Auction 93 Part 1 - Manuscripts, Prints and Engravings, Objects and Facsimiles, from the Gross Family Collection, and Private Collections

Rembrandt van Rijn – Etched Portrait of Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel – Amsterdam, 1636

Opening: $1,800
Sold for: $5,250
Including buyer's premium

Portrait of R. Menasseh Ben Israel – etching by Rembrandt van Rijn. Signed and dated on plate. [Amsterdam], 1636.
Original print, third state (according to the New Hollstein catalog).
Etched portrait of R. Menasseh Ben Israel, by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606–1669), greatest Dutch Golden Age artist in the 17th century.
R. Menasseh Ben Israel (1604–1657), French–born rabbi, preacher and statesman, descendant of a family of Marranos from Portugal; founder of the first Hebrew press in Amsterdam. Well–versed in languages and secular sciences. He was very active on behalf of the Jews in the Diaspora, and the Crypto Jews of Spain and Portugal. He played an important role in the readmission of the Jews to England, after their expulsion in 1290 on the orders of Edward I.

R. Menasseh Ben Israel entertained ties with scholars, statesmen and artists of his times, including Rembrandt, who portrayed him in the present etching, and prepared several engravings for R. Menasseh Ben Israel's book 'Even Yekarah' (1655). Rembrandt, whose workshop was located in close proximity with the Portuguese synagogue in a neighborhood which was home to many of Amsterdam's Jews, produced numerous works with Jewish and Biblical motifs, and several portraits of members of the Amsterdam Jewish community.

Approx. 11X15.5 cm. Good condition. Minor stains and blemishes. Tear to lower margins, restored (without damage to print). Remnants of glue on verso.


• The New Hollstein Dutch & Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts, Vol. II: TEXT II, 1636–1665. No. 156.
Provenance: The Gross Family Collection, Tel Aviv, 117.011.075.

Calendars, Braodsides and Posters – Graphics and Prints
Calendars, Braodsides and Posters – Graphics and Prints