Oct 11, 2011
Jan 9, 2007

The Blindness of Tobit: The Large Plate

The Blindness of Tobit: The Large Plate


Rembrandt van Rijn

(Dutch, 1606–1669)

Etching and drypoint

Support: Laid paper

Sheet: 16.3 x 13.2 cm (6 7/16 x 5 3/16 in.); Platemark: 15.8 x 12.9 cm (6 1/4 x 5 1/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2002.10

Catalogue raisonné: White-Boon 42, Bartsch 42

State: I/II



Having sent Tobias to collect a debt, a blind Tobit knocks over his wife’s spinning wheel and gropes for the door in his excitement to see his long-absent son. Rembrandt selectively inked and wiped the plate of this beautiful impression to enhance the scene’s meaning. The dark ink left behind the figure accentuates Tobit’s isolation and makes his beard-the only area of the print without any ink-seem even brighter, dramatizing the father’s anguished expression. Tobit’s shadow is cast by the firelight onto the wall to the far left of the doorway, symbolizing how far he has strayed from his goal and the poignancy of his condition.

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 

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