No.4 Breestraat, Amsterdam, is an imposing 17th century house, but little different from many big old houses in the city. What makes it exceptional is that for twenty years one of the world's greatest artists lived here - Rembrandt van Rijn, master painter of the time. This is the story of that house, the world Rembrandt observed in and around it and the special universe he created in his studio there.
In this unique and imaginative portrait, Anthony Bailey pieces together the events and circumstances which shaped Rembrandt's career - from his beginnings in Leiden and early apprenticeship to his marriage and personal relationships; his restless artistic energy, creative triumphs and, finally, his slow fall from fashion and descent into financial hardship, which forced him to sell his home.
With as many levels and hidden corners as the house Bailey describes, this is at once biography, travel writing and history of a golden age.