London | United Kingdom
When talking about his work, most expert’s agree that Rembrandt’s Christ Presented to the People is perhaps his most significant creation. When you consider some of the amazing works that Rembrandt has created in a wide variety of mediums, this statement underscores just how special this work really is. The art collecting world went abuzz when it it was announced that this spectacular piece will be offered for sale by Christie’s on 5 July 2018 in London at the Old Masters Evening Sale. Prior to this monumental sale the work has been displayed to audiences worldwide.
Rembrandt wasn’t just a talented painter, he alongside such greats as Picasso and Goya, were considered and still is, to be one of the most talented printmakers in history. His works are legendary. He created around 300 unique prints with each one dealing with a different topic and coming in at a different scale. Ranging from highly detailed and densely packed scenes with multiple individuals to minimalist small prints. The spectacular piece that is set to go on sale is one of Rembrandt‘s largest works. Rembrandt’s Christ Presented to the People or Ecce Homo, deals with a very pivotal New Testament scene in which Pontius Pilate quizzes the crowds of Jerusalem, asking them whether or not Barabbas or Jesus Christ himself should be spared from being executed.
The print in question is incredibly relevant as it concludes an important chapter in the New Testament, following the arrest of Christ, dealing with his trials and persecutions. The print itself is highly intricate. It depicts Christ, with his hands bound, alongside a staff-wielding Pilate and Barabbas, just outside of Pilate’s palace. Below them a crowd have gathered and all appear to be gazing up at the two prisoners. It’s truly breath-taking and in all honesty, no words can do this print justice alone. It is one which has to be seen to be truly appreciated.
Created during the artist’s third decade as a printmaker, Rembrandt’s Christ Presented to the People was created in 1655 and is one of only eight known impressions of the celebrated first state of this print and is the last known example in private hands. The other major museums that hold the other seven include The British Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Ashmolean Museum, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Musée du Louvre (Rothschild Collection), Kupferstichkabinett der Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Graphische Sammlung Albertina.
The piece is being made available from the collection of the late Samuel Josefowitz. Previously the work was on display in New York, before making its way to Hong Kong. Currently it is at it’s last stop, London until the 28th June and then it will be on display once again from 30 June until the 5th of July. The print will go up for sale with an estimated price of between $3 and $5 Million.
The work is ambitious, it is controversial, it is highly intricate, and it is of an exceptional quality. One look at it will instantly emphasize the reason of why many consider it to be amongst Rembrandt’s best ever works.