Chronology 1636-1650

1636 In February, Rembrandt writes to Huygens to tell him that he has moved. He is now living in Nieuwe Doelenstraat (present-day nos. 16 and 18), with a view across the Amstel. The painter is working on a series of Passion scenes for the Stadholder (Munich, Alte Pinakothek). He portrays himself in The Raising of the Cross as one of the men helping to lift the Cross.

Rembrandt etches a portrait of himself holding a drawing stylus, with Saskia looking on.

1637 Rembrandt buys a large number of old prints, drawings, albums and curios at the sale of the collection of Jan Basse (1571-1637), which was held from 9 to 30 March.

In May, Saskia and Rembrandt move to a house called 'The Confectionary (die suijckerbackerij)'on BinnenAmstel (now no. 41, Zwanenburgerst~raat).

An inventory of the possessions of Lambert Jacobsz; (1598-i636), Hendrick van Uylenburgh's branch manager in Leeuwarden, lists numerous copies after originals by Rembrandt.

1638 In a document drawn up by the Leeuwarden Court on 16 July, members of Saskia's family complain (to no avail) that she is squandering her inheritance.

Rembrandt's daughter Cornelia is baptised in Amsterdam's Oude Kerk on 22 July, but lives only three weeks.

1639 On 5 January, Rembrandt buys a magnificent merchant's house for 13,000 guilders in Sint-Anthonisbreestraat (now nos. 4-6, Jodenbreestraat), which is today the Rembrandthuis Museum. He retains his address in BinnenAmstel until 1 May.

Rembrandt draws a copy of Raphael's Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione belonging to the collector Don Alfonso Lopez (1572-1649), who bought the painting at auction for 3,500 guilders. This picture is one of the sources of inspiration for an etched self portrait by Rembrandt. His self portrait of 1640 is a painted variant of the etching.

1640 On 12 August, a second daughter called Cornelia is buried in the Zuiderk~rk (South Church), having lived only a few weeks.

Rembrandt's mother is buried in St Peter's in Leiden. She leaves more than 10,000 guilders.

The Englishman Peter Mundy writes in his travel journal that'there having bin in this Country Many excellent Men in that Faculty [= Painting], some att Presentt, as Rimbrantt'.

Samuel van Hoogstraten becomes Rembrandt's pupil.

1641 Titus is baptised in the Zuiderkerk on 22 September. The fourth child of Rembrandt and Saskia, he was the only one to reach adulthood.

On 18 October, the artist Philips Angel (1618-62) delivers an address to the members of the Leiden painters'guild in which he praises Rembrandt's'keen and deep reflection'. The city chronicler Jan Jansz Orlers (1570-1646) mentions Rembrandt in the first printed biography of him as'now one of the most celebrated pamiters of this century'. The artist is 35 years old.

Carel Fabritiusbecomes Rembrandt's pupil.

1642 On 5 June, Saskia van Uylenburgh, 'lying sick abed', makes her second will, in which she stipulates that Rembrandt is to have the usufruct of her estate, provided he does not remarry.

Saskia dies on 14 June, according to a note written by one of her Frisian cousins in a family chronicle, and is buried five days later in a private grave in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam.

Rembrandt buys prints by Lucas van Leyden (active 1508; died 1533) for 200 to 250 guilders each. The sixteen Civic guardsmen in The Nightwatch pay an average of ioo guilders each for their portraits.

After Saskia's death, the widow Geertje Dircx (1610/15-after 1656) becomes Titus's dry nurse. She and the painter embark on a relationship, and she tries to persuade Rembrandt to marry her.

1643 The house abutting on the rear of Rembrandt's is sold. It turns out that it had a gallery in which he probably painted The Nightwatch. The Three Trees is the finest of the landscapes that he started etching shortly before.

1644-45 Paintigs, drawings and etchings by Rembrandt are listed in inventories across the country. However, his output, even of the self portraits, now slows to a trickle.

1646 Rembrandt buys marble statues (possibly classical) in Antwerp on 13 September.

On 29 November, Stadholder Frederick Henry orders his treasurer to pay Rembrandt 2,400 guilders for two paintings that have been added to the Passion series commissioned earlier.

1647 Rembrandt's estate, including his 'inheritance from Saskia, is estimated at 40,750 guilders.

Hendrickje Stoffels (1625-63) begins work as Rembrandt's housekeeper.

1648 Geertje Dircx makes a will on 24 January, leaving all her possessions to Titus van Rijn.

Rembrandt etches a self portrait showing himself at work with an etching needle.

1649 On 1 October, Hendrickje Stoffels,'spinster aged 23', testifies in the court case brought against Renlrand't by Geertje Dircx for breaking his troth, and says that an agreement has been reached with Geertje. Hendrickje becomes the second great love of Rembrandt's life.

A document of 14 November, drawn up in connection with the court case, refers to Rembrandt as'the honourable and widely celebrated painter'. Hendrickje secures her position as Geertje's successor in Rembrandt's household.

On 23 October, at the Town Hall, the Commissioners of Marital Affairs hear that Rembrandt has indeed slept with Geertje, but that he has made no promise to marry her. They award her an annuity of 200 guilders in alimony.

1650 On 4 July, a successful scheme is hatched to have Geertje Dircx committed to the Spinning House (house of correction) in Gouda.

Rembrandt draws himself, according to the later inscription, 'from his own likeness 'in the attire he wore in his studio'. He repeats the pose with his hands on his hips in a self portrait of 1652.

Willem Drost becomes Rembrandt's pupil.

continue to 1651-1669