Etching with drypoint and surface tone
Support: Beige(1) Japanese paper laid down on cream(3) wove paper
Sheet: 15.9 x 8.1 cm (6 1/4 x 3 3/16 in.); Platemark: 15.9 x 7.9 cm (6 1/4 x 3 1/8 in.); Secondary Support: 20.9 x 11.7 cm (8 1/4 x 4 5/8 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1997.4
Catalogue raisonné: Hollstein 200 (XVIII.97); White-Boon 200
Since the great majority of Rembrandt's works are portraits or depictions of biblical and mythological subjects, human figures are an important element of his oeuvre. During the course of a long career Rembrandt produced nine etchings of nudes, conducting a searching analysis of the feminine form. Rembrandt was an extremely innovative printmaker who experimented continuously. He understood that in etching he could obtain varied effects by controlling the inking and wiping of the plate and by printing on different types of paper. For this rare, early impression, Rembrandt carefully wiped the plate clean so that a thin layer of tone would unify the work and create the illusion that the figure is emerging from a shadowy background. Its beauty is further enhanced by the beige-toned Japanese paper, which adds warmth and a special glow to the flesh. Understandably, this superb impression once belonged to the Dukes of Devonshire and Chatsworth, who formed one of the finest old master print collections still in private hands.