Sotheby’s Amsterdam is delighted to announce an exhibition of Rembrandt etchings from a prominent private collection. The exhibition celebrates the artist’s exceptional draughtsmanship and unparalleled virtuosity as an intaglio printmaker, as well as his prescient photographic eye—qualities that came together to generate an inventive and distinctly modern body of printed work. Rembrandt: the 17th-Century Photographer also illustrates the unique vision of a passionate and learned collector.
The owner of this collection has, over time, become drawn to a lesser-explored facet of Rembrandt’s production: his ability to capture, with an etching needle, fleeting moments in time in much the same way as a photographer would. This singular approach provides a new way of looking at Rembrandt’s work: from his earliest prints, intimate and candid representations (indeed, antecedents to the 21st-century ‘selfie’), such as Self-Portrait in a Cap: Laughing and Self-Portrait open-mouthed, as if shouting: Bust, to the landscapes executed at the height of his career: The Three Trees (1643) for example, which reveals Rembrandt’s unprecedented ability to arrest atmospheric effects in monochromatic and linear form. Rembrandt’s stirring religious imagery is also well represented by several important subjects, including Saint Francis beneath a Tree praying and The Blindness of Tobit, where the artist focuses on the usually transient points in biblical narratives, rather than their more familiar climaxes.
Comprising his most celebrated subjects, such as Saint Jerome beside a Pollard Willow and View of Amsterdam from the Kadjik, alongside extremely rare and unusual works, a maculature of Jan Lutma, Goldsmith, for example, this exhibitionprovides a novel and multifaceted insight into Rembrandt’s graphic oeuvre.