Christ Presented to the People ('Ecce Homo')
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Christ Presented to the People ('Ecce Homo') Dated 1655
This is the final version of Rembrandt’s ‘Christ Presented to the People’. The crowds that appear in front of the platform in earlier states are here burnished (polished) out and replaced with two arches, and previously this crowd separated the viewer from the main action. The empty foreground adds to the sense of Christ’s desolation and betrayal, and the removal of the figures focuses our attention more directly on the events taking place centre stage. Rembrandt placed the action in a contemporary setting. The building behind the terrace resembles a typical Dutch town hall or court house, with statues of Fortitude and Justice similar to those on the Town Hall in Amsterdam, which was finished just a few years before Rembrandt made this etching.

Glossary Open

Etching

A form of printmaking in which a metal plate is covered with a substance called a 'ground', usually wax, into which an image is drawn with a needle. Acid is applied, eroding the areas of the plate exposed but not the areas covered by wax. The action of the acid creates lines in the metal plate that hold the ink from which a print is made when the plate is pressed against paper under pressure.

Print States

Artists often make changes to the print plate during the process of producing a print. The term ‘state’ distinguishes between alterations that are made to the plate, resulting in a different version of the design. The resulting prints can be numbered in succession, the first version being the first ‘state’, and so on.

Etching, Print States

Details

  • Acc. No. REMBRANDT.39 A
  • Medium Drypoint on paper
  • Size 35.80 x 45.50 cm (cut at the top removing the architrave)
  • Credit Purchased 1910