Rembrandt though would commit fully to all of his artworks, whatever the genre and whatever the medium. As a gifted painter with a supreme handling of colour and particularly light Rembrandt was able to adapt his skills to a wide range of artistic challenges.
The scene displayed in Landscape with a Stone Bridge is not believed to have been from reality, but created in the mind of this innovative artist. It would likely be influenced by real locations in his local Dutch countryside, and then merged together into this artistically ideal composition.
The Dutch Golden Age was a supremely impressive period of European art which covered landscapes, seascapes and portraits from some of the finest North European artists ever to have lived. Many members of this group would tackle landscape painting almost exclusively where as Rembrandt was first and foremost a portrait painter who would occasionally seek to expand his ouevre. Vermeer similarly would produce cityscapes in his home town of Delft but was most famous for his portraits of daily life such as Girl with a Pearl Earring.
The majority of Rembrandt's work was oil on canvas, drawings and etchings but this painting was completed on a small oak panel, measuring 30cm by 42cm. This original piece from 1637 is now a part of the Rijksmuseum's impressive collection of Rembrandt artworks in Amsterdam.
There are elements to this calming scene which remind us of later work by several British artists, perhaps because of the similarity in landscape. Constable and Turner famously drew attention to the beauty of the Southern England countryside, whilst several other figures from the Dutch Golden Age did the same for their region many years earlier.