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    Sale 11965

    Fifty Prints by Rembrandt van Rijn A Private English Collection

    5 July 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 43

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    Abraham's Sacrifice

    Price Realised  


    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    Abraham's Sacrifice
    etching and drypoint, 1655, on laid paper, with partial watermark Strasbourg Lily (cf. Hinterding ZZ-zz), a very good impression of New Hollstein's only state, printing with touches of burr and without any wear, with thread margins, in very good condition
    Plate 155 x 132 mm., Sheet 157 x 134 mm.

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    About to prove his complete devotion and fear of God, Abraham is prevented from sacrificing his son Isaac at the last minute by an Angel, who in Rembrandt’s depiction literally stays his arm. This print is a masterpiece in controlled drama and suspense, made all the more painful and touching as it is a wonderfully subtle and tender scene. Abraham’s blind obedience is alluded to by the darkness of his eyes, anguished yet clouded by faith, as he is about to kill the son he had so longed for. Unlike in other depictions of this scene, Isaac is not tied down to the altar; with an obedience that equals his fathers, he kneels down, terrified of what is about to happen, while Abraham tenderly shields his son’s eyes from the long knife in his left hand.


    A. P. F. Robert-Dumesnil (1778-1864), Paris (L. 2200), with his blindstamp.
    George Baillie-Hamilton, 12th Earl of Haddington (1894-1986), Tyninghame House, East Lothian, Scotland; his sale, Sotheby's, London, 9 November 1953, lot 9 (to Colnaghi).
    With Colnaghi, London (their stock number C. 28898 in pencil verso).
    Acquired from the above, 2 March 1959 (£85).

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that there is an additional provenance of A. P. F. Robert-Dumesnil (1778-1864), Paris (L. 2200), with his blindstamp.


    Bartsch, Hollstein 35; Hind 283; New Hollstein 287 (only state).