St. Francis Beneath a Tree Praying

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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
St. Francis Beneath a Tree Praying
Drypoint printed on vellum.
180 x 244 mm
RvR 170
NHD 299, I
Pierre Remy (2nd half of 18th century), Paris; Reginald Pole Carew, London; his sale, lot 115, £33.12; Baron Jan Gijsbert Verstolk van Soelen (1776-1845), Hague and Soelen; John Heywood Hawkins (1803-1877), London and Bignor Park; Walter Francis, 5th Duke of Buccleuch (1806-1884), London and Dalkeith; George W. Vanderbilt (1862-1914); from whom purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan in 1905.

Signed and dated lower right, "Rembrandt f.1657".


Watermark: None.
Printed on a sheet of vellum which has been patched at the upper left, this is one of five known impressions of the first state. The great freedom with which Rembrandt has scratched the image into the plate is paralleled by the bold painterly handling of surface tone. Heavy tone casts a veil of darkness over two-thirds of the sheet. The light triangular area between the saint and the tree trunk is here reduced, anticipating the addition of further landscape detail in the following state. Subtle wiping creates lights which half reveal the crucifix and create an aura around the head of the saint. The area of foliage in the lower left corner has failed to print in full detail. (Boston 1969, no. 101)