Freeman’s is pleased to offer an etching by preeminent Dutch artist and printmaker Rembrandt van Rijn in our upcoming auction of European Art & Old Masters.
Rembrandt’s most famous etching, “Christ Healing the Sick” is an amalgamation of episodes from chapter 19 of the Gospel of St. Matthew, in which the essence of Christ’s ministry is conveyed. The ambitious composition includes a crowd of sick followers seeking Christ’s healing as well as a group of Pharisees hoping to provoke Christ in debate. The central figure of course is Christ lit by a radiant light from above.
Likely completed in 1649, the print features a diversity of printmaking styles and techniques, a result of Rembrandt working on the print over several years. The rich areas of black on the right, contrast severely with the delicate handling of line in the left part of the composition. Rembrandt also varied the papers and amount of ink used on each impression, making each print genuinely unique. An impression, in this case, is just the print. So while generally 50 prints from the same edition are usually all identical (outside of the plate wearing down or some such) Rembrandt worked on each impression individually in this case.
The print is most commonly known as “The Hundred Guilder Print” and has been since the 18th century. There are various origin stories to the name, with a popular one being that Rembrandt himself paid this princely sum at auction for one of his own impressions.
While the present work is a posthumous print done shortly after the artists death, the print was made before the plate was acquired by the Irish printmaker known as “Captain William Baillie,” who altered the composition.
Freeman’s auction of European Art & Old Masters will take place on January 27, 2015. The catalogue for this sale is now available to view online.
This work sold for $43,750 in the 29 January 2015 auction of European Art & Old Masters.