Schama on Rembrandt: Masterpieces of the Late Years

Schama on Rembrandt: Masterpieces of the Late Years


As a major new exhibition of Rembrandt’s work opens, Simon Schama traces the final years of the Dutch artist’s life, arguing that during this difficult period (he was plagued by illness, grief and poverty) he produced some of his greatest work. “In his maturity and old age… he became profoundly thoughtful,” says Schama, “masterpiece after masterpiece driven by the engine of his restlessly versatile intellect.”


In his heyday, Rembrandt was a hugely successful artist living in one of the richest cities on earth - 17th-century Amsterdam. But when his fall came, plunging him deep into bankruptcy and scandal, far from destroying him, it took him to new creative heights. Historian Simon Schama discusses the masterpieces that the painter created during his later years, pieces that he believes speak more directly about humanity and the human condition than the works Rembrandt created in his prime.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Simon Schama
Director Frank Hanly
Executive Producer Basil Comely
Producer Frank Hanly