Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more A PRIVATE COLLECTION OF REMBRANDT SELF-PORTRAITSFew other artists depicted themselves as regularly and with such variety and psychological insight as Rembrandt. He painted himself before the mirror on at least forty occasions, and etched no fewer than thirty-two self-portraits in a printmaking career that stretched over three decades. Self-portrait prints are amongst the earliest that Rembrandt made, accounting for a large portion of his etching output up to the end of 1630. The first print in this collection, Self Portrait with curly hair and white collar, circa 1630 (lot 112) was made when the artist was in his early 20’s and living in Leiden. His young features, set against a shock of curly hair, are carefully rendered; his formal pose and sober gaze conveying a sense of studied gravity. The chiaroscuro effects, created only with hatched and cross-hatched lines, already reveal the young artist’s facility with the medium. In other self-portrait etchings from this time Rembrandt used his own features to model the physiognomy of human emotions. These types, or tronies, in which the artist depicted himself shouting, laughing and frowning, not only served to demonstrate his virtuosity as an artist, but were also character studies for his religious or history paintings. An example is Self-Portrait open-mouthed, as if shouting, 1630 (lot 113) which was the model for the agonised face of Christ in the painting Christ on the Cross, now in the Church of Saint-Vincent, Mas-d’Agenais, which Rembrandt painted in 1631. Although the artist moved away from these explicit studies of human emotion, his self-portraits after 1630 often display an ongoing interest in character and persona, such as Self-portrait with a plumed cap and lowered sabre, 1634 (lot 120) in which the artist masquerades as an oriental soldier. In 1631 Rembrandt had moved to Amsterdam and had very quickly established himself as an acclaimed artist and portraitist. In Self-portrait in a Velvet Cap with Plume, 1638 (lot 121) Rembrandt depicts himself richly attired in a fur-lined coat and a feathered hat. The costume is antiquated, in the style of the 16th century, and not in the fashion of Rembrandt’s day, and this has been interpreted as a conscious attempt by the artist to place himself amongst the great artist of the Northern European Renaissance.

Self-Portrait, with curly Hair and white Collar: Bust

Self-Portrait, with curly Hair and white Collar: Bust
etching, circa 1630, on laid paper, without watermark, a good impression of New Hollstein's second, final state, just beginning to show a little wear in places, a made-up area in the left subject, re-margined
Plate 57 x 50 mm., Sheet 60 x 51 mm.
J. V. Novak (1842-1918), Prague (Lugt 1949); presumably H. G. Gutekunst, Stuttgart, 16-20 May 1904.
Bartsch, Hollstein 1; Hind 33; New Hollstein 66
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

Condition report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

More from Old Master Prints

View All
View All