Desperate for money, Rembrandt takes on commissions that even his pupils have passed up on, pupils who are now getting the grand offers that once came through Rembrandt’s door.
Desperate for money, Rembrandt takes on commissions that even his pupils have passed by, pupils who are now getting the grand offers that once came through Rembrandt’s door. Bankruptcy proceedings hound him for years and, although Rembrandt tries various – sometimes fraudulent – ways to divert some money back into his own pocket, his creditors take his house, his copperplates and virtually all his possessions. Yet he paints a self-portrait as the prince of painters, a regal pose that belies his financial and reputational chaos.
As Rembrandt ages and enters the twilight of his career, his works take on a new painterly style. He revels in aged skin, in deformity, in humanity rather than hubris. But it is not a style favoured by all his patrons, and his most important commission in years is rejected. After his lover and his son die, and Rembrandt is left with just his paint brushes and his memories, we see the final self-portrait of a great painter who never stopped experimenting, never stopped searching. A genius still recognised four centuries after his death.
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