• Old Master Prints auction at Christies

    Sale 7781

    Old Master Prints

    8 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 37

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    David in Prayer (B., Holl. 41; H. 258)

    Price Realised  


    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    David in Prayer (B., Holl. 41; H. 258)
    etching with drypoint, 1652, without watermark, a good but possibly slightly later impression of the third, final state, with thread margins on three sides, a narrow margin below, with an old pen and ink inscription dated 1829 on the reverse, a minor thin spot on the reverse at the lower sheet edge, in very good condition
    P. 142 x 93 mm., S. 147 x 94 mm.

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    Rembrandt turned to the Bible as a source of inspiration throughout his career, but particularly during the 1650s. He demonstrated a remarkable empathy for the human condition whichever scene he was illustrating. In the present etching Rembrandt uses his characteristic theatricality to portray David, identified only by the harp lying on the ground, kneeling before his bed in prayer, completely given over to God. The subject is generally taken to be David praying for the life of his mortally ill son, Samuel.

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