Etching: 25 x 18,7 cm
signed and dated: ‘Rembrandt f. & 1635’
Double-headed Eagle watermark (Ash & Fletcher 15 C.a)
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As one of the towering figures in the history of art, Rembrandt, a miller’s son from the university town of Leiden, was an artist of unmatched genius. Equally gifted as a painter, printmaker, and draftsman, Rembrandt proved himself to be as skillful at making portraits as he was at creating religious and mythological narratives. His landscapes are just as remarkable as his rare still lifes and subjects detailing everyday life.
Widely recognized as the greatest practitioner of the etching technique in the history of art, Rembrandt created 300 prints that constitute a body of work unparalleled in richness and beauty.
Bedecked in elaborate garb, Jan Uytenbogaert, Arminian Preacher, 1635 sits at his study, an open book in front of him. Rembrandt highlights his subject by illuminating him in light, creating a strong contrast against the dark, draped background. Intricate lines convey the feel of rich fabric, particularly on Uytenbogaert’s collar as well as the fur-lined coat thrown over his shoulders.
As the leader of the Dutch Remonstrants, Uytenbogaert (1577-1644) played a central role in the history of his times. The Remonstrants (or the Remonstrant Brotherhood) is a Protestant movement that had split from the Dutch Reformed Church in the early 17th century. Until Uytenbogaert’s banishment (1618-26), in the wake of the victory of orthodox Calvinism over Remonstrantism, he exercised great political influence, partly in his function as tutor of Prince Frederik Hendrik. After his return to Holland he settled in the Hague, but paid frequent visits to Amsterdam.
The portrait of Uytenbogaert was Rembrandt’s first official commission for an etched portrait. Until that time he had made portrait etchings only of members of his family. The official nature of this portrait is underlined by its Latin inscription (“He who was honored by the pious and the army was damned by the assembled preachers. Worse handled by fate than by time, he now returns, The Hague, to you.”), a common feature of formal etched portraits in the 17th century though a rarity in Rembrandt’s works.
Rembrandt also painted a famous portrait of Jan Uytenbogaert two years prior to this etching. The painting is now in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam:
Bartsch 279; Hind 279;
The New Hollstein Dutch 153: fourth state (of 9).
Plate in existence – with Nowell-Usticke (1967): C1
A superb impression of New Hollstein’s rare fourth state (of nine), the sitter especially prounounced against the richly inked background, printing with fine touches of burr in his eyes and elsewhere, and inky plate edges in places, on paper with a Double-headed Eagle watermark (Ash & Fletcher 15 C.a) and wide margins and square corners.