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The Artist’s Mother with her Hand on her Chest: Small Bust (B.349)

The Artist's Mother with Hand on Chest

  • Etching on Ingres d’ Arches off-white laid paper (watermark) with large margins. Initialed in the plate (“RL”) and dated “1631.” The second state according to Bjorklund, the seventh state according to Nowell- Eusticke. A 20th century impression printed by Marjorie Van Dyke. From the ‘Millennium’ edition limited to 2500 examples.
  • In this poignant portrait, Rembrandt captures his mother’s careworn face and tender expression as she is found in contemplation, her eyes cast downward. The position of her hand upon her chest suggests the importance of her thoughts and closeness to her heart. The darkly etched dress and veil heighten the drama of the image, and the curve of the veil around and over her face crease an angelic effect, reinforced by the light behind.
  • In, 1589, Rembrandt’s mother, Neeltgen Willemsdochter van ZuyBrouck, married Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn in Leiden, Holland. Rembrandt was the next to the youngest of their nine children, two of whom died in infancy. Rembrandt created six etchings of his mother and several paintings of her as well. This work is an excellent example of the revolutionary notion known as Rembrandt’s “psychological portraiture,” where the sitter’s humanity and spiritual essence are more deeply expressed that their mere physical likeness.

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