Rembrandt Etchings Top Demand at Bonhams Prints Sale

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669) Christ Healing the Sick: 'The Hundred Guilder Print' (Bartsch 74; New Hollstein 239). Image courtesy of Bonhams

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), Christ Healing the Sick: ‘The Hundred Guilder Print’ (Bartsch 74; New Hollstein 239). Etching, engraving, and drypoint, circa 1648. Image courtesy of Bonhams Auctions


Strong demand for Rembrandt at Bonhams Prints Sale in London


Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), The Three Trees (Bartsch 212; New Hollstein 214). Etching, engraving and drypoint, 1643, a fine rich impression, printing with good contrasts. Image courtesy of Bonhams Auctions

LONDON- Etchings by Rembrandt were in top demand at the recently concluded Bonhams Prints and Multiples sale in London. All the 31 prints by the artist put on auction were sold to buyers who savored the works of this famous artist. In the end, the Bonhams Prints and Multiples sale in London realized more than £350,000.

One of the major highlight of the print sale was The Three Trees. Considered one of Rembrandt’s largest, most accomplished and admired evocation landscape etching, the piece reveals the aura of a Dutch countryside. Marked by Rembrandt’s masterly skills, the etching on a copper plate represents man’s subjugation to the elements. It sold for £80,500 (US$ 125,386) inc. premium.

The Three Trees is just one of the sixteen works from a distinguished Irish collection sold at the Bonhams Prints and Multiples sale in London. Also from the collection is Self Portrait Leaning on a Stone Sill. It is considered the most splendid of Rembrandt’s thirty-two self-portraits. The relaxed pose with a gaze directed at the viewer, Rembrandt’s seems to be inviting judgment. The print which reveals the artist’s confidence in his ability sold for £32,500 (US$ 50,621) inc. premium. The sixteen works by Rembrandt from the distinguished Irish collection realized £250,250.

Abraham’s Sacrifice from the collection of Liuiba and Ernesto Wolf also generated a lot of excitement when it came up for auction. The print, the second scene by Rembrandt depicting the story of Abraham and Isaac, captures the moment when Abraham was about to carry out the sacrifice ordered by God. In Abraham’s left outstretched hand is a knife in readiness.   With his right hand, Abraham covers his son’s eyes as he knees in submission. The closely-hatched lines conveys a sense of movement and of emotional turmoil. The print sold for Sold for £13,750 (US$ 21,416) inc. premium.

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A fine impression of Christ Healing the Sick known as ‘The Hundred Guilder Print’ sold for £22,500 (US$ 35,045) inc. premium. The Hundred Guilder Print depicts four episodes from the nineteenth chapter of the Gospel of St Matthew: the Pharisees debating on marriage, the rich man told to sell his possessions, Christ calling the children to come to him and the healing of the paralyzed woman. Considered Rembrandt’s most ambitious religious composition in terms of size and theme, the print was greatly sought after during Rembrandt’s lifetime when impressions changed hands for 100 guilders, earning the work its nickname.

Speaking on the sale,   Rupert Worrall , Bonhams Head of Prints notes that the sale was an opportunity for emerging and established collectors to own works by a famous artist. “Rembrandt’s etchings were enormously popular during his lifetime.  They offered an opportunity to own a work by a famous artist at an affordable price and, of course, they still do,” he said .

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), Self Portrait Leaning on a Stone Sill (Bartsch 21; New Hollstein 171). Etching with touches of drypoint, 1639. Image courtesy of Bonhams Auctions

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