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Full text of "Otto Schneid Papers--Rembrandt and the Bible--Schneid, Otto. (Box 29, Folder 6)"

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by the Internet 

: Archive 

in 2014 


..nam o'?q!i 

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Drawing. Before 1640. Paris, Louvre. 

...And he dreamed, and behold... 

(Genesis 28, 12.) 

In this scene the ladder is missing. Nevertheless, a kind of 
supernatural atmosphere pervades the whole. The angel's 
single gesture indicates both benediction and a noiseless 
approach to the sleeper so as not to awaken him. 


Drawing. After 1640. 

Amsterdam, Collection 
of Engravings. 

And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve 
thy brother... 

(Genesis 27, 40.) 

This drawing has been mistakenly assumed to represent 
Isaac blessing Jacob. The kneeling figure is an earthly type 
and lacks the spirituality that is so pronounced in all 
Rembrandt's representations of Jacob. Isaac looks exhousted 
not only by physical fatigue, but by a devastating exper- 
ience as well. Rebecca, who appears in the background, also 
seems to have an uneasy conscience. 


/•aan loin orQ?& DrQ?8 ni?K'i» 
(.s'" 1 ,3"3 ,n>twn:i) 

Etching. 1655. B - 35 - 

.../W said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said 
Here am I. 

(Genesis 22, 11.) 

Unlike the carreet version in the painting of 1635, the angel 
here is shown as grasping Abraham by his right forearm 
and his left arm. There was no necessity for a display of 
force, since Abraham would in any case have proceeded 
slowly and ponderously. Isaac is not bound, and his kneel- 
ing posture indicates that he has obeyed his father's com- 
mandment willingly. Abraham has placed his hand only 
over his son's eyes so as to ease his sufferings. His own suf- 
fering is reflected in his gloomy countenance. 

i** ».'-ij|.-;t I ■*%.• 



Painting. 1635. Leningrad, Eremitage. 

...And took the knife to slay his son. And the angel 
of the Lord called unto him out of heaven... 

(Genesis 22, 10—11.) 

Isaac lies bound to the faggots in a blaze of light, which 
seems to symbolize purity. Abraham receives the angel 
as if he still does not dare to believe the happy tidings. 
The angel has come very hurriedly and seizes Abraham's 
right hand; the knife falls from his grasp. In an etching 
made twenty years later this detail is changed. 


.W?»3 Wjzy»3 1}kjj-?j ?£5?i inj??o?3.. 
(/t ,rwN-i3) 

Drawing. About 1636. 

Berlin, Collection of Engravings. 

...And embraced him, and fell on his neck, 
and kissed him; and they wept. 

(Genesis 33, 4.) 

It is only rarely that Rembrandt envelopes his figures in a 
natural light, as here. An example of this is the sketch in 
the L. Bonnat Collection in Paris, where Sarah is shown 
bringing Hagar to Abraham. There, too, the scene is per- 
vaded with the fresh fragrance of the fields. 


npftyg Wirti nx-ji? axa ofo nsni o"9qy 

(.a"' ,n"3 ,jvtpx"n) 

Etching. 1655. B. 36 c. 

/InJ /?e dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on 
the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and 
behold the angels of God ascending and descending 
on it. 

(Genesis 28, 12.) 

Here the picture is based on a profound psychological 
idea. Lying on the ground and leaning upon the stone, 
Jacob is at the same time on the ladder whose top touches 
a world that is all light. — This etching is one of a series of 
four illustrations for a book entitled "Piedra gloriosa," by 
Rembrandt's friend Menasseh ben Israel (1604 — 1657). 
The other three portray the image of Nebuchadnezzar, 
David and Goliath, and the vision of Daniel. The odd 
juxtaposition of the four scenes is due to the author's idea 
that the stone on which Jacob lay was the one that killed 
Goliath and shattered the image of Nebuchadnezzar's