Friday, July 03, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Rembrandt

I'm surprised to find I have never featured Rembrandt before on some past Arty Farty Friday but, as far as I can tell, I haven't.

Rembrandt - his name has become familiar enough to roll off the tongue in everyday conversations about art: "He's no Rembrandt, but he does draw nicely..."; "You never know, you might even find a Rembrandt in the attic, or in the junk store on Main Street!"

The most readable potted biography I've found comes from HERE, the National Gallery in London, UK.

This video, running just under 6 minutes, is good too.

Ten of Rembrandt's best-known paintings are featured at this website.


Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in Leiden in the Netherlands on 15 July 1606 (Gregorian) according to Astrodienst. The time of birth mentioned is a rectification, with an 'X' rating (not reliable), so the chart below is set for 12 noon.

 Self portrait
During his fairly short lifetime, he died aged 63 in 1669, he experienced love and loss - three of his children died within a few months of birth; his wife died, possibly of consumption or the plague, shortly after giving birth to a fourth son, who did live beyond childhood, but also died before Rembrandt.

He enjoyed success and calamity, the former, of course, due to his talent as an artist, the latter to his profligacy. He loved to buy artworks and antiques, pieces for use as "props" in his paintings. He lived beyond his means.

Sun at 22 Cancer harmoniously trines Moon at 22 Scorpio. He was a sensitive and highly emotional character, we can be pretty sure of that. His paintings are described by experts as being very warm, human, accessible, in a "warts and all" way. He doesn't sugar coat his portraits and depictions of historical or religious events, but paints them realistically and, seemingly, with an understanding of and affection for his subject.

There's a single Air planet in his natal chart, Venus, planet of the arts, in Gemini. Venus is in uncomfortable square aspect to Neptune (planet of imagination and creativity) in Virgo though - but because both Gemini and Virgo are ruled by Mercury, I'd say this square wasn't as uncomfortable as might be expected. Even so, creative imagination didn't feature greatly in Rembrandt's art - he relied on realism with, in his later works, a new idea - the use of broader brush strokes. Uranus, planet of all things new, including painting techniques, was in semi-sextile to Venus and sextile his Sun, linking into his nature an urge to experiment with new ideas.

So, where do we find Rembrandt's habit of living beyond his means in the natal chart? That'd be connected to Jupiter for sure! Jupiter certainly links well into his general nature: it sits in early Pisces, in sextile to Pluto in Taurus; trine Mercury in Cancer; sextile Saturn in Capricorn. That last sextile, from Saturn, likely brought with it many accounts needing urgently to be paid!

His well spread natal chart is capable of throwing up numerous chart patterns or planetary circuits compatible with both potential success and potential struggle; that kind of contrast does fit his life story pretty well!


Sonny G said...

He sounds like a Cancer I could have dealt with.. Some are too whiney and clingy:)
His art is always warm too my eyes.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Yep, agreed. I think I'd have liked him, as a person. His art isn't my cup of tea to have prints of it on the walls of our living room, but I do see what they mean when they talk about his ability to depict our "humanity, warts and all".

mike said...

Quinkydink! Last night's "Charlie Rose" showcased The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Hermitage has one of the largest collections of Rembrants and houses the collection in the Rembrant Room. I saw a number of Rembrant paintings last night and I honed-in on, and particularly like, the son's sole of the foot, "Prodigal Son"...LOL.

Living to the age of 63 in the 1600s was a remarkable feat, but with advancing age came witnessing terrible loss.

Re - Bush sidebar...I think Dick Cheney was trapped in his body.

JD said...

First time I visited The Prado in Madrid I just wandered around because I didn't know what they had in the collection. In one of the rooms I was looking at a picture and I had the feeling that there was somebody behind me so I turned round and I was face to face with a Rembrandt self-portrait. I swear that painting was alive!!

I wonder if Rupert Sheldrake has any thoughts on that idea? -

I know James Elkins would understand what I felt-

Twilight said...

mike ~ Oh yes - very quinky, that was! Thanks for the links - I shall watch the Charlie Rose video in full, later.

The Prodigal Son's sole is an especially poignant detail.

Yes, I guess age 63 in those plague-ridden days would be the equivalent of 93 or so today.

LOL about Bush/Cheney - Rembrandt wouldn't have been seen dead in Bush's body....erm better re-phrase that ;-)

Twilight said...

JD ~ Hmm - a bit of Twilight Zone stuff going on! Mr Sheldrake's morphic resonance stuff always fascinates me, and the "being stared at" feeling is an example most of us have experienced at some time - though not always from a Rembrandt! :-)

I'm not familiar with James Elkins' writings - I shall go educate meself!