Round about the Round-O 1880. Arbroath's yesteryear in print

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Rembrandt (Harmenszoon van Rijn) was born on July 15, 1606, in Leiden, Holland. Even before his 30th birthday he had become quite famous for his artistic excellence. The classical Dutch master was known worldwide not only for his dramatic paintings but also for his engravings, noted for their intricate detail and delicate tones.

However, despite his financial success as an artist, art dealer, and teacher, his leanings towards an extravagant lifestyle eventually forced him to declare bankruptcy in 1656. An inventory of Rembrandt’s complete accumulation of art and antiquities, presented in auction to pay his debts, showed the broadness of his varied collections.

Rembrandt sold approximately 100 engraved plates to a distinguished European family. The condition of the sale being that not even one of his engravings was to be reprinted until the duration of a full century had passed after his death. This was a binding agreement and was properly adhered to by the family.

The end results of the auction, which included the sale of his house, were unfortunately disappointing. Despite all this though, throughout his career, the artistry in Rembrandt's work never diminished.

When Rembrandt died in 1669, many of his later works had been destroyed or canceled yet there still remained this significant collection of 100 plates still capable of producing excellent impressions.

For close to a century (1669-1767) the location of the bulk of Rembrandt's surviving plates seemed shrouded in mystery, however, through the passage of time these plates began to surface and were subsequently reprinted. Eventually, through use, by the mid 1800's these too had become diminished in clarity as had most of Rembrandt's other works.

Amand Durand

Inspired by his deep admiration for the earlier work of Rembrandt, Amand Durand, a master engraver, born in France in 1831, decided to remedy Rembrandt's faded plates with his own skill. He studied and researched all available collections, then spending the major part of his life duplicated exactly 347 of Rembrandt's surviving engravings onto new copper plates. These new plates were created achieving great quality through Durand's own renowned technical abilities.

Amand Durand published a complete portfolio of very fine reproductions showing all of the 'After Rembrandt' engravings.

So, in essence, history here reveals to us a genius duplicating a genius two centuries later.
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