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    Sale 11965

    Fifty Prints by Rembrandt van Rijn A Private English Collection

    5 July 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 37

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    The Holy Family with the Cat and Snake

    Price Realised  


    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    The Holy Family with the Cat and Snake
    etching, 1654, on laid paper, without watermark, a fine impression of New Hollstein's first state (of four), printed with a light tone and delicate wiping marks, with thread margins, in very good condition
    Plate 94 x 144 mm., Sheet 96 x 145 mm.

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    This tender, domestic scene of the Virgin and Child conveys some fundamental religious symbolism. As the cat plays with the hem of Mary’s dress at left, a snake slithers out from underneath. Mary however has managed to trap the snake under her foot, thus foreshadowing Christ’s destiny as the Redeemer, the triumph of Good over Evil and the overcoming of the Original Sin. Outside, Joseph looks in through the window, present but separate from the Virgin and Child. This plate is part of a small, probably never completed series of prints of a modest, horizontal format dedicated to various scenes from the childhood and youth of Christ. For other prints belonging to this group see lots 35, 36, 38 & 39.


    George Björklund (1887-after 1968), Stockholm (Lugt 1138c).
    With Craddock & Barnard, London.
    Acquired from the above, 1 June 1966 (£250).


    Bartsch, Hollstein 63; Hind 275; New Hollstein 278 (I/4).