About the Artist
Rembrandt created some 300 etchings and drypoint from about 1626 to 1665. His career as a printmaker ran parallel to his career as a painter—he rarely treated the same themes in both media and on only occasionally did he reproduce his paintings in prints. Above all, he was a great innovator and experimenter in this medium, often handling traditional materials in unconventional ways. His impact on printmaking is still reflected in etchings produced today. Rembrandt began etching early in his career while he was still in Leiden. His own face is a common feature in his earliest prints, which were probably meant as studies of varied expressions rather than self-portraits. He also often portrayed family and people he knew around him (The Artist’s Mother). In later years, he still etched unconventional and beautiful introspective portraits like that of the goldsmith Jan Lutma the Elder (1656), in which he evoked the shifting play of light on the sitter.