• Old Master Prints auction at Christies

    Sale 7781

    Old Master Prints

    8 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 56

    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    The Baptism of the Eunuch (B., Holl. 98; H. 182)

    Price Realised  


    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
    The Baptism of the Eunuch (B., Holl. 98; H. 182)
    etching with engraving, 1641, without watermark, a good impression of the second, final state, with some additions in pen and ink and grey wash, with thread margins, an oblique crease at the left, pale scattered foxing, some wear at the left sheet edge with some occasional minor repairs and lesser defects
    P., S. 179 x 214 mm.

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    The narrative concerns 'a eunuch of great authority under Candace Queen of the Ethiopians' who was returning from Jerusalem reading the book of Isaiah on the road. An angel noticing his devotion summoned Saint Phillip who intervened, baptising the eunuch at a river nearby. Rembrandt's teacher Pieter Lastman painted the subject, as did Rembrandt three years later. One of the motifs he copied was the parasol that signified the eunuch's pre-eminence, contrasting with his humility as he kneels.

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    H. Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford (1786-1859), London & Packington Hall, Warwickshire (L. 58).
    A. Morrison (1821-1897), London (L. 151).