Rembrandt, Harmensz van Rijn, Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, 1634
Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt, Etching, Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, 1634
|Artist:||Rembrandt, Harmensz van Rijn (1606 - 1669)|
|Title:||Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, 1634|
|Image Size:||4 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in (11.5 cm x 9 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||4 5/8 in x 3 5/8 in (11.7 cm x 9.2 cm)|
|Framed Size:||19 3/4 in x 18 3/4 in (50.2 cm x 47.6 cm)|
|Signed:||This work is signed by Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt (Leiden, 1606 - Amsterdam,1669) in the plate in the lower left: 'Rembrandt f. 1634'.|
|Edition:||According to Nowell-Usticke, a State III (of V) impression; Biörklund State II (of II); White & Boon State II (of II); Hind State II (of II.|
|Condition:||A superb, rich impression; in excellent condition.|
|Gallery Price: |
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| Captured in a fit of lust and rage, Potiphar's wife grabs Joseph, her husband's
household slave, by the cloak and attempts to force him into bed with her. Rejecting
these sexual advances, Joseph draws back, pulling with all of his might in an
attempt to escape his lecherous captor. Rembrandt depicts Potiphar's wife sprawled
out nearly naked on her bed as she tries to seduce the object of her desire.
Though her body is illuminated by light, the depths of her bed are shrouded
in shadow, causing the space to appear foreboding and treacherous. Rembrandt
creates a composition divided by light and dark, contrasting the open, light
space to the left with the enclosed, dark space to the right. He further utilizes
light and shadow to depict the detailed folds in the drapery and creates a three
dimensional space in which the action takes place at the front and center of
Created in 1634, this original etching is signed and dated in the plate by Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt (Leiden, 1606 - Amsterdam,1669) 'Rembrandt f. 1634.' According to Nowell-Usticke, this work is a State III (of V) impression; Biörklund State II (of II); White & Boon State II (of II); Hind State II (of II) printed on a very fine laid paper.
Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
1. Bartsch. The Illustrated Bartsch Vol. 50. Edited by Stephanie S. Dickey. New York: Abaris Books, 1981. Illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 39 (another example illustrated) on page 27.
2. Biörklund, George, Rembrandt's Etchings: True and False, 1968. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. BB 34-G.
3. Hind, Arthur. A Catalogue of Rembrandt's Etchings. New York, 1967. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 118.
4. Münz, Ludwig. Rembrandt's Etchings: Reproductions of the Whole Original Etched Work, Vol. 1. London: Phaidon Press, 1952. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 192 (another example illustrated).
5. Münz, Ludwig. Rembrandt's Etchings: Reproductions of the Whole Original Etched Work, Vol.2. London: Phaidon Press, 1952. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no.173 on pg. 86.
6. Nowell-Usticke, G.W. Rembrandt's Etchings. Narberth, 1988. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 39.
7. White, Christopher & Karel Boon. Rembrandt's Etchings, Vol. I: Text. Amsterdam, 1969. Listed as catalogue raisonné no. B.39.
8. White, Christopher & Karel Boon. Rembrandt's Etchings, Vol. II: Plates. Amsterdam, 1969. Illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. B.39.
9. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.
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Biography of Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt
Rembrandt was born in Leiden and died in Amsterdam. He was the son of a miller and a baker's daughter, and was originally intended to become a scholar. He went to Latin School and then enrolled at the University of Leiden. After only a year he left to become apprenticed from 1622 to 1624 to a mediocre Leiden painter, Jacob van Swanenburgh. More important for his artistic development, however, was the short period of about six months that he spent training under Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam. In 1625 he began a working association with his friend Jan Lievens in Leiden, finally moving to Amsterdam in 1631/32. In the history of Dutch painting this date represents an important milestone, as Rembrandt was to become the incomparable representative of Amsterdam art. He soon established himself in Amsterdam, received many commissions and opened a large workshop. In 1634 he married Saskia, a lawyer's daughter, who brought a considerable dowry into the marriage.
In 1639 he bought a large house, never quite paid for, which he filled with works of art and curios. Soon his passion for collecting exceeded his finances. In 1642, the year he painted "The Night Watch" Saskia died, and from 1649 he lived with Hendrickje Stoffels whom he could not marry without losing Saskia's legacy to their son Titus. In 1656 he went bankrupt, and his house and all possessions were put up for compulsory auction. Rembrandt spent his final years in poverty and isolation in rooms on the outskirts of Amsterdam, his powers of creation undiminished.
Rembrandt was the most universal artist of his time and he influenced painting for half a century, irrespective of schools or regional style. From his many fields of activity his pupils developed their own specialties, ranging from trompe l'oeil painting to the very detailed Leiden style. Unlike most Dutch painters of the time, who worked in fairly narrow fields, Rembrandt depicted almost every type of subject.
Although Amsterdam's leading portraitist for a decade ("Jan Six", Amsterdam, Foundation Six), also doing group portraits (The Staalmeesters," he was a painter of numerous biblical scenes ("The Sacrifice of Isacc," St. Petersburgh, Hermitage), of the mythological works works ("Philemon and Baucis", Washington, National Gallery) and landscapes ("Landscape in Thunders Brunswik, Herzog-Utrich-Museum) as well at life. In his work, branches of painting often overlapped, as for example in the group portrait "The Night Watch," where he took liberties with a number of rules. Rembrandt's fame rests on his continual development of pictorial devices and unvarying excellence of execution (unlike the works of Rubens, man which were left in part to workshop routine), a well as on his brilliant handling of light and shade and his ability to suggest states of mind through facial expression.
Apart from his greatness as a painter he was a powerful draughtsman and etcher. About 300 of these Rembrandt etchings survive. In this field he extended the technique and artistic possibilities, for example introducing the chiaroscuro effect, raising it to an art for in its own right. Amongst his approximately 15 drawings, the landscape scenes are particularly captivating in their serenity and harmony. Rembrandt's The Hundred Guilder Print is one of his most valuable and sought after etchings.