• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 11965

    Fifty Prints by Rembrandt van Rijn A Private English Collection

    5 July 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 2

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    The Small Lion Hunt (with two lions)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    The Small Lion Hunt (with two lions)
    etching, circa 1641, on laid paper, watermark Foolscap with five-pointed Collar (similar to Hinterding G-a-b), a brilliant impression of New Hollstein's second, final state, with the heavily bitten lines printing very richly, the lightly etched background very clear, with margins, the tips of the upper corners in the margins made-up, a small repair in the lower margin at centre, otherwise in very good condition
    Plate 155 x 123 mm., Sheet 167 x 135 mm.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The subject of the lion hunt was one that Rembrandt revisited three times; the present etching is arguably the most dramatic and dynamic of them all. Possibly showing a scene towards the end of the hunt, one cornered lioness sinks its teeth and claws into an unfortunate rider who has been unseated from his rearing horse, while in the foreground a second lion glowers menacingly, preparing to attack the rider who has his spear raised, likewise going for the kill. Rembrandt leaves us to ponder the final result. His swift, sketch-like lines and extreme contrasts are perfectly matched to the violent, tumultuous scene, and the work is testament to his skill at capturing all the unfolding drama on a relatively small plate.

    The present lot is the first of eleven works in the sale that come from the Carlyon Family, based at Tregrehan House in Cornwall since 1565. After the death of Tristram Carlyon (1877-1957), a sizeable Rembrandt collection was sold to Colnaghi’s, where instead of the usual stock number beginning with the letter ‘C’ they were distinguished with an ‘R’ followed by a number. For a list of other works with this provenance please refer to the appendix in the back of the catalogue.

    The present impression compares favourably to the Cracherode, Smith and Salting impressions in the British Museum.

    Provenance

    Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), London (Lugt 2364); presumably his sale, H. Phillips, London, 5 March 1798 and 17 following days.
    The Carlyon Family, Tregrehan House, Cornwall.
    With Colnaghi, London (their stock number R. 551 in pencil verso); bought from the above in 1958.
    Acquired from the above, 10 June 1960 (£55).


    Literature

    Bartsch, Hollstein 115; Hind 18; New Hollstein 28 (II/2).