Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn - Evening Editions New York Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Kennedy Galleries, New York (inventory number on verso); unidentified initial 'N' in pencil

  • Literature

    Adam Bartsch and F.W.H. Hollstein 99; Arthur Hind 161

  • Catalogue Essay

    A Strasbourg Lily watermark is common in first and second state impressions of this print. The watermark variation closest to the impression is probably Hinterding's Strasbourg Lily C.b.a. (cf. Hinterding vol. 2, p. 203).  Rembrandt used paper with this watermark during the period of 1633-1641.   
    Rembrandt was one of many artists influenced by the great German Renaissance printmaker Albrecht Dürer, and several of his compositions echo those of the German master. The angel appears at top right to announce to Mary that her death is imminent. The compositional format owes much to Dürer’s woodcut of the same title—of which Rembrandt owned an impression—from the major series The Life of the Virgin, which had been widely known throughout Europe since the early sixteenth century.
    Hilary Williams Rembrandt on Paper, 2009, The British Museum Press and The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, p. 58.
    Light is, of course, used symbolically, its greatest intensity being on the dying Virgin and on the angels above. It acts, moreover, as an agent that seems to dissolve the Virgin’s flesh and bones and thereby release her spirit upward. The costumes worn by some apostles (?) and other men and women who attend the event are also typical of the exotic and sometimes fanciful garments that Rembrandt featured in his early religious paintings as well as in early “portraits” of models that he dressed up. H. Diane Russell Eva/Ave, Woman in Renaissance and Baroque Prints, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1990, p. 91.
    Rembrandt’s realistically depicted Virgin is an older dying woman based on his wife Saskia’s failing health at the same time and often depicted her in bed propped up with pillows. She died in 1642 and was under thirty years old.


The Death of the Virgin

Etching with drypoint, on laid paper with Strasbourg Lily watermark (see note), with thread margins at top and sides and just outside borderline at bottom,
I. 15 3/8 x 12 1/4 in. (39.1 x 31.1 cm);
S. 15 5/8 x 12 1/2 in. (39.7 x 31.8 cm)

a lifetime impression, the second state (of three), with added drypoint work on the chair at lower right but not as filled in as third state (in the third state he also darkens the foreground bedpost with additional drypoint), several foxmarks and the sheet slightly toned, otherwise in very good condition condition, unframed.

$20,000 - 30,000 

Evening Editions

21 April 2011
New York