Christ Preaching (The Hundred Guilder Plate)

Rembrandt’s most famous etching is named after the considerable sum for which he sold the plate. Christ is healing the sick and preaching, insisting on the sanctity of childhood. But we are above all being plunged into the ancient Jewish world, and the contrasting sentiments Christ instilled in his fellow Jews, ranging from irresistible attraction to scepticism and outright hostility. The handwritten poem at the bottom of this print in the Bibliothèque Nationale, written by Herman Frederik Waterloos, Rembrandt’s contemporary, explicitly mentions that a living model posed for this portrayal of Jesus. The poem sheds new light on the artist’s attempt to truthfully portray the figure of Christ, which he pursued in Pilgrims at Emmaus (Louvre) and in the heads of Christ.
Rembrandt (Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn) (1606 – 1669)
circa 1649
Etching and drypoint – H. 28 cm; W. 39 cm – Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, Inv. W.B. 74.2, Bartsch 74
© BnF