Rembrandt Van Rijn, Etching: REMBRANDT AND HIS WIFE SASKIA(459 views)
An original Rembrandt Van Rijn Etching.
Original etching printed in black ink on laid paper.
Signed and dated in the plate upper left Rembrandt f. 1636.
A fine 18th century impression of Bartsch’s third and final state, Usticke’s third state of six, New Hollstein’s third state of four, printed after the addition of the patch of heavy cross hatching over the left ear, in which the acid spot to the right of Rembrandt’s collar is still visible, printed by Pierre François Basan circa 1795.
Catalog: Bartsch 19 iii/iii; Hind 144; Biorklund-Barnard 36-A; Usticke 19 iii/vi; New Hollstein 158 iii/iv.
Platemark: 4 1/8 x 3 5/8 inches Sheet size: 4 1/4 x 4 3/16 inches
Rembrandt's vast production of self-portraits is unparalleled in the 17th century - in all the history of art, for that matter. About one-tenth of all the paintings he produced in the course of his career are self-portraits (the etched self-portraits are not as numerous or as chronologically continuous as the painted ones but still number well over twenty). Although it is useless to try to explain this unique phenomenon, it can surely be assumed with safety that the artist, whose profound interest in the human face is amply proved by the rest of his work, found a constant and reliable model in himself.
This etching is a true self-portrait, not the sort of egalitarian double portrait of a man and his wife that Remrandt and his colleagues were often commissioned to paint. Here Saskia, the artist's wife of two years, is relegated to the background, where she is duly recorded along with such of the artist's fancy effects as his fancy hat, his expensive garments and his skilled hand. The restrained mood is achieved in part by the formality of the composition: the weave of the horizontals and verticals is enlivened only by the slants of the etching tool, sleeve and hat. In the same year, 1636, Rembrandt painted himself in jubilant spirits, with Saskia observing him (from her background position) with demure bemusement.
Condition Report: In excellent condition, printed on a sheet with 1/4 inch margins outside the platemark on all four sides.
Image Size: 4 1/8 x 3 5/8 inches
Sheet Size: 4 1/4 x 4 3/16 inches
Framed Size: 18 1/8 x 19 1/4 inches
Artist or Maker: Rembrandt Van Rijn
Exhibited: Collections in which impressions of this state of this etching can be found: Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Museum het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam; Baltimore Museum of Art; Kunstmuseum Basel; Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin-Dahlem; Kunsthalle Bremen; Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig; Szépmüvészéti Museum, Budapest; Art Institute of Chicago; Kunstsammlungen der Veste, Coburg; Statens Museum fur Kunst, Copenhagen; Polish Acedemy of Arts and Sciences, Cracow; Kupferstich-Kabinett der Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; The British Museum, London; The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; New York Public Library; The Morgan Library and Museum, New York; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Collection Edmond de Rothschild, Musée du Louvre, Paris; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The State Ermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna; Muzeum Nardoowe Warszawie, Warsaw; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Literature: Christopher Wright, Rembrandt: Self-Portraits, Gordon Fraser, London, 1982, no. 55 (ill.); Christopher White & Quentin Buvelot, Rembrandt by Himself, National Gallery Publications, Ltd., London, 1999, no. 46, p. 163 (ill.); Christopher White, Rembrandt as an Etcher: A Study of the Artist at Work, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1999, no. 166, p. 130 (ill.) and frontispiece (ill.); J.P. Filedt Kok, Rembrandt Etchings & Drawings in the Rembrandt House: A Catalogue, Gary Schwartz, Maarssen, 1972, B. 19, p. 35 (ill.); Clifford S. Ackley, Rembrandt's Journey: Painter-Draftsman-Etcher, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2003, no. 58, p. 126 (ill.); Gary Schwartz, The Rembrandt Book, Harry N. Abrams, New York, 2006, no. 77, p. 52 (ill.); Erik Hinterding, Rembrandt Etchings from the Frits Lugt Collection, Thoth Publishers, Bussum, 2008, no. 11, vol. II p. 15 (ill.);bSeymour Slive, Rembrandt Drawings, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2009, fig. 1.8, p. 7 (ill.).