Loading the page ...
Rembrandt’s Father. Etching. 26.7 x 20.4 cm. Nagler 4.
The painter and etcher, Moritz Kellerhoven, studied at the Düsseldorf Academy and in 1779 went to Vienna, where he continued his training under Heinrich Füger. Here he quickly distinguished himself as a talented portrait painter, his reputation in this field being such that the Elector Karl Theodor appointed him court painter in Munich in 1784. Thereafter Kellerhoven devoted himself exclusively to portrait painting. His portraits, painted in the style of Anton Raphael Mengs, are characterised by a broad and thick application of the colours. They were held in great esteem by his contemporaries by virtue of their trueness to life and consummate treatment of the material. This is particularly true of his very imposing commissioned works. As a sideline he painted half-length portraits of middle-class people in his surroundings. These are treated with greater restraint and reveal the influence of Rembrandt. In addition, Kellerhoven produced a limited number of etchings consisting primarily of genre scenes and small-size portraits in the manner of Rembrandt. As Nagler points out, these “entertaining” sheets were sought-after collectors’ items in Kellerhoven’s time, whereas nowadays his etchings are quite rare.
This portrait of a man entitled Rembrandt’s Father has its origins in a painting in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich which was long regarded as being by Rembrandt but is now attributed to his studio or his pupil Arent de Gelder (oil on canvas, 106.5 x 81 cm, inv. no. 1964). Recent research indicates that the man portrayed is more likely to be Rembrandt’s brother Adriaen than his father. The etching, which has been treated in a refined etching technique and modelled with dense lines and hatchings, was published by Johann Friedrich Frauenholz. A very fine impression with wide margins. Minor soiling and traces of handling, otherwise in very good condition. With the stamp of Johann Friedrich Frauenholz, Nuremberg (Lugt 994).