Rembrandt van Rijn’s 407th birth date inspires Google Doodle

15 Jul 2013

The Google Doodle in honour of the 407th anniversary of the birth of artist Rembrandt van Rijn

Internet search giant Google is paying tribute to Rembrandt van Rijn on the 407th anniversary of his birth today with a doodle on its homepage featuring the artist’s self-portrait.

Rembrandt painted the oil-on-canvas Self-Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar in 1659, and today it hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The period in which Rembrandt produced his works is known as the Dutch Golden Age, which saw great wealth and cultural achievement.

The Google Doodle – a stylised Google logo – in honour of Rembrandt features a chocolate-brown background with the word ‘Google’ imprinted upon it. Rembrandt’s self-portrait is in the place of the second ‘g’ in Google. Clicking on the doodle will bring users to a Google search results page for Rembrandt van Rijn.

Future Human

The artist was born on 15 July 1601 in Leiden, in the Dutch Republic (Netherlands). He studied at Latin school and the University of Leiden. Later, painter Jacob van Swanenburgh took him on as his apprentice for three years.

By 1625, Rembrandt opened a studio with his colleague Jan Lievens in Lieden, but six years later Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam where he practised as a professional portrait painter and gained success.

Rembrandt married Saskia van Uylenburgh in 1634, but tragedy followed his personal life. He lost his wife, probably to tuberculosis, and three of his children.

Rembrandt created hundreds and hundreds of paintings, drawings and etchings in his lifetime. His works centred on portraits, landscape and narrative painting, as well as religious themes. Some of his more notable works include The Night Watch, The Abduction of Europa, Judas Repentant and The Artist in His Studio.

He died on 4 October 1669 in Amsterdam.  

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic