His pupils

Already at the age of 22, when he was still living in Leiden, Rembrandt took his first pupils. From the moment that he established his own workshop in Amsterdam, the number steadily increased. It appears that Rembrandt played the role of teacher for around fifty pupils. His approach in providing instruction was in some ways conventional, in other ways unusual. He taught his pupils to paint following the rules of art, but he also introduced his own rules. His attitude of curiosity and enquiry lead not only to constant development and innovation in his own work. In his teaching methods as well he constantly looked for new ways to convey his knowledge and technical skills to his talented pupils. Methods from which we can still learn today.

(Possible) pupils of Rembrandt: 

Name Life Dates Instruction under Rembrandt*
Gerrit Dou 1613-1675 1628-1634?
Isaac de Jouderville 1613-1648 1629-1634?
Jacques de Rousseaux c. 1600-1638 c. 1628-1631?
Gerrit Willemsz. Horst 1612-1652 c.1631
Govert Flinck 1615-1660 1633/4-1635
Cornelis Brouwer ? –1681 c. 1634?
Gerbrandt van den Eeckhout 1621-1674 1635-1641
Leendert van Beyeren 1619-1648 around 1637
Ferdinand Bol 1616-1680 1636-1640
Jan Victors 1619-1676 ?-1640
Abraham Furnerius 1628-1654 after 1640-c. 1646
Reynier van Gherwen c. 1620-1662 c. 1640-c. 1645
Lambert Doomer 1622-1700 c. 1640-c.1644
Carel Fabritius 1622-1654 1641-1643
Bernhard Keil 1624-1687 1642-1644
Samuel van Hoogstraten 1627-1678 1643-1646/8
Christoph Paudiss 1630-1666 1645-1649
Karel van der Pluym 1625-1672 c. 1645-c. 1648
Heinrich Jansen 1625-1667 1645-1648
Barent Fabritius 1624-1673 c. 1646-c. 1650
Johann Ulrich Mayr 1630-1704 ?-1648
Willem Drost 1633-1659 c. 1648-1652
Constantijn van Renesse 1626-1680 c. 1649-1652
Nicolaes Maes 1634-1693 1651-1653
Abraham van Dijck c. 1635/6-1680 1651-1654
Jacobus Leveck 1634-1675 1651-1653/4
Titus van Rijn c. 1637-1662 1650-1651
Pieter de With unknown, active: 1650-’60 early 1650
Heyman Dullaert 1636-1684 c. 1652-1656
Johannes (De Jonge) Raven c. 1633/4-1662 1652; contact c. ’59/’60
Johannes van Glabbeeck unknown around 1653
Jacobus van Dorsten 1645-1678 c. 1659
Johannes Leupenius 1643-1693 c. 1660?
Arent de Gelder 1645-1727 c. 1661-1663
Godfried Kneller 1646-1723 1662
  • Here the role of pupil is treated as distinct from that of assistant. Only in the case of Jouderville are there concrete documents that give an indication of period of instruction. But generally, instruction in art went hand-in-hand with active participation in production.


Gerrit (Gerard) Dou
Gerrit Dou was thirteen years old when he received instruction in 1628 from the twenty-year-old Rembrandt. This painting was formerly called `Rembrandt in his Studio’. It shows what kinds of objects a painter could bring together in his workplace, all in the service of art. Or at least in an ideal studio.


Gerrit Dou, An Artist in his Studio, c. 1628. Panel, 53 x 64.5 cm Private collection





An unknown Rembrandt pupil
This interior view of a studio shows that it was usual for Rembrandt to have his pupils draw from the model in groups. In the final phase of their training they needed to learn how to depict the human figure in a variety of poses. On a shelf in the wall there are casts of sculptures that served as instruction material.


Drawing from life in Rembrandt’s Studio, c. 1650. Pen and brush in brown, black chalk, heightened with white, 18 x 26.6 cm., Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt



This full-length portrait was painted by a pupil of Rembrandt after a Self-Portrait made by Rembrandt in 1631 (Paris, Musée du Petit Palais). In Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait his legs and feet are largely hidden behind a dog – a poodle – that he added around 1633 in the foreground. Seeing as how the dog does not appear in the work by his pupil, it was likely made between 1631 and 1633.

zelfportret_in_oosters_kostuum   rembrandt_auto_petit_palais