• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7534

    Old Master Prints

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 226

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    Saint Francis beneath a Tree praying (B., Holl. 107; H. 292)

    Price Realised  


    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    Saint Francis beneath a Tree praying (B., Holl. 107; H. 292)
    drypoint with etching, 1657, second, final state, countermark PB (cf. Hinterding A.b), with narrow margins, very minor thin spots at the left sheet edge outside the platemark, otherwise in very good condition, framed
    P. 181 x 245 mm., S. 185 x 248 mm.

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    Initially thought to be Saint Jerome the subject is now believed to be Saint Francis, whose reverence for the crucified Christ was such that during prayer a vision of the cross appeared to him, and impressed upon him the stigmata. Francis's constant companion in depictions of this episode, the Franciscan monk Leo, is shown to the right in the middle distance. This was the only time that Rembrandt portrayed Saint Francis, and it was the last print in which landscape played an important role.

    Executed initially completely in drypoint, and then only subsequently completed in etching, the plate is one of the most fragile in his oeuvre, in that the drypoint wore away quickly, and very few impressions with full burr survive. Rembrandt took considerable care with every one he printed, making considerable variations in the amount of plate-tone in particular.

    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.


    Dr. J. Barnes Burt (L. 382b).
    With Craddock and Barnard, London, June 1958.