This article discusses three Dutch fictional biographies about the painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669): Rembrandt (1931)
by Theun de Vries, Hendrickje Stoffels: Roman uit het leven
van Rembrandt (1936) by Rovan Oven and Licht en schaduw: De roman van Rembrandt’s leven (1942) by Ch. Huygens. A comparative analysis of these novels’ dominant modes of consciousness
representation, their paratextual presentation and their use of motifs referring to Rembrandt’s painting demonstrates that they deal with the tension between fiction and biography in divergent ways. Thus, it is shown that even fairly conventional examples of fictional biography occupy different positions both within the genre itself and in a wider literary system, e.g. in relation to the historical and the psychological novel. In addition, the analysis demonstrates the use value of various theories of fictional biography (Ina Schabert, Dorrit Cohn, Ansgar Nünning).