Christ and the Woman of Samaria, among Ruins

Rembrandt Van Rijn
Christ and the Woman of Samaria, among Ruins
etching
1634

An original Rembrandt Van Rijn etching.

1634

Original etching printed in black ink on laid paper.

Signed and dated in the plate upper right Rembrandt f. 1634.

A superb17th century/lifetime impression of Bartsch’s first state of two, Usticke’s first state of four, New Hollstein’s first state of five, printed prior to the addition of the two dots in the upper right-hand corner.

Catalog: Bartsch 71 i/ii; Hind 122; Biorklund-Barnard 34-L; Usticke 71 i/iv; New Hollstein 127 i/v.

Jesus left Judea for Galilee on a route that took him through Samaria, whose population was not Jewish and was despised by the Jews. In the city of Sychar he stopped at Jacob’s well to rest. When a woman from the town came to draw water from the well Jesus asked her to give him some. They began to talk and the woman was amazed to discover that he knew her whole personal history and spoke like a prophet concerning God. Wondering whether he might not be the long-awaited Messiah, “The woman said unto him, I know that Messiah commeth which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he,” whereupon the woman left her water-pot at the well and went to tell the men of the city what had happened (John 4:5-42).

In the background is the city of Sychar and the returning apostles, deep in discussion. The apostle John says “And upon this came his disciples, and marveled that he talked with the woman.” Christ’s meeting with the woman of Samaria was one of Rembrandt’s favorite New Testament subjects. He depicted it often, for the last in two paintings of 1655. The paintings as well as this etching have a strongly Venetian character in the landscape, the figures and the light.