Etchings by Rembrandt
For centuries, the registration documents were the only thing that reminded us of Rembrandt at Leiden University. His work, consisting of etchings and drawings, did not come into the possession of the university until the nineteenth century. In 1815 the Leiden Print Room was founded, to house the bequest of the Hague patrician J.Th. Royer (1737-1807), which was received by the University a year earlier. This bequest made the University the owner of 800 drawings by mainly Dutch artists and 12,000 prints from all well-known European schools. This collection also contained a few prints by Rembrandt.
|Royer was particularly interested in French and Italian art from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the Dutch masters were of only moderate importance to him. The number of Rembrandt prints in the collection increased dramatically thanks to N.C. de Gijselaar (1792-1873), a wealthy Leiden citizen, who, after having been director of the Print Room for a few years, developed into a passionate private collector of mainly prints and drawings. During his lifetime, De Gijselaar donated thousands of prints and drawings to the university.|