Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn – Leyden 1606-1669 Amsterdam (ARCHIVED)

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn Ephraim Bonus Jewish Physician.jpg
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn Ephraim Bonus Jewish Physician.jpg

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn – Leyden 1606-1669 Amsterdam (ARCHIVED)

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Ephraim Bonus, Jewish Physician, 1647

Etching, drypoint and burin, second state of two, 24.1 x 17.7 cm

References: Bartsch 278; Hind 226; Boon-White 278

Ephrain Bonus, or Bueno, a Portuguese Jew by birth, was a distinguished physician and writer living in Amsterdam. In this etched portrait, Rembrandt shows him having just come through a door and down a short stairway, at the foot of which he has paused for an instant to look towards the spectator. The representation of the arrested moment is here more successfully handled than in Rembrandt’s slightly earlier painting of Bonus (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) in which the sitter is shown in a similar pose. In his etching the artist has crystallized a penetrating portrait. The medium is brilliantly exploited to suggest an almost palpable space inhabited by the powerful presence of the doctor’s stocky figure. Indeed, in his etching technique Rembrandt was a master at creating atmospheric space by means of a mesh of intersecting lines modulated with infinite subtlety.

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