Eye Candy for Today: Rembrandt portrait etching and preliminary painting

Portrait of Dr. Ephraïm Bueno, Rembrandt, etching and preliminary oil painting
Portrait of Ephraim Bueno, Physician, Rembrandt van Rijn; etching & drypoint; roughly 8 x 7 inches (21 x 18 cm)

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project, original is in the Jewish Museum, New York, which has a downloadable version.

Portrait of a Man, thought to be Dr. Ephraïm Bueno, Rembrandt, oil on panel, roughly 7 x 6 inches (19 x 15 cm); Rijksmuseum (downloadable with creation of free Rijksstudio account).

We’re used to thinking of old master drawings and even etchings as being preliminary works from which paintings are made.

In this case, Rembrandt made a small preliminary painting from which he then produced the etching.

Rembrandt’s mastery of the medium of etching and drypoint shines in his portrayal of the pensive, perhaps somewhat world-weary physician, who was also a poet.

The soft drypoint lines lend the face a naturalistic feeling, and the sensitive rendering is a wonderful example of the empathy and humanity for which Rembrandt’s portraits are revered.