Although universally known as an outstanding painter, Rembrandt was also a printmaker whose etchings became collectable during his lifetime.
"Jacob Haaringh" is one of Rembrandt’s most notable prints. The sitter was a lawyer from Utrecht whose father, Thomas Haaringh, bailiff to the court of insolvents, oversaw Rembrandt’s bankruptcy proceedings in 1657. In this, the second of five states (a state is any stage in the development of a print at which an impression is made), the density of the etched lines surrounding Haaringh’s face and left hand and the glimpse of light coming through the window create a mysterious ambiance. The result is a haunting and ultimately very private portrait. The Art Museum’s impression is exceptional because of the velvety sheen, which resulted from the way in which the thick sheet of Japanese paper absorbed the ink.