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ID number:  BIRBI-39.11
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Rembrandt, Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-1669)
Title / Object name:  The Death of the Virgin
Object type:  Print
Place made:  Amsterdam
Culture:  Dutch
Date made:  1639
Materials:  Etching with drypoint
Measurements:  104 x 95 mm
Provenance:  Purchased from Messrs. P. & D. Colnaghi, 1939, for £40
BIRBI-39.11.jpg

This is one of the earliest plates in which Rembrandt used drypoint to any considerable extent. The etching by the great master of the Dutch ‘Golden Age’ shows the death of Christ’s mother, the Virgin Mary. From the far corners of the earth, Christ’s followers (the Apostles) miraculously return from their pastoral missions to tend to the Virgin’s side. Curious angels break open the thickness of clouds to bear witness to the sacred sight. Rembrandt achieved a dream-like composition by the mixture of finely drawn lines and deep elements of shading. This imagined account of the Virgin’s death was circulated by The Golden Legend, a popular fourteenth-century compendium of Christian histories. The text was a source of inspiration to many European artists.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Signed and dated: Rembrandt f. 1658

1 Related People

Rembrandt, Harmensz. van Rijn
Dutch
1606-07-15
1669-10-04
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