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    Sale 7534

    Old Master Prints

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 257

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    The Artist's Mother seated at a Table, looking right (B., Holl. 343; H. 52)

    Price Realised  

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    The Artist's Mother seated at a Table, looking right (B., Holl. 343; H. 52)
    etching, 1631, second state (of three), watermark Eagle with Basel Crozier and pendant initials I D (cf. A. & F.), a good impression, the delicate detail on the face and hands printing well, with thread margins, the paper tone slightly darkened, with some pale scattered foxing, tiny touches of pen and ink at the upper corners and along the platemark, an unobtrusive diagonal crease at the upper left, minor defects on the reverse where previously hinged
    P., S. 148 x 130 mm.


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    This work probably dates from 1631, around the time of Rembrandt's second sojourn in Amsterdam. The sitter has long been identified as Rembrandt's mother, Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuytbroeck, and is one of five etchings he made of her between 1628 and 1633. Like other prints of the period it has a certain formality which he no doubt hoped would impress potential patrons. In many respects it is more an elaborate study after a model than a straightforward portrait, and it contrasts markedly with the smaller, more delicate studies done in earlier years. The closely observed details suggest that he worked directly from the model onto the plate, starting with the face, and then adding the headdress and figure. It must have been a success since it was reprinted several times in the 1630s and editions are known from the 1640s.

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