Rembrandt (1606 - 1669)

Lot 136: REMBRANDT VAN RIJN Self Portrait Drawing at a Window.

Swann Auction Galleries

October 30, 2013
New York, NY, US

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Description: REMBRANDT VAN RIJN
Self Portrait Drawing at a Window.

Etching and drypoint with burin, 1648. 159x130 mm; 6 1/4x5 1/8 inches, narrow margins. Biörklund's fourth state (of 5); Usticke's third state (e) (of 8); White and Boon's fourth state (of 5). Ex-collection Nathaniel Smith, with his pricing inscription "cxII" in ink (Lugt 2296-97, verso). A brilliant, richly-inked and very dark impression with abundant burr on Rembrandt's tunic, on the spine of the large book and on the sheets of paper below the artist's right hand and with excellent tonal balances and no sign of wear (similar to the impression at the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, illustrated in Rembrandt: Experimental Etcher, Boston, 1969.)

According to Hinterding, in this etching, "Rembrandt appears to fix us with a penetrating gaze, but in fact we are seeing him intently studying his own reflection in a mirror in order to capture it on the copper plate: he sits at a table, etching. He holds the etching needle in his right hand, and the copper plate, unseen by the viewer, lies on a folded cloth in front of him suported by two books. The hand in which he holds the etching needle likewise confirms that he was working at a mirror. In the latter he would have seen himself reflected as left-handed, and drew himself thus; as a result of the reversal that takes place during the printing process, he appears right-handed again in impressions from the plate," (Rembrandt the Printmaker, London, 2000, page 243). Bartsch 22; Biörklund 48-A; Hollstein (White and Boon) 22.
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