The Morgan Library & Museum announced today that it has completed the digitization of its entire collection of Rembrandt etchings: nearly 500 images of works by the Dutch master are now available online. According to the Morgan, “Rembrandt used the process of etching to test concepts and themes, and the digitized works offer the opportunity to explore up-close his use of line, shading, and subject matter.” The prints feature Biblical scenes, self-portraits, and depictions of the Dutch countryside and society in the artist’s day (including both beggars and art patrons).
The Morgan holds in its collection most of the roughly 300 known etchings by Rembrandt, including rare, multiple versions (hence the discrepancy in number of etchings versus number of images). Their digitization is part of a larger effort by the museum “to expand access to its holdings,” says the press release. This includes the digitization of over 500 music manuscripts begun in 2010 and the ongoing digitization of the institution’s collection of nearly 12,000 drawings.
The Rembrandt etchings are remarkable for the penetrating feeling they carry across a surprisingly wide range of subjects and styles. Below are just a handful of highlights. You can view the entire collection online at the Morgan’s website.