• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7534

    Old Master Prints

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 250

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    An old Man Shading his Eyes with his Hand (B., Holl. 259; H. 169)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    An old Man Shading his Eyes with his Hand (B., Holl. 259; H. 169)
    etching with drypoint, circa 1639, a very good impression of the second, final state, with part of a Seven Provinces watermark (cf. Hinterding D-a), with narrow margins, a tiny nick to the left sheet edge, an unobtrusive thin spot in the blank area to the lower left, in very good condition, framed
    P. 137 x 115 mm., S. 142 x 120 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

    There has long been speculation as to why Rembrandt left this print unfinished, unsigned and undated. Contrary to his usual practice of completing the setting before working on the figure (cf. The Artist drawing from the Model (B., Holl. 192), here the reverse appears to be the case; the focus has been entirely on establishing the essential balance of contrasts around the sitter's face and hand. Perhaps Rembrandt stopped because he had captured the moment and the effects that interested him. Alternatively, the rationale may have been more commercial in nature, based upon the knowledge that collectors sought out early proofs and first states, and that leaving the plate unfinished might add to its desirability.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    R. Banks (not in L.)