Self-Portrait with Saskia

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Self-Portrait with Saskia
This etching is the only one to portray Rembrandt with his wife Saskia. This is surprising, as he studied his own face often and Saskia was his frequent model. The image might be understood as a depiction of an ordinary working day in the studio and their affection, or an allegory of the mean-ing of love for art, according to the contemporary motto “Liefde baart kunst” (Love begets art). The etching shows Rembrandt drawing with his left hand, though he was right-handed and was undeniably aware of the inversion the image would undergo in print. It appears the etching was partly improvised. Rembrandt initially drew Saskia, as we can see from the sequence of the grooves, and only afterwards drew himself where blank space remained. The sketchy style suggests he worked directly onto the plate, and he seems not to have minded the pentimenti and interchange of hands, as he printed the etching in a high run and therefore must have been satisfied with the result. This double portrait presents an opportunity to become closer acquainted with Rembrandt’s artistic temperament.
measurements: height 103 mm
width 94 mm
in collections:
material: paper
technique: etching
inventory number: R 144548
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings
author of the entry PhDr. Blanka KUBÍKOVÁ, Ph.D.