Rembrandt van Rijn, The Abduction of Europa, 1632

Rembrandt

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Abduction of Europa, 1632, The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California
Happy Birthday to the man who needs no introductions, Rembrant Harmenszoon van Rijn, or better known as simply Rembrandt! The artist, born on July 15, 1606, in Leiden, Dutch Republic, for some unknown reason added the silent “D” to his name, which originally was spelled just RembrantHarmenszoon, in Dutch tradition, is the “son of”, meaning that the artist’s father’s name was Harmen, and van Rijn, deriving from the place that the family was from, which, in this case, is in the region of the river Rhine, Rembrandt’s name means Rembrandt, son of Harmen, from the Rhine river region. Born into a wealthy family, Rembrandt was well educated, having studied works of ancient Rome, religion, and mythology. It then comes as no surprise that this painting, The Abduction of Europa, was within his repertoire of works. As the myth goes, Zeus, upon seeing Europa, was madly enamored with her, and with the intent to seduce her, transformed himself into a while bull, mixing himself in with her father’s herd. While Europe and her maidens were picking flowers, she spotted the bull, and after caressing his flanks, got on his back. Upon this, Zeus sprung into the water with Europa on his back, and swam all the way to the continent which later got its name after her. Although Rembrandt was later on known for his biblical paintings, the artist started off his prolific career with painting portraits, thirty six of them being self- portraits. By studying these self-portraits, historians were able to identify that Rembrandt suffered from stereo blindness, meaning that he could not see in full 3D. Pictured here is Rembrandt van Rijn, The Abduction of Europa, 1632, The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California 
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