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Amsterdamned 1: Unearthing the Skeletons in Rembrandt’s Closet

Posted on by Minneapolis Institute of Arts

The personal lives of great artists are often as intriguing as their work. Rembrandt is no exception. His life was plagued by misfortunes involving money, love, sex, family stress, and untimely death. For your guilty pleasure, allow us to present a scandalous tip on an artist whose life was, for the record, Amsterdamned.

Rembrandt van Rijn; Minerva in Her Study; 1635; Oil on canvas; 68 11/16 x 60 3/8 x 2 3/8 in.; © Private Collection, New York

Newlyweds Rembrandt and Saskia van Uylenburgh lived lavishly. Soon after their marriage in 1634, Rembrandt bought a large house, filled it with extravagant props for his paintings, and struggled to pay the mortgage.

Shortly after his marriage to Saskia, Rembrandt painted Minerva in Her Study. Do you sense a hint of optimism?

You can learn more about the skeletons in Rembrandt’s closet by visiting “Rembrandt in America” and picking up a copy of the exhibition catalog.

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