Beggar Sitting on a Bank (Self Portrait)

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606 Leiden Amsterdam 1669), Beggar Sitting on a Bank (Self Portrait), etching, 1630, signed in monogram and dated lower center RHL 1630. New Hollstein 50, first state (of 2), White/Boon 174. In very good condition, remains of prior hinging verso. 4 5/8 x 2 3/4 inches, 11.6 x 7 cm.

Provenance: Colnaghi, London (with their stock number C3736 verso), private collection (with stamp P verso, not in Lugt)

The face of the beggar is a self portrait.

A fine crisp early impression, with vertical scratches. Many of the first state impressions in institutions documented in the New Hollstein are described as “printed from a dirty plate”; this impression is quite clear, strong and clean.

In the later impressions of the first state two horizontal scratches appear on the man’s right foot; our impression is before these scratches. In the second state the plate is reduced to 10.3 x 6.5 cm.; the strip with the initials and date are cut off.

The beggar’s pose, with his mouth open, has analogies with a drawn self-portrait in the British Museum, London (Benesch 53).