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Albert Ernest
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Rembrandt, (1606  1669);  Hundred Guilder Print


 

Also See Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Healing the Sick (The Hundred Guilder Print)

 

Extra large view of the image Christ is the radiant central figure in this monumental print by Rembrandt. His left hand is held up in benediction as he gestures a mother with a child to approach. To the right, the sick and the poor kneel before Jesus while a group of Pharisees (strictly observant Jews, The Jewish People, From the Hebrew word Jehudi, meaning belonging to the tribe of Judah, comes the word 'Jew'. In broad terms, a Jew is a descendant of the biblical patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The early history of the Jewish people from God's covenant with Abraham to the pre-Roman era can be read in the Old Testament. The key precept of the Jewish faith is the belief in a single God (rather than in a number of gods), and the coming of the Messiah (an anointed king) who will establish God's kingdom on earth. In the 13th century BC, Abraham's descendant, Moses led the Jews to the promised land. This was the land of Canaan - later Palestine. After many catastrophes and wars the Temple in the Jewish capital Jerusalem was destroyed in the year 70 AD. The majority of the Jews were subsequently driven out and scattered throughout the world. Despite numerous bloody persecutions the Jewish culture and religion has continued to exist. Since 1948 there is a Jewish state once more - the state of Israel.) watch disapprovingly. The scene is taken from the nineteenth chapter of the GospelEvangelists. The Evangelists were the authors of the four Gospels, the New Testament books that tell the story of Christ's life. The word 'evangelist' comes from the Greek 'euaggelion', which means 'good news'. The four Evangelists were SS Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Evangelists are often represented in art by symbolic figures: the angel, lion, bull and eagle, respectively. according to St Matthew. This describes Christ healing the sick, debating with scholars and calling on children to come to him. A rich young man, who was advised by Christ to give away all his possessions, is leaving through the gateway on the right. Rather than focus on a single story, Rembrandt has brought all these elements together into one composition.


The scene is bathed in dramatic light. Where the light actually comes from is unclear: perhaps it is Christ himself whose aura radiates all around. Surrounded by a halo of light, he is clearly distinguishable against the dark background. The people around him are also touched by the same light. On the left, the crowd is in fact over-illuminated. These figures are depicted mainly in outline, all except the contours being left blank. Some have suggested that this part of the work was unfinished, but that seems improbable. Rembrandt certainly sold copies of the print in the state it is today and changed very little.


Although most prints generally fetched no more than a few stuivers, Rembrandt's etchings often commanded high prices. Especially his larger prints which in many ways resembled paintings and were much sought after by collectors. The quality of his work was recognized immediately, not just after his death. This etching is known as the Hundred Guilder Print because Rembrandt was able to charge '100 guilders, and more 'Quote On 9 June 1654, Joannes Meyssens, a dealer in prints in Antwerp, noted in a letter to the Bishop of Bruges, Karel van den Bosch, that 'there is here in addition the rarest of prints produced by Rembrandt showing Christ healing the lepers, I know that it sold on various occasions in Holland for one hundred guilders and more and that it is as large as this sheet of paper [the letter is 31 x 21 cm], especially elegant and fine, although it should only cost thirty guilders, and beautiful and clear'. for the work. Rembrandt may also have used this print to swap in exchange. On the reverse, an inscriptionInscriptionInscribed on the reverse of this impression of the Hundred Guilder Print is the following text: 'Gift from my particular friend Rembrandt in exchange for The Plague by M. Anthony'. Below this is a French inscription describing how the picture was swapped for Raimondi's print of The Plague. states that this impression was traded for an expensive sixteenth-century print of 'The Plague' by Marcantonio Raimondi. It is quite possible that Rembrandt, a fanatical collector and dedicated artist, may have exchanged his own prints for works by other masters.

Rijksmuseum, The Masterpieces and Infocentre (The New Rijksmuseum)

 

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