The Legend of Printmaking

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606- 1669)

Rembrandt is very well known in the art world for his painting but not many people know of him for his printmaking work. Rembrandt is known in the printmaking world as the father of printmaking, the mark he has left is still influential to this day. He started off very early in his career etching, most of his earlier prints would be self portraits of himself even if they where considered to be more studied variations than anything else. It was very rare of Rembrandt to carry over the same methods and themes that he portrays in his paintings into his prints.

Most of his prints revolve around the New & Old Testament. One of his more popular pieces and my favorite print done by him is his Christ Crucified between the Two Thieves: The Three Crosses.  Rembrandt ends up breaking away from the standard way of printmaking during that time, many of his prints are done in the same type of method as this one. He ends up using the printing plate as more of a sketch book then what it is,  sketching form on top of form. Working in drypoint for this print it allows the print to retain most of the burrs to increase the amount of detail in the print with leaving the excess amount of ink on to it. The vellum he used as a surface for this print, meaning that it is not as absorbent as paper making the lines in his dry point softer and enhancing the richness of the entire print.

Christ Crucified between the Two Thieves: The Three Crosses




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