Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam)
Etching, drypoint, and engraving; second state of four
Sheet: 8 1/4 x 6 5/16 in. (21 x 16 cm)
Frame: 21 × 16 in. (53.3 × 40.6 cm)
Gift of Henry Walters, by exchange, 1923
Not on view
The startling difference between this impression and the impression of the first state (20.46.17) has less to do with the many hatched lines Rembrandt added to the composition in the second state than with the veil of ink he left on the copperplate as it was printed. This ink turns the previously brightly lit scene into a dark one in which only the faces and hands of the central figures are illuminated. By initially leaving this tone on the copperplate and wiping away the ink only where he wanted to leave touches of light, Rembrandt printed both the etched lines and the layer of ink left on the surface. As a result of this exceptional painting of the plate before printing, each impression Rembrandt pulled was unique.
Donor: Henry Walters, by exchange
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 9, 2006–April 6, 2006.
Hind. 281; Bartsch 86 second state; NH(Rembrandt).II.241.284 ii