Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, 16061669)
Etching and burin; only state
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.107.26)
Among Rembrandt's most moving prints, this etching depicts the story of Abraham, who, as a test of his faith, was ordered by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. As is typical of the artist's work of the 1640s, Rembrandt chose to illustrate the most emotionally poignant moment of the story: Isaac, unwittingly the intended sacrifice, asks his father, "Where is the lamb for the offering?" Abraham responds that God will provide one. Rembrandt arranged the composition around the pivotal gesture of the father, who points to God with his upraised finger. Like a storm cloud, lines swirl in the background behind Isaac, while the area behind his father is blank, modulated only by a thin film of ink.