Auction listing for explicit Rembrandt etching at Christie’s sparks controversy

Christie’s, the renowned international auction house, has placed a 1646 etching by Rembrandt, titled “The French Bed,” under restricted viewing due to its explicit nature. The masterpiece, part of the “Old Masters I” collection, is currently on sale at Christie’s London branch but can only be accessed online by those willing to click past a content warning.

The black and white artwork, expected to fetch up to half a million dollars, portrays a couple engaged in amorous activity on a four-poster bed. To view the details, visitors must acknowledge an explicit content warning. Described as “charming and light-hearted” in an accompanying essay on Christie’s website, the etching is labelled as one of Rembrandt’s rarest creations.

Despite assertions that the artwork is not crass or obscene, Christie’s declined to comment on the decision, according to a CNN report. British art historian Richard Morris sees the warning as a strategic marketing move likely to generate increased interest and bidding. The unique portrayal, featuring a woman with three arms, adds an intriguing dimension to Rembrandt’s oeuvre, showcasing the artist’s timeless appeal and ability to capture the affection of real life.

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