1627), Berlin, Royal Gallery.
  • (10) Jacob Seeing Joseph's Bloody Coat (1650), London, Earl of Derby's collection.
  • (11) Joseph's Two Brothers Showing the Bloody Coat to Jacob (1650), St. Petersburg, Hermitage.
  • (12) Joseph's Dream (1633), Amsterdam, Six collection.
  • (13) Joseph Accused by Potiphar's Wife (1654).
  • (14) Joseph Accused by Potiphar's Wife (1655), St. Petersburg, Hermitage.
  • (15) Joseph Accused by Potiphar's Wife (1655), Berlin, Royal Gallery.
  • (16) Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph (1656), Cassel, Museum.
  • (17) The Finding of Moses (1635), Philadelphia, John G. Johnson's collection.
  • (18) Moses Breaking the Tables of the Law (1659), Berlin, Royal Gallery.
  • (19) Samson's Wedding (1638), Dresden, Royal Gallery.
  • (20) Samson and Delilah (1636), Cassel, Museum.
  • (21) Samson Threatening His Father-in-Law (1630), Berlin, Royal Gallery.
  • (22) Samson Captured by the Philistines (1628), Berlin, Emperor of Germany's collection.
  • (23) The Blinding of Samson (1635), Vienna, Schönborn-Buchheim Gallery.
  • (24) The Sacrifice of Manoah (1641), Dresden, Royal Gallery.
  • (25) David Playing the Harp Before Saul (1630), Frankfort-on-the-Main, Städel Institut.
  • (26) David Playing the Harp Before Saul (1665), The Hague, A. Bredius' collection.
  • (27) The Reconciliation Between David and Absalom (1642), St. Petersburg, Hermitage.
  • (28) Bath-sheba at the Bath (1654), Paris, Louvre.
  • (29) Bath-sheba After the Bath (1643), The Hague, Baron Steengracht van Dinvenwoorde's collection.
  • (30) Ahasuerus and Haman at Esther's Feast (1660), Moscow, Rumiantzoff Museum.
  • (31) Haman Begging for Mercy Before Esther (1665), Bucharest, King of Rumanias' collection.
  • (32) Fall of Haman (1665), St. Petersburg, Hermitage.
  • (33) Jeremiah Mourning the Destruction of Jerusalem (1630), St. Petersburg, Count Sergei Stroganoff's collection.
  • (34) Feast of Belshazzar (1634), England, Earl of Derby's collection, Knowsley House.
  • (35) Daniel's Dream (1650), Berlin, Royal Gallery.
  • (36) Susanna at the Bath (1647), Paris, Louvre.
  • (37) Susanna at the Bath (1637), The Hague, Royal Gallery.
  • (38) Susanna and the Elders (1647), Berlin, Royal Gallery.
  • (39) The Head of Susanna (1647), Paris, Léon Bonnat's collection.
  • (40) Tobit and His Wife (1650), England, Sir Frederick Cook's collection, Richmond.
  • (41) Tobit Discovers His Wife's Theft (1645), Berlin, Royal Gallery.
  • (42) Tobias Restoring His Father's Sight (1636), Brussels, Due d'Aremberg's collection.
  • (43) The Angel Raphael and Tobias (1637), Paris, Louvre.
Subjects from Jewish Life (in Chronological Sequence).
  • (44) Portrait of a Young Jew (1632), Vanas, Sweden, Count Wachtmeister's collection.
  • (45) Suppliant Before a Priest (1634), France, Bonnat Museum, Bayonne.
  • (46) Rabbi with a White Turban (1635), England, Duke of Devonshire's collection, Chatsworth.
  • (47) Rabbi in High Turban (1635), London, Earl of Derby's collection, Derby House.
  • (48) Rabbi in Fur Cloak (1635), London, King of England, Buckingham Palace.
  • (49) Rabbi in a Wide Cap (1635), New York, Charles T. Yerkes' collection.
  • (50) Rabbi with a Flat Cap (1635), England, Royal Gallery, Hampton Court Palace.
  • (51) Rabbi in a Broad Cap (1642), Paris, John Porge's collection.
  • (52) Rabbi at a Study-Table (1642), Budapest, National Gallery.
  • (53) Head of Elderly Jew in Small Cap (1643), St. Petersburg, Hermitage.
  • (54) Rabbi Seated, with Stick in Hand (1645), St. Petersburg, Hermitage.
  • (55) Rabbi Seated, with a Gold Chain and Broad-Brimmed Cap (1645), Berlin, Royal Gallery.
  • (56) Rabbi Seated, with Cane and Gold Chain (1645), Dresden, Royal Gallery.
  • (57) Head of a Jew with Scanty Brown Beard and a Dark Cap (1645), London, Earl of Ellesmere's collection, Bridgewaterhouse.
  • (58) Head of Elderly Jew in a Fur Cap (1645), Paris, Louvre.
  • (59) Bust of a Bearded Jew (1646), England, Earl Cowper's collection, Panshanger.
  • (60) Head of a Young Jew in Skull-Cap (1646), Berlin, Royal Gallery.
  • (61) Jewish Doctor (Ephraim Hezekiah Bueno; see Jew. Encyc. iii. 422).
  • (62) Head of a Young Jew with a Red Beard (1655), Philadelphia, John G. Johnson's collection.
  • (63) Rabbi with Black Beard (1657), London, National Gallery.
  • (64) Blind Jew (1657), Amsterdam, Royal Gallery.
  • (65) Young Rabbi with Black Skull-Cap (1661), Paris, Rudolf Kahn's collection.
Interior of a Synagogue at Amsterdam.(From an etching by Rembrandt.)

The following subjects painted by Rembrandt are known only in engravings:

  • (66) Jewish Merchant.
  • (67) Jewish Priest, engraved by Van Bergen.
  • (68) Rabbi, engraved by G. F. Schmidt, Reedel, and Wright.
  • (69) Rabbi, engraved by W. Baillie.
  • (70) Rabbi, engraved by Cooper, in the collection of the Duke of Buckingham.
  • (71) Manasseh ben Israel at the Age of Thirty-five, painted in 1645, engraved by J. G. Hertel.
  • (72) Jewish Merchant (a copy of that in St. Petersburg), the so-called "Manasseh ben Israel" in the Schleissheim Gallery, engraved by Kellerhoven.
  • (73) Jew (mezzotint), engraved by J. Stolker.
  • (74) Abraham.
  • (75) Lot.
  • (76) Jacob.
  • (77 and 78) Elisha.

Well known, also, is a picture called the "JewishBride," in the Rijksmuseum at Amsterdam, Holland; but this work does not show any Jewish characteristics, and has received its popular name without reason. Another picture (also called by the same title), in the Lichtenstein collection at Vienna, is generally accepted as a portrait of Rembrandt's sister (1632). A portrait of Rembrandt's father, entitled "Philo, the Jew," is in the Ferdinandeum at Innsbruck (1630).

Bibliography:
  • Graetz, Hist. v. 38-39;
  • Adler, A Homage to Menasseh ben Israel, in Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, 1893-94;
  • Kayserling, Menasse ben Israel:
  • Sein Leben und Wirken, in Jahrbuch für die Gesch. der Juden und des Judenthums, ii. 105, Leipsic, 1861;
  • idem, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 70, s.v. Menassch ben Israel;
  • Bode, Studien zur Gesch. der Holländischen Malerci, Brunswick, 1883;
  • idem, The Complete Works of Rembrandt, Paris, 1896;
  • Rovinski, L'Œuvre Gravé de Rembrandt, St. Petersburg, 1900;
  • Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings, New York, 1892;
  • Lucien Wolf, Menasseh ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell, London, 1901 (in which both of Rembrandt's pictures of Manasseh are reproduced).
D. F. T. H.
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