The History of Rembrandt Catalogers and Publishers
|c. 1652||Pierre Mariette, who would later become a well-known art dealer in Paris, begins collecting Rembrandt etchings during Rembrandt’s life. It’s possible he printed some impressions in subsequent years.|
|1751||Paris art dealer Edmé-Francois Gersaint compiles the first portfolio of Rembrandt’s impressions: the Catalogue raisonné de toutes les pieces qui forment l’oeuvre de Rembrandt. The first in a long line of Rembrandt catalogs, it establishes the different classifications used in many subsequent catalogs.|
|1755||Claude Henri Watelet’s collection of Rembrandt’s graphic work—containing impressions from the majority of Rembrandt’s surviving etching plates—is issued and soon enjoys renown.|
|1756||Pierre Yver issues a supplement to the Gersaint catalog.|
|1766/1767||Rare proof impressions are discovered in the estate of print dealer Pieter de Haan (1723-66).|
|1789||Pierre-Francois Basan, an international print dealer, publishes a survey of Rembrandt’s etchings—the Recueil Rembrandt. Composed of impressions taken from 83 Rembrandt plates, along with examples of other prints, it also includes approximately 28 copies of Rembrandt images.|
|1792||Two volumes containing Rembrandt impressions and prints by Captain William Baillie—are published in London by John & Josiah Boydell. Baillie made about 100 impressions of the Hundred-Guilder print before cutting the plate in pieces to ensure the exclusivity of the prints.|
|1796||A Descriptive Catalogue of the Works of Rembrandt is published by Daniel Daulby.|
|1807-1809||Basan’s son, Henri-Louis, publishes posthumous Rembrandt impressions under the same title (Recueil Rembrandt.) The younger Basan would later sell impressions separately.|
|Impressions from six of the plates in de Haan’s estate are published several times in a collection of 200 original etchings by J. M. Creery and J. Kay, along with impressions from other artists. The fate of those six plates is unknown.|
|1810||Parisian publisher Auguste Jean acquires the Basan plates. Under his control, the plates are reworked. He publishes impressions called Recueil Rembrandt, using the title and index from the Basan editions.|
|1820||Auguste Jean dies. The Receuil Rembrandt is later reissued with additional printings, by his widow, who likely worked with C. Naudet to print proofs on old Dutch and China paper.|
|1843||A. Houssaye illustrates his book, Rembrandt – Sa Vie et Ses Oeuvres, with prints from 22 plates which were probably on loan from Auguste Jean’s widow.|
|1846||Auguste Bernard, a Parisian publisher and engraver, purchases the plates from the estate of Jean’s widow and subsequently prints individual impressions that are not sold as editions. His son Michel, the plates’ next owner, is not known to have printed any impressions.|
|1853||Charles Blanc’s L’oeuvre de Rembrandt reproduit par la photographie, marks the beginning of a series of publications that contained facsimiles of Rembrandt’s etchings.|
|c. 1906||Having purchased the plates from Michel Bernard, Alvin-Beaumont prints an expensive new edition of impressions, which he offers to wealthy and institutional buyers. Donald Shaw MacLaughlan, a well-known Canadian etcher, is the only printer of record to have printed Beaumont impressions.|
|c. 1916||Alvin-Beaumont has the plates inked and varnished to preserve them.|
|1938-2008||Seventy-eight plates are sold by Alvin Beaumont to Dr. Robert Lee Humber in 1938. In the late 1950s the plates are placed on loan to the University of North Carolina Art Museum at Raleigh. Eight of the plates from the Humber collection were sold in 1993 by Artemis International of London to Robert Light a noted Rembrandt expert and art dealer in New York. In 1994 Robert Light sold the plates to Howard Berger, who was to form Millennium Impressions. In 2003 Park West Gallery purchased Millennium Impressions and the plates.
Millennium Impressions: No impressions of the plates are printed until 1998 when Emiiano Sorini and his assistant Marjorie Van Dyke spend one year preparing to produce the Millennium Impressions. Over a ten year period Emiliano Sorini and Majorie Van Dyke created the limited editions of 2,500 etchings from each of the plates.
At the inception of the work by Emiliano Sorini and Marjorie Van Dyke, the plates are placed in a bank vault in New York under the supervision and control of Sorini and Van Dyke. The plates are only removed from the vault during the time periods of printing, and are immediately returned after each printing session. The printing process takes 10 years and Marjorie Van Dyke certifies that only 2500 impressions are printed from each plate.
Park West Gallery certifies that upon taking possession of the plates they were inspected by Erik Hinterding, expert and author of The History of Rembrandt's Copperplates, who certified that they were in the same condition as when sold to Dr. Berger. Park West further certifies that since the time it has owned the plates, only Marjorie Van Dyke has printed them.