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Every week, we highlight an artwork that is part of the collection of The Rembrandt House Museum, or currently on view at the museum. Today we would like to show you this etching by Rembrandt that is currently part of our exhibition Rembrandt’s Etchings: Highlights of the Rembrandt House collection: Rembrandt, Christ Presented to the People, 1655.

After his capture, Jesus was brought before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. Because it was the custom to free a prisoner at the feast of the Passover, Pilate asked the crowd whether he should release Jesus or the murderer Barabbas. Here Rembrandt shows us that moment. This complex scene was entirely drawn with the drypoint directly onto the plate.

Left: State 5 (8) | Right: State 8 (8)

After the fifth state Rembrandt started to make drastic changes. Here the crowd in front of the dais has been removed, concentrating the viewer’s attention on the central group. In the foreground there are two dark arches reminiscent of the dungeons under the city hall so often seen in medieval paintings.

Rembrandt is one of the greatest graphic talents of all time. From July 26th until September 17th 2017, The Rembrandt House Museum is staging an exhibition in which the magnificent etchings by Rembrandt are on display: Rembrandt’s Etchings: Highlights of the Rembrandt House collection. A selection of some thirty etchings from the museum’s collection will give visitors insight into the artistic and technical aspects of Rembrandt’s printmaking.

 

 

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