Etching: 5,7 x 5,0 cm
Signed in monogram centre right: RL
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During his lifetime, Rembrandt’s extraordinary skills as a printmaker were the main source of his international fame. Unlike his oil paintings, prints travelled light and were relatively cheap. For this reason, they soon became very popular with collectors not only within, but also beyond the borders of the Netherlands.
Rembrandt devoted himself to self-portraiture throughout his life, and this genre forms a substantial portion of his oeuvre. In his early career, his self-portraits were essentially studies, in which the artist learned to capture facial features and to express various grimaces and different states of mind. The spontaneous and energetic handling of the etching needle, heightened by contrasts of light and dark over the sitter’s face endow this portrait with emotional depth and a lifelike quality. This is one of Rembrandt’s earliest self-portraits creating the work when he was about 24 years old.
Bartsch 1; The New Hollstein Dutch 66 second state of II ;
Nowell-Usticke: RRR+ According to Usticke, “A very rare, attractive self portrait; nearly always pale and indistinct (RRR+).” We have found fewer than 10 other impressions in the market in the past 30 years.
Plate not in existence
A very good, dark and strong impression of this usually grayish print, with strong contrasts and little to no sign of wear in the most densely cross-hatched shading on the torso, consistent with the earliest impressions of this subject. Narrow to thread margins.