DescriptionREMBRANDT VAN RIJN (Dutch, 1606-1669) printed by DONALD SHAW MACLAUGHLAN (Canadian/American 1876-1938)
Suite of 24 Rembrandt Etchings "Beaumont Impressions", printed 1906 from Rembrandt's original plates
Etchings on paper preserved in the original housing as issued by Beaumont/MacLaughlan, many bearing MacLaughlan's inscriptions on both the housing and the prints themselves
THE PROPERTY OF A TEXAS COLLECTOR
Purchased in 1906 when issued by Alvin Beaumont by Representative C. C. Bowman, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
Collection of his son, William L. Bowman of Mount Vernon, New York;
Edythe Bowman, his widow;
Present owner, acquired from the above in 1970.
Later impressions of Rembrandt prints routinely come on the market but can seldom be identified by age and printer with full assurance. Because the posthumous printers of Rembrandt's original plates did not sign their work, it is very confusing indeed to sort out their efforts. Groups of posthumous Rembrandt etchings by a single printer such as these are frequently split up and scattered, such that it becomes difficult to identify them as the work of a particular printer when they appear piecemeal at auction, with their provenance entirely obscured.
This group of 24 Rembrandt etchings thus becomes a rare instance in which the date, the printer, and the provenance of a large group of prints can be established with 100% certainty. Indeed, as a cache of images, these etchings become a solid benchmark for establishing what the Beaumont impressions of Rembrandt's work truly look like. Each of these etchings was printed by hand in 1906 by Canadian/American printmaker Donald Shaw MacLaughlan, a highly skilled artist in his own right, from the group of Rembrandt's original plates acquired by Alvin Beaumont in Paris from Michel Bernard. The so-called Beaumont impressions were then sold by subscription, and this group of 24 was purchased by the great-great-uncle of the current owner, Representative C. C. Bowman of Pittsburgh, PA. According to the present owner, "C. C. Bowman had learned of Beaumont and MacLaughlan's Rembrandt prints while he was traveling in Europe as an art agent for the National Gallery in Washington. He has bought 26 impressions for himself, two of which he subsequently sold to someone. Mr. Bowman's son, my great uncle William L. Bowman of Mount Vernon, New York, did some legal work for his father, and asked for the etchings as payment. When he died, his widow Edythe Bowman kept the plates and she later gave them to me in the late 1970s. I have had them ever since and have not changed them in any way."
In general Donald Shaw MacLaughlan's prints from Rembrandt's original plates are darker than Rembrandt's lifetime impressions, though many in this grouping nonetheless show a keen sensitivity to the light-dark contrasts Rembrandt had been able to achieve through, of course, freshly etched line, burr, and other factors such as highly absorbent paper and selective wiping of the plate. Overall MacLaughlan's prints tend to be much richer in tonality than either Basan or Watelet impressions, in part perhaps because he left more ink on the plate to mask the plate wear and compensate for the absence of burr, and in part because he favored a deeper tonal effect. Although there is a range of quality to the impressions, several in the group come quite close to Rembrandt's own 17th-century impressions in their expressive power.
(#1) Beggars receiving alms at door of a house, 1648, etching on laid paper, (plate) 6 7/16 x 4 7/8 in. Much plate tone. Trimmed left, top and right. Thread margin lower edge.
(#2) Jan Uytenbogaert, 1635, etching on Chine, (octagonal plate) 8 ¾ x 7 3/8 in., (sheet) 9 5/8 x 7 7/8 in. Behind the print is the title written in pencil in MacLaughlan's hand on a little slip of paper adhered to backing: P.T. Portrait of J. Utenbogaert
(#3) The Raising of Lazarus, 1640, etching on Chine, (plate) 5 7/8 x 4 7/16 in., (sheet) 6 1/8 x 4 5/8 in.
In MacLaughlan's hand verso, bottom margin of print in pencil: The Little Resurrection of Lazarus.
(#4) Return of the Prodigal Son, 1636, etching on buff wove paper, (plate) 6 1/8 x 5 7/16 in., (sheet) 6 ½ x 5 9/16 in. On backing card written in pencil in MacLaughlan's hand is The Prodigal Son Returns.
(#5) Christ Driving Moneychangers from the Temple, 1635, etching on laid paper, (plate) 5 3/8 x 6 5/8 in. with thread margins
(#6) The Circumcision (in the stable), 1654, etching on laid paper, (plate) 3 ¾ x 5 11/16 in. with thread margins. Trimmed to plate line on left. Titled in MacLaughlan's hand in pencil verso: The Circumcision.
(#7) Birth of Christ , 1654, etching on Chine, (plate) 4 3/16 x 5 in., thread margins.
(#8) Rembrandt and Saskia , 1636, etching on Chine, (plate) 4 1/8 x 3 5/8 in., (sheet) 5 3/8 x 4 1/8 in.
In pencil by MacLaughlan in lower margin of print: Rembrandt and Saskia / P. T.
(#9) The Schoolmaster, 1641, etching on Chine, (plate) 3 ¾ x 2 3/8 in., (sheet) 4 ¼ x 2 ¾ in. In pencil by printer in lower margin: The Schoolmaster.
(#10) An Old Beggar Woman, 1629, etching on laid paper, (plate) 4 x 1 ¾ in., (sheet) 4 5/8 x 2 7/16 in.
(#11) The Rest on the Flight, 1644, etching on laid paper, (plate) 3 5/8 x 2 3/8 in., thread margins, in pencil lower edge of verso: Repose in Egypt.
(#12) Christ at Emmaus (larger plate), 1654, etching on laid paper, 8 5/16 x 6 ¼ in., thread margins, titled by MacLaughlan in pencil on verso lower edge: Supper at Emaus P.T.
(#13) Flight into Egypt Crossing Brook, 1654, etching on laid paper, (plate) 3 5/8 x 5 5/8 in., small margins.
(#14) Abraham and Isaac, 1637, etching on laid paper, (plate) 4 5/8 x 3 ½ in., (sheet) 5 1/16 x 3 ¾ in.
(#15) The Goldsmith, 1655, etching on laid paper, (plate) 3 x 2 1/8, (sheet) 3 1/16 x 2 ½ in., inscribed in pencil verso by printer: The Little Jeweler P.T.
(#16) Jews in Synagogue, 1648, etching on laid paper, 3 7/8 x 5 1/8 in., thread margins, trimmed to plate line on top and into print slightly upper right.
(#17) Joseph Recounting Dreams, 1638, etching on Chine, (plate) , (sheet) 4 7/16 x 3 ½.
(#18) David in Prayer, 1652, etching on Chine, (plate) 5 5/8 x 3 ¾ in., (sheet) 6 ¼ x 4 ¼ in., inscribed in pencil in lower margin by printer: David in Prayer.
(#19) The Old Swimming Hole, 1651, etching on laid paper, 4 7/16 x 5 7/16 in., trimmed to plate line on top, inside plate line on right side and thread margins on left and bottom, print's smudge upper right.
(#20) Christ Among the Doctors, 1654, etching on laid paper, (plate) 3 ¾ x 5 5/8 in., (sheet) 4 ½ x 6 ½ in.
(#21) Self portrait, 1638, etching on laid paper, 5 3/8 x 4 1/8 in., trimmed nearly to plate line, thread margins.
(#22) Landscape with cow drinking, 1650, etching on Chine, (plate) 5 x 5 in., (sheet) 4 7/8 x 6 in., titled in lower margin in pencil plus D. T. or P. T. lower left.
(#23) Peter and John at Gates of Temple, 1659, etching on Chine, 7 1/8 x 8 ½ in., thread margins lower edge and left edge. Top edge trimmed to and possibly slightly inside plate line. Titled in pencil verso by printer: Peter and John at the Gates of the Temple P-T-.
(#24) Christ and Woman of Samaria, 1657, etching on laid paper, (plate) 4 15/16 x 6 ¼ in, (sheet) 5 1/8 x 6 ½ in.
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