After the announcement of the birth of the Messiah, the shepherds went to Bethlehem,
where they found Joseph and the Virgin, and the newborn child in the crib (Luke 2:15-16).
The simple, spontaneous manner of etching is well suited to the intimate nature of the scene.
This print seems to be the nicest representation of the birth of Christ. Already in
Rembrandt’s lifetime, it sold well. It probably belongs to a series about the youth of Christ:
these sheets (White-Boon 45, 47, 55, 60, 63, 64, and 65) are of almost identical dimensions,
and together they make a thematic and stylistic combination.
Boerner, Dusseldorf before 2004; with Douwes Fine Art at TEFAF 2006; a
private Dutch collection.
Douwes Fine Art ‘200 Years Douwes Fine Art’, Amsterdam 2005, p. 88, with ill.
Bartsch 45; Hind 273; White-Boon 45, 1st state (of two)
The New Hollstein Dutch no. 279, 1st state ( of three).
Plate in existence; with Nowell-Usticke (1967): C2-