Rembrandt, Harmensz van Rijn, The Tribute Money
Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt, Etching, The Tribute Money
|Artist:||Rembrandt, Harmensz van Rijn (1606 - 1669)|
|Title:||The Tribute Money|
|Reference:||B. 68, H. 124, BB 35-2, W & B 68|
|Image Size:||4 1/8 in x 3 in (10.5 cm x 7.6 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||4 1/8 in x 3 in (10.5 cm x 7.6 cm)|
|Framed Size:||18 3/4 in x 17 1/2 in (47.6 cm x 44.5 cm)|
|Edition:||According to Nowell-Usticke, a State II (of III); Biörklund State II (of II); White & Boon State II (of II); Hind State II (of II).|
|Condition:||This work is in excellent condition, with a minor tear at upper right corner of sheet outside of image; the sheet has been trimmed outside the border, not affecting the image.|
|24 Hour Sale:||40% Off: $4,200|
Rembrandt announces his unmatched talent in even the smallest of etchings. The range of facial expressions and the layered composition in The Tribute Money speak to the artist's creativity and evocative talent as a storyteller.
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Caught in mid-statement with upraised hand and forward-leaning posture, Christ responds passionately to the question put to him by his companions. In this New Testament episode, men come to ask Jesus whether or not Jews should pay taxes levied on them by the Romans under Caesar. In response to this attempt to trick him into occupying a controversial position, he states, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God's the things which are God's." Religious scholars have understood this phrase to call for a separation of church and state, to champion complete devotion to God, and to provide reasons not to pay taxes.
Whatever the interpretation, the image stands alone as a work of art of intimate dimensions.
Rembrandt conveys the tension of the moment through a densely layered composition. Setting the grace and poise displayed on Christ's features against expressions of concentration, skepticism and even frustration on the faces around him, the artist achieves a rich and textured snapshot of a moment. With characteristically fine detail, he describes velvety shadows and bright rays of light beneath the point of his etcher's burin. Due to its sophisticated iconography corresponding to multiple meanings, The Tribute Money is desirable for any collector of master etchings.
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. 68 on p. 54 (another example illustrated).
2. Biörklund, George, Rembrandt's Etchings: True and False, 1968. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. BB 35-2.
3. Hind, Arthur. A Catalogue of Rembrandt's Etchings. New York, 1967. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 124 on p. 75.
4. Münz, Ludwig. Rembrandt's Etchings: Reproductions of the Whole Original Etched Work, Vol. 1. London: Phaidon Press, 1952. Illustrated as plate no. 224 (another example illustrated).
5. Münz, Ludwig. Rembrandt's Etchings: Reproductions of the Whole Original Etched Work, Vol.2. London: Phaidon Press, 1952. Listed as catalogue raisonné no. 200.
6. Nowell-Eusticke, G.W. Rembrandt's Etchings. Narberth, 1988. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. B 68.
7. White, Christopher & Karel Boon. Rembrandt's Etchings, Vol. I: Text. Amsterdam, 1969. Listed as catalogue raisonné no. B.68 on pp. 34-5.
8. White, Christopher & Karel Boon. Rembrandt's Etchings, Vol. II: Plates. Amsterdam, 1969. Illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. B.68 on p. 54.
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.