Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)

The Persian, etching, 1632, 17 x 16 inches, Museum Purchase

Renowned for their sensitive rendering and range of darks and lights, Rembrandt's etchings exhibit the artist's mastery over his media.  Widely experimental, Rembrandt freely changed and adapted the copper plates that he used for printing, varying acid exposure times in different areas of the image to create sweeping tonal variations and a strong sense of emotion and mood, as well as reworking  areas with a dry point needle to create an atmospheric line quality. 

Rembrandt was born in Leiden, the Netherlands, in 1606. His breadth of human subjects-from infancy to old age, from misfortune to wealth, reflect an essentially humanist view of the world. This portrait depicts the material finery of a successful merchant.  Rembrandt alternately suggests form gesturally, as seen in the figure's hand, while providing intimate detail in both the costuming and the subject's features.