Etching, drypoint and burin
259 x 190 mm; sheet 267 x 199 mm
Bartsch 282; Hind 269; White-Boon 282 III/VI; Nowell-Usticke 282 III/VI
Provenance: Collection Naudet (Lugt 1938); John Heywood Hawkins, 1800 c. – 1860, (Lugt 1471-72) his sale collection to Sotheby’s, London, Aprile 29th,1850, lot. no. 1007; Blanchard Randall (Lugt 407); Nowell-Usticke sale, Sotheby’s New York, October 31th –November 1th, 1967, lot. No. 185; Dr. Friedrich Lieberg (Lugt 1681 ter); Galerie Kornfeld, Berna, sale June 21st 1979, lot. No. 106; Richard Harris, see C.G. Boerner The Richard Harris Collection, 2003, no. 23.
Very fine impression of the third state of six, with the addiction of fine shading on Coppenol face and on the head and neck of the boy; the dark areas, well preserved, printed strongly and evenly; rich burr on the drypoint touches. In fine condition, complete of the blank space under the composition, with small, even margins.
Nowell Usticke, in his survey about the rarity of Rembrandt etchings, considers this print, in the third state, of extreme rarity (RRR) and estimates between 30 and 50 the existing specimens. For the earliest impressions of this state Nowell Usticke remarks the richness of burr in the touches of drypoint, as is the case of our impression.
A print of the utmost rarity, of great interest for its quality and condition
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston owns a fine impression of this print in the third state, which comes from the Harvey D. Parker collection. Clifford S. Ackley, the main author and editor of the exhibition catalogue Rembrandt’s Journey (Boston, 2003) believes that the states after the third are not by the hand of Rembrandt (cfr. n. 210, pag. 301).
The Small Coppenol is missing in many public and private collections. This print can only be appreciated in fine impressions.
Lieven Willemsz van Coppenol was the director of the French school in Amsterdam until 1650. Later he devoted himself to the art of calligraphy, for which he became famous in every part of the Netherland.
Rembrandt portrayed him in two etchings and a in a painting now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
For this etching, known as the Little Coppenol, a preparatory drawing exists (Cfr. Otto Benesch The Drawings of Rembrandt. A Critical and Chronological Catalogue, London, 1953-57, n. 766). In this portrait Coppenol is represented according to the canons of classical portraiture: seated at his desk in the act of drawing a circle on a blank sheet. Behind him his grandson Antonius looks admiringly. The light effects are cleverly designed: light comes from the window on the left side, illuminating the faces of the protagonists and the blank sheet; the rest of the scene is shrouded by shadow.