In contrast to Van Gogh, Rembrandt was a bad mother
fucker. Van Gogh slept on his brother’s couch; Rembrandt lived in a 5 story crib with a view of the canal. His rent was $15,000 a month, in the 17th century. Pimp.
Of course, like a real rockstar he spent all his money and the crib got repo’ed, with his artwork in it. But this is not a post about fiscal responsibility. This post is all about branding.
Was Rembrandt a better painter than Van Gogh? That question has no answer. It’s a matter of taste. In public opinion, they’re both doing okay these days.
The key difference is that Rembrandt ran a tight game. He hustled. He taught other painters how to be great. He collected and studied their works. He marketed his shows and his art. He networked with royalty, with ballers who could afford to buy his stuff and recommend it to their wealthy friends.
Does that sound like a lot of work? Damn straight. You never saw Rembrandt in a Snuggie watching Holland’s Next Top Model. Dude was getting it in.
That work pays dividends. We’re still talking about him today. We’re still paying the man.
What are you doing to build your legacy? Or are you too busy, too distracted, too preoccupied to get serious about creating something that matters?