The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 15, 2024

The Blindness of Tobit: The Large Plate

The Blindness of Tobit: The Large Plate

(Dutch, 1606–1669)
Sheet: 16.3 x 13.2 cm (6 7/16 x 5 3/16 in.); Platemark: 15.8 x 12.9 cm (6 1/4 x 5 1/16 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: White-Boon 42, Bartsch 42
Location: not on view


Having sent Tobias to collect a debt, a blind Tobit knocks over his wife’s spinning wheel and gropes for the door in his excitement to see his long-absent son. Rembrandt selectively inked and wiped the plate of this beautiful impression to enhance the scene’s meaning. The dark ink left behind the figure accentuates Tobit’s isolation and makes his beard-the only area of the print without any ink-seem even brighter, dramatizing the father’s anguished expression. Tobit’s shadow is cast by the firelight onto the wall to the far left of the doorway, symbolizing how far he has strayed from his goal and the poignancy of his condition.
  • Earl of Aylesford (Lugt 58); John Heywood Hawkins (Lugt 3022); Duke of Buccleuch (Lugt 402); [sale London, Christie's, 19-22 April 1887 lot 1777, bought by Danlos, Paris]; Alfred Strölin; [sale Klipstein & Kornfeld, Bern, 7 June 1961, lot #20 bought by C.G. Boerner]; Private Collection, Germany, 1961-91; Joseph Ritman, Amsterdam; [sale Artemis and Sotheby's, no. 19, New York, 1995]
  • Franklin, David. The Cleveland Museum of Art. London: Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers Ltd., 2012. Reproduced: p. 42 - 43
    Watkins, Catherine Bailey. Rembrandt's 1654 Life of Christ Prints: Experimentation, Tradition, and the Question of Series. 2011. Reproduced: P. 2015, fig. 84
    Monney, Gilles, Camille Noverraz, and Vincent Barras. Pierre Decker: médecin et collectionneur. Lausanne : Éditions BHMS, 2021. Mentioned and reproduced: pp. 74-75
  • Monotypes: Painterly Prints. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer) (May 31-October 11, 2015).
    Treasures on Paper from the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (March 9-June 8, 2014).
  • {{cite web|title=The Blindness of Tobit: The Large Plate|url=false|author=Rembrandt van Rijn|year=1651|access-date=15 June 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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