• Old Master Prints auction at Christies

    Sale 7781

    Old Master Prints

    8 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 40

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    Peter and John healing the Cripple at the Gate of the Temple (B., Holl. 94; H. 301)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    Peter and John healing the Cripple at the Gate of the Temple (B., Holl. 94; H. 301)
    etching with drypoint and engraving, 1659, without watermark, second state (of three), a fine impression showing considerable burr on the figures in the foreground, the columns, the canopy and the crowd in the background, with margins, a minor central vertical crease visible on the reverse, a thin strip of Japan paper at the left sheet edge verso, otherwise in very good condition
    P. 179 x 216 mm., S. 188 x 225 mm.


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    Whilst the encounter between Saints Peter and John and the lame man is part of the standard repertoire of illustrations from the Acts of the Apostles, Rembrandt has chosen not to illustrate the miracle itself. Instead he portrays the action immediately preceding it, when Peter accosts the man saying that he can neither give him silver nor gold, but can heal him in the name of Christ (Acts III: 1-10). He may well have based the figure of Peter on an etching (B. 95), now extremely rare and technically unsuccessful, which he made thirty years earlier. In the last years of the 1650's Rembrandt's interest in Biblical subjects started to wane, and the present etching is the last one he ever executed.

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    Provenance

    Prince Charles de Ligne (1759-1792), Vienna (cf. L. 592), according to a pencil inscription verso but without his mark.
    Probably Müller-Jabusch, initials M J in an oval (not in Lugt).