Ephraim Bonus, Jewish PhysicianArtist(s)Rembrandt van RijnObject Creation Date1647Medium & Supportetching, drypoint and engraving on paperDimensions
8 7/16 in. x 6 15/16 in. ( 21.4 cm x 17.7 cm )Credit LineBequest of Margaret Watson ParkerLabel copy
Ephraim Bonus was a prominent Portuguese Jewish physician and writer in Amsterdam. It was through his support of the Hebrew publishing house of Manasseh ben Israel that he must have met the artist. This sensitive portrait displays Rembrandt's characteristic psychological penetration. He captured the doctor in a contemplative moment. Through his manipulation of light and shadow the artist directs our attention to the sitter's thoughtful eyes, which suggest the sitter's melancholy, though inscrutable mental state.One of the printmaking techniques that Rembrandt employed in this print is drypoint, used for example for the delicate hairs on the back of Bonus's hand and the fine shading on his fingers. In drypoint the artist uses a steel needle to scratch lines in a copper plate. Ink is then rubbed into shallow grooves, a wetted sheet of paper is placed atop the inked plate, and both are passed through a roller press to print. When the needle bites coarsely into the copper, it throws up tiny metal shavings, called burr. As the plate is inked, pigment is captured by this burr, lending a dinstinctive, fuzzy quality to the printed lines. Typically, seventeenth-century Dutch printmakers removed the burr to produce extremely fine lines.Primary Object ClassificationPrintRights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image
for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.