OLD MAN WITH A DIVIDED FUR CAP

Rembrandt Van Rijn
OLD MAN WITH A DIVIDED FUR CAP
etching & drypoint
1640

An original Rembrandt Van Rijn etching & drypoint .

1640

Original etching and drypoint printed in black ink on laid paper bearing a portion of the “Coat of Arms of Amsterdam” watermark (Ash/Fletcher 1.G.a; Hinterding G.a.a).

Signed and dated in the plate upper left Rembrandt f. 1640.

A superb 17th century/lifetime impression of Bartsch’s second and final state, Hind, Biorklund-Barnard and Usticke’s second state of three, New Hollstein’s first state of two, of this rare and beautiful portrait, printed after the appearance of the short slipt stroke from the cap to the left cheek of the subject, with traces of burr showing on the thumb and hand of the sitter and the lines in the lower left and right corners. 

Catalog: Bartsch 265 ii/ii; Hind 170 ii/iii; Biorklund-Barnard 40-A ii/iii; Usticke 265 ii/iii; New Hollstein 182 i/ii.

“Old Man in a Divided Fur Cap” is among the most fully developed of Rembrandt’s fantasy portraits of old men.  Shown in three-quarter profile from a low close-up point of view, this patriarch could have stepped right from the pages of one of Rembrandt’s beloved Bible stories.  The cocked angle of his great fur hat accentuates his sharp-eyed gaze and sculptured features.  Rembrandt’s swift confident handling of the needle is especially evident in the mantle covering the richly ornamented clothing.  He added tiny, judicious strokes of drypoint with burr to throw the sparely drawn arm and hand into relief.  Rembrandt’s 1630’s drawings of actors and his later print for the publication of the play Medea testify to his interest in the theater.  The rhetorical bearing of this exotic figure invites the question as to whether this image too might be related to contemporary presentations on the stage.

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