Etching, engraving and drypoint: 19,6 x 15 cm
signed and dated upper centre: ‘Rembrandt | f. 1656’
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Arguably one of the greatest master printers and portrait makers of this period, Rembrandt is able to delve into the very personality and mannerisms of his various subjects. Jan Lutma, The Goldsmith, 1656 is seen with a slight sliver of a smile, resting comfortably in his goldsmith’s chair with a vaguely humorous, relaxed expression. Light streams in from the window in the background, allowing our subject to be illuminated from behind giving an illusion of depth and texture.
According to Rembrandt scholar, K.G. Boon:
“Portraits…are undisputed high points in Rembrandt’s graphic work. With each one Rembrandt so immersed himself in his subject’s pursuits that in addition to a portrait he also created a type of human being. With regard to Jan Lutma, the old goldsmith, Rembrandt’s typification of the artist is most pronounced in the head with its mild, brooding – and not a little sardonic – glance.”
According to New Hollstein, the second and third states are distinguished by the addition of the barely legible inscription “F. Lutma Ex.” in the densely worked area at lower right. It seems, however, that the inscription beside the sitter’s elbow, which appears in the second state, and the one underneath the table were added at the same time and that the two states are in fact identical. What we do know with certainty is that Francois Lutma’s address under the table had been added in Rembrandt’s lifetime, since the artist outlived Francois by five years.
Bartsch 276; White/Boon 276;
The New Hollstein Dutch 293 Second state (of IV); Nowell-Usticke C2;
plate in existence in a private collection in the United Kingdom.
A very strong, dark impression of the second state with good margins.