Rembrandt’s Religious Prints: The Feddersen Collection at the Snite Museum of Art
Rembrandt’s stunning religious prints stand as evidence of the Dutch master’s extraordinary skill as a technician and as a testament to his genius as a teller of tales. Here, several virtually unknown etchings, collected by the Feddersen family and now preserved for the ages at the University of Notre Dame, are made widely available in a lavishly illustrated volume. Building on the contributions of earlier Rembrandt scholars, noted art historian Charles M. Rosenberg illuminates each of the 70 religious prints through detailed background information on the artist’s career as well as the historical, religious, and artistic impulses informing their creation. Readers will enjoy an impression of the earliest work, The Circumcision (1625-26); the famous Hundred Guilder Print; the enigmatic eighth state of Christ Presented to the People; one of a handful of examples of the very rare final posthumous state of The Three Crosses; and an impression and counterproof of The Triumph of Mordecai. From the joyous epiphany of the coming of the Messiah to the anguish of the betrayal of a father (Jacob) by his children, from choirs of angels waiting to receive the Virgin into heaven to the dog who defecates in the road by an ancient inn (The Good Samaritan), Rembrandt’s etchings offer a window into the nature of faith, aspiration, and human experience, ranging from the ecstatically divine to the worldly and mundane. Ultimately, these prints— modest, intimate, fragile objects—are great works of art which, like all masterpieces, reward us with fresh insights and discoveries at each new encounter.