• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7534

    Old Master Prints

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 209

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    Abraham's Sacrifice (B., Holl. 35; H. 283)

    Price Realised  


    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    Abraham's Sacrifice (B., Holl. 35; H. 283)
    etching, 1655, a very good impression, with burr particularly to the left of the logs beneath the bowl, with narrow margins on three sides, a wider margin below, with a soft horizontal crease (only visible on the reverse), minor pale brown staining on the reverse, in very good condition, framed
    P. 156 x 130 mm., S. 164 x 135 mm.

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Clearly linked in terms of size and subject the present work can be seen as forming a pair with Rembrandt's etching entitled Abraham and Isaac (B. 34). The parable concerns the test of faith set by God for Abraham in which he was commanded to make a burnt offering of his son, Isaac. At the point where Abraham drew his knife an angel appeared saying 'Now I know you are a God-fearing man. You have not withheld me from your son.' A ram, which had got caught in a thicket nearby, was sacrificed in Isaac's place.

    Rembrandt has followed the written source very closely. According to Genesis 'Abraham said unto his young men: abide ye here with the ass and I and the lad will go yonder and worship.' The two young men, and the ass upon which Abraham made the journey, can be seen at the right waiting a little below the hill where the action takes place. The ram can just be made out at the left.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    R. Balmanno (L. 213), with his inscription dated 1819 in pen and ink on the reverse.
    With Craddock and Barnard, London, 1955, according to an inscription on the backboard.