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Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

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Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

The small lion hunt (with two lions) (B., Holl. 115; H. 273)

Details
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn The small lion hunt (with two lions) (B., Holl. 115; H. 273) etching with touches of drypoint, circa 1632, a very good impression, with good contrasts, showing the usual areas of foulbiting, with thread margins on three sides, with a narrow margin below, in very good condition (FPR 54) P. 155 x 124 mm., S. 158 x 124 mm.
Provenance
Dr. F.A. Lieberg (L. 1681); Kornfeld & Klipstein, Bern, 21 June 1979
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Lot Essay

This boldly drawn etching, executed nearly ten years before A large lion hunt (lot 22) shows Rembrandt's nascent skill with the etching needle. As in the later print the sense of rapid movement of the animals is vividly suggested, but here Rembrandt uses a greater variety of line to create the composition. He has bitten the foreground and the horseman at the left very deeply to frame the composition.

Despite his skill, it is clear that Rembrandt had not seen a real lion at this point - his efforts to make the animal seem fierce resulted in a shaggy and rather friendly-looking sheep dog. His famous drawings of lions were to come later, in 1641, after a so-called 'wild-animal menagerie' had visited Amsterdam.

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