Rembrandt’s period Leiden
The location of the house of Rembrandt’s birth mentioned in the Chimney Tax Roll (1606)
Weddesteech oostzijde noortwaerts aen …
Harmen Geritss., molenaer, dat hij bewoont
On the easterly side of Weddesteech, [counting] in a northerly direction …
Harmen Geritss., miller, residing there
Strauss & Van der Meulen 1979, p. 45, RD 1606/2: ‘The entry refers to the third house, counting from Galgewater, including the corner dwelling. Only one side of the street was developed becaus it faced it faced the city wall. The houses therefore a view of the two windmills, which overlooked the Rhine. They have now been demolished and the site is at present vacant.
The word northerly is incorrect; it should read southerly.’
Rembrandt’s birth mentioned by Jan Jansz. Orlers in the second edition of his “Beschrijvinge der Stadt Leyden” (15 July 1606)
Strauss & Van der Meulen 1979, p. 45, RD 1606/1: ‘There is no official record of Rembrandt’s birth. The only source is J.J. Orler’s report in the second edition of his Beschrijvinge der Stadt Leyden, Leiden 1641, p. 375 (see 1641/8).
Rembrandt’s registration at the University of Leiden (20 May 1620)
Rembrandus Hermanni Leydensis studios[us] litterarum anno[rum] 14 apud parentes
Rembrandt Hermansz of Leiden, student of literature, aged 14, residing with his parents
Strauss & Van der Meulen 1979, p. 51, RD 1620/1: ‘The earliest documentary record concerning Rembrandt. Because he would not reach the age of fourteen until July 15 of that year, the reference must be read as “in the fourteenth”
The hand-writing of the enty in the Catalogus Studiorum is probably that of the rector, Reinerius Bontius [Reinier de Bondt], professor of medicine at the University of Leiden.’
Aernout van Buchell’s praise of Rembrandt (10 January 1628)
Molitoris etiam Leidensis filius magni fit, sed ante tempus. Elyas Veldenus pictor elegans sed levis, habitat nunc Hagae. Rector Screvelius, monstrabat et suam effigiem ab Halsio pictore Harlemensi in tabella pictam admodum vivide, a quo et pictus Scriverius, ad quam picturam eundum in aera expressit Veldius, cuius mihi geminam effiegiem dedit
Also, the son of a miller in Leiden is esteemed highly, though prematurely. Elyas Veldenus [Esaias van der Velde] is an elegant painter, though unimportant, now residing at the Hague. The rector Scrivelius showed me his portrait, very lifelike on a panel by the Haarlem painter Frans Hals. He has also done a portrait of Scriverius which Veldius [Jan van der Velde] has engraved, and of which latter Screvelius gave me a print.
Strauss & Van der Meulen 1979, p. 61, RD 1628/1: ‘By this comment that the son of a Leiden miller was highly, yet prematurely esteemed, Arnout van Buchell [Buchelius] (1565-1641) has earned the distinction of having been the first critial commentator of Rembrandt’s work, when the artists was not yet twenty-two years old. Arnout van Buchell visited Leiden on 10 January 1628 and again in May of that year. By profession he was a jurist in Utrecht. This note was intended for a work by Buchell, entitled Res Picturiae which was not to be printed until 1887. In Leiden, Bucherlius visited Theodorus Schevelius, the rector of the Latin School, who was himself the owner of a considerabel art collection that includes a portrait of the rector by Frans Hals (cf. the headnotes for 1613).
Esaias [not Elyas] van der Velde (c. 1590-1630) reporterly was born in Amsterdam. He married and was active in Haarlem after 1611, but since 1618 he resided in the Hague.
Frans Hals’ portrait of Theodorus Schrevelius dates from 1617; the one of Pieter Schriverius from 1626. Cf 1635/3.’
Joan Huydecoper buys a tronie by Rembrandt (10/15 June 1628)
een tronitgen van rembrant 29 [guilders]
A Rembrandt painting in the inventory of Barent Teunisz. (19 October 1629)
Inventaris van de goederen achtergelaten by Barent Teunis schilder wonende op de Buijten Amstel gelijck de selve op des overledens sterffdach bevonden sijn, beschreven dor my Jacob Westfrisius notaris … ten versoecke van den erffgenamen van den selven overleden [crossed out: Pieter de Bitter ende Nicolaes Cocques als voocht], synde de selve als volcht. Postscript: Aldus gedaen ende gepasseert ten overstaen van Pieter de Bitter ende Nicolaes Cocques als getugen op ten xixe octobris anno 1629.
 Een klein Tronijtgen van Rembrandt
[ een kleijn tronitge van Remlandt]
 A small portrait by Rembrandt
Strauss & Van der Meulen 1979, p. 64, RD 1629: ‘Barent Teunisz. Drent (1577-1629) resided on Buiten Amstel in Amsterdam. His inventory included 41 paintings.’
Montias1 #1052: ‘Barent Teunis owned several houses, among which one on the Ceulse Kaij called de Drent, from which he took the last name by which he was occasionally called.
After the death of his wife Maritie Teunis, an inventory of the jointly owned possessions of the couple was drawn up on 4 April 1629 by notary Pieter Carels (INVNO 995). The present inventory differs substantially from that earlier inventory. On Barent Teunis, see the TEXT of R 895 of Montias1.
There is no painting by Rembrandt in INVNO 995.’
Receipt for the apprenticeship fee paid by Rembrandt’s student Isaack de Jouderville (1 May 1630)
Ick Rembrant Harmensz van Rijn
bekenne 50 guldens ontfangen te hebben van dat ick
Isack Isacksz Tsioddervijlee een hallef jaer
in de schilderconst onderwesen hebbe
het twelcke verscheenen was.
Den eersten Mey 1630
I, Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn
confirm the receipt of 50 guilders for
having Isack Isacksz Tsioddervijlee instructed, [for] a half year,
in the art of painting
which has appeared.
The first of May 1630
Supplication by the auctioneer Michiel Matijsz. Chimaer concerning paintings sold at auction (29 August 1630)
Aen de Heeren die van den Gerecht der Stadt Leyden.
Vertoont etc., Michiel Matijsz. Chimaer, boelhuysmeester deser stede, dat ruym een jaer geleden hem is … verschenen Lieven Henricx, burger alhier, soo uytten naeme van Jan Lievensz, meester schilder, zijn soon, als van wegen drie andere meester schilders, Uwer E.E. bekent, hem suppliant te kennen gevende dat sijluyden geresolveert waeren alhier binnen dese stadt met haerluyder schilderien eenen openbaren coopdach te houden ende niet gesint sijnde d’innevoeringe van de penninge aldaer uytte loven tot haerluyder eygen lasten te behouden, maer yemant anders daertoe te willen versoucken, dat hij derhalven hem suppliant versochte sich daertoe als een particulier persoon te willen laten gebruycken.
[Summary from Strauss & Van der Meulen 1979, p. 66, RD 1630/3] To the Gentlemen of the Court of the City of Leiden:
The auctioneer, Michiel Matysz. makes reference to the applicable taxes on the sale of painting on public sale days, organized by the painters themselves. He refers specifically to the case of Lieven Henricx, who had come to him about a year previously, representing his son, the master Jan Lievens, and three other master painters [whose name are not given but who possibly included Rembrandt]. A juror, from whom he had sought advice, had voiced no objection, yet objections were subsequently raised and fines have been levied.
The court replied that on this occassion the tax would be waived, but Chimaer was tot make a charitable contributon of f 75 in favor of the poor, payable at the town hall.’
Receipt for the apprenticeship fee paid by Rembrandt’s student Isaack de Jouderville (15 November 1630)
Noch 50 guldens ontfangen van dat ic
Isack Tsioddelvyle in de schilderconst
den 15 November / Rembrandt Harmensz
1630 / van Rijn
Another 50 guilders received for having
Isack Tsioddelvyle instructed in the art of patining
15 November / Rembrandt Harmensz
1630 / van Rijn
Autograph notation on Rembrandt’s etched and retouched “Self-portrait in a soft hat” (Prior to 15 July 1631)
AET. 24 Anno: 1631 Rembrandt.
AET. 24 Anno: 1631 Rembrandt.
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.7a:
The sheet is kept with Rembrandt’s etchings in the Museum’s collection. It is a touched impression of the ‘Self-Portrait in a soft Hat and embroidered Cloak’ (Bartsch 7, Hind 54), unique in this, the second state. The sheet has been trimmed, as the plate usually measures 148 x 130 mm.
The British Museum’s collection contains another touched impression, trimmed nearer the head, of the third state (1848,0911.9) in which the drawn work coincides, more or less, with the plate as completed in the fifth and later states. There is a third touched impression, of the fourth state, in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. In this the style of dress remains as it is in the present sheet, without the generous folds of fur seen in the completed etching, but the body is turned more to the front as in the final result on the plate.
The print’s inclusion in a catalogue of drawings is justified by the extent of the work in black chalk. Most writers have accepted the inscribed date of 1631 as the time of its execution. However, it has been shown that Rembrandt backdated the sheets in the British Museum and the Bibliothèque Nationale by about two years, from 1633-4, when he was 27 years old. This explains why the artist’s age is corrected in both from ’27’ (1633-4) to ’24’ (1630-31). Presumably the etching in its first four states was made before the artist’s 25th birthday on 15 July, 1631, and watermark evidence suggests that the first nine states were all completed at the same time. He then later, probably in c.1633-4, took up the unfinished proofs and drew on them in black chalk. The smooth handling of the chalk speaks for a later date than 1631 (compare, for example, the more rugged handling of ‘Diana at the Bath’ of c.1630-31, here cat. no.5; inv. no.1895,0915.1266). The format adopted, with the fictive arch, resembles Rembrandt’s drawn ‘Portrait of a Man in an Armchair’ in the Payson collection (Benesch 433), which is dated 1634. The full ‘Rembrandt’ signature is also characteristic of the later period and would be unique for c.1631, when Rembrandt signed his work in monogram as in the earlier states of the print. It may not be coincidental that J. G. van Vliet made a copy of the etching which is dated 1634.
The etching is not signed with the monogram and date, 1631, until the fifth state, but the plate may only have been inked in the head in the earlier states so that the monogram and date in the top left corner would not have printed, and all the impressions have been cut so that the signature would in any case probably have been removed.
The composition, which somewhat unusually shows Rembrandt in his everyday clothes rather than in a fancy costume, was influenced by Paulus Pontius’s engraving of 1630 after Rubens’s ‘Self-Portrait’ painted for Charles I and still in the royal collection at Windsor. From it Rembrandt adopted not only the hat but also the pose of the body turned to the left, an element that appears both in the present sheet and in the completed etching. The Rubens is a bust-length portrait within a frame, as in the present sheet, but was modified by Rembrandt into an unframed half-length portrait in the finished etching. Rubens’s image seems also to have informed the painted ‘Self-Portrait’ of 1632 in Glasgow (Bredius 17, Corpus A58). Another painted ‘Self-Portrait’ of 1632 in a private collection (Corpus IV, Add.1) is almost identical to the present sheet in composition, though in reverse, and were it not for the 1632 date on the painting it would be assumed that the British Museum drawing preceded it but (to summarise the foregoing), because of the form of Rembrandt’s signature and the style of his manipulation of the chalk as well as the correction to his age it must date from one or two years later. The adjustment suggests that Rembrandt felt it was important to record his age correctly.
An etched copy after this sheet was made in 1809 by I.J. de Claussin.
Rembrandt’s purchase of property in Leiden (1 March 1631)
Leonardus Spranchuysen, student te Leiden, verkoopt aan Mr. Rembrandt Harmansz van Rijn, meester schilder, wonende tot Leyden, een welgelegen thuyn, gelegen buyten de Wittepoort der voors. Stad Leyden, in den Ambachte van Soeterwoude, belent en belegen hebbende d’aen d’een zijde ten noorden Mr. Gerrit Meerman, advocaet, ende aen d’ander sijde ten zuyden de wedue en erffgenamen van Harman Gerritsz. molenaer [zijn vader], streckende van voren uiyt den voors. Dijc tot achter aen den Rijn, groot sijnde omtrent 52 roeden. Voor 500 Car(olus) guldens
Leonardus Spanchuysen, student at Leiden, herewith sells to the master painter, Mr. Rembrandt Harmansz van Ryn a well-situated garden [plot], located outside the Wittepoort of the city of Leiden, near Souterwoude, and bordering at the north side property belonging to Mr. Gerrit Meerman; at the south side that of |the| his father, extending from the dike up to the Rhine, and measuring about 52 roeden for the sum of 500 carolus guilders.
Strauss & Van der Meulen 1979, p. 74: ‘Apparently, at this time, Rembrandt had no intention to reside in Amsterdam permanently. Later he sold this property (cf. 1640/2).
Rembrandt’s name listed in a “Tontine” (24 March 1631)
Namentlijc: siet voorts de bijgaende lijsten: Mr. Rembrant Harmansz., schilder …
Receipt for the apprenticeship fee paid by Rembrandt’s student Isaack de Jouderville (1 May 1631)
Noch 25 guldens ontfangen van dat ic Isack Joddervyle
in de schilderconst onderweesen hebbe, ‘t welck verscheenen
was den eersten Mey 1631.
Carel Martens buys six Rembrandt etchings (June/July 1631)
Voor 6 geetste printen van rembrandt costen g[ulden] 2 – 8 [stuivers]
Acknowledgement of a debt owed to Rembrandt by Hendrick Uylenburch (20 June 1631)
Op huyden den 20 Juny 1631 compareerde voor mij Geerloff Jellisz Selden, openbaer notaris … Henrick Ulenburch, cunsthandelaer, ende bekende wel ende deuchdelijck schuldich te wesen aen Rembrant Harmenszz, wonende te Leyden, off den toonder deses, de som van tienhondert guldens ter cause van geleende penningen bij den voorsz. [Henrick Ulenburch] van den voorn. Rembrant tot zijn contentement ontfangen, welverstaende off den voorz. Rembrant de voorn. Som over een jaer begeerde affgedaen te hebben, dat hij alsdan gehouden zal zijn, den voorn. [Henrick Ulenburch] drie maenden voor den tijt daervan te waerschouwen, mits jaerlijcks vijff ondert voor interest betalende. Hier vooren bij fante van betalinge verbindende alle zijn goederen geen uytgesondert. Sonder arch ende list. Aldus gedaen binnen Amsterdam voors. ten dage maende ende jare voorn. ter presentie van Tjerck Remers ende Jan van dey getugen
Today, on 20 June 1631, appeared before me, Geerloff Jellisz Selden, public notary … [mr.] Henrick Ulenburch, art dealer, and confirmed that he owes Rembrant Harmensz, a resident of Leiden, or any subsequent holder of the title, the sum of 1000 guilders lent to the aformentioned Henrick Ulenburch by the above-mentioned Rembrant. In case the aformentioned Rembrant demands to be repaid within the period of one year, he must give the aformentioned Ulenburch notice three months in advance.
Strauss & Van der Meulen 1979, p. 76, RD 1631/4: ‘It may be assumed that Rembrandt contributed this considerable sum equivalent to an investment in Hendrick van Uylenburgh’s growing trade in paintings, in kind rather than cash. Hendrick van Uylenburgh (c. 1587-1661), twenty years Rembrandt’s senior, was a cousin of Saskia, who later became Rembrandt’s wife. Because Rembrandt is called a “resident of Leiden” in this document it has been concluded that he still resided in leiden at that time. Subsequently he took lodgings at Uylenburgh’s house on Sint Anthoniebreestraat, remaining there at least until 16 February 1635 (see 1635/1). In 1633, van Uylenburgh published Rembrandt’s large “Descent from the Cross” (B.81) with his imprint. (Cf. 1640/2).’
Receipt for the apprenticeship fee from Isaack de Jouderville (1 August 1631)
Noch 25 guldens heb ick ontfangen van dat ick
Isack Joddervyle in de schilderconst onderweesen
I have received another 25 guilders for having
taught Isack Joddervyle the art of painting
Receipt for the apprenticeship fee paid by Rembrandt’s student Isaack de Jouderville (19 November 1631)
Den 19. November 1631
Noch 50 guldens ontfangen van dat ick
Isack Jodderuyle in de schilderconst
onder weesen heb