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The more times it passed over the plate, the more the impression tended to lose its finer subtleties. After the artist’s death, it was not unheard of for other hands in their turn to work on the proof to give it a new life.
Moreover, Rembrandt made changes to the engravings as time went by. The watermark in the paper, a number of collectors’ stamps, the catalogue raisonné and other very technical details have enabled the precious prints to be dated like in a police investigation.
It features a nude depicted in a realist style, inspired by a model in the studio that his students were drawing at the same time. But as all the specialists emphasise, more than the subject, it’s the quality of the etching and how well it has been preserved that contribute to the price.
The landscapes are especially prized in Rembrandt’s repertoire of etchings.