Title:Christ Preaching ("The Hundred Guilder Print")Artist:Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn Date:c. 1648Creation Place:Europe, The NetherlandsCredit Line:Bequest of Herschel V. JonesAccession Number:P.68.402
This self-conscious masterwork combines several scenes from Matthew 19 into a complex assemblage. Christ stands like a beacon amid a growing crowd of supplicants and questioners. He is shown as Christ the multi-tasker: healing, debating, receiving children, and elevating the poor above the rich. The complex interplay of light and shadow invites a search for meaning; note the beseeching woman casting a shadow on Christ's face.
Perhaps even more than his paintings, Rembrandt's prints brought him international fame. Writing in 1686, Filippo Baldinucci commented on the unusual nature of Rembrandt's approach: "He covered parts of his plate with intense blacks and in other places he permitted the white paper to play."
The print is widely known as The Hundred Guilder Print, but for a long time no one really knew why. A few years ago, a letter written in 1654 was discovered, and in it the correspondent expressed his astonishment that an impression had sold for over 100 guilders.