Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn ( July 15, 1606 – October 4, 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history . His contributions to art came in a period that historians call the Dutch Golden Age.
Rembrandt created his distinctive portraits with a small palette of colors dominated by dark earth tones and golden highlights. He was a master of chiaroscuro, an Italian term for a style using strong lights and heavy shadows to create depth in a painting and a center of interest. Rembrandt used it to emphasize the faces and hands in his portraits; what his subjects were wearing and their setting are of less importance, melding into a dark background.