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Original etching printed in black ink on laid paper
A clear and strong 17th century impression of Bartsch’s sixth and final state, Usticke’s seventh state of seven, New Hollstein’s tenth and final state, of this scarce etching (characterized by G.W. Nowell-Usticke in his 1967 catalogue Rembrandt’s Etchings: States and Values as “an extremely rare small self-portrait” and assigned his scarcity rating of “RRR+” [30-50 impressions extant in that year]), printed after the addition with the burin of the diagonal shading to the right temple and to the shadow on the right cheek probably by Johannes van Vliet.
Catalog: Bartsch 319 vi/vi; Hind 58; Biorklund-Barnard 31-10; Usticke 319 vii/vii; New Hollstein 71 x/x.
2 x 1 11/16 inches
Sheet Size: 2 1/8 x 1 13/16 inches
In fine condition, with narrow margins outside the platemark on all four sides.
Literature regarding this artwork: Christopher Wright, Rembrandt: Self-Portraits, Gordon Fraser, London, 1982, no. 35 (ill.);
Christopher White & Quentin Buvelot, Rembrandt by Himself, National Gallery Publications Limited and Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, The Hague, 1999, no. 27, p. 135 (ill.);
Erik Hinterding, Rembrandt Etchings from the Frits Lugt Collection, Thoth Publishers Bussum, 2008, no. 233-233a, vol. II, p. 266 (ill.).
Collections in which impressions of this state of this etching can be found: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Baltimore Museum of Art; Kupferstichkabinett der Staatliche Museen, Berlin; Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig; Szépmüvészéti Museum, Budapest; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Statend Museum fur Kunst, Copenhagen; Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cracow; Kupferstich-Kabinett der Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden; Gabinetto disegni e stampe degli Uffizi, Florence; Graphische Sammlung des Städel Museums, Frankfurt; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; The British Museum, London; State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; The Morgan Library and Museum, New York; Musée du Petir Palais, Paris; The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart; Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna; Muzeum Narodowe Warszwie, Warsaw; Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
Rembrandt’s vast production of self-portraits is unparalleled in the 17th century – in all the history of art, for that matter. About one-tenth of all the paintings he produced in the course of his career are self-portraits (the etched self-portraits are not as numerous or as chronologically continuous as the painted ones but still number well over twenty). Although it is useless to try to explain this unique phenomenon, it can surely be assumed with safety that the artist, whose profound interest in the human face is amply proved by the rest of his work, found a constant and reliable model in himself.
The authorship of this Rembrandt self-portrait has never been in doubt, however, it is now believed that the final sate is actually the work of Johannes van Vliet (active 1628-37).