• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7534

    Old Master Prints

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 204

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-1669)

    Self-Portrait with Saskia (Bartsch, Hollstein 19; Hind 144)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-1669)
    Self-Portrait with Saskia (Bartsch, Hollstein 19; Hind 144)
    etching, 1636, first state (of three), a very good impression, printing strongly and with good contrast, with the curved slipped stroke on Saskia's forehead, the vertical scratch through Rembrandt's hand very prominent, with wiping scratches in the blank areas, trimmed on the platemark, in very good condition, framed
    P., S. 104 x 94 mm.


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    Aside from the painted double portrait of Rembrandt as the Prodigal Son and Saskia as a whore (Dresden, Gemäldegalerie) - which can hardly be categorised as simple portraiture - this is the only image Rembrandt created as testimony to his marriage to Saskia.
    'This etching with husband and wife is not a domestic scene, but an allusion to the significance of marriage to the artist and his art. Love as the nourishing source of artistic creativity is a common theme in literature of the 16th and 17th centuries - a theme encapsulated by the Dutch motto Liefde baart kunst (Love brings forth art). 17th century Dutch painters depicted this motto in family and double portraits, but this is a unique treatment of the subject in 17th century printmaking.'
    (Rembrandt by himself, ed. Chistopher White and Quentin Buvelot, National Gallery, London, 1999, cat. 46, pp. 162).

    Special Notice

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


    Provenance

    With P. & D. Colnaghi, London, May 1972, according to a label on the reverse of the frame.