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THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT, SMALL PLATE

$6,900.00 $3,450.00

Rembrandt Van Rijn
THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT, SMALL PLATE
etching
1633

An original Rembrandt Van Rijn etching.

1633

Original etching printed in black ink on laid paper bearing a portion of a “Foolscap” watermark

Signed and dated in the plate in the title margin below the image Rembrandt inventor et fecit.1633. 

A fine, somewhat greyish (typical of impressions of this state) 17th century/lifetime impression of Bartsch and Usticke’s first state of two, New Hollstein’s first state of four, printed prior to the appearance of the two dots in the upper right corner of the plate and the redrawing of the Virgin’s face. 

Catalog: Bartsch 52 i/ii; Hind 105; Biorklund-Barnard 33-D; Usticke 52 i/ii; New Hollstein 117 i/iv.

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.  When he arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt; And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son (Matthew 2:13-15).
The flight into Egypt was one of Rembrandt’s favorite biblical subjects, having devoted several plates to it during his career.  This print is one of his early expolrations of the use of an etched tone that is bitten into the plate in order to achieve an effect similar to a wash of ink.  A mottled bitten tone covers much of the top half of the plate, suggesting the fall of night and the emergence of stars.  The “stars” were probably produced by bubbles in acid applied directly to the plate with out a protective ground.  This etched tone is quite visible on Joseph’s upper figure but has been scraped and burnished away in other areas such as Mary’s heavily cloaked back to strengthen the sculptural effect of her figure and to heighten by contrast the feeling of oncoming night.
Only in this plate and in “The Good Samaritan” (Bartsch 90), of the same year, did Rembrandt identify himself by inscription as the draftsman and etcher of the plate.