Rembrandt, Harmensz van Rijn, Jan Cornelis Sylvius, 1633
Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt, Etching, Jan Cornelis Sylvius, 1633
|Artist:||Rembrandt, Harmensz van Rijn (1606 - 1669)|
|Title:||Jan Cornelis Sylvius, 1633|
|Reference:||B 266, H 111|
|Image Size:||6 1/2 in x 5 1/2 in (16.6 cm x 14.1 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||6 7/8 in x 5 7/8 in (17.5 cm x 14.9 cm)|
|Framed Size:||22 1/2 in x 21 1/4 in (57.3 cm x 54 cm)|
|Signed:||This work is signed and dated by Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt (Leiden, 1606 - Amsterdam, 1669) in the plate in the left center: 'Rembrandt f. 1633.'|
|Edition:||According to Nowell-Usticke, this work is an early State II (of III) impression; Biörklund State II (of II); White & Boon State II (of II); Hind State II (of II). This work is printed on a fine paper with the Strasbourg Lily F.b. watermark (Ash & Fletcher, pg. 203), dating the paper to c.1646.|
|Condition:||A rich impression, in excellent condition.|
|24 Hour Sale:||40% Off: $8,400|
Jan Cornelis Sylvius was a wise scholar and closely related to Rembrandt; he was a cousin by marriage and guardian to Saskia, Rembrandt's wife. The amount of respect Rembrandt had for his subject can be seen in this etching with the intricate lines that convey Sylvius's facial characteristics and the delicate cross-hatched lines that contribute a sense of depth and perspective within the work.
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Seated at his study, an open book in front of him, Jan Cornelis Sylvius appears as a wise scholar. Intricate lines convey his facial characteristics; his creased brow, long beard, and tired eyes show his age. Rembrandt utilizes delicate, cross-hatched lines to contribute a sense of depth and perspective within the work. This is particularly notable in the archway behind the subject's shoulder; the subject is clearly seated within an architectural structure with multiple rooms. White & Boon identify the sitter as a cousin by marriage and guardian to Saskia, Rembrandt's wife (p. 121). White and Boon state, "After several country appointments, he [Jan Cornelis Sylvius] settled in Amsterdam in 1610, first officiating at the Gasthuiskjerk, and after 1622 in the Grote Kerk. He died in 1638, at the age of 74' (p. 121).
Created in 1633, this original etching is signed and dated in the plate by Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt (Leiden, 1606 - Amsterdam, 1669) in the left center 'Rembrandt f. 1633.' According to Nowell-Usticke, this work is an early State II (of III) impression; Biörklund State II (of II); White & Boon State II (of II); Hind State II (of II). According to Nowell-Usticke there are only approximately 125-225 known impressions of this work (Usticke 12, B. 266). This work is printed on a fine paper with the Strasbourg Lily F.b. watermark (Ash & Fletcher, pg. 203), dating this paper to c. 1646. There is an unidentified collector's stamp 'F.M.W.' on verso.
1. Unidentified collector's stamp 'F.M.W.' on verso.
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. 266.
2. Biörklund, George, Rembrandt's Etchings: True and False, 1968. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. BB 33-H.
3. Hind, Arthur. A Catalogue of Rembrandt's Etchings. New York, 1967. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 111.
4. Münz, Ludwig. Rembrandt's Etchings: Reproductions of the Whole Original Etched Work, Vol. 1. London: Phaidon Press, 1952. Listed as catalogue raisonné no. 54.
5. Münz, Ludwig. Rembrandt's Etchings: Reproductions of the Whole Original Etched Work, Vol.2. London: Phaidon Press, 1952. Illustrated as catalogue raisonné no.49.
6. Nowell-Usticke, G.W. Rembrandt's Etchings. Narberth, 1988. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. B 266.
7. White, Christopher & Karel Boon. Rembrandt's Etchings, Vol. I: Text. Amsterdam, 1969. Listed as catalogue raisonné no. B.266.
8. White, Christopher & Karel Boon. Rembrandt's Etchings, Vol. II: Plates. Amsterdam, 1969. Illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. B.266.
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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.