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Print - Beggars receiving alms at the door of a house
  • Beggars receiving alms at the door of a house
    Rembrandt van Rijn, born 1606 - died 1669
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Beggars receiving alms at the door of a house

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Amsterdam (made)

  • Date:

    1648 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rembrandt van Rijn, born 1606 - died 1669 (artist)
    Rembrandt Harmensz van Ryn, born 1606 - died 1669 (etcher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching, burin and drypoint

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 6, The Lisa and Bernard Selz Gallery, case CA13, shelf DRAWER

Rembrandt's informal depictions of peasants and beggars in episodes from humble, every-day life have been perennially popular with artists and collectors. This cottage scene seems to have been a special favourite, for at least seven different copies exist by various hands.

This etching is unusual in the figure of the boy with his back to the viewer which creates a huddle of figures emphasized by the densely shaded shadows on the left side and highlighted by the blank paper to the right. The man seems to be playing a hurdy-gurdy. The subject of the print relates to that of the Eulenspiegel of 1520, by Lucas van Leyden, which Rembrandt bought for a huge sum of 176 guilders at an auction in 1642. It too features a family of beggars and the man is playing the bag-pipes.

Physical description

A man and woman with a child and baby beg for alms at the door of a house; a bearded man in a turban at the door hands over a coin.

Place of Origin

Amsterdam (made)


1648 (made)


Rembrandt van Rijn, born 1606 - died 1669 (artist)
Rembrandt Harmensz van Ryn, born 1606 - died 1669 (etcher)

Materials and Techniques

Etching, burin and drypoint

Marks and inscriptions

Rembrandt f. 1648.


Height: 169 mm cut to, Width: 131 mm cut to, Height: 230 mm with support paper, Width: 192 mm with support paper

Object history note

Bequeathed by C.A. Ionides, 1900. Nominal file number MA/1/I246

Descriptive line

Beggars receiving alms at the door of a house; etching, buring and drypoint by Rembrandt van Rijn; 1648; third state

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hind, Arthur M. A Catalogue of Rembrandt's Etchings. (London: Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1923), no. 233.
White, Christopher and Boon, Karel G. Rembrandt's Etchings: an Illustrated Critical Catalogue. (Amsterdam: Van Gendt & Co; London: A. Zwemmer Ltd., 1969), no. B.176.
The Catalogue of the Constantine Alexander Ionides Collection. London. Victoria and Albert Museum, 1904, 672.
Bartsch, Adam von. Catalogue raisonné de toutes les estampes qui forment l'oeuvre de Rembrandt Vienna, 1797. no. B.176.
Hollstein, F. W. H. (Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich), 1888-1957. Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts, ca. 1450-1700. Amsterdam : M. Hertzberger, 1949-, vol. 18-19.

Hinterding, Erik, et. al. Rembrandt the Printmaker. London, British Museum Press, 2000, cat. 60, p. 250-252




Etching; Drypoint; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Charity; Beggars


Prints; Musical instruments; Men's clothes; Children's clothes; Women's clothes; Poverty


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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