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Rembrandt van Rijn

The master among Dutch painters in the Dutch Golden Age.

Rembrandt Hamerszoon van Rijn was a Dutch painter, etcher, drawer and art collector. He is considered as one of the greatest painters in European art. Besides, he is the most important Dutch painter of the 17th century. This century is also known as the Dutch Golden Age because Dutch art was one of the most acclaimed in the world in that time.

Rembrandt manufactured approximately 300 paintings, 300 etchings and 2000 drawings. These works belong to the Baroque style and were influenced by the Caravaggesque style. Both styles find their origin in Italy and are related to strong emotional expressions and extravagancy even though he has never been to Italy. Rembrandt was a master in lighting effects, which created drama in his work. This attracts the spectator into his paintings up until this day. His works consist of portraits and self-portraits, but also landscapes and historical scenes.

Rembrandt’s most famous painting is called The Night Watch (Dutch: De Nachtwacht). This colossal sized painting originates from 1642, also known as the peak of the Dutch Golden Age and is loved for its dramatic use of light and shadow and the perception of motion. This masterpiece is in the collection of the Amsterdam Museum, but it is prominently displayed in the Rijksmuseum.

Rembrandt considered himself especially as a history- and portrait painter. His self-portraits show confidence and give a remarkable sharp visualization of his emotions. In my opinion, this reflects the talent and wealth of one of the greatest artists in Dutch history. Eventually, Rembrandt considered a personal and financial tragedy. However, his reputation always remained high among art lovers.

Short bio of the volunteer:

I am Jan from Rotterdam in the Nederlands and I am part of Madeira Heritage voluntary program. I have a passion for chemistry, history, food and exploring new places. That is why the Madeira Islands and its historical and cultural environment attracts me.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3, which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.