Original: oil on canvas, 279 x 191.5 cm, wxh
Staalmeesters (Master of Steel) is Rembrandt's first and only work of regent art. The work is striking because of its exceptional size and the larger-than-life figures. Several Steel Masters are depicted on the work, with their eyes fixed on the viewer. On the table is a sheet that they checked for quality and colour. There is also a book on the table, most likely the accounts of the cloth guild. One of them rises from his chair, as if he has just noticed the spectator.
The group portrait of the five men was intended for the Staalhof in Staalstraat, Amsterdam. There, the Staalmeesters checked the quality and colour of the sheets on offer. It was an unpaid honorary function. The staalmeesters depicted in the painting Staalmeesters by Rembrandt van Rijn performed their task from Good Friday 1661 to Good Friday 1662.
Read more about the life and work of Rembrandt van Rijn on his painting page.
The painting belongs to the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
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