In the late 1630s, Castiglione began to study Rembrandt’s etchings. He is the first artist in Italy known to have borrowed directly from the Dutch master. Castiglione most likely learned about him from the Flemish artist-dealers Lucas and Cornelis de Wael, who were also active in Genoa. He was particularly drawn to Rembrandt’s night scenes, his use of single sources of light, and his tone and murky shadows that envelop scenes through incredible webs of etched lines. Although this work is not one of the scenes from the book of Tobit illustrated by Rembrandt, Castiglione chose to focus on Tobit’s righteous attempt to bury dead Israelites, in defiance of the Assyrian king, providing the perfect framework for depicting a covert act undertaken by the cover of night.
Inscription: Inscribed in plate upper left above the dog: "Gio. Benedeto / Catiglione / P."
Marking: Stamped on verso with Albertina's mark (Lugt Suppl.5g) and inscribed in pen and ink across top of verso: 'Claude Augustin Mariette'
Graphische Sammlung Albertina; Claude-Augustin Mariette (French, born 1652); Donor: Bertina Suida Manning Donor: Robert L. Manning
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," May 9–August 7, 2017.