Christ Presented to the People

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

Date: 1655

Medium: Drypoint; eighth state of eight

Dimensions: Sheet: 14 x 17 15/16 in. (35.6 x 45.5 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Gift of Felix M. Warburg and his family, 1941

Accession Number: 41.1.36


Rembrandt treated this large drypoint almost as a painting, making marked changes to the composition as he reconceived the scene over and over. In the sixth state of the print, he removed much of the original crowd that stood directly below the main event and replaced it with two brick arches over an unidentified chasm. Between the arches he also added a sculpted male figure, lightly covered over in this, the final, state. The iconographic significance of these changes remains a mystery, but compositionally they serve to thrust the viewer into direct confrontation with Christ's fate.