In painting, Rembrandt is a kind of icon, like Leonardo da Vinci or Raphael, who probably stands even higher than his great forerunner and exemplar, Rubens.
Great art is often born amid great events, the Renaissance being the most obvious example, and Rembrandt's carreer coincided with the golden age of the Dutch Republic. Indeed, the riches of the Dutch school may bear comparison with the harvest of talent that appeared during the Italian Renaissance. But, like all truly great artists, Rembrandt cannot be confined to a school - he was simply too variously gifted. Portraits were his bread and butter, and many would say that he remains the greatest of portrait painters, not least for the many portraits of himself, painted with such dazzling honesty. Yet most of his greatest paintings are not portraits, or at least not of an individual. The Night Watch, probably his most famous work, and the two Anatomy Lectures, are group portraits, but they advance so far beyond that definition as a mere record of a certain group of men.
Rembrandt has also kept a generation of experts busy trying to establish which of a vast number of paintings that have been attributed to him are genuine. Reader's will now find the majority of them here, besides a few hopefuls.