The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds
DE
Back to top

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, 1634


Platte / Stein
261 x 219 mm
Blatt
266 x 223 mm
Inventory Number
5784
Object Number
5784 D
Acquisition
Ancient Holdings (Collections J. F. Städel or J. G. Grambs)
Status
Can be presented in the study hall of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)

Texts

About the Work

As if at the centre of an explosion, the Angel of the Annunciation appears to the shepherds and their flocks on Christmas night. Panic breaks out, leading him to begin his tidings with the words “Fear not”. With this early “nocturne”, Rembrandt was demonstrating his mastery in the etching technique. He created a tonal spectrum displaying a myriad of finely orchestrated nuances between the deepest black and the most brilliant brightness; here etching is intended to attain the capabilities of painting. Beyond a body of water, the palely moonlit landscape in the background provides a setting for a group of shepherds at a campfire – that is to say the situation as it was in the foreground just a moment ago, before the angel’s appearance.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds
Artist
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert auf der Platte unten rechts: Rembrandt. f 1634
Work Catalogues
  • Bartsch 44, III/III

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Foto: U. Edelmann
Acquisition
Ancient Holdings (Collections J. F. Städel or J. G. Grambs)

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown
Illustrated Passage
  • Bibel, Neues Testament, Lukas 2,8–14

Iconclass

Primary
  • 73B14 annunciation of Christ's birth to the shepherds (and/or shepherdesses) at night; a host of singing angels in the air
  • 11E1 Holy Ghost represented as a dove (in flames)
Secondary

Similar works

  • All
  • Motif
  • Picture Elements
  • Association
  • Atmosphere
  • Emotion
Show connecting keywords Hide connecting keywords

Tap on any work to display common keywords.

Hover over a work to display connecting keywords.

More to discover

Contact

Do you have any suggestions, questions or information about this work?

Last import

20.05.2020