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Children's LiteratureRembrandt became a widely-respected and financially successful artist at a very young age. While in his 20s, Rembrandt cultivated important patrons in the Netherlands, which had become quite prosperous due to trade. Although he never left his country, Rembrandt studied the prints of foreign artists and was clearly influenced by them. In particular, Rembrandt took note of Italian masters such as Titian, Tintoretto, and da Vinci, and their religious art. He certainly made a mark with his biblical paintings, portraits, and copper etchings. Rembrandt married a woman he deeply loved. Their happiness was short-lived, however, when their first three children died soon after birth, and his wife died when their fourth child was an infant. After these personal tragedies, Rembrandt's star began to diminish. He led an extravagant lifestyle, which he could not support. He received fewer and fewer commissions because he failed to complete them in a timely manner. In addition, he began an affair with his child's nurse, which caused a scandal. Eventually, Rembrandt volunteered to turn over all his assets to creditors. Although he died impoverished, his international reputation had been assured. Rembrandt painted many self-portraits during his life. The human body was a favorite subject of his work, but he also displayed mastery with landscapes and print making. This title, which is highly recommended for elementary and middle-school art classes, is part of "The Lives of the Artists" series and contains a timeline for each chapter, historical and social details that support the topic of each chapter, and full-color photographic reproductions of the artist's work. 2005, World Almanac Library, Ages 9 to13.
—Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.