Clement de Jonghe
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)
Etching and drypoint, 1650, 208 x 162 mm., B/R/S 272 v/vii, Hind 251 v/vi, Bjorklund/Barnard 51c, Nowell-Usticke 272 v/ix. Fine impression, still with some burr, on fine laid paper without visible watermark and with thread margins most of the way around, inscribed in brown ink in the blank top corners with the name of the sitter and an unrelated number (M253?); two tiny thin spots and old glue stain at the top verso. The impression is clearly before the earliest Basan edition as the paper is quite different. It must be lifetime or early posthumous. De Jonghe (1634/35-1677) was an art dealer and collector in Amsterdam and a friend of Rembrandt’s. Knowing that he purchased a number of Rembrandt’s copper plates, it is not far fetched to think he may himself have printed this impression of his own portrait. The print has been, for centuries, one of Rembrandt’s most popular portrait etchings and, with its subtleties of tone and shading, it is not difficult to see why.