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The Descent from the Cross: 2nd Plate (B.81)

The descent from the cross

  • Etching and burin on thick wove paper with large clean margins. Signed and dated in the plate, Rembrandt. f. cum pryvl. 1633., bottom center.
  • Biorklund Barnard's fifth state of five, White and Boon's fifth state of five, and Nowell Eusticke's fourth state of five after the second publishers description, Amstelodami Justus Danckers Excudebat, is burnished off.
  • According to Nowell Eusticke, it’s an intermediate fourth state impression as issued by H.L. Basan (1807) showing wear in the face of the topmost man.
  • Schwartz comments that this work is an illustration from the New Testament, John 19: 38-42. It is based on Rembrandt's painting for Stadholder Frederick Henry.
  • One of Rembrandt's largest and most desirable etchings, this work was the second attempt to depict the subject. The first (B. 81-I) was intended to be an arched print but completely failed in the biting of the plate and was abandoned. After it failed, Rembrandt used a larger plate and his second attempt at this ambitious composition was completely successful.
  • This is one of only two etchings Rembrandt copyrighted, the other being Christ before Pilate (B. 77).
  • The original publisher's inscription read, Amstelodami Hendrickus Ulenburgensis Excudebat, and it was altered, according to Nowell Eusticke, around 1685. Ulenburch was Saskia's cousin.

For more information on the Park West Rembrandt collection: (800)-521-9654 xt. 4 or (248) 354-2343.