Hundreds of profiles ago we made a claim that there are very few Jewish artists. Since then, we've found a number of counterexamples.
Rembrandt, however, is not one of them.
But there are rumors that he was, possibly a convert, possibly a hidden kaballist. There are supposedly many Jewish themes in his work. There's his masterpiece, "The Jewish Bride". And Rembrandt's house in Amsterdam stands on Jodenbreestraat, or Jewish Broad Street. There's supposedly even a mezuzah nailed to one of the door posts.
Well, the rumors have been thoroughly debunked by researchers. The Jewish quarter, where Jodenbreestraat lies, became one in the 19th century. During Rembrandt's time, it was an artists quarter, making perfect sense, considering his profession. The supposed rabbis in his paintings? Priests. Even "The Jewish Bride" is not a Jewish bride at all; it was a title, now considered faulty, given to the painting by a 19th century collector.
Are we disappointed? Somewhat. It would be nice to have Rembrandt. But then again, we're a little relieved. We've gotten tired of finding counterexamples to our original claim.