Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Preaching - The Hundred Guilder Print, about 1648. Etching, engraving and drypoint; 10.94 x 15.27 in. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Department of Prints and Photography

The Hundred Gilder Print Showcases Rembrandt's Storytelling

Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker focuses on how the artist’s mastery of printmaking techniques enhanced his ability to tell compelling visual stories. One of Rembrandt’s most technically and narratively complex prints, Christ Healing the Sick, was nick-named The Hundred Guilder Print because it sold for such a high price in its day. In the exhibition, we break down the four stories from the Gospel of Matthew that Rembrandt unifies in The Hundred Guilder Print.

photo of One Hundred Gilder Print with a red square around Christ in the center
Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Preaching - The Hundred Guilder Print, about 1648. Etching, engraving and drypoint; 10.94 x 15.27 in. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Department of Prints and Photography

Jesus Christ at the Center

By placing him in the middle of the composition, taller than the other figures, illuminated, and gesturing with open arms, Rembrandt immediately identifies Christ as the focal point of the story.

Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Preaching - The Hundred Guilder Print with a red square around an elderly man in the print

Elderly & Sick Followers

Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. (Matthew 19:1–2)

Rembrandt depicts Christ’s elderly and sick followers—who have flocked to him hoping for miraculous cures—with precision in gesture, movement, facial expression, and accessories (a blind man’s cane, a wheeled trolley).

Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Preaching - The Hundred Guilder Print with a red square around some Pharisees

Pharisees

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. (Matthew 19:3–12)

The loose, light outlines of the Pharisees (members of a religious sect) on the far left contrast with the solid, fully rendered figure of Christ, from whom they turn away after he rebuts their arguments against him.

Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Preaching - The Hundred Guilder Print, with a red square around women and children

Women & Children

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. (Matthew 19:13–15)

Women and children approach Christ from the left. St. Peter, at Christ’s right, pushes them aside, but Christ simultaneously rebukes Peter and reaches out in welcome to the young families.

Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Preaching - The Hundred Guilder Print, with red squares around a wealthy looking youth and a camel

Rich man & Camel

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:16–30)

Rembrandt nods to this biblical proverb by including a well-dressed wealthy youth seated to Christ’s left and a camel in the shadows at far right.

Visit Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker, on view at the Denver Art Museum through January 6, 2019.

Stefania Van Dyke is the interpretive specialist, textile art and special projects. Her favorite email subject line during the course of planning Star Wars and the Power of Costume was “Missing Dianoga.”

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