Monday, November 24, 2014
Rembrandt in the Depths
In the fifteen years before his death in 1669, Rembrandt suffered one terrible reversal after another. In 1654, his common-law wife Hendrickje Stoffels was condemned as a whore for her relationship with Rembrandt, and this led some important clients to ostracize him. Ever a spendthrift, he went bankrupt two years later and was forced to auction off his house, art collection, and printing press. Despite such desperate steps, he plunged still further into poverty, becoming so destitute he even had to sell the grave of his first wife, Saskia. Worse still, Hendrickje died of the plague in 1663, and Rembrandt’s beloved son Titus died in 1668, leaving him all but alone...