Self-Portrait with Saskia
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Self-Portrait with Saskia Dated 1636
Rembrandt’s wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, was one of his favourite models. This etching, produced only two years after their marriage, depicts the thirty-year-old Rembrandt and his new bride. It is the only etching in which the artist portrays himself with Saskia. Rembrandt looks up confidently while drawing, or possibly in the process of making an etching, while Saskia is seated by his side. As a result of the printing process the image is reversed; Rembrandt has shown his hands at rest because he was right-handed and might not have wanted to give the impression he was drawing with his left. Rembrandt and Saskia are not wearing contemporary dress, indicating that this is not simply a drawing from life. The image is probably intended as an illustration of the idea that ‘love brings forth art’.

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.

Etching

Details

  • Acc. No. REMBRANDT.4
  • Medium Etching on paper
  • Size 10.40 x 9.50 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1964