Height: 211.000 mm
Width: 161.000 mm
State I: Bequeathed by George Salting
PD 1910-2-12-360 (state I);PD 1843-5-13-249 (state III);PD 1910-2-12-387 (state IV)
Prints and Drawings
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Entombment, an etching
The Netherlands, around AD 1654 (states I, III and IV)
This is one of a series of prints made by Rembrandt in the 1650s that depict episodes from the life of Christ. Here he was inspired by a drawing from the studio of the Italian Renaissance master, Raphael, of which Rembrandt made a copy, now in the Teyler Museum, Haarlem. From this he derived the cavernous interior of the tomb.
The bearded old man standing on the left may be Joseph of Arimathaea, who gave up his tomb for Christ. Below him, Mary's slumped frame carries the curve of the design towards the limp body of her son, supported by five men. One of them has jumped into the grave to lift the body from below, while the bearded figure must be holding the lamp that illuminates the scene. In the opposite corner, a group of mourning women look away from this painful sight.
Rembrandt's realistic approach to the subject-matter is typical of his art, and was widely influential.
E. Hinterding, G. Luijten and M. Royalton-Kisch, Rembrandt the printmaker (London, The British Museum Press in association with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2000)
C. White, Rembrandt as an etcher: a stud, 2nd edition (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1999)