Rembrandt Van Rijn, Etching & Drypoint: SELF-PORTRAIT DRAWING AT A WINDOW

Rembrandt Van Rijn, Etching & Drypoint: SELF-PORTRAIT DRAWING AT A WINDOW

Description: An original Rembrandt Van Rijn Etching & Drypoint print.
Original etching and drypoint printed in black ink on laid paper.
Signed and dated in the plate upper left Rembrandt f. 1648.
A strong, dark 18th century impression of Bartsch’s fifth and final state, Usticke's fifth state of eight, New Hollstein’s eighth state of nine, printed after the addition of the fine close diagonal shading to the chin and to the right of the subjects’s mouth.
Catalog: Bartsch 22 v/v; Hind 229; Biorklund-Barnard 48-A; Usticke 22  v/viii; New Hollstein 240 viii/ix.
6 3/8 x 5 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.
The contrived pose and glorious costume of the earlier self-portraits are nowhere to be found in this etching.  It may be possible to detect traces of the cares and sorrows of Rembrandt’s private life in his facial features here.  At the time this etching was done a new companion, Hendrickje Stoffels, has settled in his household after the death of Saskia and brought him great comfort, but his popularity as an artist had dwindled and his debts have mounted.  The flair has been shorn from his hair and mustache; his jowls are fleshy; his tunic and hat are austere.  His posture is frontal and rigid: horizontals prevail.  Although Rembrandt’s introspection shows continuously through his painted self-portraits until his death in 1669, this noble self-revelation is his last self-portrait etching.

Dimensions: Image Size: 6 3/8 x 5 3/16 inches
Framed Size: 21 1/4 x 23 inches
Artist or Maker: Rembrandt Van Rijn
Medium: Etching & Drypoint
Date: 1648
Condition Report: The lower left corner reinforced from the verso, the extreme upper left sheet tip repaired, otherwise in excellent condition, trimmed down to or just outside the platemark all around.
Exhibited: Collections in which impressions of this state of this etching can be found: Baltimore Museum of Art; Kunstmuseum Basel; Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlische Museen zu Berlin; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Cabinet des Estampes, Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, Brussels; Szépmüvészéti Museum, Budapest; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Statens Museum fur Kunst, Copenhagen; Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cracow; Gabinetto disegni e stampe degli Uffizi, Florence; Graphische Sammlung des Städel Museums, Frankfurt am Main; State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; Staatlische Graphische Sammlung, Munich; New York Public Library; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
Literature: Christopher Wright, Rembrandt: Self-Portraits, Gordon Fraser, London, 1982, no. 71 (ill.); Holm Bevers/Peter Schatborn/Barbara Welzel, Rembrandt: the Master & his Workshop, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1991, no. 25, p. 237 (ill.); Christopher White, Rembrandt as an Etcher: A Study of the Artist at Work, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1999, no. 197, p. 151 (ill.); Christopher White & Quentin Buvelot, Rembrandt by himself, National Gallery Publications Limited, London, 1999, no. 62 p. 186 (ill.); Erik Hinterding/Ger Luijten/Martin Royalton-Kisch, Rembrandt the Printmaker, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Chicago, 2000, no. 58, p. 246 (ill.); Clifford S. Ackley, Rembrandt's Journey: Painter-Draftsman-Etcher, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2003, no. 213, p. 306 (ill.); Gary Schwartz, The Rembrandt Book, Harry N. Abrams, New York, 2006, no. 353, p. 208 (ill.);  Erik Hinterding, Rembrandt Etchings from the Frits Lugt Collection, Thoth Publishers, Bussum, 2008, no. 124, vol. II p. 18 (ill.).
Provenance: ex-collection Albert M. Bender, San Francisco (noted bibliophile whose philanthropy benefited the Stanford University rare book collections); ex-collection Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts, San Francisco Museum of Art (gift from Bender, deaccessioned to benefit future acquisitions).
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