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The Rabbi

A work made of mezzotint on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of mezzotint on ivory laid paper.




William Pether (English, 1731/38-1821)
after Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669)

About this artwork

Like his contemporaries, William Pether used mezzotint to disseminate important master paintings. In this case, he copied Rembrandt van Rijn’s distinctively posed, stoic rabbi. Mezzotint was an ideal medium with which to reproduce Rembrandt’s composition, with its dramatic, Baroque use of chiaroscuro. Not only does mezzotint retain these qualities, but its rich undertones also add to the spotlighted effects. With a touch of theatricality, the portrait focuses on his craggy features. The rabbi is statuesque, demanding reverence from those before him.


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Prints and Drawings


William Pether


The Rabbi


England (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1778


Mezzotint on ivory laid paper


Image: 45.7 × 35.4 cm (18 × 13 15/16 in.); Plate: 50.8 × 35.5 cm (20 × 14 in.); Sheet: 55.3 × 39.5 cm (21 13/16 × 15 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Elizabeth Hammond Stickney Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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