Rembrandt Van Rijn, Etching: OLD MAN WITH A DIVIDED FUR CAP(393 views)
An original Rembrandt Van Rijn Etching.
Original etching with touches of drypoint printed in black ink on laid paper.
Signed and dated in the plate upper left Rembrandt f. 1640.
A strong, clear 17th century/lifetime impression of Bartsch’s second state of two, Hind, Biorklund-Barnard and Usticke’s second state of three, and New Hollstein’s first state of two, of this rare and beautiful portrait. printed after to the appearance of the short slipt stroke from the cap to the left cheek of the subject, but well prior to the reworking with mezzotint, with traces of burr showing on the thumb of the sitter and the lines in the lower left and right corners.
Catalog: Bartsch 265 ii/ii; Hind 170 ii/iii; Biorklund-Barnard 40-A ii/iii; Usticke 265 ii/iii; New Hollstein 182 i/ii.
5 15/16 x 5 7/16 inches 6 1/4 x 5 11/16 inches
In the years after 1630 Rembrandt drew a series of red chalk drawings of imposing old men. Some of these subjects were later used in paintings of biblical subjects or of meditating old men. There are several etchings closely linked to this series of chalk drawings. The old man here is probably the same model who sat for a number of figure studies of the same period. He appears in the guise of a distinguished old gentleman with a fur cap and cloak. One scholar has pointed out the similarity of this etching to a small red chalk drawing in the Fodor Museum in Amsterdam.
This etching is the most fully developed among Rembrandt’s fantasy portraits of old men. Shown in three-quarter profile from a low, close-up point of view, this patriarch could have stepped right from the pages of one of Rembrandt’s beloved Bible stories. The cocked angle of his great fur hat accentuates his sharp eyed gaze and sculptured features. Rembrandt’s swift, confident handling of the needle is especially evident in the mantle covering the richly ornamented clothing. He added tiny, judicious strokes of drypoint to throw the sparely drawn arm and hand into relief. Rembrandt’s 1630’s drawings of actors and his later print for the publication of the play Medea (Bartsch 112) testify to his interest in the theater. The rhetorical bearing of this exotic figure invites the question as to whether this image too might be related to contemporary presentations on stage.
Condition Report: A tiny, expertly repaired and unobtrusive tear at the lower sheet edge, otherwise in excellent condition, printed on a sheet with narrow margins.
Provenance: bearing an unidentified collection stamp in ink verso.
Image Size: 5 15/16 x 5 7/16 inches
Sheet Size: 6 1/4 x 5 11/16 inches
Artist or Maker: Rembrandt Van Rijn
Exhibited: Collections in which impressions of this state of this etching can be found: Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin-Dahlem; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt-on Main; Ermitage Museum, Leningrad; The British Museum, London.
Literature: Hilliard T. Goldfarb, A Humanist Vision: The Adolph Weil, Jr. Collection of Rembrandt Prints, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NewHampshire, 1988, no. 17, p. 49 (ill.); Clifford S. Ackley, Rembrandt's Journey: Painter-Draftsman-Etcher, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2003, no. 33, p. 98 (ill.); Erik Hinterding, Rembrandt Etchings from the Frits Lugt Collection, Thoth Publishers, Bussum, 2008, no. 194, vol. II p. 217 (ill.).