8. Rembrandt

'I have concentrated on expressing the greatest inward emotion and feeling'

Rembrandt is one of the handful of artists from the past whose names are familiar even to those who know little of art. Frequently he is referred to as the greatest artist who ever lived. Yet, while his name is synonymous with unquestioned genius, we may fail to see beyond the aura or to penetrate the particularity of his art, which anticipates so much of Romanticism, Expressionism, the deep humanism of Van Gogh and the tremulous scrutiny of Cézanne, but which remains unique. The films in this section take us beyond the myth to the man, his materials and his methods. They explore the background of his age (see also section 7 for the broader backdrop of The Northern Renaissance) and investigate his techniques, chronicle his life story, fathom his personality and follow the spiritual pilgrimage of his art.