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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 July 2006, 07:55 GMT 08:55 UK
Rembrandt's 400th birthday marked
Night Watch
People dressed as characters from Rembrandt's Night Watch
The 400th anniversary of the birth of the artist Rembrandt is being marked in the Netherlands.

Events have been focused on his birthplace, Leiden, and Amsterdam, where he later lived.

The town of Leiden hosted a festival where 17th-Century food and drink was served at restaurants and entertainers performed street theatre.

In Amsterdam, some of Rembrandt's most famous masterpieces have been put on display.

Saturday also saw the opening night of the quirky Rembrandt the Musical at Amsterdam's Royal Theatre Carre.

Rembrandt the Musical
Rembrandt the Musical opens on the artist's birthday

The show aims to provide an insight into the Rembrandt's life, which was touched by both acclaim and tragedy.

Unlike many Old Masters, Rembrandt was feted during his lifetime, winning major commissions and living the high life for many years.

He married Saskia Uylenburgh in 1634, who went on to have four children, only three of which survived past infancy.

After Saskia's death in 1642, Rembrandt went on to have relationships with his child's nanny and then a much younger housekeeper.

But he fell out of favour with the establishment and after years of heavy spending he was declared bankrupt. He died in 1669 and was buried in a pauper's grave.

Among Rembrandt's most famous works are Portrait of a Lady Aged 62, which sold at auction in 2000 for 19.9m ($36.5), and the Night Watch, painted in 1642.

In pictures: Rembrandt-Caravaggio
24 Feb 06 |  In Pictures

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