The Good Samaritan

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) Dutch

Not on view

This etching depicts the final scene in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) in which the Samaritan stopped to help a traveler who had been attacked by robbers. Here he has brought the wounded man on horseback to an inn and pays for the man’s care and lodging. The is one of two etchings in which Rembrandt reproduced his own paintings; the other is Christ Before Pilate (see inv. No. 17.37.75). The Good Samaritan repeats with a number of variations the composition of his painting in the Wallace Collection, London. Among Rembrandt’s additions here to the largely empty foreground that appeared in the painting is the defecating dog that adds a note of everyday reality to the biblical scene.
The Met has four impressions of the Good Samaritan, one of the extremely rare first state, before Rembrandt completed the hatching on the horse’s tail and added his signature, and three of this, the fourth (final) state. The first state is a luminous impression of exceptional quality and has long been recognized as such. In the 1843 sale catalogue of the Würtemberg collection, it was one of only two Rembrandt prints mentioned in the introduction to the catalogue and has an unusually long description in the body of the sale. It is also specifically mentioned by Frits Lugt in his entry on the Würtemberg collection, a citation he reserved for the only the most important prints and drawings (F. Lugt, Les Marques de Collection de Dessins et d’Estampes, 1921).

The Good Samaritan, Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam), Etching, engraving and drypoint; fourth state of four

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