The Entombment

Artist: Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam)

Date: ca. 1654

Medium: Etching; first state of four

Dimensions: Plate: 8 5/16 × 6 5/16 in. (21.1 × 16 cm)
Sheet: 8 7/16 × 6 7/16 in. (21.4 × 16.4 cm)
Frame: 21 × 16 in. (53.3 × 40.6 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: The Sylmaris Collection, Gift of George Coe Graves, 1920

Accession Number: 20.46.17


The Entombment demonstrates the combination of firm rectilinear draftsmanship and evocative tone that Rembrandt achieved in his graphic work of the 1650s. The two states of the etching (see also 23.51.7) show Rembrandt's ability to dramatically transform a single image into two strikingly different works of art. Here Rembrandt used the traditional method of wiping the plate clean before printing. As a result, only the ink remaining in the lines cut into the copperplate transferred onto the paper. He created a sense of flickering light by modifying the density of the hatching.