We celebrate Rembrandt as one of history’s greatest painters. But his troubled life story provides us with clues for interpreting the hidden, radical purpose of his art.
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"Born in 1606, Rembrandt became a hugely successful painter when he was still only in his twenties. He earned a fortune and lived a wildly extravagant life.
But by his early fifties, he was all but bankrupt: he had to sell his house and all the beautiful objects he had accumulated. In the world of respectable, prudent Dutch merchants, his economic ruin was regarded as deeply shameful – and, self-evidently, it was entirely his own fault..."
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