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Title

The rat catcher

1632


Artist

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

Netherlands

1606 - 1669


About

This early etching is the first fully fledged genre scene in Rembrandt's work. The rat catcher carries a pole surmounted by a cage containing live rats, with a few poisoned specimens dangling below. His young assistant carries a box presumably containing rat poison or other wares. It is unclear whether the old man in the doorway is rejecting the proffered goods or turning away in disgust at the two pedlars, with their unsavoury merchandise and advertisements, after the transaction has taken place.


Details


Other Titles

The rat killer

The rat poison seller


Date

1632


Media category

Print


Materials used

etching


Edition

iii of 3 states


Dimensions

14.0 x 12.5 cm platemark; 14.1 x 12.6 cm sheet


Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., [incised plate] "RHL [artist's monogram] 1632".


Credit

Purchased 1938


Location

Not on display


Accession number

6739


Artist information

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

Artist profile

Works in the collection

21


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


Hendrik Kolenberg, Everyday life: prints drawings and watercolours from the collections of Australian and European art, Sydney, 1994. cat.no: 104

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Etchings by Rembrandt, Sydney, 1948. cat.no. 4, as 'The Rat Killer'