Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

   
 
100 Guilder print Christ Preaching

100 Guilder print Christ Preaching

Etching (restrike from Armand Durand plate)

Image Size 12 x 16

 

This is a sample of the restrikes available, We have many other pieces and framing styles.

Biography of Rembrandt

Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn (also van Ryn) (1606-1669)

Rembrandt was born in Leyden, the son of a miller, at the time when Holland became an independent nation. After about a year at Leyden University he was apprenticed for three years to an obscure painter named Swanenburgh, but this was followed by a much more important six months in Amsterdam (1624-25) with Peter Lastman, who was the means of his introduction to the rhetoric of early Baroque and perhaps also the channel by which the influences of Caravaggio and Elsheimer reached him. He might also have spent time with the Pynas brothers.

In 1625, he returned to Leyden where he set up in company with Jan Lievens, an association that lasted until Rembrandt's move to Amsterdam in (1631-32). By 1628, he was sufficiently well known to have DOU as his pupil. The earliest works known to us are dated 1626, and in them the influence of Lastman is still dominant.

At the end of early 1631 or early in 1632, he moved to Amsterdam and set up as a portrait painter, attracting attention in 1632 with The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp, a group portrait of the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons. This made his name and for the next ten years he prospered, producing highly finished likenesses, often in pairs. In 1634, he married Saskia van Ulylenborch, who brought him a considerable dowry as well as good connections, and Rembrandt promptly began to live well beyond his means. There are many portraits of Saskia, painted, drawn, and etched, but she died in 1642, leaving him a son, Titus.

In the same year his great group portrait, the Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, better known as the Night Watch, was painted. It was one of several such commemorative groups of the volunteer militia enlisted to defend Amsterdam. Each man paid according to the prominence given to his portrait, some finding himself subordinated to the exigencies of Rembrandt's art in a way that other artists would never have attempted.

After 1642, Rembrandt's business declined and the inevitable bankruptcy followed in 1656. It used to be thought that this was because of the revolutionary character of the Night Watch, but it now seems certain that Captain Cocq and his men were perfectly content with their picture. Meanwhile he was living with Hendrickje Stoffels, who, with his son Titus, "employed" him from 1660 onwards, thus affording some relief from the creditors.

During these years he turned to Biblical subjects, creating a Protestant iconography, to landscape and to studies of the Jews among whom he lived. He had been painting religious subjects from the start of his career, and he painted a series of Passion scenes for Prince Frederick Henry, and exuberant Baroque works, but the later works are deeper in emotional content and far less superficially dramatic.

AMAND-DURAND

Amand-Durand, born in Paris France, 1831, became a master engraver early in his career. He deeply admired the 15th, 16th, and 17th century Old Masters’ engravings and saw how they lost quality and faded from the ravages of time. This realization, combined with in-depth research throughout public and private collections of these masters, inspired his dedication to recreate their images and preserve the original quality for future generations.

In 1895 Theo Van Gogh, brother and manager of the infamous Vincent Van Gogh stumbled across the works of this artist in one of his travels. He was so impressed that he sought the artist out and spent an evening with him in his home. Afterward he quickly took to pen and paper to write Vincent to express his enthusiasm for his artistic talents and intellect. The Van Gogh brothers were just two of the many that recognized Amand Durand's talents. However, it would take years to unravel a story book mystery that makes his works and talents even more famed today.

Amand -Durand was a great admirer of Rembrandt. He desired to study the plates and techniques of this genius. Unfortunately at the time there only remained about 100 known plates, which were available to produce fine quality impressions. For 100 years the bulk of Rembrandt's plates were shrouded in mystery. As time moved on some of Rembrandt’s plates began to surface. By this time Rembrandt’s plates were miserably worn and dull. Amand-Durand, who by now had made the ranks of a noted engraver, decided to remedy this with his own gifted talents. He researched and intensely studied pieces that were available only in collections. From here on he spent the major part of his life exactly duplicating Rembrandt’s images onto copper plates. These recreations were called Amand-Durand’s after Rembrandt. Their unbelievable clarity and exactness were achieved because Amand-Durand used as his guide, not the worn and dull plates, but the first and second state etchings of the master’s original works. By this time Durand’s talent were known to experts of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1855, Conservator of the Cabinet de Estampes, George Duplessis so appreciated the genius of this man that he had his work published in books which belong to the Bibliotheque Nationale in France. Amand-Durand was used as master etcher in an anthology of European engravings, which became so valuable that they were kept under locked scrutiny in most libraries. What we have is a noted master duplicating a master some 200 years later.

Soon after Amand-Durand’s death in 1905, his original copper plates were obtained by the prestigious French book publishing family, DOMINIQUE VINCENT et Cie. They mainly published the work for book illustrations to the Bibliotheque Nationale and the Louvre Museum as beautiful exact duplications of Rembrandt’s etchings. Sporadically they sold to private parties interested in this unique creation. It was this reproducing that caused hushed rumor that spread throughout the entire art world. It was discreetly rumored among noted art circles, that in the early 1900’s numerous Amand Durand after Rembrandt etchings found their way into famous collections much to the dismay of many. This was the rumor until 1985. An American art dealer doing research on the availability of Rembrandt etchings came across some so questionably perfect that he decided to research even further. Fierce studying proved that these were in fact Amand-Durand etchings that had been rumored and gossiped about for so many years. Completely aware of what information he and come across and the problems that developed when they were placed in the wrong hands, he resolved to locate the original copper plates. This took quite some time. However with unbelievable resourcefulness he was able to locate the Dominique Vincent family who had been completely unaware of the stories that were inadvertently created with these prints. The Bibliotheque Nationale and the Louvre Museum in Paris had been acquiring these etchings to allow the French to see the unimaginable story behind them. The American dealer purchased all 348 original copper plates. This allowed the American public to also see this unimaginable story of how a noted artisan through his talent and dedication for the great master Rembrandt, created effects of such quality that the repercussions were felt throughout the entire art world for many, many years.

Over a century after Amand-Durand painstakingly recreated Rembrandt’s etching, the benefits of his devotion to quality and beauty are again felt throughout the art world, AFA Editions, Inc., is the exclusive international publisher for the complete after Rembrandt collection.

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