Rembrandt’s etchings

Rembrandt was a productive artist. Besides many paintings and drawings, he made around 290 etchings. The great quality of his etchings made him famous and his etchings were sold over entire Europe. Even during Rembrandt’s life, others started copying his work. Therefore, there are currently many more ‘Rembrandt etchings’ on the market than Rembrandt could have possibly made during his life.
In order to understand this, one must look at the printmaking process itself. When Rembrandt made a print, he etched the image onto a copper plate that was used to print the image onto a piece of paper. These copper plates usually survived and came into the possession of others. They, in turn, tended to use those copper plates again to make new prints, even long after Rembrandt died. Furthermore, others made copies of Rembrandt’s etchings. Using this knowledge, one can roughly distinguish between four types of Rembrandt prints:

  1. Rembrandt’s own impressions
    These are the prints that are both etched and printed by Rembrandt himself. These prints are by far the rarest and most valuable Rembrandt prints on the market.
  2. Later impressions of Rembrandt etchings
    When others than Rembrandt used the original copper plates to make new prints, we are talking about ‘later impressions’. In this case the copper plate was indeed etched by Rembrandt, but the print was printed by someone else. In the 18th and 19th centuries, many of these later impressions were made and even in the 20th century this practice continued. Generally speaking, later impressions are somewhat less rare and hence somewhat less valuable than Rembrandt’s own impressions, however there are great differences between these prints.
  3. Copies of Rembrandt’s etchings
    Already during his life, other artists copied Rembrandt’s work. Since Rembrandt continued to enjoy great popularity, this practice also continued to well in the 20th century. When we are talking about a ‘copy’ of Rembrandt etching, both the copper plate as the imprint were made by someone other than Rembrandt. Rembrandt copies are a heterogeneous group of prints, that vary greatly in terms of quality, age and rarity and hence in price.
  4. Copies of Rembrandt’s paintings and drawings
    Other artists also copied Rembrandt’s paintings and drawings. Like the copies of his etchings, these prints vary greatly in terms of quality, age and rarity and hence in price.

Rembrandt-Art is committed to selling all varieties of Rembrandt prints. Our mission is to offer the world’s largest collection of Rembrandt prints for sale. We strive to provide our customers with a diverse stock that is both interesting for the most serious of collectors and museums as for people that seek to buy their first Rembrandt print or simply search for a unique gift.

Rembrandt-Art only sells genuine old prints, that were made before the year 1945. We provide standardized and professional descriptions that allow our customers to obtain all relevant information of a print in the blink of an eye. Naturally, all purchases come with a certificate of authenticity. Find out more about our promises here.