Rembrandt van Rijn etching print for sale lifetime impression - man in an arbour 1642 p
Rembrandt van Rijn etching print for sale lifetime impression - man in an arbour 1642 t
Rembrandt van Rijn etching print for sale lifetime impression - man in an arbour 1642
Rembrandt van Rijn etching print for sale lifetime impression - man in an arbour 1642 p
Rembrandt van Rijn etching print for sale lifetime impression - man in an arbour 1642 t
Rembrandt van Rijn etching print for sale lifetime impression - man in an arbour 1642
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
(Leiden 1606-1669 Amsterdam)

“Man in an Arbour”, 1642

Etching and drypoint: 73 x 57 mm;

Signed and dated upper left: Rembrandt f 1642

a narrow margin below, trimmed to the platemark elsewhere.

 

Bartsch 257; The New Hollstein Dutch (NHD) 208 only state (this impression cited):

Plate not in existence. With Nowell & Usticke as RRR – a very rare plate

Notes

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.

The identity of the sitter for this small, rare etched portrait is not yet known. His attire and pose, with his arm resting on a balustrade, are reminiscent of the Self-Portrait leaning on a Stone Sill created three years earlier (see lot 10). Although the man’s garments and the setting, with a row of books behind him, suggest some wealth and status, this portrait has none of the braggadocio of the self-portrait. With the lightly sketched surroundings, suggestive of a pillar overgrown with a blossoming climber, this print is much more romantic and pensive in mood.

Edmé-François Gersaint (1694-1750), Parisian dealer and the author of the first systematic catalogue of Rembrandt’s etchings, published in 1751, listed this as the first of the ‘Portraits d’Hommes’, the genre he considered as Rembrandt’s most attractive and accomplished.

Provenance:

  • Unidentified, stamped letter C or G recto (not in Lugt).
  • Richard Houlditch Jr. (before 1736-1759), London (Lugt 2214, recto);
  • probably by descent by his father Richard Houlditch (circa 1659-1736) or bought from Arthur Pond (without mark, see Lugt 2038);
  • probably in his sale, London, 2 February 1745.
  • Nathaniel Smith (circa 1738-1809), London (Lugt 2296, with his shop code AIEX and, possibly number N. 238 and price in brown ink verso);
  • probably his posthumous sale, Thomas Dodd, London, 26 April 1809 (and following days), lot 974 (with others).
  • Heneage Finch, 4th and 5th Earls of Aylesford (1751-1812) (1786-1859), London and Packington Hall, Warwickshire (Lugt 58); sold with the entire collection to Woodburn in 1846.
  • With Samuel Woodburn (1786-1853), London (without his mark; see Lugt 2584).
  • With W. & G. Smith, London; acquired as part of the stock from the above; their sale, Sotheby’s, London, 7-17 May 1849, lot 1324 (with another; ‘fine from Lord Aylesford’s collection’) (£ 1.2; to Weber).
  • Hermann Weber (1817-1854), Cologne, Brussels & Bonn (without mark, see Lugt 1383);
  • his posthumous sale, R. Weigel, Leipzig, 28 April 1856 (and following days), lot 366 (‘Ancienne et superbe épreuve, les bords sales et raboteux. Fort rare’) (Mk. 17).
  • Richard Dawnay, 10th Viscount Downe (1903-1965), Wykeham Abbey, Yorkshire (Lugt 719a);
  • his posthumous sale, Sotheby’s, London, 26 November 1970, lot 107 (£ 1,600; to Laube for Josefowitz).
  • Sam Josefowitz (Lugt 6094); acquired at the above sale; then by descent to the present owners.
  • Christie’s London.
  • Private collection, The Netherlands

a very good impression of this rare, delicate portrait

Literature

Bartsch 257; The New Hollstein Dutch (NHD) 208 only state (this impression cited):

Plate not in existence. With Nowell & Usticke as RRR – a very rare plate

 

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