In 1625 Rembrandt returned to Leiden, where he developed his own distinct style, using the many possibilities of the oil medium, heavily layering the paint, and experimenting with diverse techniques. He showed an unusual preference for the faces of the old and the poor from his earliest works to his latest (e.g., Two Philosophers, Melbourne). In the Leiden years he began the magnificent series of nearly 100 self-portraits that describe the continuing development of his profound self-understanding and self-awareness, as well as his stylistic growth. While in Leiden he collaborated with Jan Lievens and began to teach. He devoted much of his life to teaching, and one of his foremost pupils in Leiden was Gerard Dou.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.