Rembrandt van Rijn
1606-1669 | DutchBust of a Man Wearing a High Cap, Three-Quarters Right (The Artist's Father)
Etching and drypoint on paper
Third state of six
Signed in monogram and dated "RL 1630" (upper left)
This exceptional and very early etching was composed by one of the supreme geniuses in the history of art, Rembrandt van Rijn. The subject of this particular impression, which depicts a man wearing a turban, is believed to be Rembrandt's father. Created when the artist was just 24 years old, the work exhibits Rembrandt’s unparalleled ability to create an expressive portrait with a simple etching needle and a copper plate. Other examples of this etching can be found in the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), the Morgan Library and Museum (New York) and the Detroit Institute of Arts
, among others.
The son of a miller, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is believed to have been born in Leiden on July 15, 1606. He studied first at the Latin School, and then was enrolled at the University of Leiden at the age of 14. He soon left to study art — first with a local master, Jacob van Swanenburch, and then, in Amsterdam, with Pieter Lastman, known for his historical paintings. Rembrandt was an exceptionally gifted student and mastered his art in a mere six months. By 22 years old, he returned to Leiden and was soon so highly regarded that he was able to take students of his own.
Though known today primarily for his paintings, Rembrandt’s fame was spread outside of the Netherlands by his etchings. He made hundreds of etchings for most of his career, from 1626 to 1660, when he was forced to sell his presses. He did etchings of several subjects, including self-portraits, biblical subjects, saints and allegories, and his work was avidly admired and collected, even during his lifetime. These small works of art are still counted among the most beautifully executed in the whole of art history.
Paper: 4 3/8" high x 3 5/8" wide
Frame: 16 1/4" high x 13 1/4" wide
The New Hollstein Dutch 57