This print is one of the most famous in the history of printmaking because of the many reworkings it underwent. It was made entirely in drypoint (lines drawn with a needle directly onto the copper plate, rather than onto a ground of wax or resin covering the plate) and progressed through numerous states. Earlier states included a large crowd of onlookers in the foreground, but by the time of this seventh and final state Rembrandt had dramatically reworked the plate by obliterating the spectators and replacing them with two arches and a male figure. Although it was probably the wearing down of the drypoint burr that necessitated the changes, in so altering the composition Rembrandt completely changed the focus of the scene. Rather than the viewer being drawn into the image through the crowd, the emphasis is now directly on the Presentation itself and the gravity of the moment.
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- Titles Christ Presented to the People (Ecce Homo) (Proper)
- Artist Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch, Leiden 1606/1607 - 1669 Amsterdam
- Medium drypoint
- Dimensions sheet: 14 × 17 7/8 in. (35.6 × 45.4 cm) mat: 24 × 30 in. (61 × 76.2 cm)
- Credit Line Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Wells, 1957.97
- Work Type print
- Classification Prints
- Signature Collector's mark, verso, bottom right corner, in black ink: E / T [inside] C [Lugt 533b]
- Marks Collector's mark, verso, bottom right corner, in black ink: E / T [inside] C [Lugt 533b]
- Inscription Recto: none Verso, bottom left, in pencil: Num 79 / J. 1551 Bottom right, in pencil: B. 76 VIII / C 3146 / C 19380 / H. 261
- Provenance Hendrikus Egbertus Ten Cate, Almelo, Netherlands [see note 1]. Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Wells, Birmingham, Alabama; by bequest to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1957
1. Lugt 533b