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Rembrandt van Rijn Dutch, 1606
etching and drypoint on laid paper 42 x 32.2 cm; plate: 41.1 x 31.2 cm Purchased 1957
National Gallery of Canada (no. 6904)
This dramatic and monumental image was produced during Rembrandt's most outwardly Baroque period, when he seems to have felt the need to compete with the reputation of Rubens. At the same time, the realistic detail of a doctor checking the Virgin for a pulse is typical of the artist=s desire to undermine the more heroic aspects of traditional interpretations of religious themes.