[Luke 2: 22 – 40]
Etching: 10,4 x 7,9 cm
signed in monogram and dated lower centre: ‘RL 1630’
complete with thread margins
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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.
Despite the small size, this etching (the earliest of three with the same subject made by the artist), evokes a monumental and theatrical atmosphere, given the large number of figures and with the composition unfolding on different levels on a diagonal line: in the left foreground a beggar in the shadow; at centre, lit from left, the main scene with the Simeon holding the child addressing Mary, surrounded by worshipping figures and the prophetess Anna led by an angel; the architecture and the big staircase in the right foreground are alluded with fine, more delicate lines.
Bartsch 51; White/Boon 51;
The New Hollstein Dutch 54 Second state (of II) ;
Plate not in existence.
On laid paper, a fine impression of the second, final state, still printing with tiny touches of burr on Simeon’s hand and Anna’s face, the foul-biting below printing strongly