Skip to main content
Enjoy free weekends for locals through August 28! Counties included: Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty (Georgia), and Beaufort and Jasper (South Carolina)
*excludes Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters

Please Note: Joe's at the Jepson will be closed Thursday, 8/11 through Sunday, 8/21. The café will re-open on Monday, August 22.
Please Note: The Telfair Academy will be closed from 8/22-8/26. The Academy will resume operations on Saturday, 8/27.
Learn More

Methods

These works are not only fascinating due to their subject matter, but also because of the technical skill required to produce them. Like most old master prints, they are small in size and possess a tremendous amount of detail on a small surface area. Rembrandt’s prints were created entirely in the medium of etching and the related techniques of drypoint and engraving. These are forms of intaglio printing, in which the ink is forced into grooves below the surface of the printing plate and transferred under pressure to a piece of printmaking paper. Etchings and other intaglio prints can be identified by the distinctive plate mark or indentation in the paper created around the image by the press.

Rembrandt also used the drypoint method, in which the artist scratches directly into the plate with a drypoint needle. The needle leaves a metal residue or burr around the edges of the marks, which makes lines softer-edged and darker in the print. Another tool used by Rembrandt was the engraver’s burin, which cuts a cleaner, v-shaped trench into the plate.

Despite so many other advances in technology since the 17th century, printmaking tools used by artists today are still very much like the ones Rembrandt would have used to create his prints.

Hard Ground Etching

An Intaglio Technician demonstrates how Rembrandt would have made his etchings. Film made by Matthew Harrison & Norwich Castle Art Gallery & Museum.
Play Video

Hard Ground Etching

An Intaglio Technician demonstrates how Rembrandt would have made his etchings. Film made by Matthew Harrison & Norwich Castle Art Gallery & Museum.

Related to this Article

All(1)
exhibition

Rembrandt and the Jewish Experience: The Berger Print Collection

Jepson Center
This exhibition contains 21 etchings by Rembrandt that highlight the artist’s nuanced relationship with Amsterdam’s citizens of the Jewish faith and the keen insights Rembrandt brought to interpretations of Old Testament Bible stories.
exhibition

Rembrandt and the Jewish Experience: The Berger Print Collection

Jepson Center
This exhibition contains 21 etchings by Rembrandt that highlight the artist’s nuanced relationship with Amsterdam’s citizens of the Jewish faith and the keen insights Rembrandt brought to interpretations of Old Testament Bible stories.