• Old Master Prints auction at Christies

    Sale 7781

    Old Master Prints

    8 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 64

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    A nude Man seated and another standing, with a Woman and Baby lightly etched in the Background (B., Holl. 194; H. 222)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    A nude Man seated and another standing, with a Woman and Baby lightly etched in the Background (B., Holl. 194; H. 222)
    etching, circa 1646, without watermark, a fairly good impression of the second state (of three), with narrow margins, pale scattered foxing on the reverse, in very good condition
    P. 194 x 130 mm., S. 199 x 133 mm.


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    Rembrandt took the female nude as a subject early on in his career, but it was not until 1646 that he etched three studies of male nudes. Two were of single figures, whereas the present composition shows two men - in fact the same model twice. For many years the relationship between the scene in the background of this print and the models in the foreground went unnoticed. However, in the 17th century teaching a child to walk was a common metaphor for learning or practising in general. Such a backdrop, behind two studies from life, clearly must be read as an exhortation to young artists that they can only master their art by constant practice.

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    On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale which may include guaranteeing a minimum price or making an advance to the consignor that is secured solely by consigned property. This is such a lot. This indicates both in cases where Christie's holds the financial interest on its own, and in cases where Christie's has financed all or a part of such interest through a third party. Such third parties generally benefit financially if a guaranteed lot is sold successfully and may incur a loss if the sale is not successful.


    Provenance

    Unidentified, initials EK in a circle (not in Lugt).