Clement de Jonghe, 1651
Rembrandt van Rijn
etching on ivory laid paper
24.1 x 18.6 cm; plate: 20.7 x 16.1 cm
Gift in memory of Margaret Wade Labarge from her collection, 2010
National Gallery of Canada (no. 43100)
Though the identity of the sitter has occasionally been questioned, Erik Hinterding recently published an inscription dated 1668, confirming de Jonghe as the subject, found on the back of an impression owned by the Pierpont Morgan Library and likely put there by the art dealer who owned it at the time. The inventory of de Jonghe's estate in 1679 included seventy-four of Rembrandt's etched copper plates. This print is known in six different states, each successively adding shading to the face, hat, and cloak. This first-state impression is considered quite rare. In common with the best examples of Rembrandt's portrait style, the verisimilitude of de Jonghe's pose conveys a sense of relaxed spontaneity. He sits leaning to one side, wearing hat, gloves, and a heavy overcoat, as if just in from outdoors; in later states Rembrandt emphasizes a parting of the lips as if he were about to speak.