"This oil sketch of an unidentified military allegory was probably a study for a large history painting. The swifty sketched composition is executed not in colour but in muted tones of brown and grey. Thus Rembrandt gives us a demonstration of his dramatic use of light and shade.



  • Title: The Concord of the State
  • Date Created: 1637 - 1645
  • Physical Dimensions: w1010 x h745 cm (Without frame)
  • Painter: Rembrandt van Rijn
  • Original Title: De eendracht van het land
  • More Info: Link - Read more about Golden Age - Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen - http://collectie.boijmans.nl/en/disclaimer/
  • Artist Information: Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden. After his apprenticeship, during which he studied with various painters including Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, he started a studio in Leiden. He became successful with paintings of biblical scenes and famous for the great attention he paid to the incidence of light. From 1632, Rembrandt worked in Amsterdam, where he made a name as portrait painter for the well-to-do middle classes. In 1634 he married Saskia van Uylenburgh, and they had a son, Titus, together. Rembrandt painted various portraits of both Saskia and Titus. After 1642, the year in which Saskia died and in which he painted the famous Nachtwacht, business declined. In 1656, he was declared bankrupt. In these years, Rembrandt's subjects became more reticent and less baroque. Rembrandt had a very high production. Some 650 paintings from his hand are known, including 60 self-portraits, around 300 etchings and 1500 to 2000 drawings.
  • Additional Artwork Information: Rembrandt’s Titus of 1655 has an immediate impact. The timeless subject is moving: a pensive young boy with large, dark eyes, his face and hands just visible behind a large wooden desk. We will never know what he is writing or where his thoughts have wandered. The painting is appreciated for its beautiful lighting, warm tones and swirling brushstrokes. It also has a personal dimension because the boy was probably Rembrandt’s only son, Titus, who would have been fourteen years old at the time. The museum possesses four more paintings ascribed to Rembrandt. Two of those attributions are undisputed—the Portrait of Aletta Adriaensdochter and The Concord of the State— but opinions are divided over the authorship of Tobias and Anna and The Man with the Red Cap. Like Titus, The Concord of the State (circa 1637-1645) ranks among Rembrandt’s great masterpieces. It demands more patience from the viewer, as the composition is intricate and the subject difficult to interpret. But whoever takes a closer look will be richly rewarded. The painting is a grisaille executed exclusively in shades of grey and brown. The brisk rendering of the horses, the lion and the scores of figures attests to the master’s consummate skill. Rembrandt sketched The Concord of the State in oils on panel in a style similar to his pen drawings on paper. The museum has more than thirty of those drawings. They are figure studies, portraits and landscapes. Some were made as preparatory designs for a painting, like the study of Volkert Jansz, one of the sampling officials in the famous painting at the Rijksmuseum. The function of other sheets, many of them figure drawings, is harder to determine. All we know is that Rembrandt made them as a means of exploring particular subjects and that he kept them at hand for later reference. Saskia at the Window is one of the loveliest of these works in the museum’s collection. The figure is rendered in firm lines, with a skilful wash. The woman is believed to be Rembrandt’s wife, Saskia Uylenburgh, depicted here a few years before the birth of her son Titus. Rembrandt married Saskia in 1634, soon after moving from his birthplace Leiden to Amsterdam, where he gained a reputation as a portraitist and history painter. His graphic work played an important part in his rise to international fame, as it was reproducible and so became more widely known than his paintings or drawings. Print collectors of the time appreciated Rembrandt’s treatment of light and shade, and his fluid handling of line. Of the many scores of sheets in the museum’s print room, The Three Crosses of 1653-1655 is arguably the most impressive and certainly the most experimental. The image was not etched but scratched into the copper plate with a needle. The lines are angular and expressive. Here and there, a figure can be glimpsed in the dark shadows. Only Christ on the Cross-is illuminated. The details are less important than the overall effect, which is simply breathtaking.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Acquired 1865, http://collectie.boijmans.nl/en/disclaimer/
  • External Link: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
  • Medium: Oil on panel

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