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Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
(Leiden 1606-1669 Amsterdam)

“The Death of the Virgin”

etching and drypoint, with fine margins all around; with remnants of a watermark
409 x 315 mm
signed and dated ‘Rembrandt f.1639’
More info

Bartsch 99; Seidlitz 99; Hind 161; Nowell-Usticke 99; White-Boon 99.
‘The New Hollstein’, 2013, no. 173, fourth state (of five), strengthening with the
rocker, especially visible on the lower part of the foremost bed post. In the next
state many contours are redrawn doubling these lines.

Notes

The white tablet in the lower corner, probably intended for an inscription, was
frequently cut off, but in this case it has been preserved completely, with fine
paper margins all around it. Such a well-conserved print as this one is very rare.
According to Seidlitz, together with the One-Hundred-Guilder print, this etching is
the most magnificent of all of Rembrandt’s oeuvre of etchings. It is an
outstanding example of the use of chiaroscuro, one of his favourite techniques.
The account of the death of the Virgin does not appear in the New Testament,
only in the apocryphal literature. Rembrandt has borrowed a number of elements
from Dürer’s woodcuts of the birth and death of the Virgin.

Provenance

Collection O. Bolten, Schwerin (Germany);
with Lempertz, Cologne in 1919 (catalogue number 179); Kornfeld collection,
Bern; a Dutch private collection

Condition

A well-conserved print of this large size as this one is very rare.
Late 17th century impression.
The copperplate: possibly lost after Basan. – with Nowell-Usticke (1967): C2

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