Rembrandt, Harmensz van Rijn, The Artist's Mother Seated, in an Oriental Headdress: Half Length, 1631
Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt, Etching, The Artist's Mother Seated, in an Oriental Headdress: Half Length, 1631
|Artist:||Rembrandt, Harmensz van Rijn (1606 - 1669)|
|Title:||The Artist's Mother Seated, in an Oriental Headdress: Half Length, 1631|
|Reference:||B. 348, H. 51, BB. 31-H, B&W 348|
|Image Size:||5 5/8 in x 5 1/16 in (14 cm x 12.9 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||5 11/16 in x 5 1/8 in (14.5 cm x 13 cm)|
|Framed Size:||21 1/2 in x 21 1/8 in (54.6 cm x 53.7 cm)|
|Signed:||This work is signed (in monogram) in the plate by Rembrandt, 'RHL 1631'.|
|Edition:||A lifetime impression, this work is an intermediate Nowell-Usticke State II (of IV); Hind State II (of III); Biörklund State II (of III); Boon & White State II (of III).|
|Condition:||A great impression, with traces of burr in the rework at the left. Minor expert conservation not affecting the image itself and a small crease at upper left.|
|24 Hour Sale:||40% Off: $15,000|
Rembrandt's technique of working in "live etching" format is clearly evident in this piece as the portrait has more active and fresh characteristics in the line and technique than in other portraits, which are reflective of the Master Artist's live interaction with his model, his own beloved mother. All of which enable the viewer to glimpse into the relationship and feelings Rembrandt had toward her, making it a truly touching work.
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|A lifetime impression created in 1631, this original etching is a Nowell-Usticke State II (of IV); Hind State II (of III); Biörklund State II (of III); Boon & White State II (of III) impression before coarse reworking of the face (Hind 51) and minor reworking to the headdress and sleeve. Printed on a fine laid paper, this work is stated by Nowell-Usticke to be a rare and very uncommon work with approximately 75-125 known impressions (Usticke p12, B 348). This work is signed and dated by Rembrandt in the plate ‘RHL 1631’.
One of two "half-length" studies of his mother, Rembrandt's etching of his aged mother in a beautiful "oriental headdress" contains delicate detail reflective of a loving intimacy between mother and son. While "she still acts as the model embodying dignified old age," the soft execution of line used to construct her facial features suggests Rembrandt's desire to capture a soft and gentler representation of his beloved mother (White 112).
Scholars speculate that Rembrandt worked in a "live etching" format, whereupon his mother, as model, would be seated in the studio while Rembrandt worked directly on the plate. In this sense, the portrait has more active and fresh characteristics in the line and technique, which are reflective of the Master Artist's live interaction with his model. This work has received expert conservation to the sheet, which does not affect the image.
Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
1. Nowell-Usticke, G.W., Rembrandt's Etchings, 1988. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. B 348.
2. Hind, Arthur, A Catalogue of Rembrandt's Etchings, 1967. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 51 with details on pg. 46.
3. Biörklund, George, Rembrandt's Etchings: True and False, 1968. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. BB 31-H on pg. 39.
4. Schwartz, Gary, Rembrandt: All the etchings reproduced in true size, 1977. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. B 348.
5. Münz, Ludwig, Rembrandt's Etchings, Vol. 1, 1952. Illustrated as plate 99.
6. Münz, Ludwig, Rembrandt's Etchings, Vol. 2, 1952. Listed as catalogue raisonné no. 85 on pg. 73.
7. White, Christopher and Boon, Karel, Rembrandt's Etchings, Vol. 1, 1969. Listed as catalogue raisonné no. B 348 on pg. 154.
8. White, Christopher and Boon, Karel, Rembrandt's Etchings, Vol. 2, 1969. Illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. B 348 on pg. 256.
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.