THE DRAWINGS OF REMBRANDT:  

a revision of Otto Benesch's catalogue raisonné

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Benesch 1-100

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Benesch 00001A (Add.1)

Subject: The Roman Women before Coriolanus

Medium: Pen and brown ink and brown wash, heightened with white.

267 x 244. Mat: blue card with gold stripe, similar to a 'Mariette mount'.

COMMENTS: Coriolanus was a Roman general who was banished from Rome. He planned an assault on the city but his wife, mother and children pleaded with him not to attack, which is the scene depicted here. The tale was related by Livy, Plutarch and other early sources.

This and the following drawing (Benesch 01B, q.v.) seem to be by the same hand and are highly problematic. If by Rembrandt, which for various reasons seems unlikely, they must have been made much earlier than anything else we know, as Benesch surmised, dating them to 1624-25. As well as with Jan Lievens,[1] there are analogies with Govert Flinck and Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (to whom Benesch 01B was formerly attributed). There are also comparable qualities in paintings by Paulus Lesire of 1632-33 (see Sumowski, Gemälde, nos.1137-9), but he is unknown as a draughtsman and the characterful expressions of some of the figures in these two drawings - especially the present one - seem to be the work of a sharper artist. Bevers has suggested Jan Victors (without, however, including no.0001B). Certainly it seems close to some other drawings that Sumowski and he have assigned to Victors, although these drawings could perhaps be the work of an earlier pupil or associate. The pose of the kneeling figure may be inspired by Rembrandt's representation of 'Judas returning the thirty pieces of silver' of 1629, now in an English private collection (Bredius 539A, Corpus A15; see further under no.8).

In 2020 another possibility occurred, after encountering again an image of a painting once thought to be by the short-lived Willem Bartsius (c.1612 - 1638 or later), depicting Queen Esther Preparing to Visit Ahasuerus, in which a comparable kneeling woman appears.[2] Could our drawing be by this unidentifed painter?

Summary attribution: Anonymous.

Date: 1625-35.

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv.22949).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Paris, 1933, no.1240, repr. pl.72 (early Rembrandt school, c.1630); Van Regteren Altena, 1956, p.59, repr. fig.3 (early Rembrandt, 1624-26); Rosenberg, 1959, p.118; Bauch, 1960, p.232, repr. fig.193b; Benesch, I, 1973, no.01A, Addenda 1 (Rembrandt c.1624-25); Broos, 1975-76, p.209, n.17 (not Rembrandt); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.3 and n.10 (no longer considered to be by Rembrandt; composition inspired by Rembrandt's painting of David before Saul now in Basel, Bredius 488, Corpus A9); Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.453; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.V (as Paris, 1933); Bevers, 2011, p.382, fig.28 (by Jan Victors); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Charles Paul Jean-Baptiste de Bourgevin Vialart, Comte de Saint-Morys (1743-1795), Paris; his collection seized by the French state at the Revolution; listed in the NOTICE DU MUSÉE NAPOLÉON : DESSINS , vol. 6, p. 1036, chap. : Ecole hollandaise, Carton 83 (…) Numéro : 8130, as by Leonard Bramer and with the subject identified as "Abigail before David".

[1] The analogies with Lievens were correctly pointed out by Starcky in Exh. Paris, 1988-89 (see literature); the technique, facial expressions and handling of drapery compares with Lievens's Presentation of Christ in the Temple, now also in the Louvre (Sumowski 1627*; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.VI).

[2] See Van Haute, 2008, pp.226-27, repr. fig.9, who rejected the previous attribution to Bartsius; oil on canvas, 118 x 156 cm. Aachen, Private Collection. There is a photograph in the RKD - see https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/107112 (accessed 2 July 2020).

First posted 4 June 2012 (all nos up to 135 were posted together). Addition (last two sentences and n.2) 2 July 2020.

 

Benesch 00001B (Add. 2)

Subject: The Meeting of David and Abigail

Verso: Unrecognisable sketch (in black chalk)

Medium: Black chalk, with brown and grey wash and white bodycolour; the outlines indented; framing lines in black chalk, on light brown paper.

Inscriptions: verso, centre, in red chalk: 'f 160'; lower right, the mark of the Rijksprentenkabinet (L.2228); lower left, in pen and brown ink: 'B. No 99'; upper left, in pen and brown ink: 'No 19'; on the old backing: '324, 193 (on a label), 228, N 15, GLX'; in graphite: 'S 107'; in blue pen: ' Reinbrandt Harmensz van Rhein'; in pen and brown ink:' la dessin Provenant de la Collection/ m'a été donné par A.Constantin/ en Octobre 1865'.

339 x 288. No watermark; chain lines 25v.

COMMENTS: See Benesch 01A. Formerly the drawing was attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout and, as Benesch pointed out, so was the painting of David before Saul now in Basel when it was sold in 1909 (Bredius 488, Corpus A9), with which he compared the drawing.

Condition: a fold right of centre.

Summary attribution: Anonymous

Date: 1625-35

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijksmuseum (Rijksprentenkabinet; inv.1956:4)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.2 (Rembrandt, 1626-28); Van Regteren Altena, 1956, pp.55-59, repr. fig.1 (Rembrandt, c.1625-29; suggests the subject is a supplicant before a general [Coriolanus?]; compares painting of Adoration of the Magi, formerly Heldring Collection; also Lastman's painting of 'Coriolanus' in Dublin); Rosenberg, 1956III, p.351 (not Rembrandt); White, 1956.I, p.323, repr. fig.47 (Rembrandt); Van Gelder, 1957, p.120; Sumowski, 1957-58, pp.224 and 242-43 (Rembrandt?); Exh. Washington, 1958-59, no.57 (Rembrandt, 1625); Rosenberg, 1959, p.118 (not Rembrandt); Bauch, 1960, p.231, repr. fig.193c (not Rembrandt; after 1630); Sumowski, 1967, p.27 (Horst?); Sumowski, 1962.I, p.203, n.5, and p.210 (Horst, 1634-36?); Sumowski, 1972, pp.281-83, n.4 (not Rembrandt; c.1630); Benesch, I, 1973, no.01B, Addenda 2 (Rembrandt, c.1625; influence of Lastman as Regteren Altena, 1956); Broos, 1975-76, pp.208-9, repr. fig.10 (Rembrandt; identifies subject as David and Abigail); Broos, 1977, p.99 (Rembrandt); Amsterdam, 1985, no.77, repr. (not Rembrandt; perhaps a pupil of the Leiden period); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: August Constantin, Paris; Maurice Marignane, Paris; Hubert Marignane, Paris; art market, London (Leo Franklyn).

First posted 4 June 2012

 

Benesch 0001

Subject: The Triumph of Mordecai

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash.

210 x 264.

COMMENTS: Reminiscent of Van den Eeckhout's painting of the subject of 1664 (Sumowski, Gemälde, 447) and an attribution to him is plausible, though not watertight (see the opinion of Rosenberg, 1956, below). The composition is inspired by Pieter Lastman's painting of the same subject, dated 1617, now in the Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam, and by Rembrandt's etching (Bartsch 40). Benesch and others before him had seen this, for Rembrandt, uncharacteristic drawing as exhibiting qualities of youthful incompetence. In fact the style - perhaps especially in the scribble at the lower right - relates to Eeckhout, as was first recognised by Sumowski.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1664?

COLLECTION: D Bremen, Kunsthalle (inv.1876), formerly (currently R St Petersburg, Hermitage).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Pauli, 1911, p.122; Exh. Bremen, 1912, no.1394 (Rembrandt); Bremen (Pauli), 1914, p.6, no.12; ibid., 1916, III, no.27; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.1, repr. (c.1625-26); Rosenberg, 1956.I, pp.65-66 (not Rembrandt - 18th century?); Sumowski 1956/57, p.259, repr. fig.21 (by Eeckhout, after Lastman); Sumowski, 1957-58, p.235, repr. fig.85 (Eeckhout); Muller, 1958, p.83 (Lastman influence); Bauch, 1960, p.102; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20 (copied from Lastman's painting); Forssman, 1976, pp.301-2; Broos, 1977, p.99; Exh. St Petersburg-Moscow, 1992, no.125 (copy of Lastman's painting in Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam); Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001, no.A17, repr. (with further literature, as Rembrandt, c.1625-26; currently kept in St Petersburg, Hermitage); Bevers, 2010, p.71, n.64 (Eeckhout, late 1630s); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: one of the drawings discovered by Viktor Baldin during World War II and now kept in Russia (see Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0002

Subject: Oriental Ruler on Horseback (The Triumph of Mordechai?)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

160 x 136

COMMENTS: In Sumowski (S.772*) as by Van den Eeckhout, dating from c.1665-70, and with the plausible suggestion that the image represents Mordechai. The turban and cloak echo Pieter Lastman's 1624 painting of the subject in the Rembrandthuis.[1] However, an attribution to Govert Flinck appears more likely for this and many other drawings that Benesch ascribed to the young Rembrandt (see Schatborn, 2010).[2] Compare the embryonic heads below to that in the centre of Benesch 454, and the style in general to Benesch 80 and 84, for example. Both the style and the subject, treated by Rembrandt in his etching of c.1641 (Bartsch 40), suggest a date c.1640.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1640??

COLLECTION: Private Collection (Sheldon and Leena Peck, Boston)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 1361; Österreichische Kunsttopographie, II, 1908, p.354, repr. fig.439; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.2 (Rembrandt, c.1625-26); van Gelder, 1955, p.395, n.2 (later date than Benesch); Regteren Altena, 1955, p.120 (early work by Lievens); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.66 (18th century imitation of Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.259 and 272, repr. fig.23 (Eeckhout); Muller, 1958, p.83 (Lastman influence); Bauch, 1960, p.256, n.79 (Eeckhout); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20 (Eeckhout); Rotermund, 1963, p.105 (Rembrandt); Campbell, 1971, p.17 (Rembrandt, c.1624, perhaps based on Lastman); Broos, 1972, p.102, n.6 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1972, p.483, n.4 (Eeckhout); Broos, 1977, p.99; Sumowski 772* (Eeckhout, c.1665-70); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.10 (no longer considered to be by Rembrandt); Exh. Boston (Peck Collection at the St Botolph Club, handlist no.11 (Eeckhout, c.1665-70); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2996); H. Teixeira de Mattos; Dr J. Winter, Vienna; art market (W.H. Schab); sale (A. de Rothschild and others), London, Sotheby's, 6 July 1967, lot 9; art market (Schaeffer Galleries); art market (Brod Gallery, Exhibition of Old Master Drawings, July 1972, no.42, repr. as Rembrandt); P. Brandt; his sale, Amsterdam, 25 May 1976, lot 2075, repr. (Rembrandt c.1625-26, but Bauch and Sumowski attribute to Eeckhout); sale, New York, Sotheby's, 18 January 1984, lot 206, repr. (Eeckhout).

[1] Exh. Amsterdam, 1991, no.17, repr..

[2] I first annotated my marked copy of Benesch with Flinck's name in February 1989; in 2004 I suggested this attribution to P. Schatborn, who concurred in an email of 3 February of that year; but it does not feature in Schatborn, 2010. In an email of 6 July 2012 he states that 'Flinck would not be a too bad attribution'.

First posted 4 June 2012

 

Benesch 0003

Subject: Study of an Oriental Archer

Verso: See inscriptions

Medium: Red and white chalk (the latter only around the nearer hand and in the sheath of the sword; the red chalk is darker than in the related two drawings in Munich, Benesch 4 and 5); two sets of ruled framing lines, one in pen and brown ink, the other in graphite. Inscribed lower right, in pen and brown ink, by Heucher: "Van Segen" [referring to Ludwig van/von Siegen; Dittrich, 2003, p.66 suggests this could refer to Lastman's father, Pieter Zeegersz.]; inscribed verso in red chalk: "No.2" and "Van Segen or Egl" and in graphite: "1". [1]

306 x 164. Chain lines not clear, ?vertical. Watermark: none.[1] Paper is pale cream, not especially smooth, with some lumps.

Mount: modern only.

COMMENTS: By Rembrandt, but in a highly Lastmanesque mode. See also Benesch 0004-5, which together with the present sheet form a homogeneous group. As Benesch pointed out, an archer with a comparable headdress and with a bow in his right hand appears in Rembrandt's early painting, David Presenting the Head of Goliath to Saul of c.1627, now in Basel (Bredius 488; Corpus A9).

A sketch was made after the drawing by C.W.E. Dietrich in c.1732.[2] In the Dresden inventory of 1865 it was regarded as an anonymous Dutch drawing and was first connected with Rembramdt by Luippmann.Condition: Generally excellent; hole towards lower left (poorly repaired); a graze in shadows of nearer arm.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1627?

COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv. C.1496; stamped with L.1647)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Heucher, 1738, p.16 (as by Von Segen); Franke, 1865 (MS), port. vii, no.17/1 (anonymous); Lippmann, IV, 15 (Rembrandt); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.56 (anon. copy based on Benesch 4); Bauch, 1933, pp.48-9, repr. fig.37 (copy by Rembrandt after Lastman); Valentiner 795A (Lievens; Lastman influence); Benesch, 1947, no.1, repr. (Rembrandt); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.3, repr.(Rembrandt, c.1627, for Basel painting); Sumowski, 1956-57, I, pp.256-57; Exh. Munich, 1957, under no.1; Exh. Dresden, 1960, p.8, no.1; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20; Scheidig, 1962, p.34, repr. pl.3; Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, p.114, no.26; Dittrich, 1970, p.284, repr. pl.1; Munich, 1973, under no.1100; Broos, 1977, p.99; Exh. Washington-New York-San Francisco, 1978-79, no.591; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, under no.1, repr. fig.1a; Broos, Dictionary of Art, 1996, vol.26, p.154 (Rembrandt's earliest datable drawing); Exh. Amsterdam, 1999, p.96, repr. pl.59; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.70, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1627; possibly copied from a painting, eg. by Lastman); Dittrich, 2003, pp.63-73, repr.fig.1; Exh. Vienna, 2004, under no.23, repr.; Exh. Dresden 2004, no.96; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.59, repr. NB Not in HdG; This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Schatborn, 2019, no.183, repr. (c.1627); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.60.

PROVENANCE: Gottfried Wagner (d.1725), Leipzig; from whose collection acquired by the present repository in 1728.

[1] According to Exh. Munich 2001-2.

[2] Noted by Dittrich, 2003, p.66.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0004

Subject: Study of an Archer

Verso: some illegible offsetting from another drawing.

Medium: Red chalk (licked, erased, rubbed and reworked by Rembrandt); almost the whole sheet bears traces of particles of red chalk on both recto and verso; freehand framing-line in red chalk; inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower left: "5005" (former inventory number).

279 x 179; watermark: none; chain lines 25-26v; laid lines fine, c.20 per cm.

COMMENTS: By Rembrandt - compare Benesch 3 (qv), from the same model. Condition: a vertical paper fold in centre of upper half of the sheet; slight damage caused by removal from an old backing or mount; some stains, mostly behind the figure; the freehand framing-line in red chalk at least partly but probably entirely a later addition.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1627?

COLLECTION: D Munich, Graphische Sammlung (inv.1740; stamped with L.620 and L.2723; on verso L.2674; first attributed to Rembrandt in the 1802/1805 Inventory, no.5005).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 424; Schmidt, 1888-93, no.171a; Bauch, 1933, pp.48-49 and 191-92, repr. fig.37 (Lastman influence); Valentiner 795B (Lievens; Lastman influence); Benesch, 1947, under no.1; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.4, repr. (c.1627); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, no.4; Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.62; Sumowski, 1956-57, I, pp.256-57; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.1 (influence of Lastman); Bauch, 1960, p.108; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.8; Exh. Munich, 1966-67, no.10; Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, under no.26; Munich, 1973, no.1100, repr. pl.305; Broos, 1977, p.99; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.12; Exh. Leiden, 1991, p.64; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.I, p.25, n.2 (c.1627); Mirmobiny, 2001, p.16, repr.; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.69, repr. (perhaps by Lievens; possibly copied from a painting, eg. by Lastman); Dittrich, 2003, pp.63-73, repr. fig.2 (Lievens?); Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.23, repr. (c.1627); Exh. Paris, 2006, under no.59, repr. fig.1; This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Schatborn, 2019, no.184, repr. (c.1627); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.60.

PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich.

First posted 4 June 2012.

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Benesch 0005

Subject: Man Pulling a Net (?) behind him

Verso: Some rubbed-off red chalk, perhaps offset from Benesch 3; see further under inscriptions.

Medium: Red chalk, probably licked here and there to produce a darker tone; some areas erased, producing an effect similar to white heightening; the paper looks as if it may have been given a light tone or dusting in red chalk; a freehand, probably later framing-line in red chalk (seemingly of a different tone to the drawing). Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower left: "5004" (former inventory number, see below); verso inscribed in graphite: "HdG 389" and "Inv. No.1739".

273 x 176; watermark: double-headed eagle in crowned shield with Basel staff below and letter G (cf. Heawood 3208-9); chain lines: 25v.

COMMENTS: By Rembrandt; compare Benesch 3-4 (qq.v.). Benesch rightly felt, like Wegner (Munich, 1973), that the link with the style of Rembrandt's teacher, Pieter Lastman, is here particularly marked, and Wegner (Exh. Munich, 1957) compared figures in Lastman's Triumph of Sesostris of 1631 (San Francisco, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum) which Rembrandt may have seen before it was completed, as the drawing seems to be earlier than this (though the connection is only generic). Hofstede de Groot thought of a St Simon of Cyrene in a Christ carrying the cross. The earliest inventories of the Munich collections describe the figure plausibly as a fisherman hauling a net.

Condition: good, though with some stains by the feet and from previous attachments to a backing.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1627?

COLLECTION: D Munich Graphische Sammlung (Inv.1739; stamped with L.620 and L.2723 and on verso L.2674; in earliest inventories as by Rembrandt, in 1802/05, no.5004, as 'Rembrandt, Ein Fischer zieht das Netz')

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Schmidt, 1884-93, no.171b; HdG 389 (represents St. Simon of Cyrene?); Lippmann, IV, 13; Bauch, 1933, p.49, repr. fig.39, p.191; Valentiner 796 (Lastman influence); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.5, repr. (c.1627; as HdG); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.256-57; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.4 (figure resembles Lastman's slave pulling a chariot in his Triumph of a Roman Emperor of 1631 [San Francisco, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, Exh.Raleigh, 1956, no.62]); Bauch, 1960, p.257, n.82 (as Exh. Munich, 1957, and Lastman's painting may already have been begun in later 1620s); Sumowski, 1961, p.3; Exh. Munich, 1966-67, no.12; Trautscholdt, 1967, p.125; Munich, 1973, no.1095, repr. pl.308; Broos, 1977, p.99; Baudiquey and Huyghe, 1984, p.35; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.12; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, pp.12-14, repr. fig.3, and p.25, n.3 (style freer than Lastman); Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.68, repr. (c.1627; study from the model, perhaps based on Lastman or another late Mannerist artist; figure may be pulling a net as suggested in early inventories); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Schatborn, 2019, no.185, repr. (c.1627); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.60.

PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich (Inv. 1802-5, no.5004).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0006

Subject: The Raising of the Cross

Verso: Two Figures Seated

Medium: Black chalk, on the recto heightened with white; ruled framing-lines in graphite (recto); inscribed by a later hand in pen and brown ink, lower left: "Rembrant", and with the collector's the mark of J.C. Robinson: "JCR" (L.1433); inscribed verso in graphite, top right: "28" and in pen and brown ink: "301" and "11"; in graphite, lower right: "d".

193 x 148 Watermark: none.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, as the verso is connected with the painting of 'Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver', now in an English private collection, of 1629 (Bredius-Gerson 539A; Wetering 23). Two other related drawings are known, Benesch 0008 and Benesch 0009 recto (qqv; Benesch called the verso of Benesch 9 the recto and vice versa). Benesch 0009 recto also shows a third figure with a tall hat, visible embryonically in the present drawing, which was probably made later but before Benesch 8 (qv for a fuller discussion of the drawings related to the painting). The seated figure on the left here has generic links with Benesch 0007 and Benesch 0049.

The recto of Benesch 6 has some links to Rembrandt's somewhat later painting of the same subject, the Raising of the Cross, now in Munich, of c.1633 (Bredius 548; Corpus, A69). For the design, Rembrandt may have been inspired by various sources, including a woodcut Albrecht Altdorfer (Bartsch 29; New Hollstein w.29)[1] and an etching by Jacques Callot (Lieure 547),[2] though this is less close. Rubens's celebrated altarpiece of 1611 in the Cathedral at Antwerp might have been known to Rembrandt through copies.[3] Another, school drawing, a variation of the same composition, is in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (inv.48.1110) and may reflect a later stage of the development of Rembrandt's painting.[4] Compare also Benesch 0083, probably by Govert Flinck, another variant that depends closely on the painting as completed.

The style of both the recto and verso is instructive for understanding Rembrandt at this early stage of his career. The variety of touch, often somewhat scratchy, and the eccentric, almost jerky outlines, are a feature of many drawings of the Leiden years.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*.

Date: c.1628-29.

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv.R 89)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1899, no.208; Lippmann, III, 88; HdG 1362; Saxl, 1908, p.348; Fraenger, 1920, p.86, repr. fig.64; Benesch, 1925I, pp.26-27; van Regteren Altena, 1925, p.143, repr. fig.2; Rosenberg, 1925-26, p.77, repr. fig.3; Kauffmann, 1926, p.177, note; Weisbach, 1926, p.131; Schneider, 1926-27, p.11; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.321; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.222; Van Rijckevorsel, 1932, p.103, repr. fig.108 (influence of Rubens); Bauch, 1933, pp.38-40, 186 and 195, repr. figs 20 and 24 (c.1628); Exh. Rotterdam, 1934, no.74, repr. fig.xxiv; Koomen, 1934, p.307, repr.; Valentiner 483; Benesch, 1935, p.9 (early date); Bredius, 1935, p.24, under no.548; Exh. Rotterdam, 1938, no.311; Knipping, 1939-40, II, p.227; Benesch, 1940, p.6, repr. fig.3; Verslag Stichting Museum Boymans, 1939-41, p.7; Von Alten, 1947, no.9; Benesch, 1947, no.2, repr. (influence of Callot); Exh. Braunschweig, 1948, no.30; Benesch, I, 1954/73, I, no.6, repr.; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.11, repr. fig.4 and under no.21; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.2; Drost, 1957, p.158; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.2, repr. fig.1 (infuence of Callot); Wegner, 1957, np.152; Benesch, 1960, pp.8 and 13, no.1, repr.; Roger Marx, 1960, pp.110, 133 and 145, repr. fig.12; Haverkamp Begemann, 1961, pp.19-20; Sumowski, 1961, p.3; Gantner, 1964, p.15, n.3; Sumowski, 1964.I, pp.234-45; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.111, repr. fig.13 (influence of Callot); Bauch, 1966, p.4, and under nos 47 and 57; Brochhagen, 1967, p.61, under no.394; Bredius-Gerson, 1969, p.604, under no.539A; Rotterdam, 1969, p.19, repr. pls.1-2; Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.25, repr.; Benesch, 1970, pp.83, 84 and 136, repr. fig.101; Broos, 1970, p.100; Exh. Milan, 1970, no.2, repr.; Tümpel, 1970, under no.99 (influence of Callot and Rubens); Kai Sass, 1971, pp.14-16, repr. p.21; Haak, 1973, p.157, n.11; Guratzsch, 1975, p.247, n.7; Broos, 1977, p.99; Corpus, I, 1982, pp.186ff., under no.A15, repr. fig.9; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.5, n.7, repr. fig.c, and under no.77, n.8; Corpus, II, 1986, under no.A69, repr. fig.5; Rotterdam, 1988, no.2, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), pp.132-33, and n.6, repr. fig.9; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, p.272, repr. p.274, figs.8-9; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, pp.72-73 and 123, repr. figs.28 and 74 (recto exceptional in representing a complete 'story'); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.4, repr. figs.79 and 22 (documentary drawing); Exh. Rotterdam, 2005-6, no.2, repr.; Exh. Istanbul, 2006, no.2, repr.; Exh. Rotterdam 2009 (coll 2 kw 2); This Catalogue online, 2012; Exh. New York, 2016, pp.11, 32 and 44, no.4, repr. figs.12 [verso] and 27 [recto]; Schatborn, 2019, nos.3-4, and pp.17 and 25 repr. (c.1629); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, pp.65-66 and no.86, repr..

PROVENANCE: Chambers Hall (L.551); J.C. Robinson (L.1433); his sale, London, Christie's, 12-14 May, 1902, no.367; Teixeira de Mattos (according to HdG); F. Güterbock, 1927 (according to Koenigs inventory), from whom purchased by F. Koenigs (L.1023a; this mark erroneously thought to be L.1023, the mark of Frederick Keppel, by Benesch); D,G, van Beuningen, by whom given to the present repository in 1940.

[1] As suggested by Benesch, 1960, p.8.

[2] Suggested by Benesch, 1947, no.2.

[3] The connection with Rubens was first noted by Saxl, 1908, p.348, and later by Van Rijckevorsel, 1932, p.103, Valentiner, no.483 and Benesch, 1960, p.8. See further Rotterdam, 1988, p.39, where it is pointed out that Rembrandt may not yet have known the Rubens composition as it was first engraved in 1638 by Hans Wittdoeck (Van de Wijngaert, 1940, no.760). There is an oil-sketch for this picture by Rubens in the Louvre (inv. MNR411).

[4] See under the 'Not in Benesch' tab.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0007

Subject: Old Man with a Book, seated (study for St Peter)

Verso: Traces of red chalk in the centre

Medium: Red chalk with black chalk, heightened with white on rough yellowish paper (less yellow than Benesch 41); ruled framing-line in pen and brown ink; a strip added to the right side by the artist. Inscribed verso, in graphite, with the inventory no. "KdZ 5284" and upper right with the numbers "3" and "4".

296 x 211, including a c.10mm wide vertical strip added to right, apparently by Rembrandt himself (the addition is joined to the deckle edges of the original sheet, and Rembrandt appears to have run out of space, leading him to expand the paper) . Watermark: crowned coat-of-arms (comparable to Churchill 289 [arms of Neuchâtel, 1626]).

COMMENTS: By Rembrandt. Although Lastmanesque and Lievensesque in style and technique, with red and black chalks combined on yellowish paper, the sheet has documentary status because of its connection with the Melbourne painting dated 1628, thought to represent Sts Peter and Paul in discussion (Bredius 423; Corpus A13). Primarily a drapery study, only minor alterations exist between the figures in the drawing and painting: chiefly the painted figure is turned slightly more to the left so that, for example, his nose is no longer visible. His beard is also shorter and the pentimento in the right knee of the drawing is decided in favour of the lower variant. The folds in nearest parts of the drapery are simplified in the painting, although X-radiographs of the latter reveal that it originally followed the drawing somewhat more closely.[1] No other drawings related to the same painting are known.

See Benesch 56 for a drawing with the same watermark.[2]

Condition: some stains near top edge, especially two at top left.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*.

Date: 1628?

COLLECTION: D Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ.5284; stamped with L.1612 and L.2504).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1890, p.45 (early); Michel, 1893, p.576; HdG 112 (c.1630-31); Zeichnungen alter Meister im Kupferstichkabinett der K. Museen zu Berlin, 1910, no.265; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.101 (just after 1630); Valentiner, 1921, p.xxv, under no.2, p.101 verso, repr. II. Auflage, p.xxx, pl.110; Van Dyke, 1927, p.105 (by Jan Lievens); Paris, 1929, p.59; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.221; Berlin, 1930, p.231, no.5284, repr. pl.164 (c.1628); Lugt, 1931, p.59; Bauch, 1933, pp.78-81, 108-109 and 195-96, repr. fig.73 (c.1629; study for the painting then known only through a print by Pietro Monaco [1707-72]); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Wichmann, 1940, no.6; Benesch, 1947, no.3, repr. (1628); Van Gelder, 1953, p.15 (c.1628); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.7, repr. (relates to Melbourne painting of 1628 - see further above); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.27 (c.1628); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.7; Rosenberg, 1956, p.127; Scheidig, 1962, p.34; Benesch, 1960/63, p.7, no.2, repr. (c.1628); Bauch, 1966, under no.5; Gerson, 1968, pp.26 and 178; Hamann, 1969, p.446; Sciolla, 1976, no.1; Tümpel, 1977, pp.26 and 28 (c.1628); Corpus, I, 1982, under no.A13; Tümpel, 1986, pp.32-34; Malibu, 1988, under no.113; Exh. Melbourne, 1988, pp.21-24; Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-89, pp.5, 11 and 16, repr. pl.III; ; Royalton-Kisch, 1989, pp.130-31, repr. fig.4; Schatborn, 1989, p.119; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.III, pp.410-12, repr. fig.3; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.64; Schatborn, 1993, pp.159-60; Melbourne, 1995, p.231; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, no.73 and under no.3 (c.1628); Starcky, 1999, pp.22-23 (c.1627-28); Van Straten, 2002, p.277; Exh. Berlin, 2002-3, no.75 (1627-28); Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.44 (1628); Van Straten, 2006, pp.72-73 (1628); Berlin, 2006, no.1, repr. (c.1627-28); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.1.1, repr. (c.1627-28); Schatborn, 2011, p.302, repr. fig. 17 (made during working process on the painting); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.2, repr. fig.17 (documentary drawing); Rubinstein, 2011, p.357, repr. figs.6 and 11 (detail); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Exh. New York, 2016, pp.37-39, repr. fig.35; Schatborn, 2019, no. 1 and p.17, repr. (c.1628; influence of Lastman); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, pp.65-66, repr. fig.71.

PROVENANCE: Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.

[1] This undermines the theory proposed by Schatborn, 1993, that the drawing might have been made after work on the painting had begun.

[2] As reported in Berlin, 2006, p.26, n.3.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0008

Subject: Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver

Verso: Kneeling Man and Standing Figure (Judas and the High Priest)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with black chalk and grey wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown-black ink on all sides. Verso: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite, lower left: '36'.

112 x 146. Watermark: none; chain lines 22v. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: A documentary sheet because of its connection with the painting of Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver, of 1629 (private collection; Bredius-Gerson 539A; Wetering 23). The drawing is unusual as it is one of the very few complete composition studies from Rembrandt's Leiden period that has come down to us (the others being Benesch 6 recto and, at a stretch, Benesch 21 and 57a). Benesch 0006 verso and 0009 verso are also related to details of the same painting, but appear to have been made earlier than Benesch 8: X-radiographs of the painting suggest that Rembrandt initially planned to include the high priest towards the left of the composition, closer to the arrangement in Benesch 6 verso and 9 verso, whereas here he is moved to the more central position that he occupies in the final picture. In Benesch 9 verso the figure was covered in white bodycolour but has become visible again with time.

Because of the position of the high priest, Benesch 0008 was possibly drawn after the painting was begun (as argued by Corpus), between the two 'states' of the painting, the first revealed by X-radiographs, the second by the final surface. The drawing, like the first version of the painting, includes a prominent standing figure seen from behind and a central pool of light, whereas in the second version, the figure is omitted and the source of the brightest light is moved to near to the left edge of the painting, from the open Bible. This allowed Rembrandt to show the light ebbing away all across the canvas in an extraordinary compositional tour-de-force which is not anticipated here - the main light source appears to emanate from the other side of the above-mentioned standing figure. The latter also resembles the one to the left of centre in the painting of the Tribute Money in Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada (Bredius 536; Corpus C7), for which see under Benesch 0010, a drawing that seems to rework the same idea, though in reverse. The genesis of these two contemporary paintings may have been intertwined.

The seated figure seen in profile towards the left was sketchily rehearsed in Benesch 0006 verso and relates generically to Benesch 0049, but his companion to the right is here obliterated or changed into the standing figure. Benesch 0009 verso again shows the two seated figures and therefore seems also to have been sketched before the present sheet, and probably also before Benesch 0006 verso.[1]

However, the evolution of Rembrandt's picture was complicated and cannot be readily reconstructed in detail; the sketchy style of the present drawing differs from those studies that Rembrandt clearly made after he had started work on other projects - drawings in which he was, effectively, making copies after his own prototypes while trying out possible improvements (see, for example, Benesch 0292, Benesch 0423 and Benesch 0442). The combination of the loosely handled chalk with the pen and brush gives the overall impression of an initial design rather than a developmental sketch. Given its roughed-out qualities, Benesch 0008 could have been made at the outset of his work on the design, like most preparatory drawings in the history of art.

The slight sketch on the verso, only revealed soon before the 2011 auction of the drawing, presumably relates to the same design, although the figures are juxtaposed in a way that reminds one of the subject of Christ giving the keys to St Peter, or even the Return of the Prodigal Son. The 'Judas' figure is comparable, but the standing figure by him, perhaps the high priest, seems to stretch out his arms in blessing.[2] The drawing was abandoned by Rembrandt immediately after the first outlines were sketched in, giving us a rare glimpse of his habit of setting down the thinnest of outlines as an initial armature, which he then usually elaborated with the heavier strokes of a more highly-charged pen.

A copy after the recto, with minor differences including a 'clarification' of the figure of Judas, is in Munich.[3]

Condition: Good, though lightly foxed, and where there is wash over the light ink to the right, the ink appears drained.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1628-29.

COLLECTION: USA, Private Collection.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Meder, 1922, p.11, repr. pl.39; Bauch, 1933, p.194, repr. fig.62; Valentiner 461 (wrongly listed as HdG 1421); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1947, no.6, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.8, repr. (c.1629); Sumowski, 1956-57, under no.8 (pupil's work); Sumowski, 1961, p.3, under no.8 (Rembrandt); Corpus, I, 1982, under no.A15, repr. fig.7; Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.14; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.5, repr. fig.5d; Rotterdam, 1988, pp.38-39, under no.2, repr. fig.e; Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), pp.131-32, repr. fig.7; Exh. London, 1992, under no.26, n.6; van de Wetering, 1997, pp.75-6, repr. fig.104; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, under no.33, repr. fig.33a; Exh. Amsterdam-Berlin, 2006, p.83, repr. fig.85; Royalton-Kisch, 2010 (online), under no.23, n.5; Corpus, V, 2011, p.159, repr. fig.31 (made to prepare second state of the painting); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.9 (recto), repr. (c.1628-29); Exh. Tokyo-Nagoya, 2011, pp.292 and 307, n.19 (the drawing not necessarily made after work on the painting begun); Schatborn, 2011, p.302, repr. fig.20; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.6, repr, figs. 20 and 81 (documentary drawing); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (1628-29); Exh. New York, 2016, pp.10-11, no.2, repr. figs.9 [verso] and 10 [recto] (verso resembles encounter in early History Piece in Leiden [Bredius 460; Wetering 7]); Schatborn, 2019, nos. 7 and 9 and pp.17 and 25 (c.1629); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, pp.65-66, repr. figs.77-78 and p.196 (c.1628-29).

PROVENANCE: Sir John St. Aubyn, 5th Bart. (L.1534); possibly Archduke Karl of Saxony; Archduke Albrecht of Saxony;

Albertina, Vienna, from which acquired in 1918 by Archduke Friedrich Habsburg-Lothringen; E.J. Goeritz, London; by descent until sale, New York, Sotheby's, 26 January 2011, lot 602 (recto and verso repr.), where acquired by the present owners.

[1] As argued by Schatborn in Amsterdam, 1985.

[2] Compare also the figures of St Peter and the lame man in the etching of around the same year as the painting, 1629 (Bartsch 95).

[3] Inv. 1651; Munich, 1973, no.1179, repr. pl.326; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.47, repr. in colour.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0009

Recto: Study of the Draped Legs of a Seated Woman

Verso: Three Priests or Doctors at a Table Below a Curtain

Medium: Recto: red chalk, sometimes made wet, heightened with white; verso: pen and brown ink with brown wash and some white bodycolour. Inscribed recto in blue crayon, lower right: '1300' and lower left, in black chalk: '9' (both now removed but visible in Benesch's illustration).

227 x 176. Chain lines 27-30v. No watermark. Mat: modern only, but two small pieces of paper remain from an old backing.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, as the verso is connected with the painting of Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver, of 1629, now in an English private collection (Fig.c; Bredius-Gerson 539A; Wetering 23). For a further discussion of its place in the genesis of the painting, see Benesch 8.

The extraordinarily thin pen lines found, for example, in the curtain, are characteristic of Rembrandt's Leiden-period drawings (see for example, Benesch 10 and the drawings there compared with it).

The recto, in red chalk, is usually dated to the same period (and related to) Rembrandt's painting of Samson and Delilah of 1628-30 (see Fig.a; Bredius 489, Wetering 37). While this may be the case, the relationship is not close and from the style it is tempting to date the study of legs somewhat later, as the handling is comparable to several drawings that Rembrandt made in this medium as late as c.1635-37 (e.g. Benesch 0017, Benesch 0137 and Benesch 0142A - the shading and configuration of feet and toes are especially close to Benesch 0137). In addition, the relationship between the recto and the Samson and Delilah is also arguably less close than with the central figure in the Rape of Europa of 1632, whose nearer foot and toes are almost identical (see Fig.b; Bredius 464; Wetering 50). So a tentative redating of the recto (Benesch's verso) to c.1632-35 is suggested here. The notion that the drawing shows the exposed leg - and is a study for - the High Priest in the Judas painting should be viewed with circumspection: his leg was never likely to have been exposed in this way (Rembrandt did not follow the Renaissance practice of making nude studies before draping his figures) and seems more female than male, as past writers have generally assumed.[1]

Unlike Benesch, writers now generally refer to the Study of legs as the recto.

Condition: some dirt and on the recto some stains from an older mount

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: verso: 1628-29; recto c.1632-35?

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv.RP-T-1930-54; the stamp L.2228 has been removed from the recto).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. The Hague, 1902, no.75; Exh. Leiden, 1906, no.80 (recto);HdG 1300; Exh. Amsterdam, 1913, no.65 (recto); Exh. Leiden, 1916, no.4 (recto; c.1633); Hirschmann, 1917, p.8 (c.1630); Seidlitz, 1917, p.253 (c.1633); Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.47 (recto; c.1647); Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.221 (verso; c.1627); Bauch, 1933, pp.70-71 and 195, repr. figs.59-60 (1629; relates to Judas painting); Valentiner 460 (c.1629; relates to Judas painting); Benesch, 1935, p.9 (1628); Amsterdam, 1942, nos.5-6, repr. pl.4 (c.1629); Poortenaar, 1943, pp.19 and 47, no.91, repr. (c.1630); Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, no.53 (verso; c.1629); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.9, repr. and under no.57a (c.1629); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.12 (recto, c.1629); Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.4 (verso; c.1629); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257 (1629); Gantner, 1964, p.15, n.3; Bauch, 1966, p.4, under no.47 (1629); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.1 (1629); Bauch, 1967, p.166; Bredius/Gerson, under no.539A (1629); Hamann, 1969, p.428 (1629); Haak, 1973, pp.156-57; Exh. London, 1976, under no.58 (1629); Corpus, I, 1982, p.22, verso repr. fig.12 and under no.A15, verso repr. fig.8 (1628-29) and recto under no.A14 (1629-30); Schatborn, 1983, p.453, repr. figs 5 and 7 (1628-29); Amsterdam, 1985, no.5, repr. (1628-29); Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), p.131, verso repr. fig.8; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.106, recto repr. fig.58 and p.123, verso repr. fig.73; Exh. London, 1992, under nos. 2-4 and 15 n.11, repr. p.220, pl.1; Schatborn, 1993, p.160 (recto drawn from life; composition based on Ph. Galle print [New Hollstein no.16]); Exh. Amsterdam, 2002, no.34 (c.1629; verso made after work on the Judas painting had begun); Sluijter, 2006, p.319, recto repr. fig.303; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.5, repr. figs.80 and 21 (documentary drawing); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Exh. New York, 2016, pp.11-15 and 44, and no.3, repr. figs 11 [verso] and 13 [recto] (see n.1 below); Schatborn, 2019, nos 191 (recto) and 9 (verso) and pp.17 and 25, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, pp.65-66 and no.87, repr..

PROVENANCE: Remy van Haanen (d.1894), Vienna; H. Lang Larisch (1900), Munich; C. Hofstede de Groot, by whom presented to the present repository, with a life interest (d.1930).

[1] Exh. New York, 2016 (see Literature).

First posted 4 June 2012 [n.1 and related sentence added 22 September 2019].

 

Benesch 0010

Subject: Oriental Leaning on a Stick, turned to left

Medium: Pen and dark, olive-brown ink; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Verso inscribed with various graphite annotations: 'Inv.111/185'; 'KdZ 3100'; '21', '6', '20'.

151 x 83. Watermark: fragment of the Arms of Württemberg.

COMMENTS: Very probably and in my opinion by Rembrandt, although the stylistic connection with any documentary sheets is weak. If by him, then the much doubted painting of the Tribute Money in Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada (Bredius 536; Corpus C7), signed and dated 1629, in which a comparable figure appears, in reverse, is probably also by him, as I believe (though, it must be said, highly controversially).[1] Again in reverse, the figure also resembles the one to the left of centre in Benesch 8 (qv).

The style of the drawing relates it to a distinct group of pen sketches, often of vagrants, that exhibit the influence of Jacques Callot, also in iconography (see, for example, Benesch 14, 22, 23a and 24-28). The same applies to certain etchings that Rembrandt made in the Leiden period, from around 1628-31. For instance, the hatching in the shadows on the ground here resembles that in the etched Standing beggar of c.1628-30 (Bartsch 162).[2]

The variety of touch here, from the heavier outlines in shadow to the left, to the hair's-breadth delicacy of the delineation of the figure's back (cf. the lines in the curtain in Benesch 9 verso), reveal an exceptional skill and care in the rendering of light, a hallmark of Rembrandt. Thus despite their somewhat distinct qualities, the traditional attribution of the drawings in the group to Rembrandt himself remains highly plausible.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: c.1628-29.

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ. 3100, formerly 111-1885; stamped with L.1610).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte aus den königlichen Kunstsammlungen, 1886, col.VI (report of acquisition by the present repository); Michel, 1893, p.574; Lippmann, II, 57b; HdG 105; Saxl, 1908, p.339 (c.1633); Berlin, 1914, no.94; (early 1630s); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, II, 1921, no.94, repr.; Weisbach, 1926, p.610, n.6 (related to painting, the Tribute Money, 1629 [now Ottawa, see above]); Berlin, 1930, p.231, no.3100, repr. pl.164 (c.1630); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.222 (c.1630); Van Dyke, 1927, p.130 (unknown pupil, 'Group E'); Bauch, 1933, pp.76-77 and 191, repr. fig.64 (c.1629; study for the Tribute Money); Benesch, 1935, p.10 (shortly before 1630); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.29 (c.1630); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.10, repr. (c.1629); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.258 (c.1629); Benesch, 1964, p.107 (c.1628-29); Hamann, 1969, p.447; Benesch, 1970, p.248; Corpus, I, 1982, p.495, repr. fig.6 (used by a pupil for Tribute Money painting); Sumowski, under no.2507 (as Corpus, 1982); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.2; Exh. London, 1992, under no.2, n.1; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, pp.236-37, under no.34/1 (c.1631; related to pupil's Tribute Money painting); Van Straten, 2006, pp.134-35 (1629); Berlin, 2006, no.3, repr. (c.1629); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (c.1628-29); Schatborn, 2019, no.203, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, no.134, repr..

PROVENANCE: Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy, Vienna (L.1966); Pulszky and von Rath collections (according to Berlin Inventory); A.E. Posonyi, Vienna (L.2040); Julius Guttentag, by whom presented to the present repository in 1885.

[1] See Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.341, where, more-or-less following Corpus C7, it is suggested that the painting is by a pupil and was completed only in c.1631. The main obsacle to accepting the picture as from 1629, as the signature and date ascertain, is the dendrochronological examination of the panel, which has produced a felling date of '1630 at the earliest'. But such scientific analyses have sometimes been demonstrated to be faulty in the past. I am grateful to Dr Christopher Etheridge, Associate Curator at the National Gallery of Canada for providing the photograph (December 2016), taken after the painting was cleaned at the Gallery by Stephen Gritt. Together they are planning to write about the painting, concerning which, as Dr Etheridge kindly informs me, the attribution to Rembrandt has never been doubted at the Gallery. The dendrochronological evidence is apparently less of an obstacle than was once thought.

[2] See Berlin, 2006.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0011

Subject: The Supper at Emmaus

Medium: Pen and brown ink, over traces of black chalk; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. The paper seems a brighter, chalkier white than the verso and may have been prepared. No inscriptions. Mat: modern only.

100 x 109. Watermark near top of the sheet: countermark with the letters 'IB' or 'IT'; chain lines 23h.

COMMENTS: The apostle on the right (especially the nearer leg) suggests a copy and the traces of a black chalk underdrawing widely present (not noticed by Benesch) confirm the assessment. The style, especially in the Christ, resembles works by Flinck (not least the halo - cf. Benesch 70 in particular), but as a copy it is hard to know whether it might be by Flinck himself, or a copy or variation, perhaps by or after Flinck. At all events unlikely to be by Rembrandt himself, Bode (1906), who owned the drawing, saw a connection with Rembrandt's painting of the subject in the Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris of c.1628-29 (Bredius 539, Corpus A16) and the design was indeed probably inspired by the picture.

Condition: somewhat uneven at the edges; some minor stains near top left corner.

Summary attribution: Anonymous (by or after Govert Flinck?)

Date: 1636?

COLLECTION: USA Cambridge Fogg Art Museum (inv.1968.18).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode, 1906, p.98 (first idea, in reverse, for painting in Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris [Bredius 539, Corpus A16]); HdG 189; Stechow, 1934, pp.334-35, repr. fig.2; Valentiner 525; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Van Regteren Altena, 1948-49, p.7, repr. fig.3; Rotermund, 1952, p.103, repr. pl.19d; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.11, repr. (c.1629); Sumowski, 1957-58, p.263, repr. fig.54; Bauch, 1960, p.284; Sumowski, 1961, p.3; Rotermund, 1963, p.266, repr. fig.243; Gantner, 1964, pp.102 and 109; Exh. Cambridge (MA), 1968; Gerson, 1968, p.28; Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, no.99, repr.; Slive, 1978, pp.454 and 457, repr. fig.8; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.87, n.3 and under no.89, n.4 (copy or imitation); Sutton, 1986, p.42; Fendrich, 1990, pp.30-31; Exh. Paris-Philadelphia-Detroit, 2011-12, no.7, repr. fig.1.4 (school copy after Rembrandt, c.1630-33); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Wilhelm von Bode (1845-1929); Lucien Goldschmidt, New Yok; purchased by the present repository, 1968.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0012

Subject: Standing Man with Arms Extended

Medium: Black chalk (resembling charcoal); ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink. No inscriptions visible. Mat: modern mount only.

257 x 193. Watermark: a circle (55mm in diameter) probably with a ?bird (similar to Benesch 22, and 30-32; Benesch 45, 46 and 196 appear to be on the same type of paper).[1] chain lines vertical, distance apart uncertain; approx. 11-12 laid lines per cm. The paper is pale cream, slightly discoloured and fairly smooth. The laid lines are clearly visible. The paper has some impurities but the surface texture is consistent, with few lumps.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing by virtue of its connection with Rembrandt's etching of Sts Peter and John healing the lame man of c.1629 (Bartsch 95). Three comparable black chalk studies of single figures in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 0030-32) have similar, Italian watermarks (and Benesch 0045-46 and Benesch 0196 appear to be on the same type of paper) and it seems likely that they were made from life at the same period, focusing on the concentration of light and shadow rather than other details, such as the drapery - the contrast with Benesch 0007, for example, is clear in this respect. Perhaps the drawing was not made specifically for the print but was later employed for it - there are some adjustments, although the feet are not fully realised in either. The figure in his etched form may have been referred to for the bearded man behind Christ in Rembrandt's painting of the Raising of Lazarus of c.1630-31, now in Los Angeles (Bredius 538, Corpus A30).

Condition: Generally good but discoloured, especially in the upper left section.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1629?

COLLECTION: D Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv.C 1971-26; stamped L.1647)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Heucher, 1738, p.116 (Bureau xv); Dresden (Woermann), 1886-98, vol.viii, p.89, no.287, repr. pl.I; Lippmann, II, 50; Graul, 1906, no.4; HdG 233; Hind, 1912/23, under no.5, repr. pl.1 (connected with etching, Bartsch 95); Neumann, 1918, no.3; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, p.14, no.39; Bauch, 1933, p.192, repr. fig.41; Valentiner 530; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1947, no.11, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.12 (c.1629; compares especially Benesch 31-34); Benesch, 1960, no.3, repr.; Scheidig, 1962,, p.34 and 73, no.4, repr. pl.4; Haak, 1974, no.3; Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.2-4, n.5; Schatborn, 1993, p.161 (probably drawn from life; the low viewpoint influenced the appearance of the related etching); Exh. Dresden-Vienna, 1997-98, pp.176ff., no.80, repr.; White, 1999, p.23, repr. fig.5; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, p.91, under no.5, repr. fig.b; Rosand, 2002, p.234, repr. fig.221 (rapidly drawn, not a drapery study); Exh. Dresden 2004, no.97, repr.; Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.44, repr. pl.9 and p.106, n.2; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.60 (c.1628-29); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.7, repr. fig.82 (documentary drawing); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (1629?); Exh. New York, 2016, p.40 (uncertain if made specifically for the related etching); Schatborn, 2019, no.10 and p.25, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.64, repr. fig.76 (1628-29).

PROVENANCE: Gottfried Wagner (d.1725), Leipzig; acquired by the present repository in 1728.

[1] As noted in Amsterdam, 1985, p.10. See also under Benesch 30 below.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0013

Subject: The Baptism of the Eunuch by St Philip (Acts VIII, xxvi-xxxviii)

Verso: Blackened with chalk (but the recto not indented for transfer)

Medium: Black chalk, recto also touched with white (the black chalk has taken unevenly, quite apart from the artist's variations of pressure). Ruled framing-lines in black chalk and (top and below only) in pen and black ink. Inscribed, recto, with the former inventory number in pen and brown ink: '4946'; inscribed verso in violet ink with the present inventory number: 'Inv. No 1453' and in graphite: '206'; inscribed in graphite in German on a strip of paper attached to the bottom of the verso: 'Skizze für die Taufe des Eunuchen gestochen von Vliet 1631'.

192 x 212. No watermark. Chain lines 24h. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, because of its connection with the etching of the subject by Rembrandt of 1641 (Bartsch 98). This is closer than the composition etched after Rembrandt by Van Vliet in 1631 on the basis of a design of c.1629 (Bartsch/Hollstein 12), mentioned by Benesch and others.[1] The blackening of the back of the sheet, usually undertaken to help transfer the design of a print, reveals that, rather than being derived from Rembrandt, the drawing played a part in his working process. However, perhaps because the details remained in such a cursory state, the outlines were apparently not indented for transfer, whether to the copper plate for the etching or to another surface, such as a sheet of paper (the latter practice has not yet been documented in Rembrandt's work). One might speculate that it was after the completion of this drawing that Rembrandt decided to move the horseman to one side of the composition to improve the balance of the design.

The drawing is extraordinarily free and vigorous, matching the more liquid handling Rembrandt also employed in his pen drawings during the 1640s rather than the chalk drawings of the Leiden years (cf., for example, Benesch 0003-7, Benesch 0015, Benesch 0017-21, Benesch 0030-34 and Benesch 0043-45). On the basis of its style we also have to accept as by Rembrandt the drawing in Munich of Isaac blessing Jacob, which is not in Benesch (see under the Not in Benesch tab). Also illustrated there is a 1641 signed and dated drawing of the subject, which may represent a first idea for the same composition. Indeed, it seems that the abraded lines above the wheeled carriage to the right in Benesch 0013 may have represented the elephant and rider shown there.

The subject became popular in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century and was treated by Rembrandt's teacher, Pieter Lastman, four times, as well as by Jacob Pijnas and others before Rembrandt first tackled it in his painting of 1626 (See note 1), and again in the lost version of around c.1629 mentioned above, in the present drawing and in the related etching. It has been suggested that the subject's popularity resulted from the Protestant recognition of only two of the traditional Roman Catholic Seven Sacraments, Baptism and Communion.[2]

Condition: Somewhat rubbed; the whites partly oxidised; paper cockled; minor nicks and repairs; old creases.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1641.

COLLECTION: D Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung (Inv.1453; stamped with L.2673 and L.2723).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Saxl, 1908, p.536; Benesch, 1925, pp.26-27, repr.; Kauffmann, 1926, p.244; Valentiner, 1934, p.404; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1947, no.13, repr.; Valentiner, 1951, p.347, n.7 (an 18th-century imitation); Van Gelder, 1953, p.17; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.13, repr. (c.1629, for lost painting etched in 1631); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, no.13; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.40; Munich, 1973, no,1110, repr, pl.305; Guratzsch, 1975, p.250; Giltaij, 1977, pp.5-6, repr.; Schatborn, 1978, p.134; Sumowski, under nos.534* and no. 1753**, repr. (Lievens); Schatborn, 1986, p.14, repr. fig.1; Giltaij, 1989, p.112, repr. fig.8; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.49 (c.1635); O. Bonebakker, 'Rembrandt's drawing of the Baptism of the Eunuch in Munich', in Vignau-Wilberg (ed), 2003, pp.29-43; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.50, repr. fig.124 (documentary drawing); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Schatborn, 2019, no.66, repr. (c.1641); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, under no.48, repr. fig.144 (c.1630-35)..

PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich.

[1] For the painting and print, see Corpus, I, pp.37-8. For an earlier version of the subject of 1626, see Corpus A5; Wetering 9,which reveals the influence of Lastman and Pijnas.

[2] Defoer, 1977, pp.21-24.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0014

Subject: Man in a High Cap (full-length, walking to left)

Verso: Laid down

Medium: Pen and greyish-brown ink with grey wash. Remnants of a ruled framing-line in pen and brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink, upper right: '29'.

106 x 54 (top corners rounded).

COMMENTS: The analogies required to substantiate the attribution of the present drawing are chiefly with Rembrandt's etchings of vagrants and with the figure of Joseph in two early etchings of the Flight into Egypt (Bartsch 52 and 54). The odd configuration of the trousers, which contain some idiosyncratic motor movements of Rembrandt's hand, is quite typical - cf. Benesch 0036, for example. Yet that comparison is unflattering to the present sheet, in which the penmanship is unusually liquid for a drawing of the Leiden period; and despite the delicacy of many details, there are some other concerns: for example, where exactly is the nearer arm? The balance of the wash and outlines is also unsatisfactory, with a stronger forward outline to the advancing leg which is lit than to the shadowed back of the receding one - the reverse of Rembrandt's usual custom. Overall, there is a slightly decorative quality, a lack of Rembrandt's habitual sense of structure and authority, which is troubling. Extremely tall, soft hats like this in Rembrandt tend to kink, or be less wide at the top.

On balance, however, this liquidly handled drawing seems to be by Rembrandt. The more delicate lines and the forthright characterisation are among its more persuasive characteristics, even if the style is difficult to relate directly to Rembrandt's documentary drawings in pen and ink of the Leiden period, such as Benesch 0008 or Benesch 0009 verso. But the lack of such a connection is not all that unusual (see further the Introduction under the 'About' tab).

The inspiration, as has often been said of Rembrandt's early depictions of vagrants, is derived from etchings by Jacques Callot. But already in this early work, Rembrandt depicts them with less derision.[1]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1629?

COLLECTION: F Paris Louvre (inv. RF 4668; stamped with L.1886a).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.588; Paris, 1933, no.1159, repr. pl.XLII; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.14, repr. (c.1629-30); Bauch, 1960, pp.164-65; White, 1969, pp.26-7, repr. pl.6; Sciolla, 1976, under no.1; Schatborn, 1985, p.13; Starcky, 1985, p.256, repr. fig.4 (c.1629-30); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.2, repr. (c.1627-29); White, 1999, p.22, repr, fig.21; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.42, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.2, repr. (text by H. Grollemund; dates c.1627-29); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (1629?); Exh. Paris, 2017, no.10, repr. (see n.1 below); Schatborn, 2019, no.208, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.62, repr. fig.74.

PROVENANCE: Léon Bonnat (L.1714, with no."29" from his album), by whom acquired between 1885 and 1893 and presented to the present repository in 1919.

[1] Stratton, 1986, believes images of this type remain aloof from the beggars; cf. also Exh. Paris, 2017, no.10.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0015

Subject: St Paul

Verso: Laid down

Medium: Red chalk with brush and grey wash, heightened with white; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink (not the same medium as the drawing); outlines indented for transfer to the copper plate; some graphite [?] scribbles in the grey area which are probably, but not certainly autograph. Inscribed lower right in pen and brown ink (number of Crozat inventory written by P.-J. Mariette): "276"; further insignificant graphite inscriptions and numbers on the mat.

236 x 202. No watermark visible; chain lines vertical, distance apart uncertain. Paper is smooth pale cream with some lumps. Laid down on an old mat with a pale green stripe and lines in pen and black and brown ink and in gold.

COMMENTS: A documentary sheet through its connection with Rembrandt's etching of St Paul, Bartsch 149, for which some of the outlines are indented to transfer the design to the copper plate. In the print, which is in reverse, the saint's emblem, the sword, is omitted while the pen he holds (in what becomes his right hand) is clarified, as are also the books by his elbow and other details. In the drawing, the sense of light entering from the left and reflected from the surface of the open volume is almost palpable. However, as Benesch pointed out, the drawing was less obviously done from life, unlike Rembrandt's many other red chalk drawings of elderly figures made during the Leiden period (such as Benesch 20 and 37-42). Compare also Benesch 0089-90 for the same combination of red chalk and grey wash, in a not dissimilar style.

Condition: Generally good. Some staining upper left; a spot of glue (?) by the spine of the book; a vertical fold to the right; some abrasions in the grey wash, especially below the saint's nearer hand (and perhaps partly intentional, to add illumination in this area).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1628?

COLLECTION: F Paris Louvre (inv.22985; Lugt 1145; stamped with L.1886 and on verso with numéro d'ordre stamp, not in Lugt)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, repr. opp. p.40; Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; Dessins du Musée du Louvre, Alinari, 7e série, École Hollandaise, pl.329; Lippmann, I, no.158; HdG 613 (identifies as a study for the etching, c.1629); Bruel, 1908, p.462; Saxl, 1908, pp.237-38; Kleinmann, V, no.30; Weisbach, 1926, repr. fig.13; Van Dyke, 1927, p.106 (Lievens); Valentiner 550; Fierens, 1929, repr. pl.1; Van Rijckevorsel, 1932, pp.73-74; Bauch, 1933, pp.101-2 and 197-98, repr. fig.89; Paris, 1933, no.1145 (c.1627; related to painting of St Paul in Stuttgart, Bredius 601, Corpus A11); Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Paris, 1937, no.102; Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.65, repr. pl.43; Graul, 1941, p.46, repr. pl.74; Benesch, 1947, no.12, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.15 (c.1629; related to etching, Bartsch 149; a summary preparation rather than a study from life); Sumowski, 1957-58, p.237; Bauch, 1960, p.259; Benesch, 1964, p.108; Gerson, 1968, p.188, repr.; White and Boon, 1969, p.75; Exh. Paris, 1970, no.135; Haak, 1975, p.30, repr. fig.5; Sciolla, 1976, under no.1; Broos, 1977, p.100; Giltaij, 1977, pp.6 and 9, n.17; Corpus, I, 1982, pp.167, 270 and 271; Starcky, 1985, p.256; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.6; Schatborn, 1986, pp.4-5; Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.454; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.3, repr.; Exh. New York-Chicago, 1989, under no.67; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.71, repr. fig.27; Exh. London, 1992, under nos.5 and 15; Starcky, 1993, p.212 and p.221, n.35; Gutbrod, 1996, pp.220-234; Haarlem, 1997, under no.321; White, 1999, p.7; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, p.67, repr. fig.5; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.85 and under no.32; Schatborn, 2006, pp.8, 10 and 13 and no.2, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.3, repr.; Schatborn, 2011, p.313, repr. fig.43; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.3, repr. fig.43 (documentary drawing); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (1628?); Exh. New York, 2016, pp.39-40; Schatborn, 2019, no.2 and pp.17 and 25, repr. (c.1628); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.64 and no. 100, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Probably Pierre Crozat, with his number lower right, '276'; probably his sale, Paris, 10 April-13 May, 1741, part of lot 875 (?); Nourri sale, Paris, 24 February 1785, part of lot 769 or 775, where acquired by Charles-Paul-Jean-Baptiste Bourgevin de Vialart, comte de Saint-Morys; seized by the Revolutionary government 1793; entered the Louvre, 1796-1797.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0016

Subject: Bust of an Old Man

Medium: Red chalk

168 x 135.

COMMENTS: A typical work by Lievens and catalogued as such by Sumowski (1643*). It may have been made at the same period as the Rembrandt drawings that Benesch referred to for comparison, Benesch 37-39 (in no.38 the model also looks similar). The stringy lines, which combine to give an impression of a figure made of straw, while characteristic of Lievens (cf. the drawing in the British Museum, 1836,0811.341),[1] are wholly distinct from the style of Rembrandt, whose grasp of form is considerably firmer (eg. Benesch 42, which most commentators now assign to Lievens, wrongly in my view, as well as the drawings already mentioned). Only in Benesch 39 does Rembrandt toy with a comparable manner in the beard and nearer shoulder, but even there the underlying structure is more secure.

Summary attribution: Jan Lievens

Date: c.1630?

COLLECTION: D Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Freund, 1917 etc., repr. pl.212 (Rembrandt, Van Vliet or Lievens); Bauch 1933, p.228 (J. des Rousseaux); Benesch, 1935, p.10 (Rembrandt, c.1630); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.16, repr. (c.1630); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.66 (probably Lievens); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.259, repr. fig.25 (S. Koninck); Bauch, 1960, p.265, n.184, and p.284 (Lievens); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20 (Rembrandt; retouched by a later hand in darker chalk); Sumowski, 1972, p.483, n.4 (Lievens); Ekkart, 1973, p.384, SZ.413 (Lievens attribution uncertain); Sumowski 1643* (Lievens); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

[1] Sumowski 1589; London, 2010 (online), no.2, repr..

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0017

Subject: The Entombment of Christ (over the Raising of Lazarus)

Verso: Laid down on paper; see Inscriptions.

Medium: Red chalk, corrected with white. Inscribed by the artist, lower right centre, in the same red chalk used for the drawing: ‘1630’. The verso inscribed in pen and dark (brown?) ink: ‘Rembrand’ (visible through backing paper only; eighteenth century?); inscribed on the backing paper, in graphite (probably 19th century): ‘9' [in a circle].

282 x 204. Chain lines: 22/24v. Watermark: the backing has a watermark with the arms of Amsterdam; there may be a watermark on the original sheet, but it is indecipherable through the backing.

COMMENTS: Clearly by Rembrandt, the only surprise being that the date on the drawing, 1630, must refer to the date of Lievens' composition of the "Raising of Lazarus" (see below). In style the drawing is characteristic of Rembrandt in c.1635 and its authenticity has rarely been doubted, but its genesis is somewhat complex: it began as a rough sketch of the 'Raising of Lazarus', with Lazarus seen at the lower right in two or more positions, raising his head, and with Christ standing above the tomb and a crowd of spectators to the left. It was subsequently reworked as an 'Entombment of Christ',[1] in which the body of Christ is lowered towards the tomb; some of the earlier figures, including the standing Christ, were adjusted, erased or cancelled out in red chalk or else covered with white bodycolour, which has since become more transparent.

It has generally been thought that Rembrandt based the underlying composition of the 'Raising of Lazarus' on an etching by Jan Lievens (Hollstein 7).[2] There are numerous differences between them: Rembrandt did not silhouette the woman holding the winding-sheet as in the print; the figures behind her are rearranged; between her and the central figures there is a head, partly obscured by the white bodycolour, that does not appear in the print; the interior rather than the roof of the arch is shaded; and there are many other alterations. The etching reproduces, in reverse, Lievens' painting of this subject now in Brighton, which is dated 1631 and which Rembrandt may have owned.[3] Some of these differences reveal that Rembrandt in fact based himself on another print after the painting made by Jacob Louijs, which was published by Pieter Soutman, probably in Haarlem, where they were both active from 1628 (Hollstein 1). This engraving, which is most unlikely to have been made before the completion in 1631 of the painting by Lievens it reproduces, exhibits the 'reversed' shading in the vault. It also includes a section of rock on the left that juts out into the space occupied by the arch, a motif seen in the drawing, but not in Lievens' etching; and the same applies to other features: for example, the diagonal shading on the wall above Lazarus's head follows Louijs' print, and the reserve of white across the lower edge reflects the space occupied by the inscription in Louijs' engraving. Yet the placing of Rembrandt's date follows that of Lievens' signature, suggesting that he probably had Lievens' print, as well as Louijs' engraving, before him as he worked.[4] The details of the 'Lazarus' composition in the drawing are difficult to decipher without knowledge of the prints; equally it is hard to see how Lievens could have created his figures, whether in paint or on copper, on the basis of Rembrandt's cursory indications in the drawing, including the wall of shaded rock that descends in a curve to Christ's feet, as has also sometimes been suggested.

Neither Lievens' etching nor Louijs' engraving are likely to have been made before the completion of the painting, yet the drawing is in the same direction as the prints and in reverse to the painting. This would probably not have been the case had the drawing predated the prints. In sum, the drawing seems clearly to have been primarily based on Louijs' print, a discovery that wholly undermines the traditional view that Rembrandt's drawing, ostensibly dated 1630, inspired Lievens' painting of 1631.[5] To bolster this theory, it has recently come to light that Louijs’ print was already published in its first state by Pieter Soutman with his privilege, a privilege that he was first granted in 1636.[6] Thus the drawing may have been made in that year and is very unlikely to have been made much earlier.

Rembrandt's subsequent reworking of the sheet into an 'Entombment of Christ', although in a more searching style, was probably not executed substantially later, as has sometimes been thought. The handling differs only marginally and the colour of the chalk remains the same. The discovery that Louijs' print was Rembrandt's starting-point also negates the traditional notion that the drawing served as a preparatory study for Rembrandt's painting of the 'Raising of Lazarus' of c.1630-31 (Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, Bredius 538, Corpus A30). The theory is further weakened by the major differences between the two works, which are based on different parts of the text of St John.[7] Rembrandt returned to the Lazarus subject in an etching of c.1632 (Bartsch 73, Hind 96; see cat. no.6a; 1848,0911.35) which again has only a few isolated elements of the drawing's design in common, as does his much later etching of 1642 (Bartsch 72, Hind 198).[8]

With these traditional connections with works of around 1630-32 severed, it becomes possible to redate the drawing on purely stylistic grounds. Because of the connection with Louijs' print it cannot be from 1630, despite Rembrandt's annotation. The inscription seems to be autograph, but must refer not to the time of the drawing's execution but to the period of the composition's invention by Lievens for his painting completed in 1631.[9] Stylistically the drawing has much in common with Rembrandt's red chalk studies of around 1635, in particular with the British Museum's sketch based on Leonardo's 'Last Supper' (Benesch 444; inv.1900,0611.7). The latter, which is drawn in chalk of the same hue, includes a few heads that are described in a similar geometrical shorthand. In addition, the group of figures at the upper left of the 'Lazarus', with a man leaning on a parapet, seems to reflect Rembrandt's study of Leonardo's composition.[10] Stylistic analogies are also present in the chalk sections of a drawing in the Rijksmuseum of c.1635-6 (Benesch 152), which is related to Rembrandt's painting of the 'Entombment', now in Munich (Bredius 560, Corpus A126).[11] Such comparisons are closer than with Rembrandt's compositional drawings in chalk of the Leiden period, in which the figures and style are significantly different.[12] In this context it is worth remarking that Benesch believed that the drawing showed Rembrandt breaking free of the influence of Lastman, Pijnas and Callot.

In 2009 the compiler was able to study in a private collection another related painting of the 'Raising of Lazarus', largely in the style of Lievens. Perhaps based on Louijs's print, the picture however incorporates the group of figures on the right from Rembrandt's etching (Bartsch 73, Hind 96). Scientific investigation by X-radiography and infra-red reflectography reveals various pentimenti in the canvas, including changes that are similar to some of those in the present drawing: the variant positions for the head of Lazarus and the adjustment to the line of the balustrade from a straight horizontal line to a curve being the clearest. Most of the painting, which survives only in rubbed condition and in a mutilated form, having been severely cut down to a circle from a rectangle, appears Lievensesque in style, although the passage incorporating the figures from Rembrandt's etching appears more Rembrandtesque. Perhaps the most convincing hypothesis is that both the drawing and this painting were made or completed in the context of revisiting the composition in c.1635, in the case of the former by Rembrandt, and of the latter by a pupil of Lievens or conceivably of Rembrandt.[13]

Redating the drawing to c.1635 not only brings it closer in time to the Munich painting, for which it could have been a preliminary idea, but also to the four etched 'Oriental Heads', again based on Lievens, that Rembrandt produced at this time (Bartsch 286-9).[14] Four other drawn copies based on Pieter Lastman were also made by Rembrandt in the mid-1630s and are likewise in chalk (Benesch 446-9, the two former in black, the latter in red chalk). Furthermore, although the subject of the 'Entombment' was not etched by Rembrandt until much later ('Christ carried to the Tomb', c.1645, Bartsch 84, Hind 215; the 'Entombment', c.1654, Bartsch 86, Hind 281), Rembrandt produced a second version in oil during the mid- or late-1630s, the sketch at Glasgow (Bredius 554, Corpus A105 as datable 1633-35; Exh. Glasgow, 2012 suggests a later date, perhaps with subsequent reworking). The two paintings have few details that are directly related to the drawing (the Munich picture is the nearest), yet they could have been made at approximately the same date, when the artist was wrestling with this subject.

A similar retrospective dating to the one added by Rembrandt here appears to have taken place with Benesch 0082 and when Rembrandt completed in chalk two proofs of his etched 'Self-Portrait in a soft Hat', and has caused equal confusion (see British Museum, inv.1842,0806.134; Benesch 0057; London, 2010 (online), no.7a, repr.).

Condition: Generally good; perhaps a little trimmed; a stain (oil?) towards lower left; some foxing towards upper right.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1635-36?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.T,14.6; formerly FAWK 5213.6)

FURTHER LITERATURE/remarks (always as Rembrandt, 1630 unless otherwise stated; Rembrandt's painting = Bredius 538, Corpus A30, 'Lazarus' or Bredius 560, Corpus A126, 'Entombment'; etching = Bartsch 73): Bürger, 1858, p.399 ('Entombment' only); Vosmaer, 1877, pp.89 and 487; Bode, 1881, p.66 (with colour repr.; 'Entombment', but related to Rembrandt's 'Lazarus' etching); Bode, 1883, p.390 (as Bode, 1881); Dutuit, IV, 1885, p.85 ('Entombment of Lazarus'); Michel, 1893, II, p.581 (as Dutuit, 1885); Seidlitz, 1895/1992, p.63/125, under no.73; Hofstede de Groot, 1896, p.380 (a 'Raising of Lazarus', preceding Rembrandt's painting and related to Lievens, and an 'Entombment'); Exh. London, 1899, no. A3 (first a ‘Lazarus’ related to the etchings by Lievens and Rembrandt, then reworked as an ‘Entombment’); Lippmann, I, no.102; Neumann, 1902, p.195n. (agrees subject changed); Kleinmann, III, no.42; Bell, c.1905, p.15, repr. pl.VI; Wickhoff, [text by Kurt Rathe], 1906, p.28, no.31; HdG 891 (first a 'Raising of Lazarus', reworked as an 'Entombment'); Valentiner, 1907, p.162 (Elsheimer influence); Exh. Paris, 1908, p.36, under no.66 (closer to Rembrandt's painting of 'Lazarus' than to his etching); Saxl, 1908, p.233 (relates to 'Lazarus' painting and etching); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; Holmes, 1911, pp.30f., repr. pl.III; Hind, I, 1912/24, under no.96 and repr. pl.IX/II, in 1912 ed. also p.51, in 1924 ed. also p.29 (the drawing and painting of 'Lazarus' later developed in Rembrandt's etching; 1924 ed.: also related to Munich 'Entombment'); London, 1915, no.2, repr. pl.II (probably for Rembrandt's etching, the drawing also inspiring Lievens' etching); Graul, 1920, p.14; Stockholm, 1920, p.28 (influenced 'Massacre of Innocents'?, Benesch 351 verso, Stockholm, viewed as a school drawing); Coppier, 1922, pp.25 and 102 (by Lievens, 1630); Saxl, 1923-4, pp.146-151 (places Lievens' etching first; the drawing used for Rembrandt's painting and then for his etching; the composition inspired by Guido Reni); Benesch, 1925, reprinted 1970, pp.83, 84; Kauffmann, 1926, p.174; Weisbach, 1926, p.138 (related to 'Lazarus' painting; quotes Saxl, 1923-4); Van Dyke, 1927, p.58, p.105 and p. 107, repr. pl.XXVIII, fig.110 (by Lievens, for his etching; compares 'Susannah' in Dresden, Benesch 536; also gives Rotterdam 'Lazarus', Benesch 518, to Lievens); Exh. London, 1929, p.86, under no.170, and p.224 [1929[I], p.196], under no.573 (related to Brighton painting and Lievens' etching); Hind, 1932, p.52 (study for Rembrandt's etching); Köhne, 1932, pp.52 and 66-7 (compares Lievens; quotes Saxl, 1923-4); van Rijckevorsel, 1932, p.87, repr. fig.84 (Lievens' etching first; influence of Reni and of Marcantonio's 'Lamentation' after Raphael); Schneider, 1932/73, p.39 (after Lievens' etching); Paris, 1933, p.5, under no.1117 (compares 'Solomon adoring the Idols', Louvre, Benesch 136); Bauch, 1933, pp.93-4, repr. fig.83, and pp.201-2 (similar to 'Lazarus' painting of same year); Valentiner 499 (first a 'Lazarus', 1630, reworked c.1633 as an 'Entombment' for Munich painting); Exh. Madrid, 1934, p.41, under no.23; Benesch, 1935, p.10 (drawing influenced Lievens); Benesch, 1935[I], p.262; Gerson, 1936, p.75; Exh. London, 1938, no.2; Bauch, 1939, pp.261-4 (influenced Lievens or conceivably by him but reworked by Rembrandt); Popham, 1939, pp.67-8 (echoes of earlier mannerists); Amsterdam, 1942, p.103, under no.1 (ultimately influenced Rijksmuseum's drawing of the subject by Jacob de Wet the Younger); von Alten, 1947, no.5, repr.; Benesch, 1947, no.15, repr. (based on Lievens' print; style fuses Callot and Pynas); Schuurman, 1947, p.20, repr. p.23 (follows Saxl, 1923-4); Beck, 1949, pp. 184-99 (based on Lievens with knowledge of Marcantonio 'Pietà', Bartsch 35); Münz, 1952, II, p.93, under no.192, p.110, under no.241, and p.113 under no.252 (drawing influenced Lievens, or both inspired by common prototype such as Rubens' 'Assumption of the Virgin'; perhaps related to Munich 'Entombment'; traces development of subject from Benesch 17 to etching, 'c.1658/59', Bartsch 86, Hind 281; notes consistency of style between early and late rough sketches); van Gelder, 1953, p.299 (a study for Rembrandt's etching of 'Lazarus'; influence of Pynas and Lastman); Benesch I, 1954/73, no.17, repr. (drawing influenced Lievens); Exh. Leiden, 1956, pp.40-41 (influenced Lievens; later reworked as an 'Entombment'); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.42, under no.18 (as Paris, 1933); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956[I], p.23, under no.11 (for Los Angeles painting); Exh. London, 1956, p.22, no.6; Knuttel, 1956, pp.69-70; Sumowski, 1956-7, p.263; Sumowski 1957-8, p.237 (drawing influenced Lievens); Benesch, 1960, p.14 and no.4, repr. (influence of Lastman and Pynas); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20 (drawing based on Lievens' print, which preceded Lievens' painting); White, 1962, repr. pl.1; Brighton, 1964, p.33 (drawing based on Lievens); Gantner, 1964, pp.15 and 18, repr. fig.2; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-5, p.124, under no.106, and p.129, under no.111(quotes Saxl, 1923-4; Rotterdam version, Benesch 518, dated c.1635-40; compares 'Raising of Cross', also Rotterdam, Benesch 6); Slive, 1965, no.103 (based on Lievens' etching); Bauch, 1966, p.4, under no.51 (relates to Los Angeles painting); Bauch, 1967, pp. 166-7 (places Rembrandt's painting of 'Lazarus' first, then the drawing, then Lievens' painting and etching); Munich, 1967, p.66 (relates to Munich 'Entombment'); Gerson, 1968, p.26 and p.182, repr. fig.a and p.489, under no.16 (doubts Bauch's sequence but gives no alternative); Bredius-Gerson, 1969, under no.538 (as Gerson, 1968); Haak, 1969/68, pp.62-3, repr. fig.88 (drawing influenced Lievens); Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, under no.79 (influenced Lievens); White, 1969, I, pp.29-30 and 50, repr. fig.15 (after Lievens' etching); Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.38, under no.51, p.89, under no.148 (compares 1642 etching of 'Lazarus', Bartsch 72, Hind 198); Sumowski, 1971, p.130 (drawing influenced Lievens); Fuchs, 1973, p.79, repr. fig.26 (contrasting Raphael); Slatkes, 1973, p.251 (drawing developed from Rembrandt's 'Lazarus' painting but before Lievens' etching); Stechow, 1973, pp.7-8 and 11, repr. fig.1 (drawing influenced Los Angeles painting; joint inspiration with Lievens); Haak, 1976/74, no.6; Guratzsch, 1975, pp.252-3, repr. fig.6, and n.14 (follows Haak, 1969/68); Exh. London, 1976, p.60 (some earlier opinions summarised); Sciolla, 1976, p.5, repr. no.111 (compares 'Baptism of Eunuch', Munich, Benesch 13, and 'Raising of Cross', Rotterdam, Benesch 6); Exh. Braunschweig, 1979, p.20, n.19 and under no.26 (Rembrandt inspired by Lievens; rework later); Campbell, 1980, p.27, repr. fig.27; Guratzsch, 1980, I, pp.144, 149-51, repr. figs.28-29 (underdrawing reflects Lievens' invention; iconography discussed – see n.6 above); Harvey, 1980, p.32, repr. fig.38 (based on Lievens; iconography); Sumowski, 1980, p.11 (as in 1957-8); Exh. Boston-St Louis, 1980-81, p.131, under no.82; Brown, 1981, pp.26-7, repr. fig.20 (some earlier opinions summarised); Corpus, I, 1982, p.5, n.1, p.24, and pp.300, 301, 305 and 308 under no.A30, repr. fig.6 (based on Lievens' etching; the date, if written by Rembrandt, unreliable and perhaps added to the drawing later, in error; not closely related to Rembrandt's painting of 'Lazarus'); Ozaki, 1982, pp.60-61, repr. figs.2, 6, 12 and 21 (based on Lievens, who was influenced by Rembrandt's painting); Exh. Amsterdam-Groningen, 1983, p.194, under no.51 (as Corpus, 1982); Sumowski, 'Gemälde', III, 1983, pp.1781f., under no.1193 (with summary of earlier opinions; drawing based on Lievens' etching); Exh. London, 1984, no.8; Schwartz, 1985/84, p.86, repr. fig.74 (Rembrandt predates his drawing based on Lievens' invention; the drawing reworked as an 'Entombment' only later); Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.77 and 95 (drawing based on Lievens' print; border lines drawn first); Starcky, 1985, p.257 (compares and contrasts Louvre 'Solomon's Idolatry', Benesch 136); Sumowski, IX, 1985, p.4928; Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-86, no.8 (based on Lievens’ etching, then reworked into an ‘Entombment’); Exh. Paris, 1986, p.67, under no.30 (before the painting and the etching); Tümpel, 1986, repr. p.40 in colour (date suspect); Rotterdam, 1988, p.284, under no.155; Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-9, pp.42-5, under nos.17 and 18 (based on Lievens' etching; the Lievens etching completed before his painting); Exh. Braunschweig-Utrecht-Cologne-Munich, 1988-90, p.36; Schatborn, 1990 (1989), p.124, repr. fig.17 (as Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-9); Royalton-Kisch, 1991[I], pp.263-83, repr. figs.1 and 3 (c.1635; arguments summarised above, but without knowledge of Louijs' engraving); Exh. Leiden, 1991-2, p.113, repr. fig.66; Exh. Los Angeles, 1991-2, pp.14-17, repr. fig.8 (quotes Royalton-Kisch, 1991[I]; copied after Lievens either immediately or several years later); Exh. London, 1992, no.15, repr. (based on Louijs print); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, pp.465-6 (not based on Louijs' print; follows Schatborn, 1990); Royalton-Kisch, 1992[I] (publishes in full the idea that Louijs' print was the model for the drawing); White, 1992, p.268 (as Exh. London, 1992, 'if you are prepared to argue that the date of 1630 […] does not mean what it says'); Griffiths, 1994, pp.531-2, repr. fig.54 (see note under Acquisition Comment); Schatborn, 1994, p.21 (agrees with Exh. London, 1992); Giltaij, 1995, p.98 (as Schatborn, 1994); Slive, 1995, p.101 (as Exh. London, 1992); Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-8, p.226, repr. fig.37c; Exh. Dresden, 2004, p.65, under no.2 (influenced P. Koninck drawing in Dresden, Inv. C1370); Exh. Leiden, 2005, p.182, repr. ('dated 1630'); Berlin, 2006, p.84, under no.18 (as Exh. London, 1992); Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-9, p.142, under no.31, fig.2; London, 2010 (online), no.12, repr; Exh. Glasgow, 2012, pp.87-93, repr. fig.51 and no.12 (c.1635; perhaps Rembrandt's earliest version of the Entombment, arguing that the Glasgow sketch, Bredius 554, Corpus A105, is probably later); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (c.1635-36); Schatborn, 2019, no.41, repr. (c.1635); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.71, repr. fig.92 (1630).

PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2183; possibly his sale, Cock, 8th night, 30 January, 1747, lot 67: ‘One, “Rembrandt”, Christ carrying to the Sepulchre’, £11-5-0); either given by John Christmas, 1761 or bequeathed by William Fawkener, 1769. In the British Museum Trustees’ Committee papers of 9 Oct. 1761, it is recorded that Mr John Christmas presented ‘a fine drawing of the ‘Raising of Lazarus’ after the manner of Rembrandt’. This was the first drawing ever presented to the British Museum after its foundation (i.e. since the original bequest of Hans Sloane in 1753), and could possibly be the present sheet – it may have been placed in Fawkener’s albums after their arrival in 1769 (see Griffiths, 1994, pp.531-32).

[1] As first recognised by Hofstede de Groot, 1896, p. 380. The text of the present entry summarises Royalton-Kisch, 1991[I] and 1992[I].

[2] As first argued by Saxl, 1923-4, pp.146-7. Impressions are in the British Museum and viewable online (inv. nos.D,8-69 [1st state], S.29 and D,8.70 [3rd state]).

[3] 1656 inventory of Rembrandt's possessions includes 'Een opweckinge Laseri van Jan Lievensz' (Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.353, no.42). The painting is repr. in Sumowski, 'Gemälde', III, 1983, no.1193, and Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-9, no.31.

[4] As first noticed by Schatborn (see Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-9, pp.44-5, no.18); in Exh. Braunschweig, 1979, under no.102, the Lievens etching is said to have been done after the painting.

[5] A summary of views appears below. The print was illustrated in Exh. Los Angeles, 1991-2, p.19, fig.12, and the author, Richard Rand, was the first to note the connection with Louijs' print.

[6] Jaco Rutgers, researching Pieter Soutman for the New Hollstein volume devoted to Rubens, noted that Soutman first obtained the privilege in 1636 (he kindly e-mailed the compiler with this information, 12 January 2017).

[7] Guratzsch, 1980 (see Lit. below) contrasts Lievens' invention, based on John, XI, 41, with Rembrandt's painting inspired by John, XI, 43. For the iconography, see also Harvey, 1980.

[8] The drawing of the 'Raising of Lazarus' in Rotterdam, Benesch 518 recto, has been rejected by Giltaij (see Rotterdam, 1988, no.155), rightly in my view. He quotes the earlier doubts expressed by Sumowski, 1958, p.179 and Guratzsch, 1975, p.253, n.15.

[9] Corpus, I, 1982, under no.A30, suggest that the date may have been added to the drawing later, in error. The ingenious sequence proposed by Schatborn (e.g. in 1988-9, see n.4 above) that Lievens' etching was proofed in 1630 before the painting was finished and dated in 1631 runs counter to the evidence adduced here.

[10] The figure mentioned resembles the third from the left in Rembrandt's study after Leonardo in Berlin (Benesch 445) more than his prototype in Louijs' engraving.

[11] Amsterdam, 1985, no.7.

[12] E.g. the double-sided drawing in Rotterdam for the 'Raising of the Cross' and the 'Judas returning the Silver' (Benesch 6) of c.1628-9; other chalk drawings of this period are the 'Study of Legs' in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 9 verso); the 'Studies of seated old Men' in a private collection, in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, and the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin (Benesch 20, 37, 40 and 41), and the 'St Paul' and the 'Kneeling Man' both in the Louvre (Benesch 15 and 18).

[13] The painting is privately owned and I am grateful to the owners for allowing me access to it. Originally rectangular, it as been cut down to a tondo with a diameter of 172 cm. A photograph is in the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie in The Hague. The painting's condition makes its status difficult to judge.

[14] See Broos in Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-6, pp.22-3, nos.6-7. Hind, 1924, Valentiner, 1934, II, and Münz, 1952 have previously suggested some relationship to the Munich 'Entombment' (see Lit. below).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0018

Subject: Drapery Study for St Jerome in Prayer

Verso: Laid down

Medium: Red and black chalk on paper prepared with brown wash (the red chalk perhaps moistened occasionally to achieve a darker tone); ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed lower right, in pen and dark brown ink: '8' and on the mat, recto, by P.J. Mariette: 'REIMBRANDT VAN RHYN/Ex Collectione D. Petri Crozat, nunc P.J. Mariette. 1741.'; inscribed in pen and brown ink on the verso of the mat: 'Lanasin [?]71 Laranon [?Lanasin] Rembrands 19/8155/13'.

206 x 161. Watermark and chain lines not visible. The paper is smooth and has 'taken on' the laid lines from the mat. The mat is Mariette's, but the blue colour has faded to greyish-green.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing as it is a study for a lost painting by Rembrandt of c.1630-31, known through an engraving of 1631, in reverse, by Jan van Vliet (Bartsch 13; there is also an early copy, in reverse, after the print that presumably shows the composition in the same direction as the lost painting). The differences between the two are minor, but the more cursory depiction of the folds and other details in the drawing secures the drawing's status as a preparatory sketch. To judge from the engravings, the painting was more detailed in the burgeoning tradition of Leiden 'fijnschilderij' and the drawing is considerably bolder and more rough-hewn in approach. The technique of red and black chalk combined is not unusual in the early works of Rembrandt, though sometimes combined with white (cf. Benesch 0007, Benesch 0040-42 and Benesch 0056, as well as the Study of an old man in a private collection in The Hague (see under Not in Benesch).[1]

Rembrandt's design is exceptional in depicting St Jerome in lost profile rather than in regular profile or turned, at least partly, towards the spectator.

Condition: rubbed, especially by the knees an top left; the paper discoloured, as if (as the mat also suggests) the drawing has been much exposed to light. Some other blotches of white-ish and green-ish discolouration.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1630.

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv. 22887; stamped with marks of the Commission of the Museum, lower right, L.2207, and of the Conservatoire, lower left, L.1899; identified wrongly as St Francis in the inventory of the Musée Napoleon)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1877, pp.87 and 486 (1629; identifies subject and related print); Michel, 1893, pp.51 and 587, repr. pl.43; Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; Dessins du Musée du Louvre, Alinari, 7e série, École Hollandaise, pl.331; Lippmann, I, 152; Kleinmann, V, 41; HdG 615; Saxl, 1908, p.236; Van Dyke, 1927, p. 106 (by Lievens); Fierens, 1929, repr. pl.2; Hell, 1930, p.19; Bauch, 1933, p.213, repr. fig.100; Paris, 1933, no.1146, repr. pl.xxxi (c.1630); Valentiner 534; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.18, repr.(c.1630; style perhaps influenced by Venetian 16th-century masters); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.262; Exh. Milan, 1970, no.4; Sciolla, 1976, under no.1; Corpus, I, 1982, p.38; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.10, n.6; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.4, repr.; London, 1992, under no.15, n.11; Starcky, 1993, pp.198 and 208 (the number "8" on the drawing probably written by Mariette although the drawing purchased by Bernard at Crozat sale; bought by Le Noir at Mariette sale for 180 livres, together with Benesch 557, 987, HdG 608 and 649, as well as a landscape by Lievens, Paris, 1933, no.420); Exh. Amsterdam, 1996, under no.3; Gutbrod, 1996, pp.233-34; Schatborn, 2006, pp.8, 9, 13 and no.5, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2006-7, no.8, repr.; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.13, repr. fig.87 (documentary drawing); This catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (c.1630); Exh. New York, 2016, p.40; Schatborn, 2019, no.12, repr. c.1631); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.68, repr. fig.85 (c.1630; compares Lievens).

PROVENANCE: Possibly Roger de Piles; Pierre Crozat, with number "8" ; his sale, Paris, 10 April-13 May, 1741, probably part of lot 867, bt Bernard; P.J. Mariette (L.1852 and with his inscription, see above); his sale, Paris, 15ff. November 1775, lot 979, bt Le Noir for the King of France (Cabinet du roi).

[1] Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.1.2, repr. (as Rembrandt, but in fact arguing the case for its attribution to Jan Lievens).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0019

Subject: St Jerome Resting his Hands on a Skull

Medium: Black chalk, touched with wash. Inscribed lower right, by a later hand: "Rembrand", and with the Bremen inventory number '176'.

104 x 91 (arched top; according to Benesch, an extra strip of paper, 7mm wide, has been added at the left margin but it is not visible in the photographs I have seen).

COMMENTS: Although not straightforwardly related to any of the documentary drawings of the Leiden period, there seems no reason to doubt Rembrandt's authorship of this drawing. The profound characterisation of the figure seems typical; and in style, the exceptionally thin outlines, perhaps especially in the loops in the further arm, can be related to drawings such as Benesch 0031 (albeit on a larger scale) or even Benesch 0014. The head retains some affinity with Benesch 0007.

The drawing was possibly retouched by another hand in the nearer shoulder, as suggested by Benesch, but has not been seen by the present compiler. In sentiment and posture the figure relates more closely to the Judas in Rembrandt's painting of 1629 (private collection; Bredius 539A, Corpus A15; see Benesch 6, 8 and 9) than to his Leiden period depictions of St Jerome, although this may be exaggerated by the sheet's having been significantly trimmed. The study seems to have been made from life and shows the saint as a penitent rather than as a scholar and translator of the original Greek text of the Bible into Latin. Of Rembrandt's many depictions of the saint perhaps the closest are his etchings of 1632 and 1635 (Bartsch 101 and 102).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1631-33?

COLLECTION: D Bremen, Kunsthalle (Inv.176; stamped with L.295), formerly.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Bremen, 1912, no.125, repr.; HdG 191; Pauli, 1907-8, no.4, repr.; Pauli, 1911, p.121, fig.3; Bremen, 1915 (Pauli), II, 24; Valentiner 555; Bauch, 1933, p.204, repr. fig.92; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Amsterdam, 1935, no.33; Von Alten, 1947, p.14, fig.4; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.19, repr. (c.1630); Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001, no.A18, repr. [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: J. H. Albers.

First posted 4 June 2012

 

Benesch 0020

Subject: Bearded Old Man Seated in an Armchair, full-length, to left (Study for Jacob)

Medium: Red chalk, with some black chalk in the chair, on paper prepared pale brownish yellow (the brown tone perhaps through condition problems as the verso is not yellowed); ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink. Signed in monogram and dated lower centre in the same chalk as the drawing: 'RHL 1631'. [1]

233 x 160. Chain-lines 26v. The chain-lines are pronounced enough to have caused a 'white line' effect where the chalk did not enter them, although otherwise the paper seems smooth, with c.15-16 laid lines per cm. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: The monogram and date grant the drawing documentary status, as would also its connection with the Rijksmuseum's grisaille of Joseph telling his dreams (Genesis XXXVII) of c.1633 (Bredius 504, Corpus A66) and the related etching of the subject of 1638 (Bartsch 37).

The drawing forms part of an extraordinary series of red-chalk-dominated studies of old men made in c.1630-31 (see Benesch 38-42). Many of them are signed, some are probably based on the same model and most appear to have been drawn as independent works of art, rather than as direct preparatory studies. In the present case, however, Rembrandt referred to the sheet some two years later for the figure of Jacob in the Amsterdam grisaille, which repeats the drawing with only minor adjustments: the impression is given of a higher viewpoint, the feet are rendered in more detail, the right leg is shown in the lower position of the two depicted in the drawing (the right arm being adjusted down accordingly; the upper knee is left hanging in the air like a shadow while the lower has no outline) and is depicted in the painting in a shadow cast by the figure of Joseph. The left foot's higher position is maintained by placing it on a brazier. The fact that the facial expression in Benesch 20 is already entirely appropriate to the subject-matter of the grisaille, in which it is retained, suggests that Rembrandt may already have been planning to use the figure as Jacob in this context when he made the drawing, and therefore that the origins of the grisaille's design are earlier than usually thought.

The grisaille of c.1633 may have been intended as the model for a reproductive engraving that was never executed;[2] but it formed the basis of Rembrandt's much smaller etching of the same subject, which is signed and dated 1638 (Bartsch 37). Although many details of the design are there adjusted, the figure of Jacob is reused in a similar way. Interestingly, the further arm reverts to the higher position seen in the drawing, so that Rembrandt must have referred to it again at that time. Also, a pale shawl is introduced in the etching that falls over the nearer thigh, a headdress is added and the folds of drapery undergo some minor modifications, chiefly around the further knee.

Two other drawings are known that relate to the etching only: Benesch 161 verso (qv), in which the final reconfiguration of the foreground of the composition is rehearsed and in which the present figure reappears in outline, but based on the grisaille; and Benesch 168, which is a sketch for two of the new figures added in the 1638 etching. In the latter, the key figure of Joseph is turned from a profile position to one facing the spectator. It has been argued that the present drawing may have been reworked in 1633 and/or in 1638, but the style and medium seem too consistent make this likely.[3]

Finally, some echoes of the pose occur in the figure of Christ in Rembrandt's elaborate drawing of Christ and the Apostles on the Mount of Olives, of 1634 (Benesch 0089, Haarlem, Teyler Museum): the figure there leans forward but he is also depicted seated in profile to the left and with his legs similarly arranged. The head and characterisation of the figure on the extreme right is also comparable, though partly obscured behind his raised left arm. One might also add that the figure in Benesch 20 echoes those in the centre of two small etchings from the year before it was made, the Circumcision: the small plate (Bartsch 48) and Simeon's hymn of praise (Bartsch 51), which is dated 1630.

Condition: Paper somewhat yellowed on the recto, perhaps light-staining rather than a preparation.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1631

COLLECTION: Private Collection USA NYC (LB)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Paris, 1879, no.364; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, p.xii; Österreichische Kunsttopographie, II, 1908, p.225, repr. fig.243; Lugt, 1921, under no.2638; Bauch, 1933, p.213, repr. fig.101; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.20, repr.; Giltaij, 1977, pp.1-9; Corpus, under A66; Bruyn, 1983, p.56 and n.26; Corpus, II, 1986, under no.A66; Giltaij, 1989, pp.111-17; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, vol.2, no.2, repr.; Schatborn, 1993, pp.161-2, repr. fig.1; White, 1999, p.263, n.47; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.47-48 and under no.31, repr. fig.11 and p.160, fig.a; Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, no.50, repr. p.119; Berlin, 2006, under no.4; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009–10, no. 2.3; Corpus, V, 2011, p.211, repr. fig.146; Schatborn, 2011, p.294, repr. fig.4; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.10, repr. fig.4 (documentary drawing); Rubinstein, 2011, p.357, repr. fig.8; This Catalogue online, 2012; Exh. New York, 2016, p.40, repr. fig.38; Exh. Washington-Paris, 2016-17, no. 59, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.11 and p.17, repr. (1631; used only later in the print; combines from life with from imagination); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.67, repr. fig.81.

PROVENANCE: J.H. Hawkins (c.1800- between 1870 and 1880), London and Bignor Park; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 29 April, 1850, lot 1027; William Mitchell (1821/22-1908), London; his sale, Frankfurt, Prestel, 7 May, 1890, lot 84, 960 Marks; Moritz von Kuffner (1854-1939), Vienna and Zurich; Stephan von Kuffner, Vienna; his descendants, Zurich; their sale, London, Sotheby's, 26 November, 1970, lot 16; Alain Delon (Exh. '20 ans de passion', Paris, Didier Imbert Fine Art, 1990, no.23) from whom acquired by the present owner via the New York art market.

[1] Benesch regarded the inscription as reworked but this does not seem to be the case.

[2] See Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.47-48 and under cat. no.31.

[3] See Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1992-92, no.2.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0021

Subject: Diana at the Bath

Verso: Blank but largely blackened with chalk.

Medium: Black chalk with some light brown wash, the outlines indented for transfer; ruled framing lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed verso, top left, in graphite: ‘794’; lower left, in pen and brown ink: ‘13/09’ and in graphite (?): ‘28’.

181 x 164. Chain lines 27/30v. No watermark.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, being the indented preparatory study or 'cartoon' for the etching, in reverse, of Diana at the bath of c.1631 (Bartsch 201). There are numerous small differences in the print: the quiver of arrows is placed in front of, rather than behind, the figure, and the forms of the drapery and the tree trunk and shrubbery behind are elaborated. The second, raised version of the left arm in the drawing, originally shown in a lowered position, was retained in the print.

The etching is signed but not dated. Like the drawing it is generally placed at the end of the Leiden period. Among Rembrandt's dated drawings, the closest stylistic comparison is with the Seated old man in red chalk in Washington, of 1630 (Benesch 37). Thus the date of c.1630-31 that is usually proposed for the present sheet is acceptable. The repetition of the same profiles by the indented lines, here seen for example around the figure's knees, seems unusual, but is also found in the study of a Seated old man in Berlin (Benesch 41), used for the etched Bust of an old man with a flowing beard of the same period (Bartsch 291, Hind 26). The harshness of some of the outlines may be due to the drawing's having been partly indented for transfer to the copper plate not with a stylus but with the sharp point of the black chalk.[1]

It has been noted that studies of the nude are not common in Dutch art of the time of Rembrandt's etching, least of all when the figure remains as unidealised as here.[2] The drawing was presumably made from life[3] and is the earliest set-piece study of the nude by Rembrandt to have survived. A comparable figure appears in the master's contemporaneous etching of a Naked Woman seated on a Mound (Bartsch 198). Mythological subjects are also rare in Rembrandt's work of the Leiden period.

An etched copy after the head in the related print, but in reverse, was attributed by Rovinski to Lievens (Rov.83); a painted copy based on the print is in a private collection in Amsterdam (formerly Warneck collection).[4] Jan van Neck (1636-1716) produced a painting of 'Susannah', now in Copenhagen, in which he used the present figure, in the same direction as the drawing.[5]

Condition: Generally good; the brown wash much faded; a little rubbed in places, especially behind the nearer knee; a small repair at top left edge; a few traces of graphite, e.g. at top left side, perhaps added by a later hand.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1630-31.

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. 1895,0915.1266).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, pp.21 and 423 (c.1631; notes brown wash); Robinson, 1869/76, no.773/794 (states that the sheet is heightened with white chalk); Vosmaer, 1877, pp.106 and 490 (as in 1868); Middleton, 1878, p.250, under no.256 (erroneously as study for Bartsch 198); Seidlitz, 1895/1922, under no.201 (c.1631); Exh. London, 1899, no.A4 (1631, for the etching and the Warneck picture [see COMMENTS]; retouched in places with hard graphite); Lippmann, IV, no.75; Kleinmann, II, no.49; Voss, 1905, p.157 (based on a nymph in 'Diana and Actaeon' by Titian); HdG 893 (c.1630-31; notes indentations); Baldwin Brown, 1907, pp.113 and 138 (accepts painting); Exh. Paris, 1908, under no.112; Six, 1908, p.58 (c.1631, quotes a letter from Hind: 'The traced lines are not nearly so evident here as in the Anslo [Benesch 758]. It is possible that some attempt was made to slightly cover in chalk or press the paper.'); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; Hind, I, 1912/24, pp.52 and 61 and under no.42 [the page refs. for 1912 ed. only] (as HdG, but doubts painting); London, 1915, no.9 (as Hind, 1912); Eisler, 1918, pp.44-5 and p.124 (c.1630); Graul, 1920, pp.12-13; Kauffmann, 1920, p.65 (interest in mythology begins in early Amsterdam period); Weisbach, 1926, p.240-41 and fig.62 (c.1630-31; poor relationship of the head to the neck); Van Dyke, 1927, p.90 (by Horst, as also the etching); Byam Shaw, 1928, p.31, n.1; Hind, 1932, p.77-8 (as 'red' chalk [!]); Bauch, 1933, pp.213 and 216 (c.1651; agrees with rejection of Warneck painting); Valentiner 598 (c.1631); Benesch, 1935, p.10 (c.1630-31; more hesitant than nudes of early Amsterdam period); Bredius, 1937/35, p.19, under no.461 (the painting also for the etching); Exh. London, 1938, no.9; Kieser, 1941-2, p.151, n.2 and p.153, n.5 (characterisation of model divorced from subject; compares drawing of Diana formerly T. Christ coll. [now Krugier], Benesch 116); Hamann, 1948, pp.30, 214, 218, and 386, repr. fig.150 (c.1631; unusual early interest in the antique); Rosenberg, 1948/64, I, p.153/259 and 11, repr. fig.221 (early preference for chalk in nude studies); Münz, 1952, 1, p.79, under no.134 and II, p.13 (the etching c.1631; blackened on the verso; Rembrandt's etching ground likely to have been white); Boeck, 1953, pp.210-12, repr. fig.187 (the drawing more like a study from nature than the print); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.21, repr. fig.34/25 (as HdG.; the drawing indented partly with the stylus, partly with the hard black chalk); Biörklund and Barnard, 1955, p.40 (c.1630-31); Exh. London, 1956, p.10, no.11a (as Hind, 1912); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.72, under no.69a (c.1630-32; compares 'Female Nude reclining' in Stockholm, Benesch 193a); Exh. Warsaw, 1956, under no.70; White, 1956, p.124 and fig.33 (confirms blackening of verso; only lightly indented, thus the copper plate perhaps prepared with a white ground as suggested for the etchings by Münz in 1952); Gerson, 1957[I], p.148; Sumowski, 1957-8, pp.237 and 243 (as Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956); White, 1962, pl.23 (c.1631); von Moltke, 1965, p.217, under no.D.210 (believes Flinck used same model in late 1630s for cat. no.D.210 in P. Brandt coll., Amsterdam; compares his no.D.213 of same period also in Brandt coll.); Slive, 1965, II, no.524, repr. (c.1630-31); Clark, 1966, repr. p.11, fig.10 (see note 2); Morse, 1966, p.100 (as Münz, 1952); Haak, 1969/68, p.58, fig.82 (c.1630-31; chalk verso); White, 1969, I, pp.13n, 130n, 162, 173-5, and 177, repr.11, fig.257 (c.1631; see note 2); White and Boon, 1969, I, p.98, under no.201; Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.36, under no.47 (the painting a copy); White, 1973, p.139 (one of three indented drawings by Rembrandt [but see note 1]; required in this case because of relative inexperience and desire for elaborate, pictorial print); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.30; Reznicek, 1977, p.94, n.45 (inspired Jordaens); Clark, 1978, p.44, repr. fig.41a (as in 1966); Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.478 (with discussion of Rembrandt's etching-ground); Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.15; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.52, n.3 (direct transformation of a figure study into a mythological scene) and under no.77 (rare combination of chalk and wash); Corpus, II, 1986, pp.465 and 491 (c.1631); Schatborn, 1986, pp.6-7 (c.1631); Exh. Paris, 1986, p.52, under no.19 (fixes lighting and pose, the rest elaborated on plate); Exh. Exeter, 1988, p.7 and repr. fig.1; Exh. London, 1992, no.5, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1993[I], p.17; Schatborn, 1993, p.164 (from life, apart from the alternative arm); Schatborn, 1994, p.21 (perhaps Amsterdam period; only with Uylenburgh would he have drawn from the nude – also the pendant 'Nude on a Mound', Bartsch 198); White, 1999, pp.195 and 198, repr. fig.266; Sluijter, 2000, p.194, n.11 (background chalk lines compared with underdrawing in Mauritshuis 'Self-Portrait', Bredius 6, Corpus A21, the authenticity of which he defends); Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, p.66, repr. fig.3 and under no.10, repr. fig.a; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001-2002, p.77, no.10, repr. (c.1630-31, Rembrandt's first known study of female nude); Golahny, 2003, p.112 (etching not by Rembrandt); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-4, p.281; Exh. Tokyo, 2004, pp.115, 143 and 146 (Rembrandt's first nude; sense of reality); Berlin, 2006, pp.104 and 111, under nos 25 and 27; Hinterding, 2006, p.70; Sluijter, 2006, p.271, repr. p.269, fig.241 (notes antecedents in Buytewech, Carracci and Raphael; not certainly drawn from life; here and in the print the viewer is a voyeur; she returns the gaze, like Rubens' Susanna); Exh. Paris, 2006-7[II], p.135, under no.51, repr. fig.90; Paris, 2008, under no.158; London, 2010 (online), no.5, repr.; Corpus, V, 2011, p.528 (in context of Rembrandt's interest in wilderness); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.11, repr. fig.85 (documentary drawing); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Exh. Denver, 2018-19, p.42, repr. fig.5; Schatborn, 2019, no.15 and pp.17, 25 and143, repr. (c.1631; indented for the etching; rare drawing of female nude); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.70 and no.120, repr., verso repr. fig.89 (c.1630-31).

PROVENANCE: Possibly C. Josi, sale, London, Christie’s, 18 March and following days, 1824, lot 118, ‘A female at the Bath’, bt Shirley, with lot 117 (‘An historical sketch of two figures’) 9s-6d; Jan Gijsbert, Baron Verstolk van Soelen; his sale, J. de Vries, A. Brondgeest and C. F. Roos, Amsterdam, 22 March and following days, 1847, lot 39, ‘Susanne, épiée au bain’, bt Roos, f.25; Gérard Leembruggen Jz.; his sale, Roos, Engelberts, Lamma and Roos, Amsterdam, 5 March and following days, 1866, lot 479, ‘Susanne au bain’, f.40, bt Robinson for Malcolm (the price according to Vosmaer, 1868/77); John Malcolm of Poltalloch (L.1489 verso); purchased with his collection from his son by the present repository, 1895.

[1] As first suggested by Benesch. Other indented drawings for prints by Rembrandt include the Berlin drawing mentioned above (Benesch 41), the Louvre 'St Paul' Benesch 15, the 'Portrait of Cornelis Claesz. Anslo' (British Museum, Benesch 758, inv. 1848,0911.138) and the 'Jan Six' in Amsterdam (Benesch 768); mention should also be made of the 'Ecce Homo' oil sketch on paper in the National Gallery (Bredius 546, Corpus A89) which is also indented (see Royalton-Kisch, 1984 and in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-01, pp.64-81). The black chalk on the verso has led to speculation concerning the colour of Rembrandt's etching ground which, of course, cannot be confirmed (see Literature).

[2] White, 1969, I, pp.172f. He suggests that Rembrandt may have been inspired by an etching by Willem Buytewech, Hollstein 2. A painting of a nude by Rembrandt is recorded in the 1656 inventory of his possessions, no.80 (see Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.357). Clark, 1966, argued that the increased flabbiness of the figure in the etching was intended to shock. Hollander, 1975, pp.108 and 160, argues (somewhat unconvincingly) the contrary: that the nude conforms to contemporary ideals.

[3] Schatborn, 1993, p.164, notes that the revised arm is sketchier and probably not drawn from life.

[4] Bredius 461, private collection, Amsterdam, now universally rejected as a copy based on the etching.

[5] Repr. Sumowski, 'Gemälde', I, 1983, p.151.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0021a

Subject: Soldier on Horseback Blowing a Trumpet

Medium: Pen and brown in with grey wash over black chalk. Inscribed top left in a later hand:' Rembrandt/ f 1636'

280 x 228.

COMMENTS: The inscription is clearly false and any notion that the drawing could be by Rembrandt would involve dating the drawing at least ten years earlier, to the mid-1620s.

The beginnings of Rembrandt's draughtsmanship are not well documented. Thus although the combination of dots with rather harsh lines seen here does feature in the earliest known 'documentary' drawing, the Two studies of the head of an old man in the J. Paul Getty Museum of c.1626 (inv. 83.GA.264; not in Benesch),[1] this cannot alone count as persuasive evidence for an attribution to Rembrandt, given the generally divergent styles of the two drawings. While the drawing convinced the first writers who saw it in the 1940s to 1950s, it has now long seemed too far removed from Rembrandt himself: the sense of structure in the Getty drawing is lacking here and the wooden posture of the horse contrasts completely with the earliest known horse by Rembrandt in the Stoning of St Stephen of 1625 in Lyon (Bredius 531a, Corpus A1).

Sumowski followed Bauch in assigning the drawing, along with a group of related works, to Lievens (Sumowski 1662*-1631*). The attribution depends on stylistic links with Lievens' only well-documented, early pen-drawing, the Mercury and Argus, now in Dresden (Sumowski 1588), which is a study for his etching of the subject. The comparison renders the attribution probable rather than secure, but all the drawings do at least exhibit a tendency towards a somewhat harsh and scrupulous attention to detail which seems uncharacteristic of Rembrandt. But the closeness of the two artists at this time has always given rise to some confusion. Benesch 51 (q.v.), Sumowski's no.1629*, belongs to the above-mentioned group.

A copy of Benesch 0021a, with variations, is recorded by Sumowski as being in the collection of P. Briegleb, Munich.

Summary attribution: Jan Lievens?

Date: 1633?

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv. RP-T-1947-50)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Van Gelder, 1949, p.207 (Rembrandt, c.1624-25; compares Benesch 51 and painting of David before Saul in Basel of 1627, Bredius 488; Corpus A9); Exh. Rome, 1951, no.52; van Gelder, 1953, p.280, repr. fig.3; (Rembrandt, c.1625, in the manner of an engraving); van Regteren Altena, 1953, pp.54-55, repr. fig.1 (Rembrandt, c.1625, may be linked to Basel painting; perhaps inspired by Lastman's Coriolanus in Dublin; trumpeter motif reminiscent of J. de Gheyn); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.21a, repr. (c.1627-28); van Gelder, 1955, p.395, n.2; Knuttel Wzn., 1955, p.49 (doubtful as Rembrandt though of higher quality than other drawings in this style); van Regteren Altena, 1955, p.120; Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, no.5 (Rembrandt, c.1626-30); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.66 (Rembrandt, c.1624-25); Rosenberg, 1956.III, p.351); White, 1956, p.324 (Rembrandt c.1625-26; similar to Lievens because of his close collaboration at this period); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.259 (by Lievens); Drost, 1957, p.159, repr. (Rembrandt, influenced by Elsheimer); Bauch, 1960, pp.212, 217 and 284, repr. fig.174 (Lievens); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20 (if by Rembrandt, before 1627); Sumowski, 1962.I, p.209 (Lievens); Slive, 1963, pp.137-38, repr. fig.17 (Lievens, inspired by Rembrandt's Basle and Lyon paintings); Sumowski, 1965, p.120 (Lievens); Bauch, 1967.I, p.178, n.8 (Lievens); Exh. Leiden, 1966-67, T.20 (attributed to Lievens, c.1627); Sumowski, 1972, p.483, n.4 (Lievens); Schneider-Ekkart, 1973, p.385, no.SZ415; Exh. Braunschweig, 1979, p.17 (LIevens) and p.138, under no.51 (probably by Lievens); Sumowski, 1980, p.11 (Lievens); Sumowski, 179 etc., no.1626*, repr. (Lievens; also mentioned under nos.123* and 133*); Exh. Amsterdam, 1988, no.8; Exh. Leiden, 1991, no.22; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, p.190, repr. fig.23a (Lievens, c.1627-28); Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-2009, no.91, repr. (LIevens, c.1625-28); Rubinstein, 2011, p.364, repr. fig.28; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: E. Calando (L.837)

[1] See Malibu, 1988, no.113, repr. and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.325, no.1, repr. fig.77.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0022

Subject: Beggar Couple with a Dog

Verso: Unidentified scribbles in black chalk, resembling fireworks (repr. Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002).

Medium: Pen and brown ink, veering to greyish-brown in parts; verso in black chalk only; ruled framing-lines in darker pen and brown ink (recto). Inscribed verso: '19', 'No. 42' and '169'

165 x 145 (upper left corner made up). Watermark: dove in circle (similar to Benesch 12 and 30-32; Benesch 45, 46 and 196 appear to be on the same type of paper - see under Benesch 12).

COMMENTS: The penwork here is eccentric and the outlines (eg in the legs and hat of the nearer figure) highly variegated. Although too far from the documentary sheets for comfort, there are still enough links with the pen drawings of the Leiden period, such as Benesch 10, to accept the Rembrandt attribution. The verso contains a doodle that also looks like Rembrandt's own hand (see Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam 2001-2, p.266, fig.46b). As noted above, the black chalk studies of beggars in the Rijksmuseum of c.1629, Benesch 30-32, have a similar watermark, as do Benesch 12, 45, 46 and 196 (qqv). For style, compare also Benesch 28.

For the theme of beggars, see under Benesch 14. The style here also retains echoes of Jacques Callot (1592-1635). Within Rembrandt's oeuvre the closest stylistic and compositional links are perhaps with the rare etching of a Beggar woman and man of c.1628 (Bartsch 183).

Condition: top left corner made up; a grey restoration in the stick (lower half).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1629?

COLLECTION: Private Collection.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bauch, 1933, p. 208, repr. fig. 125; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no. 22; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.3; Amsterda, 1985, under nos.2-4, notes 5 and 6; Schatborn, 1989, p. 127, note 23; White, 1969/1999, p. 172, repr. fig. 226; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.46, repr. (recto and verso); Rubinstein, 2011, p.364, repr. fig.27 (Rembrandt, but comparing style of Lievens); Schatborn, 2019, no.206, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Anonymous sale (possibly Armand Sigwalt), Amsterdam, Muller, 13 June 1912, lot 218; A. Berg, Portland, according to Koenigs family records; with Paul Cassirer; Franz Koenigs (his second collection); by descent until sale, New York, Christie's, 25 January 2007, lot 5, repr. sold for $625,800.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0023

Subject: Blind Man Leaning on a Stick, with a dog

Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched with brown wash.

130 x 115.

COMMENTS: Rightly compared by Benesch to no.22, but despite the similarity of the occasional looped line in the drapery folds, the overall structure here is far less secure - the balance and poise as well as the proportions of the figure raise question-marks, while the legs are realised without any sense of form. The comprehension of light also seems too rudimentary and the drawing has been generally ignored in the recent literature - often an unpromising sign; but not having seen the drawing I reserve final judgment. Could it be a pupil's effort inspired by an etching of a beggar, such as Bartsch 166 of c.1630 or Bartsch 140 (in which the pose and fall of the drapery seem especially close)?

Summary attribution: Rembrandt???

Date: 1630?

COLLECTION: Private collection.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.23, repr. (c.1628); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Edwin Czeczowiczka, Vienna; his sale, Leipzig, Boerner and Graupe, 12 May 1930, lot 125; anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 12 March, 1963, lot 65.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0023a

Subject: Beggar Standing and Leaning on a Stick, facing left

Medium: Pen and brown ink

112 x 88. No watermark visible through the backing. Remnants of an inscription, now erased, by Jonathan Richardson on his mat. Inscribed on verso of mat, in black chalk, upper left: '10 [...] L 28 [?]', and upper centre, in pen and brown ink, with Richardson's press marks: 'B.34 / Te 3'; inscribed in black chalk or graphite, centre: 'Ry' and in pen and brown ink, lower left: 'N [?] o 744'; in graphite above this: 'sr/ [...]' and in pen and brown ink, lower centre: 'Pond' (similar but not identical to L.2038). Mat: a Richardson mat with gold border, brown ink lines and brown wash border on pale cream card.

COMMENTS: The connections with nos 22 and 23 claimed by Benesch are too superficial. The lines spin off the pen in a faster tempo here, but despite the peculiar profile of the face (note the witch's chin!), the connections with Benesch 27 and the looping penwork in Benesch 28 lead me to accept the drawing. However, there are few connections with the documentary drawings.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1629?

COLLECTION: USA New York, Private Collection (Clement C. Moore II).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Poughkeepsie and New York, 1961, no.39, repr..; Sumowski, 1962.I, pp.274-75; Sumowski, 1964.I, pp.233-34, repr. fig.1; Benesch, 1964, pp.106-7, repr. fig.1 (reprinted 1970, p.248, repr. fig.208); Benesch, I, 1973, no.23a, repr. (c.1628-29); Berlin, 2006, p.30, under no.3, n.6; Exh. New York, 2012, no.29, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.202, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (1665-1745), London (L.2983-84, verso); Arthur Pond (1701-1758), London (according to verso inscription); John Barnard (1709-1784), London (L.1419 on verso and on mat); possibly his sale, London, Greenwood,3rd day, 19 February, 1787, lot 49: "Two of Figures by Rembrandt", sold for £2-6s-0d; Nelson Goodman (1906-1998), Needham, MA; with New Gallery (E.V. Thaw), New York, 1954; Mr and Mrs E. Powis Jones, New York; with W.M. Brady Inc., New York (providing information sheet quoting P. Schatborn's opinion that the drawing is by Rembrandt and datable c.1628-29), from whom acquired by the present owner in 2008.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0024

Subject: Beggar Woman Leaning on a Stick

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash. Inscribed in pen and brown ink on the mat (perhaps by Richardson) 'Rembrandt' and on verso of mat: 'B.7/k' and in graphite: '19/No 3'. The mat is typical of Richardson, with brown lines and wash and a gold trim.

135 x 120. Chain lines horizontal, distance apart unclear but perhaps 24mm.

COMMENTS: The use of wash anticipates Goya. The analogies with Benesch 0025 are clear, though the face here has links with the Burchard Grossmann drawing of 1634 (Benesch 0257); more surprisingly, the face resembles those in the later, inscribed sheet depicting Two studies of a woman with a child (Benesch 0300). But despite these similarities, on balance it seems preferable to place this and Benesch 0025 close to or just within the Leiden period, given the almost exaggerated, looping movement in some of the outlines.

Condition: Probably trimmed; a brownish stain near left edge where the paper may have become damp.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1631-32?

COLLECTION: USA Washington, National Gallery of Art (Rosenwald Collection; inv.1943.3.7050, formerly inv.B-9411).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Philadelphia Art Alliance, 1930; Worcester, Worcester Art Museum, 1936, no.62; Benesch, 1947, no.9, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.24, repr. (c.1628-29); Exh. Washington-New York-Minneapolis-Boston-Cleveland-Chicago, 1958–9; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.1, repr. pl.I (as Benesch; anticipates etching, Bartsch 168; influence of Callot or Elsheimer); Exh. Washington, 1969, no. 26, repr.; Amsterdam, 1981, p.27; Exh. Paris, 2006, under no.7, repr. fig.25; Exh. Washington, 2006; This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Schatborn, 2019, p.143 and no.212, repr. (c.1629; began with the head in pen); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.66, repr. fig.79 (1628-30).

PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2183); Thomas Hudson (L.2432); Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Alverthorpe Gallery; Lessing J. Rosenwald, by whom presented to the present repository, 1943.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0025

Subject: Oriental Standing, in profile to left

Verso: stuck down on old mat.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash and the tip of the brush in brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink on the verso of the mat in a 19th-century hand: "Rembrandt van Rhin/né près de Leyde en 1608/mort à Amsterdam en 1669" and below, in graphite: "Ph. de Koning?", and above left "2293"; lower centre in pen and black ink: "1932"

173 x 108

COMMENTS: See the remarks to Benesch 0024. The face resembles Benesch 27 while the handling of the wash has links with the documentary drawing, Benesch 9 verso. This and Benesch 10 are the earliest drawn figures of orientals by Rembrandt.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1631-32?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (inv. M.1932; stamped with L.829a)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Paris, 1950, no.483, repr. pl.lvii (Formerly called P. Koninck but by Rembrandt?); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.25, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1628-29; compares Benesch 26 for pen lines and 52 for light); Exh. Paris, 1955, no.54; Bauch, 1960, pp.161-63, repr. fig.131; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2002, p.35; van Straten, 2005, p.135, repr. fig.193; Exh. Paris, 2006-7, no.7, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2012, no.1, repr. (text by M. van Berge-Gerbaud: one of Rembrandt's earliest studies of an oriental; compares Benesch 10, 24 and 53-54); Schatborn, 2019, no.211 and p.143, repr. (c.1629; began with the head in pen).

PROVENANCE: Jean Masson (1856-1933; L.1494a) by whom presented in 1925 to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts.

First posted 4 June 2012

 

 

Benesch 0026

Subject: Bust of a Man in a Cap, turned to right

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

144 x 108.

COMMENTS: According to Benesch the drawing was discovered and attributed to Rembrandt by W.R. Valentiner. Though not far removed from Benesch 23a in style, the drawing fails to convince. There are no clear connections to any documentary drawings (eg. the early Two studies of the head of an old man, now in Los Angeles,[1] or to Benesch 142, 257 and 336). The over-heavy shadows behind the head seems to echo works of an earlier period, such as Benesch 49, while the pen style resembles later drawings, perhaps especially Benesch 87 - the only comparison that gives cause for hesitation. In the torso especially, the lines take on an overly decorative rather than descriptive quality and the shaded back has lines almost as broken as the lit front - again unlike Rembrandt, who would normally have given a more solid emphasis to the back. The speckling in the face, which is brought to an unusually high finish, is uncharacteristic and more like Govert Flinck (see no.48).

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??[2]

Date: 1633?

COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (stamped with L.1647).[2]

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.26, repr. (c.1628-29; compares pen lines to Benesch 25, 22 and 29); Dresden, 1987, no.988, repr.; [Not in Schatborn, 2019]..

[1] See Malibu, 1988, no.1113, repr; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.325, no.1, repr..

[2] I have yet to study the original, which was not available (missing) when I have been in Dresden.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0027

Subject: Young Man Leaning on a Stick, full-length, turned to left

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

144 x 86.

COMMENTS: Comparable to Benesch 0023a (qv). In Exh. Amsterdam, 2002, it was displayed near Benesch 0009 and Benesch 0022, and seemed convincingly by the same hand. Previously described as depicting a workman leaning on a spade, the object he holds could just be a stick and his clothes resemble those worn by Rembrandt's beggars.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1629?

COLLECTION: USA, Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bauch, 1933, p.208, repr. fig.124; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.224; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.78, repr. pl.11; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.27, repr. (c.1628-29); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.10; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20; Sumowski, 1962.I, p.274; Benesch, 1964, p.108 (reprinted 1970, p.248); Sumowski, 1964.I, p.234; Exh. Rotterdam-Paris-Brussels, 1976-77, no.102, repr. pl.76; Exh. Yokohama-Fukuoka-Kyoto, 1986-87, no.39, repr. p.96; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.74, repr. fig.30; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.50 (text by E. de Heer; dates c.1626 or slightly later); Schatborn, 2019, no.204, repr. (c.1629)..

PROVENANCE: Purchased from Nicolaas Beets (art dealer) on 30th October 1928 by I.Q. van Regteren Altena (according to his private inventory, where listed as no. '529 t. Rembrandt staande man'); his heirs' sale, London, Christie's, 10 July, 2014, lot 42, repr.; private collection/dealer, Amsterdam, from which purchased by the present repository, 2020.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0028

Subject: Sketch of a Man in a Turban, half-length, turned to left

Verso: See inscriptions.

Medium: Pen and dark brown ink; ruled framing lines in a warmer brown ink. Inscribed verso, in graphite, ‘53 [in a circle]’ and an indecipherable inscription of one or two letters in pen and brown ink.

78 x 66. Chain lines 23h. No watermark.

COMMENTS: The drawing may be grouped with a small number of pen and ink figure studies of similar style, including Benesch 10 and 35. Their traditional attribution to Rembrandt is difficult to sustain on the basis of comparisons with drawings of unquestioned authenticity, although here the handling of the pen has affinities with the documentary sketch in the Rijksmuseum of c.1628-9 (Benesch 9 recto [now verso]) for the painting of 'Judas returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver', now in an English private collection (Bredius 539A, Corpus A15). Rembrandt's etchings of the later Leiden period, such as the 'Beggar Man and Woman behind a Bank' of c.1630 (Bartsch 165, Hind 13), are also analogous in style.

The previous identification of the figure as a rabbi seems uncertain.

There is an etched copy, in reverse, by Cecilia Lucy Brightwell.

Condition: Somewhat soiled; frayed near top corners; slight loss at upper centre left edge, made up. Some skinning at the edges of the verso has also been repaired.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1628-29?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. Oo,9.95)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bürger, 1858, p.401; Kleinmann, IV, no.21; Ex. London, 1899, no.A59; London, 1915, no.21 (c.1630-35, or later?); Bauch, 1933, pp.76 and 194 and repr. p.79, fig.70 (c.1629; compares to studies for 'Judas' painting and to 'Two Studies' formerly in Oppenheimer coll., Benesch 48); Benesch, 1935, p.10 (c.1629); Exh. London, 1938, no.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.28, repr. (c.1629); Schmidt, 1959, p.338 (notes Rembrandt's early interest in oriental types, influenced by Lastman); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.2 (groups with other drawings of late 1620s and early 1630s); Exh. London, 1992, no.3, repr.; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.463 (subject not necessarily a rabbi as previously described: call 'Man in a Turban'); Berlin, 2006, p.30, under no.3 (as Exh. London, 1992); London, 2010 (online), no.3, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.201, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: bequeathed to the present repository by Richard Payne Knight, 1824.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0029

Subject: Seated Man in a High Cap

Medium: Pen and brown ink. Ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso, in graphite, top left: '26'; and lower left: '29'.

120 x 92. Watermark: shield with coat of arms, only partly visible (cf. Churchill 284 [1627]).

COMMENTS: Still generally retained for Rembrandt, and there are some links with Benesch 0008. A drawing by Rembrandt in the J. Paul Getty Museum (inv. 83.GA.264) also has analogies, but suggests dating the drawing very early, c.1627. Yet there are also quite close similarities to Benesch 0002, and the overall modelling and characterization might argue for Flinck (compare, for example, Benesch 0048 and 170). The drawing of the hand and nearer leg is strangely unprepossessing and the characterisation is wooden; however, the fall of light is well conveyed and on balance the drawing is retained here for Rembrandt. The watermark suggests a date c.1627.

The sketch is one of many studies and etchings of vagrants and street types made by Rembrandt during the Leiden period (see also Benesch 0014, 0022, 0023a-25, 0027, 0030-32 and 0043).

Condition: repair to lower left corner; a cut at lower right.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1627?

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. MB 158; stamped with L.1857)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Catalogus van Teekeningen in het Museum te Rotterdam, gesticht door Mr F.J.O. Boymans, 1852, no.747; Beschrijving der Teekeningen in het Museum te Rotterdam, gesticht door Mr F.J.O. Boymans, 1869, no.626; Vosmaer, 1868, p.512; Vosmaer, 1877, p.597; Dutuit, 1885, p.93; Michel, 1893, p.592; HdG 1356; Kleinmann, VI, 10; Benesch, 1921 (unpublished thesis); Rotterdam, 1921, no.593; Rotterdam, 1925, 1927 and 1928, no.604; Bauch, 1933, pp.40 and 185-86, repr. fig.23; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1947, no.10, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.29, repr. (c.1629); Bauch, 1960, p.156, repr. fig.114a; Benesch, 1964, p.107; Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.1; Rotterdam, 1969, I, p.19, repr. fig.3; Schatborn, 1975-76, p.38; Starcky, 1985, p.256, repr. fig.2; Rotterdam, 1988, no.1, repr. (c.1627-28); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.13, repr. fig.4; Exh. Rotterdam, 2005-6, no.1, repr.; Exh. Istanbul 2006, no.1, repr.; Exh. Zwolle, 2006; This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (1627?); Schatborn, 2019, no.205, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.61, repr. fig.72 (c.1627-28).

PROVENANCE: F.J.O. Boymans (1767-1847), by whom bequeathed to the present repository, 1847.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0030

Subject: Standing Beggar Leaning on a Stick, turned to right

Verso: Half-length sketch of a man seen from behind

Medium: Black chalk, touched on the recto with white bodycolour; ruled framing-lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed in black chalk, lower right 'R' [partly cut away]; inscribed verso: in graphite, centre: 'R.- 2' and below this 'de Vos 412'; lower left, in blue crayon: '20'; lower right, in graphite: '11.8.4' [modern].

294 x 170. Watermark: dove in a circle (repr. Amsterdam, 1985, p.234, cat.no.2; see De Stoppelaer, 1869, pl.VIII, no.15 (1630); Voorn, 1960, no.28 (1629); see further under Benesch 12; chain lines 35v by the watermark, otherwise c.37v.

COMMENTS: The attribution is sustained by the clear links with Benesch 0012, a comparison that also secures Benesch 0031 and 0032; and all are on paper of the same type (Benesch 0012, 0022, 0030-32, 0045-46 and 0196 are on this type of paper - see further under Benesch 0012). The mark points to a date in 1629 or 1630, and there seems to be no reason for dating these three drawings later than Benesch 0012, as has often been done by previous writers.

The scale of these three drawings is unusually large for figure studies by Rembrandt, especially of street types, made from life (but compare Benesch 196). His main concern seems to have been to study the fall of light, although the character or psychology is not entirely ignored, coming to the fore in Benesch 0031. In Benesch 0031 the light falls from the left, the usual norm for Rembrandt, although during the Leiden period, like Benesch 0030 and Benesch 0032, the light comes from the right (e.g. Benesch 0003-5, Benesch 0010, Benesch 0012, 23A, 36 and 49. Perhaps especially in Benesch 32, the outlines appear somewhat 'clunky' in comparison with the more nuanced figures of this type seen in Rembrandt's other works of the same period, whether drawn, painted or etched. But there are, of course, general iconographic links with Rembrandt's many etchings of beggars of the Leiden period.

The style of parallel hatching as well as the subject-matter of Benesch 30-32 seem to respond to Jacques Callot's series of etchings, Les Gueux, of 1622.[1]

The verso of Benesch 30 was described by Benesch as possibly showing a man rowing.

Condition: Generally good; light foxing and staining, mostly near the top left and lower right edges.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: c.1629.

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv. RP-T-1889-A-2046)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.516; Vosmaer, 1877, p.601; Dutuit, 1885, p.113; Michel, 1893, p.591; Lippmann, II, 72; HdG 1184 (c.1630-35); Saxl, 1908, p.340 (c.1630); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, under no.97 (c.1630); London, 1915, under no.110; Kruse, 1920, p.84; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1921, p.9 and no.28 (c.1630); Benesch, 1925, p.27; Müller, 1929, p.75; Berlin, 1930, p.231, under no.1104 (c.1630); Bauch, 1933, pp.46 and 188, repr. fig.31 (1628); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.79 (c.1630); Exh. Amsterdam, 1939, no.8 (c.1631); Wichmann, 1940, p.15, no.3 (c.1628), Graul, 1941, p.xxxiii, repr. fig.73 (c.1630); Amsterdam, 1942, nos 1-2, repr. pl.I (1628); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.30, repr. (c.1629; compares etching of seated beggar, Bartsch 173; influence of Callot); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.63 (c.1628-29); Bauch, 1960, pp.160 and 162, verso repr. fig.129; Benesch, 1964, p.106 (c.1629); Exh. Amsterdam, 1965-66, no.8 (1628-29); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.2, n.1 (c.1630); Exh. Chicago, 1969, under no.45 (1628-30); Amsterdam, 1972, p.108, under no.B.162 (c.1629); Exh. New York, 1972-73, under no.80 (1629-30); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, under no.80 (1629-30); Munich, 1973, p.157, under no.102; Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, under no.80; Sumowski, under no.534*; Schatborn, 1981, p.141 and under no.77; Corpus, I, 1982, p.54, n.5 (c.1627?); Exh. Amsterdam, 1983, no.73; Exh. Munich, 1983-84, under no.71, n.3; Amsterdam, 1985, no.2, repr. (1629-30); Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2, p.134, under no.4, repr. fig.4a (style influenced by Lastman); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, no.22, repr.; This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (c.1629); Schatborn, 2019, nos 187-88, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.66 and no.29, repr. (c.1629-30).

PROVENANCE: Jacob de Vos, Jbzn (L.1450); his sale, Amsterdam, Roos and others, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 412 (with Benesch 31 and 32), f.470; acquired by the present repository in 1889 with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt (L.2135).

[1] As suggested by Benesch and reiterated in Amsterdam, 1985, p.11. For the prints, see Lieure 479-503.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

 

Benesch 0031

Subject: Standing Beggar with a Leather Pouch

Medium: Black chalk, touched with white bodycolour; ruled framing-lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed in black chalk, lower right: 'R' [partly cut away]; inscribed verso in black chalk, upper centre: '479L' [crossed out in pen and brown ink] and in the same pen and brown ink: '1530 FL'; inscribed in graphite, lower centre: 'R3, de Vos 412' and lower left in blue crayon: '19'.

292 x 170. Watermark: dove in circle (similar to Benesch 12, 22, and 30-32; Benesch 45, 46 and 196 appear to be on the same type of paper - see under Benesch 12).[1] Chain lines 25v by the watermark, otherwise c.30v.

COMMENTS: See the remarks to Benesch 30. The control of the light in such a rapid sketch as this one is remarkable.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1629

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv. RP-T-1889-A-2045; stamped with L.2228)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.516; Vosmaer, 1877, p.601; Dutuit, 1885, p.113; Michel, 1893, p.591; Lippmann, II, 73; HdG 1185 (c.1630-35); Saxl, 1908, p.340 (c.1630); Kleinmann, I, 38; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, under no.97 (c.1630); London, 1915, under no.110; Neumann, 1918, no.2; Kruse, 1920, p.84; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1921, no.29 (c.1630); Benesch, 1925, p.27; Müller, 1929, p.75; Berlin, 1930, p.231, under no.1104 (c.1630); Bauch, 1933, pp.45 and 188, repr. fig.29 (1628); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Graul, 1941, p.xxxiii, repr. fig.73 (c.1630); Amsterdam, 1942, no.3, repr. pl.2 (c.1630); Schinnerer, 1944, no.13 (c.1630); Exh. Rome, 1951, no.54; Benesch, 1954, p.135 (Collected Writings, p.173); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.31, repr. (c.1629; compares Callot); Bauch, 1960, p.108, repr. fig.72; Benesch, 1964, p.106 (c.1629); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.2, n.1 (c.1630); Haak, 1968, pp.50-51, repr. fig.75 (c.1629); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.27 (c.1628-29); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1971, p.99; Amsterdam, 1972, p.108, under no.B.162 (c.1629); Exh. New York, 1972-73, no.80 (1629-30); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, no.80 (1629-30); Munich, 1973, p.156, under no.1100 and p.157, under no.1102; Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, under no.80; Haak, 1974, pp.18 and 25, no.2 (c.1629); Broos, 1977, p.100; Sumowski, under no.534*; Schatborn, 1981, p.141, under no.77; Corpus, I, 1982, p.54, n.5 (c.1627?); Exh. Munich, 1983-84, under no.71, n.3; Amsterdam, 1985, no.3, repr. (1629-30); Exh. Amsterdam, 1991-92, under no.33, repr. fig.33.1 (1629); Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.24, repr. (c.1629-30); Schatborn, 2019, no.189, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Jacob de Vos, Jbzn (L.1450); his sale, Amsterdam, Roos and others, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 412 (with Benesch 30 and 32), f.470; acquired by the present repository in 1889 with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt (L.2135).

[1] Repr. Amsterdam, 1985, p.234, cat. no.3.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

 

Benesch 0032

Subject: Old Beggar in a Long Cloak and High Cap, turned to left

Verso: Slight sketch of a cap and hair

Medium: Black chalk; ruled framing-lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed in black chalk, lower right: 'Rem' [partly cut away]; inscribed verso in graphite, lower centre: 'R 1.' and below this: 'de Vos 412'; in black chalk or graphite in a seventeenth-century hand, lower left: '[...]ast [crossed out] / [...]en / [...]en[?] / [...]en/ [...]arius[?]' and in blue crayon, modern: '21'; lower right, in graphite: '11.8.6' [modern].

292 x 170. Watermark: dove in circle (similar to Benesch 0012, 0022, and 0030-32; Benesch 0045, 0046 and 0196 appear to be on the same type of paper - see under Benesch 0012).[1] Chain lines 25v by the watermark, otherwise c.30v.

COMMENTS: See the remarks to no.30. Condition: some light foxing.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1629.

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (RP-T-1889-A-2047; stamped with L.2228).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.516; Vosmaer, 1877, p.601; Dutuit, 1885, p.113; Michel, 1893, p.591; HdG 1186 (c.1630-35); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, under no.97 (c.1630); Lilienfeld, 1921, no.30 (c.1630); Benesch, 1925, p.27; Müller, 1929, p.75; Berlin, 1930, p.231, under no.1104 (c.1630); Bauch, 1933, p.46 and pp.187-88, repr. fig.30 (1628); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Amsterdam, 1942, no.4, repr. pl.3 (1628); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.32, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.8 (1628-30); Bauch, 1960, pp.158-59, repr. fig.124; Sumowski, 1964, p.234; Benesch, 1964, p.106; Exh. Amsterdam, 1955-56, no.9, repr. fig.4 (1628-29); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.2, n.1 (c.1630); Haak, 1968, pp.50-51, repr. fig.74 (c.1629); Exh. Chicago, 1969, no.94 (1628-30); Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, under no.14; Amsterdam, 1972, p.108, under no.B.162 (c.1629); Exh. New York, 1972-73, under no.80 (end of 1620s); Munich, 1973, p.157, under no.1102; Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, under no.80 (end of 1620s); Broos, 1977, p.100; Exh. Amsterdam-Washington, 1981-82, p.51, repr. fig.1 and p.141, no.77 (1629-30); Corpus, I, 1982, p.54, n.5 (c.1627?); Exh. Amsterdam, 1983, no.74; Schatborn, 1983, p.453, repr. fig.3 (c.1629); Exh. Munich, 1983-84, under no.71, n.3; Amsterdam, 1985, no.4; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, under no.4 (influenced by Lastman) and no.47 (text by E. de Heer; compares Callot; paper with same watermark used c.1629-30 by Rembrandt, Van Vliet and Lievens); This Catalogue online 4 June 2012; Schatborn, 2019, no.190, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Jacob de Voss, Jbzn (L.1450); his sale, Amsterdam, Roos and others, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 412 (with Benesch 30 and 31), f.470; acquired by the present repository in 1889 with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt (L.2135).

[1] Repr. Amsterdam, 1985, no.4.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0033

Subject: Standing Woman in a Long Veil Holding a Censer, full-length

Verso: An abandoned trial (or repetition) of the veil of the figure on the recto, in black chalk.

Medium: Black chalk on thin paper; ruled framing-lines in black chalk; inscribed in brown ink with the 1802-5 Munich inventory number: '5150'; inscribed verso in violet ink with the present inventory number: '6225'.

262 x 164. No watermark. Chain lines 30-35v; laid lines c.9 per cm.

COMMENTS: The paper and the style resemble Benesch 0030-32, but there is no watermark. The attribution is further secured via the connections with Benesch 0012, but the drawing was not used as a study for another composition. In fact although apparently drawn from life, the figure, as Bauch pointed out, reflects (in reverse) one at the edge of Pieter Lastman's painting of St Paul and Barnabus at Lystra, which Rembrandt copied in Benesch 0449 (see fig a).[1]

As with Benesch 0030-32, Rembrandt's chief concern was to express the fall of light, which here floods the figure from the left, where only the lightest touches are used to delineate the details of the veil. The verso may have been a false start for the same figure, after which the sheet was turned over.

Condition: Generally good, though the sheet appears to have been trimmed to the framing-line above; some very light foxing and some stains near left edge.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1629.

COLLECTION: D Munich Graphische Sammlung (Inv. 6225; stamped with L.620 and L.2673).

PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 460; Bauch, 1933, pp.48-49, repr. p.192, fig.38 (1629; depends on figure in Lastman's painting of Paul and Barnabus at Lystra, copied in Benesch 449); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1947, under no.11; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.33, repr. (c.1629; study from model; compares Hannah in painting of Presentation in the Temple, Bredius 543, corpus A34); Exh. Munich, 1957, no.3; Benesch, 1960, p.108; Exh. Munich, 1966-67, no.11; Munich, 1973, no.1102, pls.309 and 456; Exh. Munich, 1983-84, no.71, repr. pl.58 and fig.8; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.71, repr. (c.1629; no highlighted areas; not drawn from life); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (c.1629); Schatborn, 2019, no.192, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.66, repr. fig.80 (c.1629).

[1] See Seifert, 2011, fig. 68.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0034

Subject: Standing Oriental in a Long Robe and Mantle

Medium: Black chalk.

151 x 113.

COMMENTS: Compare especially Benesch 0032 and 0058, and for the shadow, Benesch 0033. The drawing was presumably made rather rapidly and from life.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1629-30?

COLLECTION: D Düsseldorf, Kunstakademie (now museum kunst palast; Inv. KA (FP) 5093; stamped with L.2309)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 323 ('if genuine, of the early period'); Düsseldorf, 1930, no.899, repr. fig.198; Bauch, 1930, p.191, repr. fig.65; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.34, repr. (c.1629; compares Benesch 12 and 30-32); Exh. Düsseldorf, 1969-70, no.154, repr. fig.108; Düsseldorf, 2009, no.181, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.195, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Lambert Krahe, Düsseldorf; purchased with his collection, 1778.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

 

Benesch 0035

Subject: Sketch of a Man Leaning over a Table

Verso: Calligraphic trials - see Inscriptions

Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso with various calligraphic trials, perhaps by the artist, and in the same medium as the drawing. The central part may read ‘Harm [...]’, as in the artist’s patronymic, ‘Harmensz.’.

97 x 100. No watermark. Chain lines 25h.

COMMENTS: Belongs with Benesch 10 and 28. The drawing is entered as by Rembrandt in the earliest inventory of the Fawkener collection in the British Museum, drawn up in 1845, but has had a mixed reception in the literature.[1] The purpose of the sketch is unknown.

For the dating see further under Benesch 28. The comparison there made with the Rijksmuseum's study for the painting of 'Judas returning the thirty Pieces of Silver' (Benesch 0009) is also valid for the present sheet, with its similarly angular, looping and fine pen lines. A later date has at times also been proposed, but comparisons with later drawings seem less persuasive (see under Literature below). Condition: good, but stained; a small nick at the top left corner, a repaired tear at bottom centre; the sheet is a fragment, as is clear from the verso.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1628-29

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS:Bürger, 1858, p.401 (wrongly as Cracherode coll.); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.906 (school of Rembrandt); London, 1915, no.14, repr. pl.III (Rembrandt, c.1630-35); Bauch, 1933, p.46, repr. p.47, fig.33 and pp.186 and 188 (c.1628); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (c.1632-3); Exh. London, 1938, no.14 (c.1630-35); Oxford, 1938, p.78 (compares style and subject of sketch in Oxford, Benesch 56 verso); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.35, repr. (c.1628-9; see n.1 above); Sumowski, 1957-8, p.258 (compares Rijksmuseum's 'Bust of sleeping young Girl and Head of a Boy', Benesch A2, believing both to be authentic); Exh. London, 1992, no.2, repr.; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.463 (motif and chiaroscuro suggest relationship with 'Supper at Emmaus', Musée-Jacquemart-André, Paris, Bredius 539, Corpus A16); Schatborn, 1992, p.20 (figure may be holding something near his eye, while drawing or writing with his right hand); Giltaij, 1995, p.94 (agrees dat e c.1628-9 proposed in Exh. London, 1992 and compares 'Seated Man', Rotterdam, Benesch 29); Berlin, 2006, p.30, under no.3 and p.61, under no.12 (perhaps mid-1630s and made in the context of 'Baptist preaching' in Berlin, Bredius 555, Corpus A106, in which comparable figure appears in bushes above the Baptist); London, 2010 (online), no.2, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.200, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Bequeathed to the present repository by William Fawkener in 1769.

[1] It had been placed with the school of Rembrandt by 1899, when it was omitted from the British Museum's exhibition of all its Rembrandt drawings. Hofstede de Groot catalogued it in 1906 as 'der Schule Rembrandts zugeschrieben' but Hind reclaimed it for the master in his catalogue of 1915. He compared it with drawings of the mid- to late 1630s, in particular with the Berlin copy after Leonardo's 'Last Supper' (Benesch 445), which is signed and dated 1635. Bauch (in 1933) was the first to revise the date to the Leiden period and Benesch, who at first (in 1935) assigned it to the early 1630s, later agreed, comparing it in his corpus to Benesch 28, to the Berlin 'Oriental leaning on a Stick' (Benesch 10) and to the Rotterdam 'Seated Man' (Benesch 29).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0036

Subject: Standing Man in a Fur Cap, full-length, in profil perdu to left

Verso: Head of a Man in a Fur Cap

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash.

114 x 66 (upper left repaired).

COMMENTS: Perhaps later than Benesch suggests, as noted by Giltaij. Benesch compared his no.0014, not a convincing starting-point in itself. The present drawing has a firmer structure. The verso, published by Giltaij, more or less repeats the head of the figure on the recto and is comparable in style to Benesch 0050. Giltaij rightly compared Benesch 0296, and the Eeckhout-like aspect of the drawing is difficult to ignore (cf. also Benesch 0267). However, the attribution to Rembrandt, although not supported by the documentary drawings, remains the most likely in view of comparisons with drawings such as Benesch 0315, 0339 and 0399. On these grounds, perhaps the drawing should be dated even later than Giltaij suggests, c.1635.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1635?

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R 16)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.36, repr. (c.1630); Drost, 1960, p.152, n.4; Drost, 1960.I, p.214, n.4; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.9; Rotterdam, 1969, pp.19-20, repr. fig.4; Sumowski, 1972, p.483, n.10; Rotterdam, 1988, no.3, repr. (first half of 1630s, comparing Benesch 296); Giltaij, 1995, p.94; Exh. Rotterdam, 2005-6, no.4, repr.; Exh. Istanbul, 2006, no.4, repr.; Exh. Rotterdam, 2009 (coll 2 kw 4); Schatborn, 2019, nos.209-10, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: W. Fettes Douglas; Franz W. Koenigs (1881-1941), Cologne and Haarlem (L.1023a); D.G. van Beuningen (1877-1955), Rotterdam and Vierhouten (Gelderland), by whom presented to the present repository, 1940.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0036a

Subject: Bust of a Bearded Old Man, turned to left

Verso: See inscriptions; heavier lines of recto show through.

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with grey wash, touched with red chalk and brown wash (in the face) and (oxidised) white; ruled framing-lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed verso, below, in red chalk (17th century): 'no 8' [crossed out] '8'

111 x 105. No watermark. Chain lines: 25h; laid lines: c.17/cm. Paper quite chalky white. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: The drawing, which is made slightly less prepossessing by the oxidised white, compares well enough with the Self-portraits, Benesch 0053-54, especially in the use of the wash. The Rijksmuseum drawing (Benesch 0054) provides the closest analogies. Unusual are the use of a touch of red chalk and the odd highlight on the nearer shoulder. A few lines, especially the diagonals in central area of drapery, have apparently been reinforced - they show as brown on the verso but as black, after (later?) reinforcement, on recto. The same model seems to appear in Benesch 0020 and 0048, and possibly also in Benesch 0040-41. Condition: generally good, apart from the reinforcements. They could have been carried out by the mounter who added the framing-lines; a little grubby here and there.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1629?

COLLECTION: USA, Los Angeles, Private Collection (Goldyne 2011).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1964, pp.108-9, repr. fig.2 (reprinted 1970, p.248, repr. fig.218); Benesch, I, 1973, no.36a, repr. (c.1630; same model in Benesch 15, 16, 20, 37-42; was similar to Benesch 53-54); Schatborn, 2019, no.216, repr. (c.1630).

PROVENANCE: Leo Fanklyn, London; H. Becker, Dortmund; with Brod Gallery, London, and C.G. Boerner, Düsseldorf, in 1972; sale, London, Christies, 19 March, 1975, lot 113, repr. pl.16 (unsold at £3,000);[2] London, private collection; with Addison Fine Arts, 2010.

[1] The original studied at Sotheby's, London on 6 May 2011, with kind assistance of Dr. Steven Platzman of Addison Fine Arts.

[2] My thanks to Paul Russell for checking the details of this sale.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0037

Subject: Seated Old Man, three-quarter length, turned to right

Verso: Partly stuck down when inspected but seems blank

Medium: Red chalk on pale brownish (light-stained) paper. The paper appears pale brown, and the red chalk is paler by the figure's left hand and right shoulder; there also seem to have been some indented lines made before the chalk was applied and visible near the left elbow; ruled framing lines in graphite on three sides and in red chalk below (and, less clearly, to right). Signed, recto, in red chalk, left: 'R / 1630'.

156 x 147. No watermark visible (laid down) but a crescent recorded; chain lines 22/23v. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: A signed and dated, documentary sheet of 1630. The signature is acceptable though somewhat odd, (a) because it does not read 'RHL', as would be expected at this date, (b) because of the unusual line between the first descending loop of the 'R' and the final tail to the right (which might, however, be expected if the monogram were to be read as 'RHL') and (c) because of the unfamiliar way the zero is attached to the '3'. Even were the signature proven to be false, which I believe very unlikely, the attribution of the drawing would not be in doubt, given the persuasive stylistic connections with Benesch 0020, 0040, 0041 and 0082.

The model appears in a number of drawings of around the same period, including in all probability Benesch 0020, 0038, 0039, 0042 and perhaps Benesch 0040, 0041 and 0082. Among the paintings and etchings, too, the same model seems to appear, for example in the painting of Jeremiah of 1630 (Amsterdam, Bredius 604, Corpus A28) and in the etched Bust of an old man with a flowing beard, also of 1630 (Bartsch 325); but such identifications must necessarily be somewhat tentative, as in many of these works the intention was not to produce an accurate depiction of the model, like a sitter in a portrait.[1]

Condition: light-stained, otherwise generally good; a fingerprint in brown at centre right; probably somewhat trimmed below (where the framing line differs - see above).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1630.

COLLECTION: USA Washington, National Gallery of Art (inv.1943.3.7047; B-9408).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1877, pp.106-7 and 487; Michel, 1894, II, p.255; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; Exh. London, 1899, no.139; HdG 997; Lippmann, I, 187b; Heseltine drawings, 1907, no.1; Bauch, 1933, p.201, repr. fig.93; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, 1947, no.17, repr.; Exh. Cambridge, 1948-49, no.36; Mongan, 1949, p.86; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.37, repr.1630; compares Benesch 38 et al.); Rosenberg, 1959.I, p.74, repr. fig.135; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.14, repr. fig.2; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.2, repr.; Exh. Washington, 1969, no.24; Bruyn, 1983, p.56, n.26; Exh. Washington, 2006 (Strokes of Genius); Paris, 2008, p.53, n.1; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.8, repr. fig.84 (documentary drawing); Exh. Denver, 2018-19, no.12, repr.;; Schatborn, 2019, no.213, and p.143, repr. (c.1630; began with the head in pen before using the brush for the body).

PROVENANCE: Narcisse Revil, Paris, 1842 (but not in his sale, Paris, 16 Rue des Jeuneurs, 24 June, 1845); Jacob de Vos, Jbzn, Amsterdam; his sale, Amsterdam, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 410; J.P. Heseltine; his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27 May, 1913, lot 5; H. Eissler, Vienna; with Alverthorpe Gallery, Jenkintown; Lessing J. Rosenwald (1891-1979), by whom presented to the present repository, 1943 (with a life interest).

[1] There is perhaps somewhat too much enthusiasm in the identifications in Corpus, I, 1982, p.149, under no.A11, where the same model is recognised in Benesch 7, 16, 19, 20, 37-42, and 82, in the etchings Bartsch 260, 262, 309, 312, 315 and 325 and in paintings including the Amsterdam Tobit and Anna of 1626 (Bredius 486, Corpus A3), the Stuttgart St Paul in Prison of 1627 (Bredius 601, Corpus A11), the Hamburg Simeon in the Temple (Bredius 535, Corpus A12), the Melbourne Two old Men disputing of 1628 (Bredius 423, Corpus A13), the Nuremberg St Paul at his writing-desk (Bredius 602, Corpus A26), the Amsterdam Jeremiah of 1630 (Bredius 604, Corpus A28), the Mauritshuis Simeon in the Temple of 1631 (Bredius 543, Corpus A34), the St Peter in Prison of 1631 (Bredius 607, Corpus A36 and the Louvre Hermit (Bredius 605, Corpus A16).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0038

Subject: Seated Old Man with his Hands Together

Verso: Blank, but with rubbed with traces of red chalk.

Medium: Red chalk, partly rubbed with the finger in the shadows, and touched with black chalk (in the hair and neck); ruled framing-lines in pen and dark brown ink. Inscribed top right in pen and brown ink: '2546' and lower right in graphite: '2651' and in pen and brown ink: '.63' [or '69? - probably Crozat's number]

147 x 145. No watermark. Chain lines 26v. Mat: modern, but there is a remnant of an older mat with a thin gold strip.

COMMENTS: One of the great drawings of the Leiden period, the drawing has been associated with the comparable etching, Bartsch 325 of 1630. It is not, however, a direct preliminary study, as the head in the etching is viewed more frontally; the composition is also curtailed, omitting the hands and much of the arms. Nevertheless, the two works could have been made at the same (or almost the same) sitting, and the date of 1630 is therefore acceptable.

For the model, see under Benesch 16 and 37. The purpose of the drawing was as a character study, useful for historical and mythological subjects, rather than as a portrait.

Condition: Good, though slightly rubbed. A few green spots.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1630?

COLLECTION: S Stockholm, Nationalmuseum (inv.NMH 2651/1863; stamped with L.1638 and L.1980).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1925, pp.26 and 29, nos.2-3; Bauch, 1933, p.202, repr. fig.137; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, 1947, no.16, repr.; Münz, 1952, under no.40; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.38, repr. (c.1630 and used for etching Bartsch 325); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.15; Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.64; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.5; Bauch, 1960, p.202, repr. fig.137; Exh. Leningrad, 1963; Exh. Stockholm, 1967, no.266; White and Boon, 1969, under no.325; Exh. Amsterdam-Washington, 1981-82, p.50, repr, fig.2; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.16, n.6 (stresses more tonal approach of Rembrandt compared with Lievens drawings of the period); Exh. Washington-Fort Worth-San Francisco, 1986, no.86; Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-89, no.13, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.III, pp.413-14, repr. fig.6; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.66, repr. fig.19; Exh. Stockholm, 1992-93, no.131, repr.; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.17, repr. (c.1630); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.2.2, repr. (c.1629-30); Rubinstein, 2011, pp.360-61, repr. fig.19; Schatborn, 2019, no.217 and p.143, repr. (c.1630).

PROVENANCE: Roger de Piles?; Pierre Crozat (1665-1740), Paris (L.3612 with number '63'; Mariette, 1741, p.101); Count Gustav Tessin (1695-1770; L.2985 with number '2546'; List, 1739-42, p.38; Cat., 1749, livre 17, no.238; acquired by him as a work by Claude Mellan); presented by him in 1750 to King Adolph Frederik of Sweden; his sale, 1777, where purchased by his successor, Gustav III, for the Royal Library (Cat., 1790, no.2546), whence transferred to the Royal Museum and then to the present repository.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0039

Subject: Bust of a Bearded Old Man

Verso: Laid down

Medium: Red and black chalk, heightened with white (now much oxidised) on paper prepared pale yellow

114 x 91.

COMMENTS: The beard and the geometrical lines in the drapery lower left as well as the straggling lines in the shadowed side of the beard are unusually similar to Jan Lievens (cf. Benesch 0016, for example). Yet overall the impression is closer to Rembrandt, with his firmer grip on the modelling and overall structure. The model resembles that in numerous works of c.1630, perhaps especially in Benesch 0037 (qv), dated that year, in which the wisps of hair seem to have been blown in the same direction and the fall of the light is the same. The pose is also close to the etching, Bartsch 309, of 1630, confirming the likely date. The model particularly resembles that in three paintings, the Bearded Old Man of 1632 (Cambridge, Mass., Fogg Art Museum; Bredius 147; Wetering 81), the St Paul in Meditation of c.1628-29 (Nuremberg, Bredius 602, Corpus A26) and the Jeremiah of 1630 (Amsterdam, Bredius 604, Corpus A28), as well as the etching of An Old Man with a Flowing Beard, of 1631 (Bartsch 315; NH 83).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: c.1630.

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv.22581; stamped with L.2207 and L.1886).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1892, p.417 (Rembrandt); Michel, 1893, p.587, repr. opp. p.12 (relates to Scholar at a table, Stockholm, Bredius 430, Corpus C17); Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; HdG 624; Lippmann, I, 162A; Bénédite and Demonts, 1921, no.1, repr.; Van Dyke, 1927, p.106 (Lievens); Bauch, 1933, pp.139 and 203, repr. fig.152; Paris, 1933, no.1165 (c.1630-32); Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Paris, 1937, no.106; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.39, repr. (c.1630); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.259; Exh. Milan, 1970, no.3; Corpus, I, 1982, pp.149 and 270; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.16, n.6; Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.441; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.5, repr. (was attributed to Dou from 18th to early 19th century); Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, pp.172-73, no.16, repr.; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, p.34; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007.I, no.4, repr. (1629-30); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.2.1, repr. (c.1629-30); Rubinstein, 2011, p.361, repr. fig.20 (noting emphatically flat shading and strong accents in black chalk); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (c.1630); Schatborn, 2019, no.215, repr. (c.1630); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, no.98, repr. (c.1629-30).

PROVENANCE: Charles Paul Jean-Baptiste de Bourgevin Vialart, Comte de Saint-Morys (1743-1795), Paris; his collection seized by the French state at the Revolution, 1793; entered the Louvre, 1796-97; listed in the NOTICE DU MUSÉE NAPOLÉON : DESSINS , vol. 6, p. 1054, chap. : Ecole hollandaise, Carton 85 (…) no.8288 as by Gerard Dou.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0040

Subject: Seated Old Man

Medium: Red chalk, touched with black chalk; ruled framing-line in pen and brown ink. Signed in monogram and dated in red chalk, lower centre: 'RHL 1631' [slightly trimmed below]; inscribed verso, in red chalk, upper centre: '2-' and upper right: '141'; in graphite lower left: 'P' and lower centre 'O 66' (the 1864 inventory number).

227 x 147. Watermark: eagle with Basel staff (Churchill 438; Heawood 1303, but with one head); chain lines 21/23v.

COMMENTS: A signed and dated, and therefore documentary sheet. It belongs to the series discussed under Benesch 0020 (q.v.). The drawings of 1630-31 in the series are generally drawn with a more tonal approach than here - the hatching in the drapery of Benesch 40 harks back to the black chalk figure studies of c.1629 (Benesch 0030-32), and contrasts with the handling of Benesch 0020 and Benesch 0041, for example - a lesson in the difficulty of assigning dates to Rembrandt's drawings on the basis of style (not least as the latter has a comparable watermark).

Whether, like Benesch 0020, Rembrandt could have had the old testament figure of Jacob in mind is uncertain, but as in that drawing, the 'listening' expression of the model would have been appropriate to the subject. The use of some black chalk retouches to pick out and clarify certain details is common to many of these drawings. The model most resembles that in Benesch 0020 and Benesch 0041, and the same chair appears in all three drawings.[1]

Condition: Generally good; a repair, lower centre, and few abrasions, and trimmed below (see monogram and date).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1631

COLLECTION: NL Haarlem, Teyler Museum O* 50 (formerly in 1854: Q* 16 and in 1864: O* 66; stamped with L.2392)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.423; Michel, 1893, p.592; Von Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; Scholten, 1904, p.107, no.50; HdG 1322; Graul, 1906, no.3, repr.; Lippmann, I, 168; Saxl, 1908, p.238; Kleinmann, I, 1; Buisman, 1924, no.13; Weisbach, 1926, p.113; Van Dyke, 1927, p.105 (Lievens); Exh. London, 1929, no.576 [and Commemorative Catalogue, 1930, p.197]; Berlin, 1930, p.232, under no.1151; Hell, 1930, p.18; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.226; Bauch, 1933, p.213, repr. fig.95; Paris, 1933, p.17, under no.1145; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, 1947, no.18, repr.; Hamann, 1948, p.207, repr.; Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.146; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.40, repr.; Baard, 1956, no.32; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.16, repr.; Knuttel, 1956, repr. fig.6; Roger-Marx, 1960, p.129, under no.27; Moskowitz, 1962, no.568; Eisler, 1964, p.98, repr. pl.67; Gerson, 1968, p.240, repr. fig.86a; Bruyn, 1970, p.33; Exh. London, 1970, no.22, repr.; Exh. Haarlem, 1978, no.66, repr. fig.34; Exh. Amsterdam-Washington, 1981-82, no.78, repr.; Corpus, I, 1982, pp.149 and 281; Bruyn, 1983, p.56, n.26; Exh. New York-Chicago, 1989, no.67, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, p.275; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.26; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.69, repr. fig.64; Exh. London, 1992, p.63, n.11; Haarlem, 1997, no. 321, repr.; Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.28, repr.; Plomp, 2006.I, p.444, repr. fig.1; London, 2010 (online), under no.12, n.11; Schatborn, 2011, p.294, repr. fig.1; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.9, repr. fig.1 (documentary drawing); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Schatborn, 2019, no.221 and p.143, repr. (1631; p.143 (began with the head in pen; completed with the brush); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.67 and no.95, repr..

PROVENANCE: possibly Jan Danser Neyman sale, Paris, 8 July, 1776, lot 692 (with measurements c.230 x 148); acquired by the present repository before 1822.

[1] For this or a similar model, see under Benesch 37 .

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0041

Subject: Seated Old Man with Clasped Hands, full-length, turned to left

Medium: Red chalk with black chalk on yellowish paper (see Benesch 0007), the outlines and (partly) the shadow to right indented for transfer to the copper plate; ruled framing-lines in pen and dark brown ink. Inscribed verso in pen and brown ink (by Cornelis Ploos van Amstel?), centre left, no longer legible and lower left, by Ploos an Amstel: 'Rembrand / geb 1606 / h. 9d / b 6 d'; lower left in graphite inscribed: 'K.d.Z. 1151' [the inventory number] and 'Rembrant' and lower right: 'Suermondt / Smlg. Ploos / Dupper' and bottom centre: 'Inventar 4081'.

226 x 157. Watermark: Eagle with Basel staff (cf. Hinterding, 2006, p.106, A.a.a., RPK 61:1164); the paper is not especially smooth.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, inseparable from the signed and dated sheet, Benesch 37, and the other drawings grouped around it, especially Benesch 20 and 40 (qq.v., the latter with a similar watermark). Its documentary status derives from its being partly indented for transfer to the copper plate for the etching, Bartsch 291, of c.1631. In this relationship the connection is uncomplicated, although it could be that the copper plate was originally larger and intended to accommodate the whole figure. However, the connections with other works by or attributed to Rembrandt of the period are less easily explained.

First, the figure appears with little change - just a slight adjustment to the angle of the head - in the painting in the Louvre of an Old Man in an Interior with a Winding Staircase, of c.1632 (Bredius 431, Corpus C51; Wetering 86). The painting is now usually rejected as a school work, although in the present writer's opinion it could be autograph, begun in the late Leiden years, c.1630-31 and completed, signed and dated somewhat later (the date is not decipherable but earlier writers record 1632 or 1633). [Since writing this, the painting has been described as autograph by Wetering, 1915, no.86.] The interior in the painting includes a table to the left with books, which can also be made out in the drawing, so that even if the painting is the work of a pupil, the drawing was clearly referred to and it must have been drawn with a similar figure in view (possibly on a larger scale, however).

There are also looser connections with the Nuremberg painting of St Paul of c.1629-30 (Bredius 602, Corpus A26), but this probably came before the drawing. More contemporaneous with Benesch 41, but yet more distant from the drawing, is the painting of the Penitent St Peter in prison of 1631, now in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (Bredius 607, Wetering 40). Here the figure kneels and the trajectory of his arms and the disposition of his weight is accordingly different. Finally, mention has been made of Benesch 0082, for which possibly the same model was used.[1] Nonetheless these works share the same interest in depicting the frailty and wisdom of elderly men, often examined in considerable detail.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*.

Date: 1630-31?

COLLECTION: D Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (KdZ 1151; stamped with L.1606).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1877, p.490 (1631); Lippmann, 1882, no.18 (c.1633); Lippmann, I, 10; Michel, 1890, p.45; Michel, 1893, p.572, repr. opp. p.152; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; Berlin, 1910, no.266 (c.1633; study for Paris painting); Hind, 1912, under no.4*; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.102; Bode, 1915, column 219 (for Paris picture); Neumann, 1918, no.1; Neumann, 1918.1, p.118; Buisman, 1924, under no.13; Weisbach, 1926, pp.112-13 and 610, n.1 to chap. 5 (c.1630-31); Van Dyke, 1927, pp.105-6 (Lievens); Berlin, 1930, p.232, no.1151 (c.1633); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.227 (c.1633); Lugt, 1931, p.59; Bauch, 1933, pp.105-7, 110 and 213 (c.1631, later used for Paris picture); Paris, 1933, under no.1145; Wichmann, 1940, no.7; Schinnerer, 1944, no.12; Benesch, 1947, no.19, repr. (for Paris painting of 1633); Rosenberg, 1948, p.10; Münz, 1952, under no.304; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.41, repr. (c.1631; related to Paris painting, etching Bartsch 291 and St Peter in prison); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.30; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, under no.16; Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.256 and 262 (c.1631-33, for Paris picture); Exh. Munich, 1957, no.5 (for Paris picture); Benesch, 1963, p.15, no.5 (c.1631); Rosenberg, 1964, p.17, repr. pl.15; Stech, 1964, no.26; Gerson, 1968, pp.190-91; Exh. Berlin, 1968, no.5 (c.1631-33); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.28; Tümpel, 1977, p.39, repr. (c.1631); Exh. Amsterdam-Washington, 1981-82, p.29; Bruyn, 1983, p.56, n.26; Corpus, II, 1986, pp.641-42, under no.C51 (c.1630); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.5; Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-89, pp.6 and 40-41, no.16; Exh. New York-Chicago, 1989, under no.67, notes 1 and 2; Exh. Amsterdam, 1991, p.160, repr. fig.291A; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, I, p.302, under no.55, and II, p.28, under no.2, n.1; Exh. London, 1992, under no.5 and under no.15, n.11; Schatborn, 1993, p.162 (the background added 'from memory', the head from life); Haarlem, 1997, under no.321; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, pp.115-17, repr. fig. 9e; Exh. Berlin, 1999, under no.36; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.68-69; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, p.41; Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.44 and no.29, repr. (c.1631; one of five known indented drawings); Van Straaten, 2006, pp.166-67 (1631); Berlin, 2006, no.4, repr. (c.1631; same model and grouped with Benesch 20 and 40, drawn in short space of time; also same model in Benesch 82; used for etching, Bartsch 291; composition with open book compared with Nuremberg painting of St Paul, Bredius 602, Corpus A26; also relates to painting of Penitent St Peter, which has same model, Bredius 607, Corpus A36; cf. also Louvre 'school' painting of an Old man in an interior, Bredius 431, Corpus C51); Schatborn, 2011, p.313, repr. fig.45; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.12, repr. fig.45 (documentary drawing); Exh. New York, 2016, p.40, repr. fig.36; Schatborn, 2019, no.214 and p.17, repr. (c.1630; traced for the etching which shows only the head; one of five known indented drawings).

PROVENANCE: Cornelis Ploos van Amstel, Amsterdam (his handwriting verso, cf. L.3002-3004); Leendert Dupper, Dordrecht; his sale, 28 June 1870, lot 266; Barthold Suermondt, Aachen; acquired by the present repository in 1874.

[1] The relationship with these latter two paintings is discussed by Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.4, to which the present text is much indebted. For a discussion of the model, see under no.37.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0042

Subject: Bearded Old Man, in profile to left

Verso: Drapery study: a sleeve?

Medium: Red chalk, touched (on recto only) with black chalk. Inscribed verso in graphite top left: 'HH 690' and in the centre: '2' (in a circle).

137 x 138.

COMMENTS: Though often doubted as a Rembrandt in the recent literature and given to Jan Lievens, the comparisons with Lievens' drawings (cf. Benesch 16, which is now generally given to him) are far less persuasive than those with Rembrandt’s.

Of the drawings in the group with which it has usually associated (Benesch 0015, 0020, 0037-41), it may be the earliest: the more precise delineation, in the hair, for instance, comes close to Benesch 0007 of c.1628 as well as Benesch 0038, and the shading in the lower left corner is identical to that in Benesch 15 of the same period (see also the heavier shading in the backgrounds of Benesch 0037 and 0039, which is again replicated in the lower right corner of Benesch 0042). In addition, the trailing lines in the right background echo those in Benesch 0015.

The now often accepted attribution to Jan Lievens, whose drawings are never so precise, becomes in my view unsustainable if the drawing is studied alongside Lievens' monogrammed (and therefore unimpeachable) Head of a young man, now in the British Museum, a work of the same date, type, scale and medium. Comparative photographs of this drawing (including a detail) are therefore included here and hopefully they will scotch the Lievens attribution, as the contrast in styles is insuperably great.[1] Indeed it is surprising that two drawings made by these artists soon after they both left their training in Lastman's studio should differ so markedly.

The Washington drawing, on the recto, exhibits an extraordinary control of detail and light (note the lighter wisps of hair at the front and the heavier ones at the back of the cranium), a persuasive comprehension of form, a sense of proportion, a robust strength in the mise-en-page and a variety of touch, from the most delicate touches in the hair to the confident, powerful zig-zag flicks of chalk in the fur collar (compare the collar in Benesch 40) that are clearly far removed in character from Lievens and yet typical of Rembrandt. Equally characteristic are the scalloped outlines in the shadowed edge of the white collar and in the profile of the chest.

It is, however, possible that the drawing was originally made in c.1628 and strengthened by Rembrandt a year or two later, in the body and the darker shadows, and also in the background, lower right, which may be compared with the same area of Benesch 39.

As for the verso, it has a solid, sculptural quality that distinguishes it from Lievens' more flaccid, 'impressionistic' modelling at this period, again exhibited in the British Museum drawing illustrated (and again in Benesch 16, which as already mentioned is now usually attributed to Lievens). The verso may be compared with several passages in Rembrandt's early paintings, which display an interest in deep grooves of shadow in the drapery that matches any such instincts detectable in Lievens' work at this period (cf., for example, the drapery on the extreme right of the St Paul in prison - Stuttgart, Bredius 601, Corpus A11).[2] The analogies with Lievens in this respect are certainly no closer, and in every other respect, more distant than with Rembrandt.[3]

The model of the recto is probably the one who posed for Benesch 37 (q.v.) and some other drawings, as there noted. Compare also the drawing in the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, attributed to Rembrandt's pupil Jacques des Rousseaux, which however is closer to one of the etchings by Jan Lievens mentioned above. [4]

Condition: generally good; repaired top left corner; some light foxing.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1628-30?

COLLECTION: USA Washington, National Gallery of Art (inv. 1987.20.11)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hind, 1928, no.11, repr.; Exh. London, 1929, no.578 (Commemorative Catalogue, 1930, p.198); Bauch, 1933, p.203, repr. fig.153; Paris, 1933, under no.1165; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Worcester (USA), 1936, no.58; Exh. San Francisco, 1939-40 (cat.1941), no.83; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.42, repr. (c.1631; compares Benesch 15 and 41); Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.3, repr. pl.3 (c.1630-31); Schatborn in Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-89, pp.12 and 17, repr. pls IV and V (Lievens); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.134 (to be retained as Rembrandt); Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, pp.70-71, no.25, repr.; Plomp, 2006.I, p.5, repr. fig.2 (Lievens); Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-2009, no.98, repr. (Lievens, 1628-30); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.2.4, repr. (Lievens, c.1631); Royalton-Kisch, 2011, p.100 (Rembrandt); Rubinstein, 2011, pp.361-62, repr. figs.21 and 22 (recto and verso; by Lievens, near borderline with Rembrandt); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Charles Fairfax Murray; William Bateson; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 23-24th April, 1929, lot 228; Lessing J. Rosenwald; presented by his widow to the present repository.

[1] For Lievens' drawing see London, 2010 (online), Lievens no.2, repr. It is generally dated c.1630. The fact that the drawing shows a profile, which Lievens adopted for head studies (etched as well as drawn) more regularly than Rembrandt, seems a poor reason for attributing the drawing to him.

[2] I have been fortunate to discuss the drawing not only with friends and scholars in the Lievens camp (including Peter Schatborn, Gregory Rubinstein and William W. Robinson), but also with Andrew Robison at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, who also adheres to the Rembrandt attribution.

[3] The comparison made with Lievens' much later drawing in the Louvre, the Bust of a man with curly hair (inv.2239; Sumowski1661*), executed around 20 years later in c.1650, reveals just how distant any analogies with Lievens' work are (see Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.2.5, repr.).

[4] Inv.M 1973 (Sumowski 2294** - see Exh. Paris, 2012, no.43, repr.). The drawing bears a date, 1630, based on that on Benesch 37, but the initial R seems to have been tampered with to make it resemble a monogram by Rembrandt.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0043

Subject: Beggar in a High Cap, full-length, walking to left

Medium: Black chalk, with a touch of white in the cap; ruled framing-lines in black chalk. Inscribed verso in graphite 'Hausmann 965'; 'Inv. Nr. 4115' 'H.d.G. 108, K.d.Z. 1104, Rembrandt'.

171 x 75. Upper right corner made up.

COMMENTS: The drawing belongs well with Rembrandt's Leiden period studies of beggars, both etched and drawn, as has always been agreed (see Literature below). Compare also for style Benesch 0045 and 0046. The date cannot be far from the documentary sheet, Benesch 0012, of c.1629. The especially dark colour of the chalk, with its somewhat crumbled-looking outlines which lend the drawing a softer aspect than Rembrandt's other drawings of this period, suggests that Rembrandt, unusually for his Leiden years, may possibly have employed charcoal rather than black chalk.[1]

Condition: Top right corner made up; presumably trimmed from a larger sheet (see shading, lower right).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: c.1629-30.

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (KdZ 1104; stamped with L.1606).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: von Seidlitz, 1900, p.488; Lippmann, II, 35b; Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.24 (c.1631); HdG 108; Saxl, 1908, p.338 (c.1633); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.97 (c.1630); Berlin, 1930, p.231, repr. pl.164 (c.1630); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.223 (c.1630); Bauch, 1933, pp.120-21 and p.216 (c.1631); Benesch, 1935, p.10; Wichmann, 1940, no.5 (c.1630); Möhle, 1949, pp.29-31; Winkler, 1951, pp.109 and 113; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.43, repr. (c.1631; compared with etching, Blind fiddler, Bartsch 138); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.28 (c.1630); Van Straten, 2006, pp.194-95 (1631); Berlin, 2006, no.2, repr. (c.1628-29; extended discussion, with further literature, of Rembrandt's beggar iconography); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Schatborn, 2019, no.193, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.66 and no.28, repr. (c.1628-29).

PROVENANCE: David Bernhard Hausmann (1784-1874), Hannover (L.378); acquired by the present repository in 1875.

[1] Benesch (1954/73) regarded what he saw as the calmer, quieter and more picturesque qualities of the drawing as a reason to date it c.1631 - rather later than the Dresden study (Benesch 0012), but the quality of the medium may account for most of the differences he detected.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0044

Subject: An Elderly Polish Man, standing

Medium: Black chalk; inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower left: "R"; inscribed verso, in pen and brown ink, top right: '309'.

149 x 88. Watermark: none; chain lines 22h (10-11 laid lines/cm). Mat: modern mount only (but see under Condition below).

COMMENTS: There appears to be no reason to alter Benesch's assessment of this drawing, although a slightly earlier date than his seems preferable. He noted that it appears to be the first of Rembrandt's depictions of Polish types (followed e.g. in the etchings, Bartsch 141-42). In style it belongs with Benesch 0034 as well as 0045 and 0046. The links, especially with the former, suggest a date around 1629-30 (cf. also the documentary sheets, Benesch 0012 and 0021).

Condition: somewhat yellowish discolouration; a horizontal crease, centre; some foxing; a small blue tab remains at the corner of the verso from an older backing.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1629-30?

COLLECTION: D Mettingen, Draiflessen Collection (formerly Hilversum, Liberna Collection, inv. 61)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Mellaart, 1931, p.23; Bauch, 1933, p.193, repr. fig.53a; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, 1943, p.23, repr. fig.4; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.44, repr. (c.1630-31); Bolten and Folmer-von Oven, 1989, no.107, repr. (as Benesch, 1954); Schatborn, 2019, no.194, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Maison R.W.P. de Vries, Amsterdam (L.2786a [stamped twice]); probably their sale, Paris, G.B. Lasquin, 23 May, 1930, Rembrandt, Vieil homme debout, sold for 9,500 fr.; Dr. H. Wendland, Lugano; A.S. Drey, Munich; Mrs M. Drey, London, from whom acquired by the present owners, 1963.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0045

Subject: A Polish Officer, full-length

Medium: Red chalk.

245 x 175. Watermark: none, but paper of same type as dove in circle, similar to Benesch 0012, 0022, 0030-32, 0046 and 00196 - see under Benesch 0012.

COMMENTS: The red chalk distinguishes the drawing from the group that includes Benesch 0044, but otherwise the draughtsmanship is characteristic of Rembrandt. The paper (see under watermark above) helps to confirm the date. The figure is sometimes described as an actor, which is possible, although this would have been from before the construction of the Van Campen theatre (Schouwburg) in 1637.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1629-30?

COLLECTION: R St Petersburg, Hermitage Museum (inv.ОР-14946)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bauch, 1933, p.211; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.45, repr. (c.1630-31).; Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.2-4, n.5; Schatborn, 2019, no.199, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Betzky; Royal Academy of Fine Arts, St Petersburg, whence transferred to the present repository, 1924.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0046

Subject: Scholar at his Writing Table

Medium: Black chalk. Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower right: 'R'

206 x 152. Watermark: none, but paper of same type as dove in circle, similar to Benesch 0012, 0022, 0030-32, 0045 and 00196 - see under Benesch 0012.

COMMENTS: The figure, with his head supported on one hand, belongs at least loosely to the iconographic tradition for representing Melancholia, and harks back to Dürer's engraving of this subject.[1] The eccentric outlines resemble those in the documentary sheet, Benesch 6 and the drawing should be dated to the same period. The annotation 'R' resembles that on Benesch 0044 and 0049.[2]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1628-29

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv.22580; stamped with L.1886)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Paris, 1929, no.247, repr. pl.XXXVIII (Dou); Paris, 1933, p.20; Bauch, 1933, pp.111 and 213 (Rembrandt, c.1631); Benesch, 1935, p.24; Isarlo, 1936, p.14 (Dou); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.46, repr. (c.1630-31; compares Benesch 44 and 45); Exh. Leiden, 1956, no.105 (Dou); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.24 (Dou); Sumowski, III,1980, under no.534* and 538* (Rembrandt, c.1630-31); Kuznetsov, 1981, p.375, repr. fig.3 (Rembrandt); Corpus, I, 1982, under no.C15, repr. p.537, fig.4 ('attributed to Rembrandt or to Gerard Dou'; compares school painting of a Scholar reading, Braunschweig, Bredius 429, Corpus C15); Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.2-4, n.5; Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.441; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.77, repr. (not Rembrandt - anonymous c.1640); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.133 (Rembrandt, c.1629; compares Benesch 6); Royalton-Kisch, 1991I, p.272; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.73, repr. fig.29; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.35, repr.; Van Straten, 2005, pp.197-98, repr, fig.352; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.6, repr. (text by H. Grollemund; c.1630, as also suggested by the, perhaps Italian, paper with widely spaced chain lines); Schatborn, 2019, no.198, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Comte de Saint-Morys; seized by the French state at the Revolution, 1793 and deposited in the Louvre, 1796-97 (as by Gerrit Dou).

[1] Many examples of this iconographic type appear in the work of Rembrandt and his circle, some of them discussed by Lütke Notarp, 1998, pp.217ff. The Dürer print is Bartsch 74.

[2] As pointed out in Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.77.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0047

Subject: Sheet of Figure Studies with a Seated Beggar

Medium: Pen and tip of the brush in brown ink; ruled framing-lines in darker brown ink.

90 x 94. No watermark

COMMENTS: An alluring but faded sheet which, however, does not convince as Rembrandt at all. The profile figure at the top resembles Gerbrand van den Eeckhout and other comparisons with drawings by this artist are suggestive, if not entirely persuasive: for example, the Mercury and Argus of 1654 (The Hague, Royal Library; Sumowski 629), the Sheet of Studies , although in black chalk (Haarlem, Teylers Museum, Sumowski 636) and the Eliezer and Rebecca (Budapest, Sumowski 712*). Most of these are usually dated during the early 1650s, and Benesch 47 may be slightly earlier, c.1650.

Condition: faded and foxed.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1650??

COLLECTION: H Budapest, Szépművészeti Múzeum (inv.1571)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Dutuit, 1885, p.88; HdG 1380; Térey, 1909, repr. pl.15; Benesch, 1925, pp.119-21, repr. fig.1 (repeating article in Ars Una, 1924; c.1630-31); Exh. Budapest, 1932, no.136; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Budapest, 1950, no.55; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.47, repr. (c.1630-31; compares Benesch 14, 36 and 48, and etchings Bartsch 174-75); Garas, 1956, no.23; Vayer, 1956, no.77 (1630); Bauch, 1960, p.260, n.117 (1640s); Sumowski, 1961, p.3 (perhaps Eeckhout, after 1650); Exh. Budapest, 1965, no.42; Exh. Budapest, 1967, no.94; Budapest, 2005, no.217, repr. (compares Benesch 693 and 705; notes MRK's and J. Garff's tentative attribution, made verbally in 2004, to Van den Eeckhout, following Sumowski, 1961); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Prince N. Esterhazy (1765-1833), Vienna (L.1965); his collection purchased 1870 by the Hungarian state; Orszagos Keptar (National Gallery; L.2000).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0048

Subject: An Old Man with a Book, and the Head of a Man Wearing a Turban

Verso: Laid down; some pen and brown ink lines are visible through the recto, lower left corner.

Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed by a later hand, in graphite, top left: 'R' and lower right: '9';[1] Inscribed on the backing sheet, verso, in pen and brown ink, centre: “Certainly Rembrandt” and lower right in graphite: “D.26419” [?]; other inscriptions may have been erased (see n.1 below) , also at the top of the backing.

113 x 154. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: In style the drawing belongs with Benesch 0002 (q.v.) and is, therefore, probably by Govert Flinck. Iron-gall ink of the type used here was only employed by Rembrandt in the late 1630s, whereas this drawing reflects Rembrandt's Leiden period in style, as Benesch recognised. The model also resembles one used by Rembrandt during the Leiden period and discussed under Benesch 0037 (perhaps the best comparisons for the present sheet are with Benesch 0020, 0040, and 0041) and it therefore seems likely that Flinck based the drawing, perhaps loosely, on one by Rembrandt.

Rembrandt's early paintings and etchings also reveal his interest in oriental, turbaned figures, like the one sketched to the left in Benesch 0048. In the Stoning of St Stephen of 1625 in Lyon (Bredius 531A, Corpus no.A1), Rembrandt's earliest known painting, a horseman depicted in profile on the left resembles his counterpart in the drawing in many respects, albeit with a fuller beard in the oil. Several other paintings, prints and drawings of the Leiden period attest to Rembrandt's interest, from the first, in Asian costumes and other exotic accessories.

Nonetheless, as stated above, the connections between the main model in the present sheet and Rembrandt's works of the Leiden period are insufficient to support the traditional attribution, on account of the style and medium of the drawing. Among Rembrandt's documentary sheets, perhaps the closest is the drawing in the J. Paul Getty Museum of Two Studies of the Head of an Old Man, c.1626 (inv. 83.GA.264; not in Benesch).[2] But as mentioned above, the less firmly structured sense of form and the tangled lines in Benesch 0048 undermine its attribution to Rembrandt. Perhaps closer is the drawing in the British Museum of a Man Leaning Over a Table (Benesch 0035), but here again the sense of form, the tempo of the shading and the quality of the penwork diverge from the present sheet. In all respects, the style seems closer to the work of the young Govert Flinck, as seen in Benesch 2 (q.v.), and the related sketches there mentioned.

Condition: the acidic action of the iron-gall ink has damaged the drawing.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??

Date: 1635-40??

COLLECTION: Private Collection CH Geneva (Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski; inv. KP 3643).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, III, 60B (listed as in the W. Gay collection); Bauch 1933, pp.77 and 194, repr. fig.67; Benesch 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.48, repr. (c.1631); Slive 1965, no.394, repr.; Benesch 1970, p.47; Malibu, 1988, under no.113; Exh. Berlin-Venice-Madrid-Geneva-Paris-Munich, 1999/2007, no.36/45/58/53 or 46 [depending on the edition], repr. (Rembrandt; c.1629/30; NB may not feature in every edition of the catalogue, or have another number); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE:[1] John MacGowan, Edinburgh (Lugt 1496); possibly his sale, London, Phillips, 31 January 1804, lot 536; W. Gay, Paris; Henry Oppenheimer; his sale, London, Christie's, 10-14 July 1936, lot 286, 85gns; private collection; sale, 'From a Continental Collection', London, Christie's, 9 December, 1982, lot 79, £14,000 hammer.

[1] There are remnants of an erased inscription in pen and brown ink, lower right, that might have been an attribution to "J. Lievens" or the mark of J. van Rymsdyck (L.2167).

[2] See Malibu, 1988, no.113, repr. and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.325, no.1, repr. fig.77.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0049

Subject: Seated Old Man in a High Cap, full-length, profile to right

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with brown and grey wash, on pale brown paper; ruled framing-lines in pen and dark brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower right: 'R'.

152 x 128.

COMMENTS: Cf. Benesch 0022, which perhaps provides the closest analogies as well as a foothold for the date, c.1629. The attribution to Rembrandt is by no means straightforward, despite the sheer quality of the profile and the remarkable knitting together of the line running from the top of the hat down over the shoulders, cascading into tributaries of ink below the arm. The contrast with the delicacy of the fine lines drawn, for example, near the shoulders is extreme.[1] Also in favour of the attribution is the profound, slumbersome characterisation, plausibly and elegantly described (in Exh. Paris, 1988-89) as revealing 'un vieil homme qui s'abandonne au cheminement de sa pensée'. Yet as with Benesch 0022, there are no straightforward connections with any of the documentary drawings. The pose and characterisation have rightly been compared with Rembrandt's early depictions of Tobit from 1626 onwards,[2] yet there are analogies, too, with the seated figure in profile who appears in two of the preparatory studies for the Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver', Benesch 0008 (towards the left) and Benesch 0009 verso. The latter drawing also provides the closest analogies for the wash.

The stylistic and formal connections noted above make a date c.1629 more plausible than c.1626-27, which has recently been preferred by several commentators.[3]

Condition: generally good; 2 vertical creases or folds near right edge and some discolouration, mainly above and near the top corners.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: c.1629.

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv. 195 DR)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.583; Exh. Amsterdam, 1898, ex. catalogue; Exh. London, 1899, no.127; HdG 1005; Heseltine, 1907, no.60; Friedländer, 1913, p.529; Bauch, 1933, p.208, repr. fig.121; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Paris, 1937, no.86; Blum, 1939, VI, no.9; Benesch, 1947, no.20, repr.; Exh. Paris, 1947, no.150; Coblentz, 1954, p.51; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.49, repr.; Bauch, 1960, pp.174 and 261, repr. pl.155; Sumowski, 1961, p.3; Held, 1964, p.127, repr. fig.47; Amsterdam, 1981, p.27, repr. fig.a; Schatborn, 1982, p.253; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77; Starcky, 1985, pp.256 and 263, repr. fig.1; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.1, repr. (c.1626-27); Exh. Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.139 and under no.28, repr. fig.28.2 (c.1626-27; closest Rembrandt comes to Lastman 'in line and shading of contours'); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92.I, p.13; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.63, repr. fig.15; Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997, p.xvii and n.6 (influence of Lastman); Exh. Paris, 2006-2007.I, no.1, repr. (c.1626-27); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (c.1629); Schatborn, 2019, no.181 and p.17, repr. (c.1629; influence of Lastman); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.61 and no.63, repr. (c.1629; probably represents Rembrandt's father; represents the Blind Tobit awaiting the return of Tobias).

PROVENANCE: John Bouverie (c.1722/1723-1750), England (L.325); by descent to 1st Earl of Gainsborough; his sale, Christie’s, 20 July, 1859, part of lot 126; Adriaan Jacobus Domela Nieuwenhuis (1850-1935); his (?) sale, London, 15 July, 1887, lot 33; J.P. Heseltine (L.1507); his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27 May, 1913, lot 15, bt Danlos for Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934), by whom bequeathed to the present repository, acquired in 1935.

[1] Schatborn, 1989 (and in Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92.I and Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997), points to analogies of style with Rembrandt's teacher, Pieter Lastman, especially as seen in the latter's drawing of King Cyrus returning the silver to the temple in Berlin of c.1611 (KdZ 3793). He therefore dates the drawing earlier than here, to c.1626-27 (see literature above).

[2] As stressed in Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.1.

[3] Benesch placed the drawing somewhat later, c.1631; See under Literature above for other datings.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0050

Subject: Old Man with Flat Cap and Long Beard, bust, turned to left

Verso: Laid down.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey wash, on off-white paper; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink; inscribed by a later hand in pen and brown ink (of a slightly warmer hue), lower left: 'Rembrandt f' and upper left with Robinson's mark (L.1433).

84 x 79. Top right corner repaired with a new patch.

COMMENTS: The drawing was cut from a larger sheet of sketches, as is revealed by the fragment of the head of a man at the lower right. Like Benesch 0049, the drawing almost convinces merely by dint of its sheer quality. But the analogies with other drawings by Rembrandt, and with his etchings, are not wholly persuasive and doubts remain. There are no close comparisons to be made with any of the documentary drawings by Rembrandt,[1] but there are links with others, especially with Benesch 0036A[2] and the verso of Benesch 0036, that provide sufficient reasons for upholding the attribution. The shape of the tip of the nose is characteristic of Rembrandt and is encountered, for example, in the etched Sheet of Studies of Men's Heads, Bartsch 366.[3]

Condition: generally good, though the upper right corner is (now skilfully) made up; some very slight foxing and staining, and two minor losses near the eyes.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1629?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv. 197 D.R.)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel,1893, p.582, repr. pl.4; HdG 1002; Heseltine, 1907, no.20; Bauch, 1933, pp.131, 142 and 205, repr. fig.140; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Paris, 1937, no.87; Exh. Paris, 1947, no.153; Coblentz, 1954, p.51; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.50, repr. (c.1630-31; compares Benesch 49 and three etchings, Bartsch 315, 366 and 374); Schatborn, 1985, p.13; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.6, repr. (c.1630-31; compares etching of St Jerome, Bartsch 106, and Benesch 36A); Exh. Paris, 2006-2007.1, no.5, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.220, repr. (c.1630).

PROVENANCE: J.C. Robinson (L.1433); possibly his sale, Amsterdam, 20-21 November, 1882, lot 171; J.P. Heseltine (L.1507); his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27 May 1913, lot 14, bt Danlos, fl.3,500, for Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934), by whom bequeathed to the present repository, acquired in 1935.

[1] Perhaps the nearest is the early drawing in the J. Paul Getty Museum of Two studies of the head of an old man, c.1626 (inv. 83.GA.264; not in Benesch), but the difference in style remains tangible.

[2] The comparison with Benesch 36A was made by Starcky in Exh. Paris, 1988-89.

[3] Benesch, 1954/73 compared this and other etchings.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0051

Subject: A Foot Operation (the Sense of Touch)

Verso: Inscriptions only (see below)

Medium: Pen and dark brown ink with grey wash and white heightening; a few outlines apparently reworked in graphite, as if the drawing were purposefully partly indented by this process; freehand framing-lines in pen and brown ink above and below only. Inscribed verso in graphite, top: '1067 esp [underlined]/ Adriano Brauwer' and centre: '124' [crossed out] '6 - 100' [within a rectangle]; lower centre: 'rembrant' and lower right: '1067 E' [the inventory number]; in pen and brown ink, centre: '312' [crossed out] and lower centre (18th century?): 'Joannes Backer'. NB the centre inscriptions are on an old reinforcing added strip; also in graphite on an added strip, left of centre and above the other strip: 'Adriano Brauwer '.

322 x 268. Watermark: lily in crowned shield with WR below (similar to Piccard online no.128249 (Neuenstein, 1629; see Churchill 427 [1645?] and Heawood 1769 (Schieland 1616), ;[1] chain lines 24v, about 20 laid lines/cm. The mat is modern but there are remnants of an old blue backing-paper.

COMMENTS: A problematic drawing, now generally given to Jan Lievens, it is comparable to Benesch 0021a (by Lievens) in style (q.v.). However, the face of the grimacing victim resembles Rembrandt's own, but apparently at a significantly later date than in the Self-Portrait drawings of around 1628-29, Benesch 0053-54, so on this basis any idea that the drawing is by the young Rembrandt in Leiden falls aside: stylistically it would have to be of approximately the same date or earlier, c.1626. The elaborately worked up background in grey wash is also uncharacteristic of Rembrandt; but it has been pointed out that the writhing figure of the victim resembles Samson in Rembrandt's 1636 painting, now in Frankfurt, of the Blinding of Samson (Bredius 501, Corpus A116), so that the drawing could date from the mid-1630s.

The Lievens attribution, although plausible on grounds of style, is equally vulnerable to the above arguments, as it would again have to date from the 1620s, yet the portrayal of Rembrandt seems to hail from the mid-1630s. In addition, the background is markedly different from Lievens' other works of the Leiden period, so that doubts about the Lievens attribution must also remain.

The lack of pentimenti and the 'ready-made' appearance of the background suggest that the drawing may be based on a lost painting - a number of sheets of this type, copying Rembrandt paintings, are known, and have been attributed to Ferdinand Bol and other pupils.[2] However, in this case some of the lines appear to have been indented (see under medium above), prompting the idea that it may have been drawn in order to create a reproductive engraving. This might satisfactorily explain many of the drawing's qualities, but would further undermine the attributions to Lievens and Rembrandt, and admit yet another possibility - that the drawing is a copy after Rembrandt by Johannes van Vliet (1600/1610-1668), who was chiefly active as Rembrandt's engraver between 1629 and 1636.[3] However, the latter's drawings are not sufficiently known and such an idea must remain a speculation.

An unsigned painting of the composition, attributed to Van Vliet, is in the Lakenhal Museum in Leiden.[3] It repeats the design almost exactly but the head does not resemble Rembrandt's. There is another painted version of the subject, but with important differences, in a private collection, now usually ascribed to the circle of Lievens, although in my view an attribution to Rembrandt in c.1626-28 remains likely.[4]

For the time being the attribution must remain an open question, and we retain the generally preferred attribution to Lievens here; but certainly the drawing seems unlikely to be by Rembrandt, and might possibly be by Van Vliet.[5]

Iconographically, the composition was almost certainly intended to represent the sense of touch, as Rembrandt himself did in his early painting of an Operation (touch) now in a private collection.[6]

The drawing was engraved by Andrea Scacciati (as a work of 'A. Racker') in the 'Disegni originale d'eccellenti pittori esistenti nella Galleria Reale di Firenze, ecc,., published in Florence, 1766-74.

Condition: worn, discoloured and repaired (see inscriptions above); some oil stains; a tear, lower right, bottom edge (unrepaired); incipient, repaired tears elsewhere; frayed at or near corners and near edges.

Summary attribution: After Rembrandt (Jan Lievens?).

Date: 1632?

COLLECTION: I Florence, Uffizi (inv.1067E; stamped with L.930)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Baldinucci, 1673-75 (ed. P. Barocchi, 1975), p.193 (with annotation: 'Joannel Bacler no.1'); ibid., 1687, (ed. Monaci, 1987), p.748 ('Joannes Bacher, disegni 1'); Pelli Bencivenni, Indice, 1784, BU 463/3-2, c.174 ('Racker Joannes/ Miscell.e XXII/ N.164 / Un villano sedente a cui due figure gli sradicano un callo, / con suo dolore nella di lui / casa. A penna, e acquerello'); ibid., op. cit, BU 463/3-3, c.22v ('Joannes Racker / Un Villano sedente che / si fa tagliare i calli nella Bottega / di un chirurgo, a penna, e acquerello, bello'; and in margin 'E intagliato nella serie'); ibid., op. cit., c.382, Libro Universale XXII ('Joannes Racker 1'); Ramirez di Montalvo, 1849, cassetta VII, no.33 (A. Brouwer); Ferri, 1890, p.338 ('Abramo Brouwer');[7] Van Regteren Altena, 1925, p.145 (Lievens); Bauch, 1926, p.111, no.V (manner of Lievens); Schneider, 1932, p.70 (Rembrandt school in Leiden); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Bauch, 1939, p.256, repr. fig.186 (Lievens); Heppner, 1941, p.51 (inspired by Brouwer); Benesch, 1947, no.4, repr. (Rembrandt); Van Gelder, 1949, pp.206-7 (Rembrandt); Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, p.27, under no.52 (Rembrandt); Van Gelder, 1953, pp.283-84, repr. fig.14 (Rembrandt); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.51, repr. (c.1628); Benesch, 1955, p.389 (Rembrandt, inspired by Adriaen van de Venne); Van Gelder, 1955, p.395, n.2 (Rembrandt, c.1627); Van Regteren Altena, 1955.I, p.120, n.1 (Rembrandt; relates to two drawings in the Albertina, Inv.8560-61 [Sumowski 132* and 133* as Bol]); Exh. Leiden, 1956, no.82a; Knuttel, 1956, pp.68 and 245 (Rembrandt; preceds Bredius 422 [see n.1 here]); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.66 (Lievens, a transformation of a Rembrandt motif, with flatter forms); Rosenberg, 1956.III, p.351 (doubtful as Rembrandt); White, 1956.I, p.324 (controversial, between Rembrandt and Lievens); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.236 (Lievens); Sumowski, 1957-58, p.259 (Lievens); Bauch, 1960, pp.209ff. and 284, repr. fig.169 (Lievens); Roger-Marx, 1960, p.100, repr. fig.3 (Rembrandt, c.1628); Van Gelder, 1961, p.151 (problematic attribution); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.21 (probably Rembrandt, before c.1627-30; Rembrandt inscription on verso probably 17th-century); Sumowski, 1962, p.209 (Lievens); Exh. Florence, 1964, no.61, repr. fig.62 (Rembrandt; Bredius 422 a copy of a lost original by Rembrandt, for which the drawing a study); Sumowski-Frey, 1964, p.139, n.64 (Lievens, though Frey, op. cit., p.93 regards as Rembrandt); Van de Waal, 1964, p.43, n.96 (undecided between Rembrandt and Lievens); Bauch, 1967, p.166 (Lievens); Bredius-Gerson, 1969, p.587, under no.422; Hamann-Sumowski, 1969, p.446 (Lievens); Benesch, 1970, pp.170-71 (Rembrandt); Exh. Milan, 1970, no.1, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1626); Campbell, 1971, p.113 (Rembrandt, influence of Brouwer); Schneider-Ekkart, 1973, p.386, SZ 417; Sumowski, 1973, p.107 (Lievens); Florence, 1975, no.756 (Rembrandt?); Reznicek, 1977, p.89, repr. fig.12 (Rembrandt, on road to the 1636 Frankfurt Blinding of Samson, Bredius 501, Corpus A116); Sumowski, 1980, p.11 (Lievens); Sumowski, 1979 etc., no.1629*, repr. (Lievens, c.1628); Chiarini,, 1982b, pp.169, 205-206, n.159; Corpus, I, 1982, under no.C1, p.442, and under no.C.11, p.516, repr. fig.5 (Lievens); Leiden, 1983, p.375 (perhaps Van Vliet); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.1, n.4 (Lievens); Florence, 1986, II, p.447; Exh. Amsterdam, 1996, p.111, no.48, repr. fig.48.1 (attributed to Lievens); Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, p.201, repr. fig.26a (Lievens); Enklaar, 2005, p.35, repr. fig.1; Exh. Florence-Paris, 2008, no.62/56, repr. (Lievens); Exh.Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008–9, p.71, repr. fig.1 (Lievens, but particularly Rembrandtesque); Rubinstein, 2011, p.365, repr. fig.30 (rare genre scene among early Lievens drawings); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (after Rembrandt - Jan Lievens? 1632); [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, under no.47, repr. fig.136 (Lievens, c.1628).

PROVENANCE: Cardinal Leopoldo de' Medici.

[1] Repr. Exh. Florence-Paris, 2008, p.182/145. The watermark information above is taken from this catalogue. Similar marks were employed for much of the first half of the 17th century. Compare also Laurentius 431-443, with dates from 1600-1643; perhaps the closest are their nos 439 (1631) and 440 (1634).

[2] Cf. for example, London, 2010, Bol nos 1 (with further examples, n.6) and 2.

[3] Leiden, 1983, no.266; Enklaar, 2005, p.35, repr. fig.1. The latter dates the painting, which bears traces of Van Vliet's signature, to 1658 or later, but it must be based on a prototype of the mid-to-late 1620s.

[4] Bredius 422, Corpus, I, 1982, C11; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.26, repr. in colour. [Wetering 17 as Rembrandt; this reference, subsequent to the present text online, added 22 March 2020]

[5] As suggested by Wurfbain in Leiden, 1983, p.375; Enklaar, 2005, p.35, dismisses the attribution to Van Vliet, preferring one to Rembrandt or his immediate following. Certainly the attribution to Van Vliet receives no support from his drawing in Basel of Three standing men (repr. Exh. Amsterdam, 1996, p.12, fig.2), but unlike that drawing, the Foot operation would be a copy after a lost prototype, and that might explain the disparity of styles.

[6] See Bredius 421A, Corpus B2. En suite paintings by Rembrandt of Hearing (three singers) and Sight (spectacles seller) are known (Bredius 421, Corpus B1; and Corpus B3, which is not in Bredius). The attribution to Rembrandt is now generally accepted and the paintings placed c.1624/25 (see, for example, Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, nos.9-11, repr., although the picture of Touch was not actually exhibited). En suite paintings by Rembrandt of Hearing (three singers) and Sight (spectacles seller) are known (Bredius 421, Corpus B1; and Corpus B3, which is not in Bredius). That the drawing was intended to represent the sense of touch is also noted by Middelkoop in Exh. Florence-Paris, 2008, no.62/56.

[7] The references to old catalogues of the Medici collections are from Exh. Paris-Florence, 2008 (see literature above). The old attribution to Backer is especially intriguing because it is so unusual; that to Brouwer seems wide of the mark and a commonplace association for a genre scene displaying extremes of emotional stress.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0052

Subject: The Reading

Verso: Blank, except for marks and inscriptions.

Medium: Tip of the brush in brown and brown wash; a few preliminary touches in pen and brown ink but only in the area of the woman's head and raised hand. A trial in pen and brown ink towards upper left. Inscribed in pen and brown ink, top right: '44' [Bonnat's album number]; and verso in graphite, lower right: 'Woodburn 1828 u/ eu/'.

175 x 193. No watermark; chain lines 22h; laid lines regular and fine, c.11/12 per cm. Paper almost pale brown (but not as dark a tone as the iron-gall drawings).

COMMENTS: The drawing is exceptional for Rembrandt, and therefore difficult to judge, and it seems particularly misplaced in Benesch's volume I; but although doubted or generally ignored by scholars, several comparisons persuasively support the attribution. First, the woman appears to be Titia van Uylenburgh, represented in the celebrated portrait drawing of 1639 (Benesch 441); the costume she wears could also belong to this period.[1] Secondly, the background wash to the left in these two works is also comparable;[2] and in both works the tip of the brush picks out the details. Thirdly, and perhaps most crucially, the darkly silhouetted figure on the right may be compared with the corrected figures at the bottom of the touched proof of the first state of the etching, Christ before Pilate (Bartsch 77) in the British Museum (repr. Amsterdam-London, 2000-1, p.138). An image of the detail is included here and the two works are remarkably similar. Finally, the background wash and the use of the tip of the brush to enhance the modelling are characteristic of a number of other drawings of c.1639, including Benesch 440 (compare the swirling movement of the brush in the nearer shoulder of the central figure) and even the somewhat earlier documentary sheet for the Dresden Ganymede, Benesch 92. The paper resembles the type used in Rembrandt's iron-gall ink drawings of c.1637-39, although it has not been prepared with such a pronounced tone here.

Nonetheless, the drawing remains an unusual one in Rembrandt's oeuvre before the late 1640s, especially with regard to the technique in almost pure brush. Yet the result can only be described as remarkable, an exceptionally bold drawing that anticipates works of the nineteenth or even the twentieth century to an extraordinary degree.

The title, the Reading, may be wrong, not least because the silhouetted figure on the right appears to be holding a lute or some similar musical instrument in front of the book or score from which he is playing.[3] Such a scene could possibly have contained connotations either of the sense of hearing, in a series of the senses (as in Rembrandt's early painting, Bredius 421, Corpus B1 - see further under Benesch 51) or of the Prodigal Son squandering his inheritance, which seems less probable given the apparent propriety of the gathering.[4]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1639?

COLLECTION: F Bayonne, Musée Bonnat (inv. 1447)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, I, 151; HdG 682 (represents Holy family with Simeon in the temple); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1940, p.2; Van Regteren Altena, 1948, no.19; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.52, repr. (c.1631); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Samuel Woodburn, 1828 (see verso inscription); Léon Bonnat (1833-1922), and his square mark verso (not in Lugt) with inv. no.00641 (now obscured by inlay).

[1] See, for example, the Portrait of Maria Trip of 1639 (Bredius 356, Corpus A131).

[2] Compare also, for example, the wash in Benesch 395, 401, 406 and the Berlin Self-Portrait, Benesch 432.

[3] The idea stems from reading the lines reaching towards the woman's elbow as the neck of the instrument.

[4] However, Rembrandt used himself and Saskia as models for what is probably a depiction of this in his painting in Dresden, Bredius 30, Corpus A111.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0053

Subject: Self-Portrait with Mouth Open

Verso: Tracing of profile of the head on the recto in black chalk (not by Rembrandt)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey wash; ruled framing-lines in the same brown ink. Inscribed verso, in graphite, upper centre: '45' [in a circle]; top left, in pen and brown ink: '0+ 3' [?]; lower centre, in graphite: 'F' [?]; lower right by W. Y. Ottley, in pen and brown ink: 'no.253 wyo' (Lugt 2662). This does not denote that he owned the drawing, but was written as part of the inventory of the British Museum's collection during his time as Keeper of the Department of Prints and Drawings, 1831-33.

127 x 95. Watermark: fragment of a Basilisk or an armorial mark - not the same mark as on Benesch 54 (the drawing discussed below); chain lines horizontal, 25mm apart.

COMMENTS: Clearly acceptable as Rembrandt, the looping penwork being typical of the Leiden period (cf. no.0009 recto). The only question is the date, but the relationship with no.0009 of 1628-29 provides the clue, and is acceptable on the basis of the artist's age. See also no.0054, which, even more than the present sheet, connects with the etched Self-Portrait of 1629 (Bartsch 338), in which the artist is again similarly attired, with a pointed collar over a doublet with frogging down the cntre. The combination of pen and brown ink with grey wash is also found in the documentary drawing, Benesch 0008 of c.1628-29.

The thin, curling lines in pen and brown ink are comparable to two other drawings in the British Museum (Benesch 0028 amd 0035), again suggesting a date c.1628-9, when Rembrandt was 22-23 years old. Over the delicate work in ink the grey wash is applied more boldly, elaborating the delineation of the hair, shading the face and extending the figure below to include the bust.

The related 'Self-Portrait' in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (Benesch 0054), in which the torso is turned to the left, is comparable in size, style and technique. The head is smaller, and, with the tip of the brush in grey, Rembrandt added some zigzag shading behind the figure. In composition these drawings are indirectly related to some of Rembrandt's self-portrait etchings of c.1628-30[1] and to some painted self-portraits of the same period, in particular those in Amsterdam (Corpus A14, c.1628), Munich (Bredius 2, Corpus A19, c.1629) and Nuremberg (Corpus A21, copy 1, c.1629 [now regarded as the original version, rather than that in The Hague][2]). In the latter, the figure's mouth is only slightly open, and he wears a metal gorget and appears less dishevelled. The only self-portraits in oils of the Leiden period in which the artist is portrayed, as here, with his mouth open, are those in Munich, already mentioned, and Indianapolis (Corpus A22, copy 1 [now regarded as the original version, rather than that in Japan][3] of c.1629), although this feature is met with in some of the etchings,[4] including the 'Self-Portrait as a Beggar seated on a Bank', which is dated 1630 (Bartsch 174).

The number and informality of most of the early self-portraits also relate them to many other painted, drawn and etched busts or 'tronies' of the Leiden period, most of which are not self-portraits. Some of these images, including Benesch 0053 and 0054, may have been made as exercises in facial expression and as models for Rembrandt's pupils rather than as independent works for the art market.[5]

The marked 'chiaroscuro' of the drawing has prompted the plausible suggestion that it was made by artificial light[6] and that Rembrandt was concerned with studying the way the light passes across and through the mouth, illuminating its interior and creating a highlight at the corner of the mouth on the shadowed side of the face. This latter effect is found in paintings of the same period by the Utrecht Caravaggists.[7] It is also noteworthy that Rembrandt here portrays himself in his everyday clothes rather than in a historicising costume, as is more usual in his self-portraits.[8]

Unlike Rembrandt's painted and etched self-portraits, his drawings are rare, and only six others are known and generally accepted as autograph.[9]

An interesting variant, perhaps by a Rembrandt pupil of c.1650-60, who has apparently substituted his own face, is in a private collection.[10] Rembrandt's pupil, Samuel van Hoogstraten, in his De Inleyding tot de Hooge Schoole der Schilderkonst of 1678, recommends making critical copies of drawings in this way, reflecting the practice of Rembrandt's workshop.[11]

Condition: generally good; slightly stained at edges; brown ink somewhat faded and the sheet a little discoloured

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1628-29.

COLLECTION: GB London British Museum (inv. Gg,2.253).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bürger, 1858, pp.397-8 (perhaps a self-portrait); Bode, 1876, p.126 (relates to painting in Kassel, Bredius 1); Wurzbach, 1876, p.223; Middleton, 1878 under no.7 (relates to 1629 etching, Bartsch 338); Bode, 1881, p.60, repr. p.61 (the earliest drawing known to Bode; for the 1630 etching, 'Bl.219' [according to Seidlitz this refers to Bartsch 13]); Bode, 1883, p.379 (c.1629; Rembrandt's earliest surviving drawing); Dutuit, IV, 1885, p.85 (quotes Bode, 1883); Michel, I, 1893, pp.32-3 and 582 (related to Bartsch 338 of 1629); Seidlitz, 1895/1922, under nos.9, 13 and [1st ed. only] 338 (rejects Middleton, 1878, association of the drawing with Bartsch 338; related to Bartsch 9 and 13); Exh. London, 1899, no.A1 (c.1628-30; compared to etchings Bartsch 338 and 13); Lippmann, II, no.45; Kleinmann, III, no.43; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.895 (c.1629; related to Bartsch 338 and the painting in The Hague, Bredius 6, Corpus A21); Saxl, 1908, p.338 (c.1645); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; Hind, 1912/24, I, pp.54-5 [in 1st ed. only] and under no.4, pl.XIV (c.1629; not repr. in 2nd ed.); London, 1915, no.1, pl.1 (c.1629-30); Neumann, 1918I, no.33; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, III, 1925, under no.88 (compares Berlin 'Self-Portrait', Benesch 432, KdZ.1553); Weisbach, 1926, p.115 (compares The Hague painting and etchings in general); Berlin, 1930, p.230, under no.1553 (quotes Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann,1925); Bauch, 1933, pp.152,156 and 199, repr. fig.168 (c.1629; related to painting in The Hague); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.657 (c.1629; related to etchings Bartsch 13 and 338 and paintings [now] in Indianapolis - Bredius 3, Corpus A22 copy I; Amsterdam - Bredius 5, Corpus C34; and The Hague); Benesch, 1935, p.9 (c.1629); Benesch, 1935.I, p.262; Bredius 1937/35, under no.6 (related to Mauritshuis painting); Exh. London, 1938, no.1; Popham, 1939, p.67; Benesch, 1940, pp.6-9, repr. fig.6, reprinted 1970, pp.136-7, fig.103 (c.1627-8; earlier than Benesch 54); Wichmann, 1940, p.19 and no.4, repr. (c.1628-9);Pinder, 1943, pp.21-2, repr. p.14 (compares Bartsch 13); Schinnerer, 1944, no.1, repr. (c.1629); von Alten, 1947, no.1 repr. (c.1629); Benesch, 1947, p.10 and no.7 (as in 1940; drawn by artificial light); Rosenberg, 1948/64, I, p.5/8, II, pl.6; Münz, 1952, II, repr. pl.1, fig.1; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.53, repr. fig.60/61 (c.1627-8; resembles etching, Bartsch 27 which he believes c.1628; earlier than Benesch 54; also as Benesch, 1947); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, p.13, under no.6 (related to Mauritshuis painting and etching of 1629, Bartsch 338); Exh. London, 1956, p.7, no.1 (c.1629; compared to Bartsch 338); Rosenberg, 1956, pp.124-5, repr. fig.8 (relates to Mauritshuis painting); Bauch, 1960, pp.163 and 262, n.137 (compares Bartsch 338); Roger Marx, 1960, p.10, repr. fig.1a; Scheidig, 1962, p.35, repr. fig.1 (c.1627-8); White 1962, pl.12 (c.1628); Slive, 1963, p.133, fig.12; Benesch, 1964, p.109, reprinted 1970, p.249, repr. fig.103 (c.1627-8); Slive, 1964.I, p.486, fig.6 (compares Boston 'Self Portrait in the Studio', Bredius 419, Corpus A18); Slive, 1965, I, no.269, repr. (c.1629); van Regteren Altena and Frerichs, 1965, p.44 under no.55 (c.1629); Bauch, 1966, p.8, under no.112 (as Slive, 1964.I); Clark, 1966, repr. p.6, fig.4 (earliest self-portrait); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.1 (as Benesch); Erpel, 1967, p.15, repr. fig.4 and no.14 (c.1628-9); Gerson, 1968, p.30, repr. p.195, fig.a; Haak 1969/68, p.38, repr. fig.51 (c.1627-78); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, p.24, repr., and p.112, under no.24 (as Benesch); Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, under no.96 (c.1627-8; compares 'Beggar-Woman with Gourd', Washington, Benesch 24); Bonnier, 1970/69, p.6, repr. in colour, fig.2; Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.29 (related to Bartsch 13); Exh. London, 1974, no.143, repr.; Haak, 1976/74, no.1, repr. (c.1627-8); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.14; Defoer, 1977, p.18, n.38; Clark, 1978, p.12, repr. fig.3 ('true' likeness); Amsterdam, 1981, under no.1; Corpus, I, 1982, pp.211 and 216; Schatborn, 1982, p.253; Wright, 1982, pp.17 and 45, no.2, repr. pl.7 (c.1629; compares self-portrait in Lakenhal 'History Painting' and the Mauritshuis 'Self-Portrait', Bredius 460 and 6, Corpus A6 and A21); Exh. London, 1984, no.1 (c.1629); Haak, 1984, p.265, repr. fig.562; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.1, repr. fig.1a (c.1628-9); Chapman, 1990, pp.24 and 30, repr. fig.25 (c.1629; independent, not preparatory; introspective emphasis); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2I, pp.32-3 (with Amsterdam sheet, Benesch 54, a preliminary study for the etching of 1629, Bartsch 338); Exh. Leiden, 1991-2, pp.67 and 76, n.42, repr. p.98, fig. 46 (one of three grey wash drawings of Leiden period, with Benesch 54 and Benesch 8; related to print, Bartsch 338, Hind 4); Exh. London, 1992, no.1, repr.; Van de Wetering, 1997, p.4, repr. p.v (Rembrandt not usually seen in his everyday clothes); Exh. London-The Hague, 1999, no. 13, repr.; Hess, 1999, p.272, repr. fig.3 (Nuremberg painting based on the drawing; mouth slightly open in both); Portier-Theisz., 1999, p.86 (see n.7 above; also compares the etching, Bartsch 338); Exh. Nuremberg, 2001, p.11, repr. fig.5 (as Hess, 1999; holds that Amsterdam drawing, Benesch 54, made immediately before that in British Museum); Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, p.25, repr. fig.5; Exh. London, British Museum, 2002, Imaging Ulysses: Richard Hamilton's illustrations to James Joyce (ex. catalogue); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, p.77, repr. fig.55 (1628-29); London, 2010 (online), no.1 (1628-29); Corpus, IV, 2005, pp.48, 145, 148-50, repr. p.148, fig.93 (c.1628-9; length of hair varies in early self-portraits which cannot all be accurate; see further n.7 above); Berlin, 2006, p.78, under cat. no.17 (as Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925); De Winkel, 2006, p.139; London, 2010 (online), no.1, repr. (c.1628-29); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (c.1628-29); Exh. New York, 2016, p.4; Schatborn, 2019, no.627 and pp.17 and 403, repr. with detail repr. p.15 (c.1629; strong chiaroscuro); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, pp.64, 67 and no.5, repr. (c.1628-29).

PROVENANCE: Bequeathed by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode to the present repository in 1799.

[1] Compare in particular Bartsch 1, 4, 10, 13 and, as mentioned above, 338.

[2] See Exh. London-The Hague, 1999-2000, no.14a, Exh. Nuremberg, 2001 and Corpus, IV, 2005, p.597-8.

[3] See Exh. London-The Hague, 1999-2000, no.8 and Corpus, IV, 2005, pp.598-601.

[4] Bartsch 13, 316 and 320.

[5] See Schatborn's entry on the Rijksmuseum's drawing (Benesch 54) in Amsterdam, 1985, no.1, in which he quotes Rembrandt's pupil, Samuel van Hoogstraten, 1678, p.110, recommending artists to use their own faces in the mirror to study facial expressions.

[6] Benesch, 1947 (see Lit. below).

[7] As suggested in Corpus, IV, 2005, p.148. It is there surmised that this was the main purpose and focus of the drawing, but the consideration given to other details such as the eye in shadow should not be overlooked. Portier-Theisz., 1999, p.86 already saw the drawing as focussing on "l'étude d'expression de la bouche ouverte (d'étonnement ou de surprise)".

[8] See Van de Wetering, 1997 (see Lit. below).

[9] See Exh. London-The Hague, 1999-2000, nos.45 (Benesch 437; Washington), 47 (Benesch 0432, Berlin), 63 (Benesch 1171, Amsterdam, Rembrandthuis, now often doubted, although I am inclined to accept it as by Rembrandt), 77 (Benesch 1176, Rotterdam) and 78 (Benesch 1177, Vienna). One other that comes in contention is Benesch 430 (Marseille).

[10] Previously in a private collection, Vienna, then with Boris Wilnitsky Fine Arts, Vienna (until early 2017); drawn with the tip of the brush; 138 x 95mm. The drawing is difficult to date but looks to be mid-seventeenth century (as does the paper).

[11] See Van de Wetering, 2016, pp.103-4.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0054

Subject: Self-Portrait

Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey wash; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink (comparable in tone to the ink of the drawing).

128 x 94. Watermark: top section of a crown, comparable to Churchill 274 (1622) and Heawood 546 (1607);[1] chain lines 23-25h. Inscribed verso in pen and brown ink, lower left: ‘P347’ or ‘P349’ [the last number crossed out].

COMMENTS: For a further discussion, see under Benesch 0053, which must have been drawn at around the same time (Benesch thought they might be from the same sketchbook). However, the use of dots of ink in the face is reminiscent of Reminiscent of Rembrandt's earliest drawings, such as the Two studies of the head of an old man in the J. Paul Getty Museum of c.1626 (inv. 83.GA.264; not in Benesch).[2] The stylistic connections with Benesch 53 and with Benesch 9 verso (Benesch’s recto) secure the attribution and date. Rather than with a momentary expression as in Benesch 53, the artist here represents himself with a less fleeting, more reflective demeanour, which comes close to the etched Self-Portrait of 1629 (Bartsch 338; NH 14), which also repeats the hatching behind the torso in a similar form.

Condition: Slightly darkened and spotted; a backing paper mentioned in the 1931 auction has been removed.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: c.1628-29.

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (RP-T-1961-75).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Graul, 1924, no.1 (c.1628-29); Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.94 (c.1629); Exh. Amsterdam, 1930 (according to Benesch only); Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.223 (c.1629); Bauch, 1933, pp.155 and 200, repr. fig.171 (c.1629); Freeman, 1933, no.1, repr.; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.658 (c.1630); Graul, 1934, no.1 (c.1629); Benesch, 1935, p.10 (c.1631); Exh. Berne, 1937, no.182 (c.1629); Benesch, 1939, p.5 [according to Amsterdam, 1985 - reference not found]; Benesch, 1940, pp.6-7, repr. fig.5, reprinted 1970, pp.136-7, fig.102 (1628-29; later than Benesch 53); Pinder, 1943, pp.22-23, repr. p.18 (c.1630); Brion, 1946, pl.IV (1629); Van Gelder, 1946, I, p.11, repr. fig.5 (c.1629); Benesch, 1947, no.8, repr. (as Benesch, 1940); Exh. Basel, 1948, no.3 (c.1628-29); Van Gelder, 1949, p.207; Boeck, 1953, p.199; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.54, repr. (c.1628-29; compares etching, Bartsch 338, and also Benesch 22); Bauch, 1960, p.262, n.137; Roger Marx, 1960, p.10, repr. fig.1b; Van Gelder, 1961, p.151, n.24; Van Regteren Altena, 1961, pp.69 and 84, no.31, repr.fig.19; Bauch, 1962, p.325 (c.1627-8); Van Hall, 1963, p.274, no.126 (c.1629); Slive, 1963, p.128, fig.29; Slive, 1964.I, p.486, fig.6 (compares Boston 'Self Portrait in the Studio', Bredius 419, Corpus A18); van Regteren Altena and Frerichs, 1965, no.55 (c.1629); Erpel, 1967, p.16, repr. fig.9, and pp.147-48, no.2 (c.1629-30); White, 1969, pp.107-8, repr. fig.132 (c.1629); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.24 (c.1629); Exh. Amsterdam, 1974-75, no.11 (c.1629); Defoer, 1977, p.18, n.38; Corpus, I, 1982, p.216; under no.A19; Wright, 1982, p.45, no.2, repr. pl.6 (c.1628); Schatborn, 1983, p.452, repr. fig.1 (c.1629); Amsterdam, 1985, no.1, repr. (c.1628-9); Chapman, 1990, p.24, repr. fig.24 (c.1629); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2.I, pp.32-3, repr. fig.4a (with Benesch 53 a preliminary study for the etching of 1629, Bartsch 338); Exh. Leiden, 1991-2, pp.67, n.12 and 76, n.42 (one of three grey wash drawings of Leiden period, with Benesch 53 and Benesch 8; related to print, Bartsch 338); Exh. London, 1992, under no.1, repr. fig.1a; Exh. London-The Hague, 1999, no. 12, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Nuremberg, 2001, p.11, repr. (holds that Benesch 54 made immediately before Benesch 53); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, pp.77-78, no.12, repr. (1628-29); Corpus, IV, 2005, pp.48, 145, 148-50, repr. fig.95 (c.1628-9; length of hair varies in early self-portraits which cannot all be accurate); Berlin, 2006, p.78, under no.17; De Winkel, 2006, p.139; London, 2010 (online), under no.1 (c.1628-29); Rubinstein, 2011, p.366, repr. fig.32; This catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (as London, 2010 online); Exh. New York, 2016, p.4, no.5, repr. fig.3; Schatborn, 2019, no.628, and pp.17 and 403, repr., detail repr. p.16 (c.1629; made during work on a painting or etching but not a direct preliminary study); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.64 and under no.5, repr. fig.114.

PROVENANCE: Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), London (L.2445); Samuel Woodburn (1786-1863), London (see under L.2584; not in his 1835 catalogue of Lawrence’s drawings); William Esdaile, (1758-1837), London; his sale, London, Christie's, 17 June 1840, lot 58 (?): "Rembrandt's portrait, a slight sketch; from Sir Joshua Reynolds' collection" [the marks of Reynolds and Lawrence may have been trimmed away], bt Woodburn (?), 13 shillings;[3.] Edith Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Leipzig, 1924; Cornelis Hofstede de Groot (1863-1930), The Hague (L.561); his sale, Leipzig, Boerner, 4 November 1931, lot 160 bt Van Diemen; I. de Bruijn-van der Leeuw (Spiez, CH), by whom presented to the present repository in 1949 with lifetime usufruct (until 28 November 1960; acquired 1961).

[1] The mark repr. Amsterdam, 1985, p.242, cat.1.

[2] Not in Benesch. See Malibu, 1988, no.113, repr. and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.325, no.1, repr. fig.77. On the other hand Benesch thought that the present drawing was later (c.1628-29) than the one in the British Museum (c.1627-28).

[3] Between Esdaile and Hofstede de Groot, Benesch, who does not list E. Mendelssohn Bartholdy among the previous owners of the drawing, instead lists the name 'Kann'. The provenance given above follows Amsterdam, 1985, no.1, which omits this. The British Museum records 'E. Kann' as the vendor in 1897 of one drawing by Jost Amman (1897,0113.1), and Eduard Kann (1880-1962, Austrian) as a collector of oriental coinage.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0055

Subject: An Old Woman, bust, full face ('Rembrandt's Mother')

Pen and brown ink with brown wash. Inscribed lower left: 'Rembrandt'; the page has some letterpress, upper right corner: ''inentUal' [?]

122 x 105.

COMMENTS: The identification of the sitter as Neeltje van Zuytbrouck, the artist's mother, is improbable.[1] The drawing seems acceptable as Rembrandt on the basis of Benesch 0053-54, and the rather 'worked up' penwork has links with Benesch 0050. But the slashes of wash, repeatedly in the same direction, look to have been made by Rembrandt at a later moment, possibly in the mid-to-late 1630s (cf. Benesch 281a and 283). There seem to be no clear grounds for attributing the drawing to Gerrit Dou, as has been attempted.[2] As Benesch (1954/73) surmised, the drawing was probably made from life by artificial light.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1628-29?

COLLECTION: D Ulm, Ulmer Museum (Strölin bequest)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bauch, 1933, p.205, repr. fig.142; Valentiner 670 (c.1630); Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, 1940, p.7, no.1 (reprinted 1970, p.137, fig.102); Benesch, 1947, no.5, repr.; Münz, 1952, II, p.179, under no.318; Münz, 1953, pp.144, 146 and 157, repr. (Dou); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.55, repr. (c.1628-29; compares Benesch 53 and the 1628 etching of Rembrandt's mother, head only, Bartsch 352); Exh. Paris, 1974, no.75, repr.; Sumowski, 1979 etc., under no.533*; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.16, no.18, repr. (1628; contrasted with Lievens - Rembrandt concentrates more on the rendering of light; drawn before the 1628 etchings of his mother, Bartsch 352 and 354); [Not mentioned in Exh. Leiden, 2005-2006.]; Schatborn, 2019, no.625 and pp.17 and 403, repr. (c.1628; Rembrandt’s mother).

PROVENANCE: A. Strölin, Lausanne; by descent (via Paris) until bequeathed to the present repository (c.2009).

[1] The drawing, surprisingly, is not mentioned in Exh. Leiden, 2005-2006.

[2] By Münz, 1952 and 1953 (see literature above).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0056

Subject: Rembrandt's Father, Harmen Gerritsz. van Rijn (c.1568-1630)

Verso: Sketch of a Seated Man, full-length, leaning forward

Medium: Red and black chalk with brown wash. Verso: red chalk only. Inscribed recto by Rembrandt in pen and brown ink, lower centre: 'HARMAN. GERRITS. / van den Rhijn'; inscribed verso, 17th-18th century [?], in red chalk, centre left edge (or below in relation to the recto): 'no.7'; inscribed in graphite (by Chambers Hall?): 'rembrant 36 CH' [crossed out]

190 x 240. Upper corners rounded. Watermark: crowned coat-of-arms, similar to Churchill 289 (Neuchâtel, c.1626).[1]

COMMENTS: The handwriting, which may be compared with that in Rembrandt's letters, is undoubtedly the artist's own, and the Lastman-esque verso speaks for the Leiden period. The three, almost doodled heads at either side of the recto, covered (presumably by Rembrandt himself) with wash, are curious (that on the right seems to be of the same sitter; that on the left could represent a woman in a cap), as is the slackly drawn body. The question arises as to whether the drawing was made from around the time of the sitter's death in 1630, as has been proposed, or earlier and from life. In the compiler's view the style speaks for a date from before 1630. As well as Lastman in the verso, the recto betrays similarities with drawings by Jan Lievens in the careful shading of the face, which may be compared with Lievens' Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, now in Dresden of c.1625-28.[2] The watermark, the same as in Benesch 0007, further supports an early dating, and c.1628 is suggested here, although some of the wash and the inscription could have been added later (the breadth of the wash additions suggests a date later than the sitter's death in 1630).

The sitter does not resemble the figure in many of Rembrandt’s early paintings and etchings who has traditionally been identified as Rembrandt’s father; but a small painting in the Bader collection remains a likely depiction of the same model.[3] Rembrandt's father died in 1630 (buried 27 April), providing a possible terminus ante quem, unless the drawing was made from memory; but as already mentioned, from the style and the watermark that does not seem particularly likely. There might be a loose link with Rembrandt's many depictions of the old Tobit.[4]

Little is known of Rembrandt's father; he was a prosperous miller and at Rembrandt's mother's death she left an estate valued at almost 10,000 guilders.[5]

The pensive figure on the verso seems clearly autograph but it cannot be convincingly related to any other work by Rembrandt. As mentioned above its sparing delineation is reminiscent of Lastman's style, which helps bolster the early date proposed here.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1628?

COLLECTION: GB Oxford, Ashmolean Museum (inv. WA.1855.11; stamped with L.2003)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Graul, 1906, no.2; Hind, 1906, pp.426-27; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1134; Oxford, 1907, III, 24; Hind, 1912, I, p.84, under no.21; Valentiner, I, 1925, no.669; Exh. London, 1929, no.575 (Commemorative catalogue, 1930, p.197); Hind, 1932, repr. pl.II; Bauch, 1933, p.197, repr. fig.135; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. London, 1938.I, no.550; Oxford, 1938, no.182; Benesch, 1947, no.14, repr.; Münz, 1953, pp.177-80, repr. fig.205; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.56, repr. (c.1630); Bauch, 1960, pp.170-73; Tümpel, 1977, p.11 (c.1630); Held, 1980, p.31, repr. fig.23; Exh. New Brunswick-Cleveland, 1982-83, no.45; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.5; Schatborn, 1986, pp.61-62; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, no.6 and p.98, repr.; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, p.52, repr.; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, pp.45 and 220; Schama, 1999, p.280; Exh. Boston, 2000-2001, p.117, repr. figs 41 and 16a; Exh. Kyoto-Frankfurt, 2002-2003, p.68, repr. fig.10b; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, under no.9, repr. fig.9a; Exh. Leiden, 2005, no.59, repr. (c.1630); Rohde, 2005, p.14; De Witt, 2006, pp.90-91, repr. fig.6d (c.1630; important when discussing identitfication of Rembrandt's father in other works); Schatborn and Dudok van Heel, 2011, p.347, no.1, repr. back cover (recto) and fig.151 (verso); Exh. Oxford, 2013, no.24, repr.; This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Schatborn, 2019, nos 626 [recto] and 218 [verso], both repr., and pp.17 and 403, detail of recto repr. pp.400-401 (c. 1630; unusual; secondary heads perhaps covered over in 1630 when the sitter died); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, no.22, repr. and p.61 (c.1627-30; see n.4 below).

PROVENANCE: presented to the present repository by Chambers Hall (1786-1855), Southampton and London (L.551), in 1855.

[1] As reported in Berlin, 2006, p.26, n.3.

[2] Sumowski 1625*; Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-2009, no.92, repr..

[3] Bredius 633, Corpus 22C (but now generally accepted as by Rembrandt, c.1630). See Exh. Boston, 2000-2001, no.16.

[4] Suggested in Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, under no.22.

[5] See Strauss and Van der Meulen, 1979, no.1640/9; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, p.52 and Exh. Leiden, 2005-6.

First posted 4 June 2012. [Note 4 and related sentence added 22 March 2020].

 

Benesch 0057

Subject: Self-Portrait in a Soft Hat (the head etched)

Verso: see inscriptions

Medium: Etching, completed in black chalk and touched in pen and brown ink; at top only, the remnants of a ruled framing-line in graphite. Inscribed recto, by the artist in black chalk, left: ‘ÆT.24 [corrected from 27]. / Anno.1631.’, and lower right, ‘Rembrandt’; an indecipherable number in graphite, top right. Verso: graphite, top centre: ‘M-52—II/ Touched/ 2’ (nineteenth century); top right, in graphite: ‘128’

133 x 120. No watermark; chain lines 21/22h.

COMMENTS: The head is etched rather than drawn, making this a touched proof, but it is otherwise a documentary drawing, signed and dated 1631. The print's inclusion by Benesch in the catalogue of Rembrandt’s drawings is justified by the extent of the work in black chalk. However, the dating of the black chalk is problematic, and some readers may prefer to read the summarised opinion at the end of this commentary. Some comparative illustrations have been included.

The etching is the unique impression of the unfinished 2nd state of the print, the 1631 Self-Portrait in a soft hat and patterned cloak (Bartsch 7), an etching to which the body is added only from the 5th state. But the final composition is a half-length rather than the bust seen here and the pose in the etching is more frontal. The drapery is also significantly different. Despite the narrow fictive margin below the image in the touched proof, the sheet has been trimmed, as the plate usually measures 148 x 130 mm.[1] In the completed states it prints without a lower margin – the image fills the plate below.

It was long - and not unreasonably - assumed that the present sheet was a preliminary sketch for the completion of the etching, which is also monogrammed and dated 1631 in the plate, but that the design was rejected in favour of the more frontal pose that was finally adopted.[2] As the etching is Rembrandt’s first proper self-portrait in print (rather than merely a character study based on his own features), it would be no surprise that he should take particular care on its preparation.

Two other early proofs of the same etching exist that are also reworked in black chalk. The first, the Bibliothèque Nationale impression of the 4th state, is signed and dated in almost exactly the same way (including the adjustment of the artist’s age from 27 to 24). It shows the body drawn in black chalk in a more frontal pose, with hints of the patterning to come on the sleeve. But it remains closer in composition to Benesch 57 than to the etching. The other impression, drawn on an example of the 3rd state in the British Museum (inv. no. 1848,0911.9), is more fragmentary and unsigned, but shows the upper bust of the figure in black chalk, almost exactly as finished in the etching.[3]

The straightforward assessment of the touched impressions as studies for the completion of the plate is however undermined by two main factors: the form of the signature, and the relationship of Benesch 57 and the Bibliothèque Nationale’s proofs to two painted self-portraits of 1632 including the form of the signature.

In Rembrandt’s signature, the full first name, spelt ‘Rembrandt’ rather than ‘Rembrant’, only appears on his works of art from 1633. This has prompted the suggestion that the chalk additions date from later than the etched head, which is from 1631 (as already mentioned, it is signed and dated in the copper plate – see n.2). The artist's age, adjusted from 27 to 24 in this and in the proof in Paris, would imply that the artist added the chalk busts later, in 1633-34, when he was 27 (he was born on 15 July 1606); and that realising his error in dating the face to the time when he drew in black chalk, so the argument runs, he adjusted his age back to 24. So presumably the etching was begun when Rembrandt was 24 – before his 25th birthday on 15 July, 1631. The watermarks in the first nine states confirm, at least, that they were all completed at the same time, in 1631.[4] It is therefore argued, and the theory is generally accepted, that the chalk additions are indeed later, made two to three years after the impressions had been printed. (Before the watermark evidence emerged, it was often thought that the etching was probably only completed later as well, in 1633-34, after the rehearsals in black chalk.)[5]

The issues are complicated by the existence of two related paintings, both signed and dated 1632. The first, a small Self-Portrait now in a private collection (not in Bredius; Corpus IV, Add.1, pp.609-15), closely resembles Benesch 0057, though in reverse. The painting shows the artist in a marginally more frontal pose and with shorter hair at the back; his proportions are slightly elongated and only the hat brim is significantly different to the etched head. Intriguingly, an X-radiograph of the picture (reproduced in Corpus, loc. cit.) suggests that the figure was originally placed in a slightly more slimmed down, less frontal position that was closer to Benesch 0057. This would support the theory that the touched proof came before the completion of the painting.

The second oil, the bust-length oval Self-Portrait now in Glasgow (Bredius 17, Corpus A58), resembles and is in the same direction as the retouched impression of the 4th state in Paris; but the artist’s head is seen more frontally and his hat is reversed, and there is no sign of the patterned sleeve. Given the somewhat searching quality of the drawn areas, it again seems that the Paris impression could have been used as a preparatory sketch for the Glasgow painting.[6]

To conclude that the chalk additions in Benesch 57 and the Paris variant are preliminary studies for the two paintings of 1632 would return those additions to 1631. But we would then have to believe either that Rembrandt only inscribed the sheets with his age and date later, in 1633-34, which seems unlikely (the chalk in the inscriptions and the drawn parts appear uniform and contemporary with each other); or that he inscribed the sheets at the same time as he drew them, in 1631, but in both cases mistook his own age and used a signature that became the norm in his work only later.[7] Neither scenario seems unproblematic, though the former is clearly preferable. The decisive clue must be in the style, and on balance (no more than that!) the smooth handling of the chalk speaks for a later date than 1631 (compare, for example, the more rugged handling of black chalk in the documentary drawing of 'Diana at the Bath' of c.1630-31, Benesch 21). Thus the style supports dating the black chalk additions to 1633-34.

The arched composition seen here was influenced by Paulus Pontius's engraving of 1630 after Rubens's 'Self-Portrait' painted for Charles I and still in the royal collection at Windsor.[8] From it Rembrandt also adopted not only the hat but also the pose of the body turned to the left, a feature both of the present sheet and the completed etching. Rubens's image also seems to have informed the two painted Self-Portraits of 1632 discussed above.[9]

To summarise: although signed and dated 1631 (so that the sheet has documentary status), because of the form of Rembrandt's signature, the style of the chalk passages and the correction to his age from 27 to 24, the drawn parts of Benesch 57 probably date from 1633-34. This was after the completion of the design of the etching in its first nine states.[10] The adjustment in the artist’s age suggests that Rembrandt felt it important to record it correctly.[11]

It may not be coincidental that J. G. van Vliet made a copy of the etching which is dated 1634. Is it possible that Rembrandt, in 1633-34, was revisiting the compositions of his painted and etched self-portraits of 1632 with a view to producing up-to-date image of himself in a similar guise? The idea is highly speculative, but reveals the remaining difficulty in explaining the existence of these ‘latterly retouched’ etched self-portraits of 1633-34, based on works of 1631-32.

An etched copy after this sheet was made in 1809 by I.J. de Claussin.[12]

Condition: worn at top corners and slightly rubbed; the fragmentary framing line suggests that the sheet has been trimmed, as does the fact that the etching-plate was larger than the present sheet.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1633-34 [the etched head 1631]

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.1842,0806.134; formerly 1973.U.789)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: De Claussin, 1824, p. 5, under no.7, and 1828, p.2 (notes several touched impressions, usually signed and dated 1631; he may therefore have known the present sheet); Blanc, II, 1861, pp.144-6 (confuses PROVENANCEs of present sheet and British Museum inv.1848,0911.9, but knew both); Vosmaer, 1868, p.21; Middleton, 1878, pp.xli and 53, under no.52, and repr. pl.1, fig.3 (see n.5); Willshire, 1874, p.115 (PROVENANCE; I am grateful to Felix Pollack for this reference); Dutuit, I, 1883, p.49, under no.7; Rovinski, 1890, under no.7, repr. pl.21; Michel, 1893, p.4; Seidlitz, 1895/1922, under no.7 (first half of 1631; notes other two touched impressions); 1899, London (BM), p.23, no.50b; Hofstede de Groot, 1906[I], p.II, no.16; Exh. Paris, 1908, p.23, under no.10; Hind, 1912/24, under no.54 (see notes 3 and 6); Neumann, 1918, pp.105-6; Graul, 1920, p.11; Bauch, 1933, p.217; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Exh. London, 1938, p.18, no.54; van Gelder, 1946, VI, p.11, repr. p.15; Münz, 1952, I, repr. pl.14, 11, pp.28 and 56, and under no.14 (Rembrandt not satisfied with drawn solution; etching completed later – by van Vliet?); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.57, repr. fig.62/66; Biörklund and Barnard, 1955, p.35; Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, under no.15 (see n.11); van Hall, 1963, p.274, no.129; Erpel, 1967, pp.156-7 and no.41, repr. fig.23; White, 1969, I, pp.109 and 120, II, repr. pl.135; White and Boon, 1969, I, p.2, under no.B7 ('4' corrected from '7'); Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.35, under no.46; Campbell, 1971, pp.61-3, repr. fig.4 (Rubens' influence; iconography resembles portraits of artists, not self-portraits); Rosenberg, 1973, p.108 (c.1630; compares Vienna 'Self-Portrait', Benesch 1177); Slatkes, 1973, p.255 (based on Rubens); Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, pp.76-7, repr.; Broos, 1982, pp.246 and 251 (1633; see n.5); Wright, 1982, p.45, no.4, pl.36; Broos, 1983.I, p.10 (on date change in inscription); Broos, 1984.I, p.38 (adjusted inscription confirms year of Rembrandt's birth); Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-6, no.19 (1633); Exh. Paris, 1986, p.55, under no.21 (print before July 1631); Exh. Amsterdam, 1989, p.179, repr. (quotes Vosmaer, who in 1863 used the date as evidence that Rembrandt was born in 1607, and Broos, 1982); Chapman, 1989, pp.209-10, repr. fig.7 (suggests the redrawing postdates the sequence of states); Chapman, 1990, p.61, repr. fig.91 (quotes Broos, 1982; not preparatory, as Chapman 1989 – see n.10; compares painting as Hind, 1912/24; Rubens's influence, as Slatkes, 1973); Exh. Glasgow, 1990-91, p.17; Royalton-Kisch, 1991[I], p.280, repr. fig.14; Royalton-Kisch, 1991[II], repr. p.305, fig.182; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2[I], pp.167-8, repr. fig.12; Exh. London, 1992, no.8a, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1993, pp.111-122, repr. fig.56 (dates and PROVENANCE); Exh. Liverpool, 1994-5, no.12, repr.; van de Wetering, 1997, p.4, repr. fig.3 (Rembrandt not often portrayed in everyday clothes); Starcky, 1999, p.11, repr.; Exh. London-The Hague, 1999-2000, no.32 bis, repr, fig.32c; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, no.13.II, repr.; Exh. Washington-London-The Hague, 2000-2001, p.90, under cat. no.14, repr. fig.1 (influenced Dou's painted Self-Portrait of c.1645 in a private collection, Spain); van de Wetering, 2002[I], pp.39-40, repr.p.35, fig.42 (see n.11 above); Exh. Rome, 2002-2003, no,13,ii, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 2003, p.39, repr. fig.42; Dickey, 2004, p.27, repr. fig.34 (not a study but an afterthought); Dickey, 1998, fig.32 (retouches date from 1639); Binstock, 2006, p.271, repr. fig.19b (chalk additions part of preparation for the print; the artist's age never read '27' but always '24', the sloping '4' then readjusted); Schwartz, 2006, p.151, repr. fig.258; London, 2010 (online), no.7.1; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.17, repr. fig.93 (documentary drawing); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; Exh. New York, 2016, p.6 and no.9, repr.; [Not in Schatborn, 2019, presumably as not regarded as a drawing]; Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.69 and under nos 16-18, repr. fig.117.

PROVENANCE: Possibly J. P. Zomer and A. M. Zanetti (see n.3); Consul Joseph Smith, Venice; his sale, Christie’s, 6th day, 27 April, 1776, part of lot 57: ‘REMBRANDT’S WORKS’, bt Boydell, £288-15s; Marquess of Donegal (his collection said in the catalogue to have belonged to Smith); his sale, London, Stewart, 2nd day, 31 January, 1800, lot 151: ‘A Portrait of Rembrandt, an Original Drawing, by himself, in the 27th year of his Age, 1631, finely executed’ (the Museum’s copy inscribed by the dealer, Thane: ‘This print is evidently the same as that now in the British Museum from Mr Harding’s Colln who bot it at the Buckingham sale Head part a print same as lot 126 [an impression of one of the ‘head only’ states], the bottom drawn & the whole ornamented, it seems by one of his Scholars [Thane]’); George Hibbert (L.2849); his sale, London, Th. Philipe, 17 April, etc., 1809, 13th day, lot 7, bt Woodburn, £5-0-0; Duke of Buckingham; his sale, London, Phillips, 12th day, 12 June, 1834, lot 1573, bt Josi, £53 –11s (presumably for Harding); purchased by the British Museum with the collection of Joseph Harding of Finchley, 1842 (see L. under no. 1196).

[1] See White and Boon, 1969, I, pp.2-3, no.B7. The first four states represent the head and hat only.

[2] The etching is not signed with the monogram and date, 1631, until the fifth state, but this may be because the plate was only inked in the head in the earlier states, so that the monogram and date in the top left corner would not have printed; all the impressions of the first four states have been cut so that the signature would in any case probably have been removed. See White, I, 1969, p.110, n.5. Only one (the Amsterdam impression of the fourth state) might have shown the signature, but even this is uncertain (see the reproduction published by Rovinski, 1890, no.25). White, loc. cit., suggests that it has been trimmed more than the sheet under discussion.

[3] The authenticity of the retouching on the British Museum's second touched impression (1848,0911.9) is hard to judge because of its rubbed condition. It is usually rejected, e.g. by Hind, 1912/24, under no.54, and White and Boon, 1969, I, p.3. In the compiler's view (first voiced in Royalton-Kisch, 1993), the additions are likely to be by Rembrandt, a view supported by the fact that it was kept together with the Bibliothèque Nationale's impression in the albums compiled by J.P. Zomer, founded on Rembrandt’s own collection, and subsequently owned by A. M. Zanetti and Baron Vivant-Denon (see Duchesne, 1826, p.94, nos.311-12). The existence in Venice in the eighteenth century of both the British Museum's and the Paris touched impressions raises the suspicion that Zanetti sold some 'duplicates' from the Zomer albums to Consul Smith. The British Museum's smaller touched impression (1848,0911.9) was subsequently purchased from Samuel Woodburn by Lord Aylesford in 1829. It came to the Museum with many items from the Aylesford collection in 1848 via the dealer W. Smith (see L.58). The Bibliothèque Nationale's impression was owned after the sale of Denon's collection in 1827 by Thomas Wilson (see his catalogue of Rembrandt's etchings, 1836, p.28, note), who bought it from Woodburn (see L.2580). According to Lugt (loc. cit.) Wilson sold his collection to W. B. Tiffin in c.1830 but repurchased part of it. In 1877 his impression was owned by Lord Holford, who lent it to the exhibition at the Burlington Fine Arts Club (Exh. London, 1877, p.55, no.7). Details of the provenance of the British Museum's impressions can be gleaned from a marked copy of Wilson's catalogue, kept in the British Museum (Department of Prints and Drawings). See further Royalton-Kisch, 1993.

[4] See Exh. London, 2000-2001, under cat. no.13, and Hinterding, 2006, vol.II, p.244, where impressions of the first nine states are recorded as having watermarks of no later than 1631.

[5] That the work in black chalk was executed later than 1631 was in fact already proposed by Seymour Haden (Exh. London, 1877, p.32, and Seymour Haden, 1879, p.23, basing himself only on the Bibliothèque Nationale's impression) and by Middleton, 1878, p.xli and p.53, repr. pl.1, fig.3, who also mentions the present sheet and the second touched impression in the British Museum (1848,0911.9). Both based their arguments, which were long forgotten, on the style and on the form of the signature. Schatborn, in Exh. Amsterdam, 1981, no.4b (referring only to the Paris impression), and Broos, 1982, p.251 (in which he refers to his article in the 'NRC Handelsblad', in the 'Cultureel Supplement', no. 543, 1 May, 1981, p.1, an article I have not seen) and again in Exh., Amsterdam, 1985-6, no.19, saw that the correction from 'Aet.27' to 'Aet.24' by the artist gives the clue to the date of the additions and proposed a dating in 1633 (without reference to Middleton and Seymour Haden's views). The artist was born on 15 July, 1606 according to Orlers, 1641, p.375 (see Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.45), and this date is now generally accepted, although some caution was voiced by Jacobs, 1988, p.99.

[6] The etching's analogies with this painting were first noted by Hind, 1912; the change from the bust length in Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956 (see Lit. below).

[7] The present signature resembles that on the drawing of 'Christ among his Disciples' of 1634 in the Teylers Museum in Haarlem (Benesch 89). The earliest dated drawing to be signed with the artist's first name in full is the 'Study for Lot drunk' of 1633 in Frankfurt (Benesch 82). The first paintings to be signed in this way also date from 1633 (see Corpus, II, 1986, pp.99-106) apart from the 'Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp' of 1632 in the Mauritshuis, The Hague (Bredius 403, Corpus A51). There it is spelt 'Rembrant' (and its authenticity is doubtful; see Corpus, II, 1986, p.182). One etching of 1632, the 'St Jerome praying, arched', is signed 'Rembrant [sic] ft. 1632'. As for the paintings and drawings, the name 'Rembrandt' is the norm for the etchings (though sometimes without the 'd') from 1633 (for an overview of the signatures on the etchings, see Münz, 1932, II, p.48). Autograph documents of 1631 are also signed without the 'd' (see Corpus I, 1982, vol. pp.53ff.). The first document to be signed by the artist with the 'd' dates from 10 June 1634, being the banns of his marriage to Saskia (Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, pp.106-7, no.1634/2, with reproduction). Surprisingly Benesch, 1964, p. 124, n.11, wrote that he knew of no instance in which the artist had spelt his name 'Rembrant'(!).

[8] The print is Hollstein 121.III (under Pontius), Corpus Rubenianum, XIX, 135 (copy 11) and Voorhelm Schneevoogt 157.1. The influence was first noted by Slatkes, 1973, p.255. That Rembrandt only occasionally depicted himself in modern, everyday dress was noted by van de Wetering, 1997, p.4.

[9] Münz, 1952 (see Lit. above) felt that the discrepancy of style in the later states of the etching warranted the attribution of the print's completion to J.G.van Vliet. This never became a widely held view. Hinterding (in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.26-28), revealed that the 10th and the final 11th states were made later (respectively in c.1637 and ‘after 1648’).

[10] Chapman, 1990, p.61, argued that the retouchings postdate the sequence of states.

[11] As noted by van de Wetering, 2002, pp.39-40.

[12] As noticed by Jaco Rutgers, who found an impression in the Art Institute of Chicago (email correspondence, 21 March 2011). As he mentions, the date (1809) suggests that De Claussin saw it at the Hibbert sale.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

 

Benesch 0057a

Subject: Entrance to a Town with two figures under an arched gateway

Verso: Blank - see inscriptions

Medium: Pen and dark brown ink with brown wash in two tones (lighter on the left) on pale brown paper (perhaps washed this colour). Inscribed in graphite below with a device resembling a zero (0) over an upside down four (4) and in centre: '4'.

143 x 153. Watermark: none; chain lines: 25h (c.12 laid lines/cm). No watermark. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: There is nothing with which the drawing can be wholly satisfactorily compared in order to secure the attribution, yet the wash has some connections with Benesch 0009 recto and the eccentric looping of the penwork, for instance in the dog to the lower right, seems characteristic enough (compare in this respect the lower left of Benesch 8). The light-filled gateway and the contrasts are reminiscent of near-contemporary drawings by Italianate draughtsmen, such as Bartholomeus Breenbergh (1598-1657). The more 'Dutch-looking' wall and buildings to the right speak of the Netherlands. The scene has not been securely identified, but could be from the fringes of Rembrandt's home town of Leiden.[1]

The drawing, the first outdoor sketch by Rembrandt known, has not been greatly discussed and has even been remarked upon disparagingly. Benesch found the treatment of light 'masterly' but wrote of the 'still unskilled handling of the pen'. Yet surely its informality as a sketchbook page needs to be taken into account. The abstract qualities, the broad and deftly-applied washes (the sharp diagonal perspective of the slope of the sunlight on the left and the shadow along the wall and across the arch seem to have been drawn with very few brushstrokes) and the rendition of light, distance and atmosphere with such minimal means should all prompt our admiration and perhaps astonishment.[2] Not for nothing has the attribution never been seriously doubted; not for nothing did the drawing appeal to such sophisticated aesthetes and connoisseurs as Ricketts and Shannon.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1628-29?

COLLECTION: GB Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum (inv.2138)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/57, no.57a, repr.; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257; Larsen, 1983, pp.80-82, repr. fig.15; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.5; Exh. Washington-Chicago-Los Angeles, 1985-86, p.168; Exh. Washington, 1990, no.31, repr. (c.1627-29; Rembrandt's "inauspicious debut as a landscape artist"); Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, pp.29 and 73, repr. fig.4; Lee, 1992, p.191, repr fig.x; Royalton-Kisch, 1992 (1987), p.116, repr. fig.7 (only outdoor drawing from Leiden years; extraordinarily broad and abstract); Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.36, repr. (c.1628-29); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (1628-29?); Schatborn, 2019, no.479 and p.305, repr. (c.1630); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.61 and no.73, repr. (c.1627-29; see n.1 below).

PROVENANCE: Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon (L.2238d); bequeathed to the present repository by Charles Shannon, 1937.

[1] Vogelaar, in Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, no.73, suggests the Weddesteeg in Leiden, the street where Rembrandt's parents lived, an attractive theory. But the neat rows of houses on both sides of the street in the map of 1600 by Pieter Bast which he illustrates (op. cit, pp.10-11, fig.1) militate against the connection – the long, low wall on the left and the tumbledown situation in the arch and on the right seem too different.

[2] The drawing was not mentioned in Exh. Kassel-Leiden, 2006-2007.

First posted 4 June 2012 [n.1 added 17 March 2020].

 

Benesch 0058

Subject: Kneeling Man

Medium: Black chalk (possibly charcoal?). Inscribed verso by a later hand, in graphite, upper right: 'P14' and lower right: ''Verz. Hute(aide a liter [?]) / 12 1/2 x 1 4/6 [?] / x, [underlined] 7 1/2/12 1/2 x 90 ½'.

129 x 126. Watermark: Basel crozier with pendant initials NHM (compares very closely and likely identical with Laurentius 2007, no.294, repr., in a document signed by Maurits Huygens in The Hague on 27 March 1638).

COMMENTS: In style the drawing compares well with others in black chalk, some of them made in the Leiden period, such as Benesch 0012. This would place the drawing c.1629, earlier than Benesch thought, while Robinson believes it is later (see Exh. Greenwich, Conn., 2011-12, no.6).

The watermark argues for the later possibility, as an identical mark appears in a document signed by Maurits Huygens in The Hague on 27 March 1638 (as noted above) and in Benesch 180 (the verso of which bears traces of a drawing in black chalk).[1] There are also stylistic analogies with drawings such as Benesch 370. The figure in the present sheet is somewhat simplified, the blocked-out construction and the rough-hewn (though effective) shading reflecting Rembrandt's style of the Leiden period. The youth represented seems to be engaged in a narrative and Benesch, I believe correctly, saw the figure as holding a cloak over his arms, prompting his suggestion that he could be one of Joseph's brothers holding the blood-stained cloak, as in the 1633 etching, Bartsch 38.[2]

The figure seems to be echoed in the 1650s by Rembrandt's pupil, Ferdinand Bol, on the left of his red chalk composition study for the Continence of Scipio, now in the Akademie in Vienna (Sumowski 109).[3] The way the head is drawn is particularly similar and the possibility that Bol drew the present sheet cannot be wholly ruled out.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1635-38?

COLLECTION: USA, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Art Museums, George and Maida Abrams collection (inv.1.2018.142).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.58, repr. (c.1632-33; apparently a study for a brother of Joseph, as in Bartsch 38 - Joseph's coat brought to Jacob; compares Benesch 83 and 196); Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, under no.3 (as Benesch); Exh. Greenwich, Conn., 2011-12, no.6, repr. (later than 1633; depicts a shepherd); Schatborn, 2019, no.196, repr. (c.1629; a shepherd).

PROVENANCE: Carl Emil Duits, London (L.533a) and by descent until sold via the dealer Stephen Somerville, London, in 2003 to Maida and George Abrams; given as a promised gift by George Abrams to the present repository, 2018.

[1] Bevers suggests a date c.1635-38 for Benesch 180 in Berlin, 2006, no.15, and describes the traces of a black chalk drawing on the verso. The watermark is also illustrated on p.221 (but incorrectly described as with the pendant letters EHM rather than NHM). I am grateful to William W. Robinson for an image of the watermark in Benesch 58 and discussing it with me. I subsequently found the match in Laurentius 2007; this might suggest that the drawings were made in The Hague.

[2] Robinson reads the diagonal lines below as a shepherd's crook, but this seems uncertain. The line could as well represent the edge of a step or platform.

[3] The way the head is drawn is particularly similar and the possibility that Bol drew the present sheet cannot be wholly ruled out. The related painting (Sumowski, Gem. I, no.93, repr. as from 1650-55), now in the building of the First Chamber in The Hague, has been cut down so that the figure no longer appears; a drawn copy in Lille (repr. Sumowski, I, fig.14), which again shows the complete design, reflects a variant study by Bol.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0059

Subject: St Jerome Kneeling in Prayer

Medium: Pen and brown ink over traces of black chalk. Inscribed verso in graphite, centre: 'R10'

151 x 128. No watermark; chain-lines 20h

COMMENTS: Cf. Benesch 0131 for style. However, the traces of black chalk reveal the present drawing to be a copy - compare in this respect Benesch 11, for example. The penlines are mechanical almost throughout and there are some curious touches, including many very small 'ticks' attached to the zigzag on the right. But if a copy, the drawing could well depend on a lost work by Rembrandt himself, in style reminiscent of Benesch 0128.

The blocked-out forms resemble Govert Flinck, whose name has been invoked before; yet the pockets of hatching and zigzags in different directions also have affinities with Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, as do the hands (cf. the hands of Joseph of Arimathea in Benesch 108). On balance an attribution to the former seems the most likely, but the drawing goes to show how close these two pupils can be when at their most Rembrandtesque.

The drawing is one of numerous depictions of the same saint by Rembrandt and his pupils. The drawing has often been linked with Rembrandt's etchings, Bartsch 100-106, especially with those of the 1620s and 1630s (Bartsch 101 above all, but also 102 and 106); but the relationships are no more than general. However, it seems likely that the draughtsman knew these works or perhaps followed another, closer template for his work, now lost. A date in the late 1630s seems likely.

A copy after the drawing is recorded (HdG 1103, formerly in the Aylesford and Robinson collections).

Summary attribution: After Rembrandt? By Govert Flinck or Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??

Date: 1635-40??

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv.RP-T-A-1897-A3475; stamped with L.2228)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, II, 76a; HdG 1176 (c.1632); Saxl, 1908, p.340 (c.1632); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1921, no.20 (1631); Hind, 1923, under no.94 (1632); Van Dyke, 1927, p.76, repr. fig.53, pl.xiv (Flinck, c.1632); Valentiner 556 (c.1632); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (1632); Amsterdam, 1942, no.9, repr. pl.6 (1632); Münz, 1952, under no.244; Boeck, 1953, p.203 (1632); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.59, repr. (1632; compares Benesch 65); Sumowski, 1961, p.3 (Flinck, 1634-35); Amsterdam, 1972, p.88, under no.B.101 (c.1632); Munich, 1973, p.171, under no.1177 (1632); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IX, under no.2164*; Amsterdam, 1985, no.89, repr. (not Rembrandt); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: H. Valkenberg; his sale, Amsterdam, Tersteeg and Muller, 2 February 1898, part of lot 156 ("lot d'estampes et de dessins anciens"), where purchased by the present repository, f.68.20.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0060

Subject: Christ Carried to the Tomb

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

124 x 149 (including a 15mm strip added to the right-hand side). Watermark: Basilisk.

COMMENTS: Benesch compared several drawings that are now generally assigned to Govert Flinck. Of these, Benesch 0065 recto and Benesch 0066 perhaps provide the closest analogies. The hatching on the back of the nearer figure is close to Rembrandt and echoes his confidence (as seen in Benesch 0133) but the outlines consistently lack rigour or focus. These drawings all seem likely to be by Flinck.[1]

There is a print after the drawing by J.D. Laurentz, and another by an anonymous hand.[2] A drawing apparently based on Benesch 0060 or one of these prints is in a private collection, USA.[3]

Condition: Good but foxed; the addition on the right includes touches by a later hand/restorer.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. 2686)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte, VII, 1886, col.vi (from Durand collection);[4] Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no. 77 (c.1650; from Dumesnil collection);[4] Lippmann, II, 58b; Saxl, 1908, p.339, no.38b (c.1654; relates to 1654 etching, The Descent from the Cross, Bartsch 83; NH 286); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1922, no.65 (doubtful; earlier than 1650); Berlin, 1930, p.228 (c.1630-35); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.228 (c.1630-33); Lugt, 1931, p.58 (not from Durand collection, pace Amtliche Berichte, 1888); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.500, repr. (c.1634); Benesch, 1935, pp.15-16; Wichmann, 1940, no.14 (c.1634); Benesch, 1947, no.28, repr. (c.1632-33); Von Alten, 1947, no.12 (mid-1630s); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.60, repr. (c.1632-33; 16th-century inspiration from Fontainebleau or the Low Countries; groups with Benesch 0061, 0063, 0065 and 0068); Sumowski, 1958, no.92 (c.1632); Sumowski, 1961, p.3; Rotermund, 1963, p.264, no.236; Slive, 1965, no.285 (c.1632; perhaps related to painted Passion series [on which see under Benesch 0382, n.4]); Exh Berlin, 1970, no.110 (c.1632-33); (Not in Berlin, 2006); Lugt online, under no L.841 (provenance); The Present Catalogue, 2012 (Govert Flinck? 1638-40?); Berlin, 2018, no.106, repr. (attributed to Jan Victors, c.1635-40; compares Sumowski 2336xx, Benesch A1, Benesch 0065 recto, Benesch 0129 and Benesch 0144); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE:[4] Émile Diaz (1835-1860), Paris (L.841 – see Lugt online); Alexander Emil Posonyi (1839-1899), Vienna (L.2040), with whose collection presented to the present repository in 1885 by Julius Guttentag.

[1] The omission of discussions of the drawing in the recent literature is telling; my own notes have rejected the attribution to Rembrandt since 1985.

[2] As noted by Bevers in Berlin, 2018, no.106.

[3] Emailed image sent to the compiler, 14 June 2018.

[4] As pointed out by Bevers in Berlin, 2018, no.106, the Amtliche Berichte of 1886 state that the drawing was formerly in the Durand collection; and Hofstede de Groot, 1906, records that it came from the R. Dumesnil collection (see Literature above). However, the ED mark is now known to be that of Émile Diaz (see Lugt online, L.841) and there is no reason to associate the drawing with the two former collectors.

First posted 4 June 2012 (with additions following publication of Berlin, 2018).

 

Benesch 0061

Subject: The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus (Mark, v, 35-43)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

188 x 240.

COMMENTS: Rather like Benesch 0059, there are elements that remind one of Van den Eeckhout, with his underlying geometrical approach. But these are greatly outweighed by the Flinck-like postures and expressions. The strongly Rembrandtesque character of the composition might reflect a lost work by Flinck's master, but the slack details, repeated outlines and the restricted intercommunication of the figures in the gestures and facial expressions speak for the pupil. Benesch 0062 is clearly inseparable from this, and Benesch 0065 recto and 0066 are also close (note the halo); compare also the figure on the right with his counterpart in Benesch 0121. Benesch's own connection with Benesch 0011 is also apposite.

The bible narrates that Christ took the girl's hand and spoke the words: "Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise". Here and in Benesch 0062, the moment depicted is immediately prior to the cure; the result is somewhat staid. Rembrandt, one might venture to suggest, would have shown Christ holding the hand and revealed the girl's incipient response to his miraculous ministrations.

The drawing, along with several others (including Benesch 606) was etched by Simon Watts in 1765, when in the collection of Thomas Hudson. The etching was published in Charles Rogers, 'Collection of Prints in Imitation of Drawings', London, 1778.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R23; currently in Moscow, Pushkin Museum, but subject to a claim by the state of the Netherlands)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Kauffmann, 1926, p.170; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.320; Valentiner 418; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1947, no.31, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.61, repr. (c.1632-33); Benesch, 1960, no.10, repr.; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.84, nn.3 and 4 (Rembrandt, early-to- mid-1630s); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92.I, p.122, n.2 (attribution to Rembrandt uncertain); Exh. Moscow, 1995, no.283, repr.; Schatborn, 2010, pp.22-25, repr. fig.21 (Flinck); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Thomas Hudson (L.2432); Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2183); Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); Heyl (according to Benesch; perhaps Freiherr Max von Heyl zu Herrnsheim [1844-1925]); Franz Koenigs, from whom acquired by the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; sold to Germany but during the Second World War recovered by the USSR....

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0062

Subject: The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus (Mark, v, 35-43)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

152 x 222.

COMMENTS: See the remarks to Benesch 0061, which seems self-evidently by the same hand as well as being of the same subject. The background figure to the left seems especially characteristic of Flinck (compare the subsidiary figures in Benesch 0002). The overly wild and calligraphic hatching in the background is characteristic of other drawimngs attributed to him. The distant figure on the left also resembles Benesch 0656 and the hatching in the door-frame to Benesch 0528.[1] The woman on the right resembles her counterpart on the left of Benesch 0127 verso.

A copy of the drawing is in a private collection.[2]

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: USA, Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (inv. 2007.2.1).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode, 1914, repr.; Kauffmann, 1926, p.166; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.228; Valentiner 419; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1954/73, I, no.62, repr. (c.1632-33; early drawing with imperfections); Sumowski, 1979 etc, IV, 1981, under no.953a (copy after Rembrandt); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.84, nn.3 (not Rembrandt; compares school version of subject in Rijksmuseum, Benesch A1); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92.I, p.122, n.2 (attribution to Rembrandt uncertain); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: R. Kann; Marcus Kappel, Berlin; H. Rathenau and by inheritance to his heirs until circa 1990; private collection, New York; sale, New York, Sotheby's, 23 January 2001, lot 142, repr., sold for $10,200; Otto Naumann Gallery, New York; their sale, New York, Sotheby's, 25 January, 2007, lot 13, repr., where purchased by the present repository.[3]

[1] These two drawings are also attributed to Flinck in Royalton-Kisch, 2010 (online) and by Schatborn, 2011. In a letter to Otto Naumann of 1 September 1995 the compiler suggested Flinck's name as a possibility for Benesch 0062.

[2] Kindly brought to my attention by the art-dealer Crispian Riley-Smith (email 6 June 2008). Graphite with brown wash, 140 x 242mm, from the collection of Milton and Cécile Hebald. Has been exhibited at the Ackland Memorial Art Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It bears the anonymous collector's mark L.519. Inscriptions on the reverse of the backing paper, which do not, in general, give a trustworthy impression, claim the drawing belonged, among others, to Horace Walpole, Uvedale Price, John Barnard, William Young Ottley, Yates (1827), William Esdaile and 'Tait' (1831).

[3] I am grateful to Elizabeth Nogrady for Informing me of the present whereabouts of the drawing.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0063

Subject: The Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross

Verso: Blank

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

182 x 260 (top corners rounded). Watermark: countermark LB [?]; chain lines horizontal (distance apart uncertain).

COMMENTS: With Benesch 0063 and 0063a we again encounter a draughtsman of quality but who, despite a myriad of lines and much effort - a general lack of succinctness - fails to convey the expressive, emotional force of Rembrandt. The distance between this and the documentary sheets is considerable (eg. Benesch 0140-42 and, of the same subject, Benesch 0154). Compare also Benesch 0093, 0097 and 0100, works of the same type, medium and, probably, period, in which Rembrandt's characteristic confidence is clearly evident, with his bravura energy and quite different ductus of line, not to mention the stronger pathos and more marked characterisations. Flinck seems the likely candidate here, especially to judge by the background figures. Cf. also Benesch 0061-62. The rounded top corners are also a feature of Benesch 0081, where we encounter similarly liquid and cursory work to that found in the figure on the left here. Benesch only compared his no.0060, which is not especially apposite but again likely to be by Flinck. The motif of Christ embraced by the Virgin Mary may have been inspired by Benesch 0100.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv. C 1308; marked with L.1647)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Franke, 1865, port. iv, no.8/1 (Rembrandt); Dresden (Woermann), 1896-98, viii, no.299, repr. pl.vii; HdG 224; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.30; Stechow, 1929, p.226, repr. pl.7 (a step on the road to Benesch 154); Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1947, no.32, repr.; Benesch, 1954/73, no.63, repr. (c.1632-33; earlier than Benesch 154 and its related painting in London); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.66; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.256 (pupil); Benkendorf, 1960, pp.46f (pupil corrected by Rembrandt); Exh. Dresden, 1960, no.3 (pupil corrected by Rembrandt); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.21; Exh. London, 1992, p.55, under no.12, n.13 (pupil, reflecting Rembrandt's compositions of the same subject in London); Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.85, repr. (pupil); Exh. Paris, 2006, no.49, repr. (as Exh . London, 1992; may also reflect Munich painting, Bredius 560, Corpus A126); London, 2010 (online), under no.9, n.12 (as Exh. London, 1992); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0063a

Subject: Christ being Nailed to the Cross

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

132 x 125.

COMMENTS: Benesch rightly placed this next to no.0063 on its discovery. The inspiration here seems to be from Rembrandt's Leiden period, including Benesch 0006 recto and Benesch 0008, with the impressively economical outlines, especially in the Christ figure. Yet the style, with its consistent pressure on the pen (apart from in Christ's legs) stands apart from the documentary drawings, to judge from the reproductions, and Flinck seems the probable draughtsman, as with Benesch 0063.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??

Date: 1635-40?

COLLECTION: Private Collection?

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1964, pp.100f., repr, fig.3 (ibid., Collected Writings, I, pp.249-50, repr. fig.209); Benesch, I, 1973, no.63a, repr. (c.1632-33; compares comparable designs by precursor of Rembrandt, from Strölin collection, and by Jan Pijnas, owned by Bruce Flegg); Sumowski, 1979 etc., v, 1981, under no.1146* (anon. school of Rembrandt, to be his no.2483; attributes the ex-Strölin drawing to Van Hoogstraten); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: C.R. Rudolf, London.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0064

Subject: The Entombment

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and grey-brown wash, corrected in white; traces of red chalk, centre right only; ruled faming lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed extensively on an old backing with notes on literature and PROVENANCE, in pen and blue ink and graphite.

190 x 266; a triangular section of paper containing the two central bearers of Christ's body is pasted onto the sheet.

COMMENTS: This is a significant Rembrandt school design, but as the comparisons made by Benesch suggest (see under literature, below), it is not by Rembrandt. A clue may be given by the almost cubistic geometry in the realisation of some of the figures, which resembles the style of Van den Eeckhout (cf. Benesch 0138 and 0146-47). At all events the connection with Rembrandt is second hand. The composition may date from later than 1640, its quiet solemnity contrasting with the energy of Rembrandt's compositions of the 1620s and 1630s. The long looping lines that frame the scene also suggest the 1640s, with their greater liquidity. Van den Eeckhout seems the preferable attribution, especially judging by the rudimentarily delineated figures in the background. It may be that the draughtsman was inspired by Rembrandt's designs in Benesch 0017 and the Glasgow grisaille (Bredius 554, Corpus A 105), the latter mentioned in this context by Benesch. The grisaille may date from later than is usually presumed (as argued in Exh. Glasgow, 2012).

Condition: quite heavily foxed near the edges except on the left; this particularly affects the upper area.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1640-45?

COLLECTION: Private Collection, London

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.64, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; relates to Glasgow grisaille of the subject, Bredius 554, Corpus A105;states that Valentiner first accepted it and dated it c.1633 but later omitted it); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (inclined to agree with Benesch but nearer 1640); Sumowski, VI, 1982, under no.1521b** (no clear opinion stated); Paris, 2010, p.169, under no.60, n.16 (Eeckhout); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Thomas Dimsdale (L.2426, verso); John Henry Hawkins (1803-1877; inscription on former backing paper); F. Güterbock, Berlin (1948 in London; 1949 Zurich); Stella Hartmann.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0065

Subject: The Temptation of Christ (Matthew, iv, 3)

Verso: St Jerome in prayer

Medium: Pen and brown ink, perhaps with the tip of the brush in brown (in the lower centre of the sheet to describe the wing behind the study of Satan on the right) with some light indications in black chalk; the verso in pen and brown ink with brown wash, with some fragmentary sketches at the top in black chalk.

126 x 161, the corners trimmed.

COMMENTS: The drawing belongs (as Benesch noted) with Benesch 0060, which exhibits similar 'spirited flourishes' of the pen (Benesch's phrase), along with other drawings now associated with Govert Flinck, the closest of which is Benesch 0066 of the same subject. Flinck's capabilities as a draughtsman are clearly apparent from these fluent studies, which well emulate Rembrandt's manner of the mid-1630s, as seen, for example, in the Dresden Ganymede (Benesch 0092). Occasionally Flinck falls short of his master, here for example in the facial characterisation of Satan, despite being repeated at the lower right, and in the sloppy delineation of his wings, an unusual feature in any case. The traces of black chalk suggest that he was probably basing himself, perhaps loosely, on a drawing by Rembrandt, rather than inventing the design alla prima.

The less subtle sketch on the verso lends significant support to the attribution and has strong affinities with Benesch 0067.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?[1]

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: D Frankfurt, Städelsches Kunstinstitut (inv.3079)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 330; Handzeichnungen alter Meister im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 1916, xiii, no.9; Exh. Frankfurt, 1926, no.350; Stift und Feder, 1927, no.22, repr. (verso); Valentiner 351; Benesch, 1935, pp.15 and 21; Benesch, 1947, no.29, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.65, repr. (Rembrandt, 1632-33); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (verso by a later hand - Maes comes to mind); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.21 (verso school); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IV, 1981, under no.953a* (intended to be discussed in a future chapter on rectos and versos [that never appeared], but intimates that the verso drawing is not by Rembrandt and to be associated with Flinck); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VIII, 1984, under no.1938* (recto by Rembrandt); Schatborn, 2010, p.17 (Flinck); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

[1] See also under Benesch 84, n.1.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0066

Subject: The Temptation of Christ (Matthew, IV, 3)

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with later additions by another hand in paler brown ink (trees, grass, church and the modelling of the rocks); ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed in graphite lower right with a small paraphe or perhaps the number '8'; inscribed in pen and brown ink on the back of the mat: 'Le Diable Ten [...]'.

162 x 207. No watermark visible (the drawing is laid down); chain-lines horizontal, distance apart uncertain.

COMMENTS: See Benesch 65. Already catalogued as by Govert Flinck by Sumowski (his no.950a*), the figure of the devil shows him at his most impressive and confident. The design inspired two school drawings formerly attributed to the "pseudo-Victors" or to Nicolaes Maes, but now associated with Justus de Gelder (Sumowski 1938* and 1939*).

Intriguingly, the additions in paler ink, which are somewhat reminiscent of Jan Lievens' landscape drawings, resemble Benesch Ad 707a (NB not Benesch 0707A), also in Washington and from the same bequest, which has a similar brown wash mat.

Condition: the sheet was restored at the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge (MA) in 1966-67.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: USA Washington, National Gallery of Art (inv. B-510)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner 352; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.66, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares Benesch 65 and 67; Rembrandt planning a painting or etching of the subject); Sumowski 950a* (Flinck); Wheelock, 1983, p.290 (Rembrandt); Exh. London, 1992, under no.7; London, 2010 (online), under no.7 (attributed to Flinck); Schatborn, 2010, p.17 (Flinck); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Earls of Warwick; Thomas Halstead; Marsden J. Perry (Providence, Rhode Island); J.E. Widener, by whom bequeathed to the present repository in 1942.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0067

Subject: St Jerome Kneeling

Verso: Blank

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

150 x 114. Watermark: Hapsburg double-headed eagle; chain-lines 25h. Thin paper. On a 19th (?) century blue mat with grey wash strip & 3 black lines.

COMMENTS: By Govert Flinck, as recognised by Sumowski (his no.953a*) and related to the verso of Benesch 0065. This, like Benesch 0061-62 and 0065-66, is a good quality drawing, especially fluent in the nearer leg. As Benesch pointed out, there are clear analogies with the figure on the right of Benesch 0062.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: P Wroclaw, Ossolineum (inv.8719)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.67, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares figure on the right of Benesch 62 and etching Bartsch 101); Exh. Warsaw, 1956, addendum no.110 (Rembrandt, c.1632-33); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257 (perhaps by Rembrandt; not clearly linked to Rembrandt's etching, Bartsch 101); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.21 (school work); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (perhaps Flinck); Scheidig, 1962, p.74, repr. pl.8 (as Benesch, 1954); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IV, 1981, no.953a*, repr. (Flinck, early 1640s); Exh. Wroclaw 1998, no.15 (Flinck); Exh. Warsaw, 2006, no.28, repr. (as Sumowski, 1979, etc.); Kozak and Tomicka, 2009, no.36, repr. (early 1640s); [Not in Schatbprn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Prince Lubomirski; formerly Lwow (Lviv), Lubomirski Museum.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

 

Benesch 0068

Subject: Christ Conversing with Mary (Luke, x, 38-42)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

125 x 110.

COMMENTS: The style of the drawing fits snugly with Benesch 0061 and other drawings now attributed to Govert Flinck (see Benesch 0011; Benesch rightly compared nos.0060-62, 0069 and 0077).

The lack of recent bibliography is symptomatic of the drawing's attributional status. Many other drawings of the subject (which of course usually includes Mary, who is omitted here) survive by Rembrandt's pupils - see, for example, Benesch 0079, 0630-32 and C3a. These may depend on a lost painting by Rembrandt that is mentioned by Arnold Houbraken.[1]

The drawing was etched by Johann Daniel Laurentz in 1756.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: Private Collection?

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Kauffmann, 1926, p.166; Valentiner 395; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1947, no.25, repr.; Benesch, 1954/73, I, no.68, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 60-62, 69 and 77); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: A. Beurdeley (L.421); his sale, Paris, G. Petit, 6 June, 1920, lot 227; Robiano; his sale, Amsterdam, Muller-Mensing, 15-16 June, 1926, lot 432; A.W.M. Mensing; his sale, Amsterdam, Mensing, 27-29 April, 1937, lot 552; Dr Charles Simon, Zurich (listed as the owner by Benesch, 1954/73).

[1] Houbraken, 1718-21, II, pp.246-47.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0068a

Subject: Christ and his Disciples on the Road to Emmaus

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink

226 x 161.

COMMENTS: The acidic action of the iron-gall ink has undermined the power of the drawing. The attribution to Rembrandt remains tenable (if controversial) through comparisons with Benesch 207 and 423 verso, where the outstretched and other hands seem inseparable. Though slacker in line than many other drawings by Rembrandt in iron-gall ink, the touch is more varied than in Benesch 76, for example, which is overly hesitant as well as indefinite in comparison. However, there are similarities to such drawings, which are now ascribed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, throwing some doubt on the present sheet.[1] Benesch 69 may have been inspired by the present drawing.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt?

Date: 1639?

COLLECTION: GB Scotland Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland (inv. D 5131)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1964, pp.110-12, repr. fig.6 (Collected Writings, p.250, repr. fig.212); Benesch, I, 1973, no.68a, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 61, 62, 68 and 69); Edinburgh, 1985, p.122, repr. fig.879 (Rembrandt end of 1630s, quoting Royalton-Kisch reaffirmation of attribution to Rembrandt, redating to late 1630s on basis of comparisons with Benesch 157 [misprinted as 557] 423 verso and 455); repr. Burlington Magazine, CXXVII, 1985, p.569, fig.92 (as a recent acquisition of the National Gallery of Scotland); Exh. Paris-Philadelphia-Detroit, 2011-12, p.129 and no.19, repr. pl.4.13 (Rembrandt, c.1639); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: B. Houthakker (dealer), Amsterdam; J. Theodor Cremer; sale, New York, Sotheby's, 16 January, 1985, lot 118 (as 'attributed to Rembrandt'), where acquired by the present repository.

[1] Benesch's stylistic comparisons (see literature above) are with drawings now generally attributed to Govert Flinck, but seem wide of the mark.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0069

Subject: Study of Christ, near full-length, gesturing

Verso: Laid down on old mat with gold leaf band and brown wash strip (like Benesch 147).

Medium: Pen and brown ink over traces of graphite or black chalk. Inscribed on the old mat in pale brown ink, lower left: 'Rembrandt' and lower right '/B'

147 x 194. No watermark visible; chain lines probably horizontal, though hard to make out.

COMMENTS: The slight traces of underdrawing, which extend to the lines at the lower right, mark this out as a copy. It is probably based on Benesch 0068a. In general the style suggests Govert Flinck - cf. Benesch 0029, for example - although attributing copies is a notoriously tricky enterprise.[1]

Condition: good; a few foxmarks.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: D Stuttgart Staatsgalerie (inv.C63/1234)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.69, repr. (c.1632-33); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Feit collection, Cologne.

[1] On 12 January 1984 I discussed the drawing in Stuttgart with Werner Sumowski, who then agreed that the drawing must be a copy. I feel I must pay tribute to his characteristically open generosity of spirit in acceding to the ideas of an apprentice student of Rembrandt concerning a drawing housed in the collection where he lived and which he knew best. ("Sie haben völlig recht" were words he often uttered or wrote when presented with ideas that ran counter to his published conclusions.)

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0070

Subject: Christ Walking on the Waves

Verso: See Inscriptions

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with ruled framing-lines in the same medium. Inscribed, recto, in pen and brown ink, lower left, with the initials ‘JCR’ (L.1433); in graphite, lower right: ‘8’; verso, in pen and brown ink, top left: ‘J. C. Robinson 145/63’; in graphite, lower left: ‘Rembrant’ and upper centre: ‘970'.

165 x 265. Watermark: Foolscap with five-pointed collar and initails resembling TD or TC (repr. Royalton-Kisch, 2010 [online], Flinck, no.7), similar to Heawood, 1929 (Holland 1629) and Laurentius p.220, no.511 (1637); chain-lines 24h.

COMMENTS: The subject is from Matthew, XIV, 29-31: St Peter attempts to walk with Christ on the Sea of Galilee. Only two other apostles are depicted, the one leaving the boat possibly being St Peter at an earlier moment.[1]

The sheet is here attributed to Govert Flinck with some reservations, as the penmanship is more varied and sophisticated than in his other drawings. Nevertheless, it has long been regarded as belonging to a group of drawings of New Testament subjects, including the 'Christ with Mary and Martha' in Haarlem (Benesch 79) and the two representations of the 'Temptation of Christ' (Benesch 65 and 66, in Frankfurt and Washington);[2] and these are all now assigned to Flinck with good reason.

While the present drawing has analogies with some of Rembrandt's etchings of the period c.1632,[3] the connection with the Haarlem drawing is incontrovertible. Among Rembrandt's drawings, perhaps the 'Three Studies of a bearded Man on Crutches and a Woman' in the British Museum (Benesch 0057), in which the hands and drapery exhibit close similarities to the present sheet, is the closest. But the broad and unwieldy shading to the right and the tangle of wiry lines that constitute the figure of Christ and the water around him cannot be paralleled in Rembrandt's work, yet seem characteristic of Flinck.[4]

Compare Rembrandt's later treatment of the subject, Benesch 1043 of c.1652-56, and his painting of the related scene, 'Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee' of 1633 (Bredius 547, Corpus A68).

The watermark is the same as in Benesch 0116.

Condition: restored in 1991, when the debris from an old backing was removed and skinned areas in the verso were strengthened with Japanese paper; other repairs exist to the top and left edges.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.1895,0915.1262)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Robinson, 1869/76, no.766/790; Exh. London, 1878-9, no.299; Exh. London, 1895, no.382; Exh. London, 1899, no.A65; Lippmann, IV, no.82; Kleinmann, III, no.41; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.882; Baldwin Brown, 1907, pp.129-30; Becker, 1909, pp.123-4 (right half later); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; London, 1915, no.72 (c.1650); Neumann, 1918.I, no.87, repr. (Rembrandt revised the boat – originally more in profile to right; the right-hand figure corrected to compensate); Stockholm, 1920, pp.27 and 62 (resembles 'Incredulity of St Thomas', Stockholm, Benesch C29A, and 'Stone-Cutting Operation', also Stockholm, Benesch 1154); Bredt, 1921/28, II, repr. p.31/35; Valentiner, I, 1925, no.425 (c.1638; rejects Neumann's assertion that it was corrected later); Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.3 (c.1635-6); Van Dyke, 1927, pp.51-2 (by Bol; compares drawing in Victoria and Albert Museum, 'God appearing to Abraham', HdG.967, repr. Valentiner, I, 1925, p.XVIII); Berlin, 1930, under no.1144 (c.1635, correcting London, 1915; compares Berlin 'Ruth and Boaz', Benesch 162); Hell, 1930, p.24 (mid-1630s; compares cat. no.56); Paris 1933, p.18, under no.1147 (close to Louvre 'Diana surprised', Benesch A50); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (1632-3); Benesch, 1935[I], p.262; Exh. London, 1938, no.72 (c.1650); Schinnerer, 1944, no.53, repr. (c.1638); Benesch, 1947, under no.28; Rotermund, 1952, p.108 (Peter protected within Christ's radiance); Benesch, 1954/73, I, no.70, repr. fig.74/84 (c.1632-3; contemporary with painting of 'Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee' of 1633 [Bredius 547, Corpus A68]; agrees with Valentiner that the drawing executed at one time and not corrected later); Exh. London, 1956, p.22, no.4 (right column); Berlin, 'St Mark and Ananias'); Sumowski, 1958, repr. fig.67 (c.1632); Drost, 1960.I, p.221, n.11 (influence of Bellini drawing, Berlin, 'St Mark and Ananias'); White, 1962, pl.2 (c. 1633); Slive, 1965, II, no.531, repr. (c.1633); Haak, 1969/68, p.87, repr. fig.125 (c.1632-3); Campbell, 1971, p.263 (interprets as a sequential narrative - see n.1 above); Haak, 1976/74, no.8, repr.; Hoekstra, IV (deel 2), 1981, repr. p.31; Walsh, 1985, p.50, repr. fig.3 (as Benesch, 1954/73); Exh. London, 1992, no.7 (Rembrandt, but possibly Flinck); Schatborn, 1994, p.21 (attribution uncertain); Exh. London, 1995, no. 172; Giltaij, 1995, p.96, repr. fig.2; Exh. London, 1996-7, no.84, repr. in colour Haarlem, 1997, p.293, under no.322; Rosand, 2002, p.246, repr. fig.234; Berlin, 2006, p.12, n.20 (Flinck? [following suggestions of Schatborn and Royalton-Kisch]); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.4 (Flinck, c.1638); Royalton-Kisch, 2010 (online), no.7, repr. (attributed to Flinck, c.1638); Schatborn, 2010, pp.15-16, repr. fig.16 (Flinck); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Anon. collection TW (Thomas Williamson of Somers Town?; L.2468); J. C. Robinson (L.1433; see also verso inscription); John Malcolm of Poltalloch (L.1489); purchased with his collection by the present repository through his son, John Wingfield Malcolm, 1895.

[1] See Campbell, 1971, p.263.

[2] The group was first constructed by Valentiner (see Lit. below), who dated it c.1638. Benesch, 1954/73, when describing the present sheet, misquoted Valentiner in placing the 'Annunciation' in Besançon, his no.99, in the group. The Washington drawing (Benesch 66) was attributed to Flinck by Sumowski, IV, 1981, no.950ax, the second by Schatborn, 2010, p.17.

[3] E.g. the 'Old Beggar Woman with a Gourd' (Bartsch 168), the smaller sketches in the 'Sheet of Studies, with the Head of the Artist' (Bartsch 363), the 'St Jerome praying' (Bartsch 101) the 'Raising of Lazarus' (Bartsch 73) and the 'Good Samaritan' (Bartsch 90).

[4] Among Rembrandt's documentary drawings one might compare those related to the Berlin 'St John the Baptist preaching' (Bredius 555, Corpus A106) in Berlin (Benesch 140-41), New York (Benesch 336) and at Chatsworth (Benesch 0142); also the study of 'Adam and Eve' in Leiden (Benesch 164) for the etching of 1638 (Bartsch 28), or the 'Lamentation' in the British Museum (Benesch 154). The most recent compendiums of Flinck's work as a draughtsman are in Sumowski,1979 etc., IV, 1981, and Schatborn, 2010.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0071

Subject: Sts Peter and John Healing the Lame Man at the Temple Gate (Acts, iii, 5-7)

Medium: Pen and brown, iron-gall ink with brown wash.

175 x 220.

COMMENTS: The iron-gall ink has undermined the legibilty of the drawing and the ink has also bled, in particular near the figures on the left. Yet despite this it remains clear that the broad, liquid confidence of the handling, perhaps especially in the wash, supports Sumowski's attribution to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, despite some analogies with works attributed to Govert Flinck (cf. Benesch 0170). The stylistic links with the right section of Benesch 0074 are wholly convincing. The technique reflects Rembrandt's drawings in iron-gall ink of c.1638-39 and the pupil's drawing probably dates from approximately the same period.

Condition: see above; there is also some discolouration and staining in the lower section of the sheet.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: D Ulm, Ulmer Museum (Strölin Gift; Inv. 2009.9753)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner 531 (Rembrandt, c.1633); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (c.1632-33); Amsterdam, 1943, under no.92 (c.1633); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.71, repr. (c.1632-33); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (not entirely convincing as Rembrandt); Bauch, 1960, p.256, n.79 (Rembrandt, c.1635); Drost, 1960.I, p.221, n.10 (Rembrandt, c.1632); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.21 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (reminiscent of Eeckhout in the 1660s); Sumowski, 1962, p.203, n.4 (as Sumowski, 1961); Sumowski, 1963, p.220, under no,.108; Roy, 1970, p.59 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1979 etc., III, 1980, no.763*, repr. (Eeckhout, 1660s); Schatborn, 1985, p.98, repr. fig.5 (as Sumowski, 1980); Bevers, 2010, pp.51-52, repr. fig.15 (Eeckhout, late 1630s); Paris, 2010, p.168, under no.60 (Eeckhout); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Alfred Strölin (1871-1954), Lausanne (former Paris dealer); presented to the present repository by the Strölin family, 2009.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0072

Subject: The Circumcision

Medium: Pen and brown ink, rubbed with the finger. Inscribed top right in pen and brown ink: '4.'.

205 x 223 (top corners rounded)

COMMENTS: This wretchedly faded drawing is not easy to judge. If by Rembrandt it would probably date from the mid-1640s: the foreground figures echo the documentary drawing of Two Men in Conversation (1641 Courtauld Institute, Benesch 0500a) and the Esau selling his Birthright (c.1640-41, British Museum, Benesch 0606). Yet the pillar to the right resembles that in the David and Jonathan of the 1650s (British Museum, Benesch 0948A).[1] The poise of the more worked up figures in the foreground is somewhat insecure, and as has been pointed out, the detailed addition of pilasters and an arch 'hanging' on the left is uncharacteristic of Rembrandt, especially so in combination with the looser column on the right. Yet the way the architectural details are described, with thin zigzag hatching, is also almost replicated in the step on the right of Benesch 0500a.

The shorthand details of the figures to the left are comparable to the style of another documentary drawing, the most sketchy of the drawings related to the etching of Jan Cornelis Sylvius (Stockholm, Benesch 0762a). Compare also Benesch 0567. The more elaborated, nearest figure in the centre has analogies with the beggar on the left of Benesch 0688 (British Museum, now often ascribed to Ferdinand Bol) and a comparison may be made with the documentary study of an Old Man Led by a Woman of c.1647-48, not least for the calligraphic loop at the lower left corner (Louvre, Benesch 185). Benesch's only comparison was with Benesch 0073, a drawing that has long been doubted as a Rembrandt, but which in any case is only superficially comparable.

One hypothesis might be that the drawing was made around the time of the Courtauld and Stockholm sketches (i.e. c.1641-46), with the pillar to the right added later. Yet such a mixture of styles is often a signal that the work is by a pupil. On balance the drawing is retained here for Rembrandt himself, given the analogies described above and its intrinsic high quality.

Condition: much faded.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt?

Date: 1642-46??

COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv.C1386; with the stamp L.1647)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Franke, 1865, Holländische Schulen, port. V, no.12/2; Dresden (Woermann), 1896-98, vol.8, p.90, no.294, repr. pl.5; HdG 211; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, p.13, no.17 (c.1652); Valentiner, 1934, no.306, repr. (c.1633); Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1954/73, no.72, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 73); Exh. Dresden, 1960, p.9, no.4; Scheidig, 1962, p.74, no.11, repr.; Exh. Dresden, 2000-2001, no.12, repr. pl.II; Exh. Dresden 2004, no.99 repr. (Rembrandt); Exh. Paris, 2006, no.62, repr. (c.1632-33, possibly with a later hand adding the architectural detail at the left); Schatborn, 2019, no.19, repr. (c.1635).

PROVENANCE: acquired by the present repository before 1756.

[1] Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, p.13, no.17, dated the present drawing c.1652, a notion described by Benesch, 1954, as 'inconceivable'.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0073

Subject: Joseph Sold by his Brethren (Genesis, XXXVII, 28)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, with some white bodycolour.

172 x 267. Watermark: arms of Basel with letters FHM, comparable to Heawood no.1203 of 1634.

COMMENTS: Despite the drawing's many qualities, several commentators have experienced problems with the attribution to Rembrandt. Benesch suggested that the broader left section is later, from around 1644, and possibly by a pupil. Impossible to connect with the documentary sheets, it was published by Sumowski (see literature) as by Van den Eeckhout, which seems persuasive. He rightly compares Benesch A45 (Sumowski 809**), which certainly does not seem to be by Rembrandt. There are also links with Benesch 77 (q.v., now also regarded as by Eeckhout).

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1640??

COLLECTION: USA New York, Morgan Library (inv. I, 174)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 1076; Fairfax Murray, 1904, I, 174; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1076; Exh. Paris, 1908, no.302; Exh. Toronto, 1926, no.40; Bredt, 1927, I, p.46; Benesch, 1935, p.15; van Guldener, 1947, p.27; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.73, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.264 (Rembrandt; camel copied by van Renesse for 1653 etching of same subject); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.42, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1635-40); White, 1969.I, p.435 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1971, p.88 (not Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1979 etc., iii, 1980, no.807**, repr. (Van den Eeckhout, c.1640); New York, 2006, no.35, repr. (attributed to Bol); Bevers, 2010, p.68, n.8; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Charles Fairfax Murray; purchased with his collection by J. P. Morgan.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0074

Subject: Daniel Interpreting the Dreams of Nebuchadnezzar [?] (Daniel, II)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, touched with white bodycolour. Inscribed in pen and brown ink by a later hand, lower right: 'Rembrant', the last letter corrected to '..dt.'

181 x 232.

COMMENTS: See Benesch 0073, which seems likely to be by the same hand, although the speed of execution is here faster and yet more vigorous. The swift and spikey style is characteristic of Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (cf. Benesch 108).[1] See also Benesch A45 (Thetis and Achilles, in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, Sumowski 809** as Eeckhout) which has points in common with both drawings. The right-hand section is close to the figure group on the left of Benesch 0071. The present sheet was published by Sumowski, as by Van den Eeckhout, a name that was mooted by Frits Lugt in his notes in the RKD (see literature below).

The identification of the subject is uncertain. Sumowski (1980) reverted to the title 'Historical scene', believing none of the proposed identifications explained the presence of soldiers presenting a figure on the right. Van Guldener (1947) suggested 'Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dream' (Genesis, XLI, 14), which seems as likely as the present title, Daniel interpreting the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar. Albach, 1972, suggested the scene is a tableau based on Hugo Grotius's 'Sofompaneas', which again shows Joseph interpreting Pahraoh's dream but without Joseph kneeling, as is otherwise customary. The play was translated into Dutch by Vondel in 1635 and performed in 1638.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1640?

COLLECTION: USA New York, Private Collection (Clement C. Moore).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode, 1914, p. 21, repr. (Rembrandt); Valentiner 208; Kauffmann, 1926, p. 174, n. 3 (Rembrandt, c. 1633-34); Hell, 1930, p. 21 (Rembrandt); Paris, 1933, p. 44, under no 1242 (Bol or Flinck); Benesch, 1935, p. 15 (Rembrandt); Van Guldener, 1947, p.48 (Rembrandt; see text above); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no. 74, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares Benesch 73, 76 and 203 verso); Sumowski, 1956-7, p. 259 (Flinck); Albach, 1972, , pp.115ff., repr. p.114 (probably school work, c.1638; not Rembrandt according to K.G. Boon); Munich, 1973, p. 79, under no.548 (probably Van den Eeckhout); Albach, 1977, repr. fig.11 (as in 1972); Sumowski, 1979 etc., iii, 1980, no. 808** (attributed to Van den Eeckhout;, c.1640; mentions that Frits Lugt also suggested him in his RKD notes); Schatborn, 1985, p.97, repr. fig.5 (Eeckhout); Berlin, 2006, p.88, under no.20 (Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, pp.50-51, repr. fig.13 (Eeckhout, late 1630s); Exh. New York, 2012, no.56, repr. (Eeckhout; figures to right include figure bending to wash his hands); The Present Catalogue online, 2012; [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijter-Seiffert, 2020, p.292 (not Van den Eeckhout).

PROVENANCE: Jean-Charles-Marie Jourdeuil (L.528); his sale, London, Sotheby's, 12-13 June 1868, lot unknown (as Rembrandt); Marcus Kappel, Berlin; Wilhelm R. Valentiner; his sale, Amsterdam, Mensing, 25 October, 1932, lot IV (as Rembrandt); Eldridge R. Johnson, Moorestown, New Jersey; by descent to Mr and Mrs George Fenimore Johnson; their sale, New York, Sotheby's, 23 January, 2008, lot 165, repr. (as Eeckhout), sold fto the present owner ($73,000).

[1] Van den Eeckhout's name was first suggested by Frits Lugt in his notes a the RKD, The Hague (as recorded by Sumowski).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0074a

Subject: David Taking Leave of Jonathan (I Samuel, XX, 42)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash and some white bodycolour.

206 x 268. Chain lines 26h approx.

COMMENTS: Published by Sumowski (1956-57 and 1979) as by Ferdinand Bol. The slackness of the background lines is suggestive of him, yet the figures differ in their firm and solid outlines and the hatching in various directions. In this they seem close to drawings in the “Carel Fabritius” group (for which see under Benesch 0500) – compare Benesch 0497A and Benesch 0545. The figure of David may also be compared with Benesch 0512. The general boldness of handling resembles Benesch 0498, the almost wild foliage matches parts of Benesch 0505 and Benesch 0515, while the wash, where it reveals the brushstrokes, has analogies with Benesch 0551.[1]

The subject was frequently treated by Rembrandt and his pupils (as pointed out by Benesch - see Benesch 0502a, 0552 and 1025).

Summary attribution: Carel Fabritius?

Date: 1645-50?

COLLECTION: GB Birmingham, Barber Institute of Fine Arts (inv. BIRBI-45.13).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Birmingham (Barber Inst. Handbook), 1949, p.23, repr. pl.xii; Birmingham, 1952, pp.186-87, repr. (Rembrandt; subject the Reconciliation of David and Jonathan and connected with the 1642 Hermitage painting of this subject, Bredius 511); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.74a, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 74, 75, 76 and 79 [now given to Eeckhout or Flinck]); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.259 (Bol); Rotermund, 1963, no.100, repr. (Rembrandt; 'Pact between David and Jonathan'); Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, 1979, no.253*, repr. (Bol; notes Lugt suggested this attribution in his notes in RKD; compares S.252* in Vienna, Laban and the sheepshearing, inv.8809, and Benesch 498; dates these to second half of 1640s); Exh. Dresden, 2004, under no.4, repr. fig.b (as Sumowski, 1979); The Present Catalogue Online, 2012 (as Eeckhout??); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: L. Finklestein.

[1] Compare - for the figures and hatching - also the Adoration of the Shepherds in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv.RP-T-1883-A-217; a detail repr. here under Benesch 0488, fig.a; see further Amsterdam, 1985, no.62, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, no.16, repr.).

First posted 4 June 2012 (see Literature); Revised and reattributed 9 September 2020.

 

Benesch 0075

Subject: Eli and Elkanah? (1 Samuel ii, 20)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

145 x 120.

COMMENTS: The subject is uncertain. As Benesch wrote, "the scene may represent Elkanah's yearly visit to Eli, but Hannah and the little Samuel are absent".

Although comparable in style to drawings by Rembrandt (see Benesch 0133) this sketch seems inadmissably far from the documentary sheets, such as Benesch 0140-42 and 336 - all studies for the grisaille in Berlin of St John the Baptist preaching. The present sheet, however, may have been inspired by such works. As alternatives both Govert Flinck and Gerbrand van den Eeckhout come in contention.[1] For Flinck, compare Benesch 0060-61 and 0070; Benesch himself compared 'the closely related no.0124', which is here catalogued as by Flinck. But the finer, more refined penmanship and the solid sense of the underlying structure of the figures in Benesch 0075 seem closer to Van den Eeckhout - the central group of Benesch 0073 provides many analogies. The rather wild penwork in the background also has links with the same drawing and with Benesch 0074.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: USA Glens Falls, New York: The Hyde Collection (inv.1971:78)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner 808 (Rembrandt, c.1635-40); Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.75, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 73-74; see further above); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Marcus Kappel, Berlin; Wilhelm R. Valentiner; his sale, Amsterdam, Mensing, 25 October, 1932, lot III (as Rembrandt); Louis F. Hyde, Glens Falls, New York (as listed by Benesch, 1954) by whom vested in the present repository.

[1] Ferdinand Bol also occasionally produces comparable works in details such as the hands: here the left hand of the figure on the right resembles that of Hagar in Bol's drawing in the Rijksmuseum, Sumowski 89, inv.RP-T-1930-27. But in general Bol's style, though close at times to Flinck and Van den Eeckhout, is more decorative and his figures communicate a less secure sense of the underlying structure compared with Benesch 75.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0076

Subject: The Centurion of Capernaum Kneeling before Christ (Matthew, VIII, 5-13)

Verso: A sketch of a figure in pen and brown ink but covered over with wash. Inscribed verso in graphite: 'V'

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, corrected with white bodycolour, on paper tinted light brown; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.

197 x 171. No watermark.

COMMENTS: The style was compared by Benesch with no.0074, but the looser lines lack both the energy and precision seen there. The question is whether the style is close enough to Benesch 0068A(q.v.) to sustain an attribution to Rembrandt, but the lines are less varied and the characterisations repeated and indefinite. The calligraphy at the top right, perhaps describing a tree, the treatment of the light and the spatial relationships are also uncharacteristic of Rembrandt. Comparisons with other drawings of the mid- or late-1630s by Rembrandt fail to convince, whether or not in iron-gall ink (cf. especially Benesch 0115, 0154, 0161, 0164). Closer is Benesch 0071, so that Van den Eeckhout becomes a possibility.[1] Similar kneeling figures also appear in Benesch 0077 and 0146.[2] Cf. also Benesch 0170 and Benesch 0483 for style (which might point to a date after c.1650).

The identification of the subject, as so often with Rembrandt, is probably correct though not immediately obvious.[3] The drawing, as well as the standing Christ and kneeling centurion, probably includes Christ's disciples and the bearded figure on the right has been identified as Simon Peter.[4] Benesch 0077 is a more developed version of the subject.

The drawing illustrates the moment when a centurion kneels before Christ hoping to persuade him to cure his sick servant.

Condition: the paper damaged at the top corners; the acidity of the iron-gall ink has caused many lines to bleed.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??

Date: c.1638-40

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R 4)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Kauffmann, 1926, p.159 (Rembrandt, late 1630s); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.76, repr. (c.1633); Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.8; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.97; Rotterdam, 1969, p.20, repr. fig.6; Sumowski, VI, 1982, no.1522**, repr. (attributed to P. Koninck, comparing several drawings by him); Rotterdam, 1988, no.6, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, pp.132-33 (van den Eeckhout?); Exh. Rotterdam 1997 (iron-gall ink corrosion); Exh. Rotterdam, 2005-2006, no.33 (Rembrandt or Van den Eeckhout); Istanbul 2006, no. 33; Bevers, 2010, p.51, repr. fig.14 (Eeckhout); London, 2010 (online), under Flinck, no.8 (Flinck); Paris, 2010, under no.60 and n.16 (Eeckhout, late 1630s); The Present Catalogue online, 2012; [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijter Seiffert, 2020, p.292 and p.299, n.57 (unaware of the present catalogue; not Van den Eeckhout).

PROVENANCE: J. MacGowan (L.1496); possibly in his sale, London, 26 January, 1804, in lots 542-44; Asscher and Koetser, Amsterdam (according to Sumowski - see literature) ; Franz Koenigs (L.1023a); presented to the present repository by D.G. van Beuningen, 1940.

[1] As suggested by the present writer in 1990 and by Bevers, 2010 (see literature).

[2] Since the clarification of Flinck's work by Schatborn, 2010, the analogies with Govert Flinck seem less strong than I thought in Royalton-Kisch, 2010 (online), and I now revert to my 1990 opinion.

[3] Rotterdam, 1988, records that in Koenigs' inventory the drawing was thought to depict the man possessed by devils (Luke, VIII, 26-39).

[4] By Frerichs in Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65 and recorded by Giltaij in Rotterdam, 1988.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0077

Subject: The Centurion of Capernaum Kneeling before Christ (Matthew, VIII, 5-13)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey and brown wash, touched with black chalk (upper left) and corrected with white bodycolour. Ruled framing-lines in open and black-brown ink; and unruled framing-lines (on three sides, not the top) in pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite, lower left: 'ip..cx' and 'NxSJ'

190 x 255. Watermark: Strasbourg bend in shield with crown topped by a lily (repr. Paris, 2010, II, p.197, no.60);[1] chain lines c.23-24h.

COMMENTS: For the subject, see Benesch 0076. The freehand framing-lines appear to have been set down first, then the main part of the drawing, with later additions, probably not by the artist, in grey ink,. These are mostly confined to the extreme edges between the two sets of framing-lines but also clearly visible in the hatching behind the head of Christ and in the darker side of the building in the background. Benesch thought the grey wash was also by a later hand, but this is probably not the case, as it compares well with the wash in the drawings cited below as by the same artist.

Even allowing for these additions, the drawing is clearly the work of a pupil and stylistically wholly distinct from Rembrandt, as some commentators have long recognised (see Literature). An attribution to Salomon Koninck has been advanced (see Literature), to whom Sumowski assigns this along with all the supposed Salomon Koninck compositions listed for comparison by Benesch (i.e. Sumowski 1529*, 1536* and 1538*). Salomon Koninck is a highly shadowy figure as a draughtsman, however, and there are clearer links with Van den Eeckhout[2] (see Benesch 0064, 0138, 0146 and 0147).

The figure climbing the tree on the right echoes one of the parents in the Rape of Ganymede, Benesch 0092, of 1635,[3] providing a terminus post quem. But the drawing is probably earlier than the version in Rotterdam (Benesch 0076, q.v.).

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1635-38??

COLLECTION: F Paris, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection (inv.5197)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/57, under no.76, and no.77, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33, a model for S. Koninck); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (probably S. Koninck, as Lugt also believes [oral statement]); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257 (as Benesch, 1954); Exh. Paris, 1957 (Institut Néerlandais; a brochure but no catalogue); Sumowski, 1958, repr. fig.58 (Rembrandt, c.1634); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (probably Ferdinand Bol, c.1640); Sumowski, 1963, p.12, under no.65 (style of Bol); Sumowski, III, 1980, under no.763* (S. Koninck, as per Lugt's notes in RKD and Rosenberg, 1956); Amsterdam, 1981, under no.25, n.6 (Rembrandt); Rotterdam, 1988, under no.6, n.10 (pupil of Rembrandt); Sumowski, VI, 1982, no.1537*, repr. and under nos.1521b** and 1522** (reworked; S. Koninck); Royalton-Kisch, 1998, p.619 (has later retouchings; pace Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, does not state that the drawing is by Rembrandt); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.16, repr. fig.16b (Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, pp.47-49, repr. fig.12 (Eeckhout, comparing especially Benesch 146); Paris, 2010, no.60, repr. (Eeckhout); Exh. New York, 2011, p.95, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, no.13, repr. (Eeckhout; compares Braunschweig drawings inv.Z242 and Z330, Sumowski 601-2); [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijter Seiffert, 2020, p.292 and p.299, n.57 (unaware of the present catalogue; not Van den Eeckhout).

PROVENANCE: possibly Simon Fokke (1712-84), Amsterdam (his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley etc., 6th etc. December, 1784, album O, no.987 ('De hoofdman over Honderd by Christus komende, zijnde een rijke Ordonantie, als vooren' [i.e. in pen and India ink]), bt Wubbels, Dfl.18 with lots 985 and 986; Bank Wolff and Cohen (L.2610); Frederik Carel Theodoor Baron Isendoorn à Blois van de Cannenborch (1784-1865), Vaassen (L.1407; not in his sales, Amsterdam, Roos and Roos, 19 August and 18 December 1879); Anton Wilhelmus Mari Mensing (1866-1936), Amsterdam; his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27-29 April, 1937, lot 570, as school of Rembrandt, bt Jacobsen for Frits Lugt (L.1028).

[1] The description of the mark is taken from Paris, 2010; however the illustration there suggests that the mark may be the Arms of Berne.

[2] First suggested by Peter Schatborn (email to the compiler, 3 Feb. 2004).

[3] As noted by Schatborn in Paris, 2010 (see literature).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0078

Subject: The Angel Appearing to Manoah and his Wife (Judges, XIII, 11-18)

Medium: Pen and brown ink, corrected with white bodycolour. Inscribed on old backing (now removed), in pen and brown ink: 'Zk/9/H/' and 'no.21'.

185 x 254. Top corners rounded. Watermark: foolscap (tracing repr. Rotterdam, 1988, p.348, no.5)

COMMENTS: The drawing depicts the moment when an angel appears to Manoah following its appearance to his wife, when it had foretold the birth of their son, Samson. The story of Manoah was frequently treated b y Rembrandt and his pupils, from the master's painting of 1637 in the Louvre (Bredius 503, Corpus A121) to school drawings in Amsterdam and Budapest.[1]

For style, Benesch compared his nos.0074, 0079 and 0062, all of them now assigned to Govert Flinck, one of a number of possibilities mooted before (see literature below). The exceptional energy of Benesch 0078 is undeniable and has parallels in Benesch 0293 recto. Yet the effect here is harsher and more calligraphic, and the figures are strangely elongated. The hatching, especially on the angel, is considerably flatter than is usual for Rembrandt, who customarily employs shading to clarify the planes and modelling as much as to add tone. Some details, such as Manoah's right hand, find their counterparts in Benesch 0070 and 0079, again speaking for Flinck. However some aspects also resemble van den Eeckhout, including the elongations and scrawling seen in Benesch 0108. But on the whole the attribution to Flinck seems the most reasonable, and in this drawing he tried to emulate Rembrandt's most vigorous manner of the mid- to late-1630s.

In 1640, Flinck painted the subject of the Angel taking leave of Manoah and his wife and the drawing was probably made between Rembrandt's picture of 1637 and Flinck's own of 1640.[2]

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R 8)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Von Bode, 1914, p.5, repr.; Valentiner, I, 1925, no.132, repr.; Kauffmann, 1926, pp.167 and 174, n.3; Exh. Amsterdam, 1929, no.253; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.322; Hell, 1930, p.23; Paris, 1933, p.44, under no.1242 (Bol or Flinck); Amsterdam, 1942, p.74, under no.1 (anon. pupil); Exh. Braunschweig, 1948, no.29; Rembrandt-bible, 1954, repr. fig.50; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.78, repr.; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 (Van den Eeckhout?); Roger Marx, 1960, p.216; Badt, 1961, p.64, repr. fig.16; Rotermund, 1963, p.92, no.80, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.66; Exh. Jerusalem, 1965, no.28, repr.; Exh. Prague, 1966, no.86; Rotterdam, 1969, p.42, repr. fig.72 (Bol?); Gerszi, 1971, p.104, repr. fig.89; Gerszi, 1976, under no.49, repr.; Exh. New York-Paris, 1977-78, under no.93; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.76, notes 5 and 6; Rotterdam, 1988, no.5 (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; 'no justification for doubts'; compares Benesch 79); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.132 (Flinck more likely than Rembrandt, comparing the Stag hunt, Benesch A59, also in Rotterdam [Rotterdam, 1988, no.75; inv. R 92]); Exh. London, 1992, p.41, under no.7, n.3 (could be by Flinck); Exh. Rotterdam, 2005-6, no.32, repr. in colour; (Rembrandt or Flinck); Exh. Istanbul, 2006, no.32, repr. in colour; Schatborn, 2010, pp.15-16, repr. fig.18 (Flinck); Exh. Cleves, 2015, no.??; Exh. Edinburgh, 2018, pp.92-105, esp. p.101, repr. fig. 114 (as Rembrandt); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2189 and L.2983-84); Thomas Hudson (L.2432); Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); E.V. Utterson (L.909); Marcus Kappel, Berlin (according to Bode, 1914); Fritz Koenigs (L.1023a); presented to the present repository by D.G. van Beuningen, 1940.

[1] See respectively Amsterdam, 1985, no.76, repr. (mentioned by Benesch under C31) and Benesch C11a (Budapest, 2005, no.24, repr. as Bol). Benesch lists 12 other drawings of the Manoah story.

[2] Flinck's painting is in the Agnes Etherington Art Center, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario (Bader Collection; Sumwoski, Gem., II, no.617, repr.).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0079

Subject: Christ Conversing with Mary and Martha (Luke, X, 38-42)

Medium: Pen and brown ink; framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink upper left by an anonymous 17th century collector or dealer (L.2943) with the Greek letters 'Ʌ' [upper case lambda; in a circle] and 'Σ' [upper case sigma]; and by Esdaile, lower left 'WE' (L.2617). Inscribed verso in a seventeenth-century hand in pen and brown ink, upper centre: 'Rembrandt van Ryn principael' and lower left by Esdaile '1835 WE' (L.2617) and lower centre 'Rembrandt'.

160 x 190. Chain lines: 25h.

COMMENTS: The biblical text describes how Martha, working at the stove, asks Christ that Mary Magdalene assist her, rather than sitting and listening to Christ. He replies that Mary 'hath chosen that good part'. The episode was commonly depicted in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, often as an exemplar of the 'vita activa' and 'vita contemplativa' in the service of God. Several drawings of the subject have been attributed to Rembrandt, not always convincingly.[1] As pointed out by Plomp (Haarlem, 1997, no.322), in this drawing Martha carries a knife and a purse, emblematic of the vita activa.

Like Benesch 0078, the drawing lies near the stylistic borderline between Rembrandt and Govert Flinck. There are analogies with Benesch 0100 verso, especially in the faces of the figures on the right, but the similarities with the Flinck group are still closer - cf. Benesch 0067, 0070, 0080 and Sumowski no.954*. The latter, at Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, shows a half-length serving-woman with a tray in a similar costume and pose to Martha, here on the left. Comparisons with documentary drawings by Rembrandt further undermine the traditional attribution to him (cf. for example, Benesch 0092, 0142 0154, 0164 and 0423 verso). The attribution was questioned by several commentators after Von Seidlitz first raised doubts in 1894 (see literature below). Schatborn (oral communication) was the first to suggest Flinck.

A copy of the drawing was etched by Bernard Picart in his 'Impostures Innocentes', Amsterdam, 1734, D, and by I.J. de Claussin, Supplément, 1828, p.156, no.56; p.180, no.140; Bartsch, 1799, Appendix, no.55.De Claussin's etching, in a second state, is dated 1635, perhaps reflecting his or current assumptions.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40??

COLLECTION: NL Haarlem, Teyler Museum (inv. O* 46)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London (Lawrence Gallery), 1835, no.51; Vosmaer, 1868, p.508; Vosmaer, 1877, p.591; Michel, 1892, p.425; Michel, 1893, p.592; Von Seidlitz, 1894, p.122 (not Rembrandt); HdG 1320 (attribution uncertain); Haarlem, 1904, no.46; Lippmann, iv, 170; Becker, 1909, p.41, repr. pl.II; Kleinmann, I, 3; Stockholm, 1920, p.89, repr. fig.103 (as HdG; compares Benesch C10, Vertumnus and Pomona, in Stockholm); Valentiner 396 (Rembrandt - refutes HdG); ; Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.1 (c.1634-35); Van Dyke, 1927, p.131 (possibly Bol); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (uncertain); Exh. Amsterdam, 1951, no.12 (c.1635-37); Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.151; Rotermund, 1952, p.110, n.1; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.79, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares Benesch 77, 80, 201 and 202; doubts not justified); Rosenberg, 1956, p.131, repr. fig.34 (Rembrandt, c.1633); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257; Drost, 1957, pp.178-79, repr. fig.196; Roger-Marx, 1960, p.117, under no.16, repr. fig.16b; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.100; Slive, 1965, I, no.180 (Rembrandt; c.1633); Exh. Haarlem, 1978, no.67, repr. fig.35; Sumowski, 1979, etc. under nos. 253*, 948a* and 950* (Rembrandt); Schatborn, 1981, pp.18-19 and 32-33. repr. fig.8 (on early PROVENANCE; never doubted as Rembrandt); Exh. Amsterdam-Groningen, 1983, p.214, under no.61 (as Benesch, 1954); Robinson, 1987, p.241, repr. fig.2; Rotterdam, 1988, p.44, under no.5, repr. (c.1632-33); Exh. New York-Chicago, 1989, no.68, repr.; Exh. London, 1992, pp.41 and 193, n.2 (Rembrandt, but belongs to a group of drawings that might be by Flinck from end of the 1630s); Haarlem, 1997, no.322, repr.; Berlin, 2006, p.12, n.20 (could be Flinck [following suggestion of Schatborn]); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.4, repr. fig.4c (Flinck, c.1638); London, 2010 (online), under no.7 (attributed to Flinck, following Schatborn, oral communication); Schatborn, 2010, p.15, repr. fig.14 (Flinck); Exh. Paris-Philadelphia-Detroit, 2011-12, no.12, repr. pl.3.1 (Rembrandt, 1632-33; wrongly states that Schatborn reattributed the drawing to Flinck in 1981); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: unidentified 17th century Dutch collector (L.2943); Jan Pietersz. Zoomer (L.1511), Amsterdam (possibly his sale catalogue, c.1722, Portf.41); possibly S. van Huls sale, The Hague, 14 May, 1736, lot 978, bt Schlij, f2; possibly Thomas Dimsdale, whose collection bt by Samuel Woodburn, 1823; Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); his Rembrandt collection bt in 1835 via Woodburn by William Esdaile (L.2617); his sale, London, Christie's, 17 June, 1840, Part 2, lot 93, bt Hodgson, £5 with lot 94; Mendes de Léon; his sale, Amsterdam, 20 November, 1843, lot G10, bt Schmidt, f50; H. de Kat; his sale, Rotterdam, 4 March, 1867, lot 214, bt Pool, f42; Benoît Coster; his sale, Amsterdam, 18 March, 1875, lot 83, bt Van Gogh for the present repository.

[1] See Benesch 68, 630-32 and C3a, and the drawing in the British Museum, London, 2010 (online), anonymous Rembrandt School, no.105.

This entry in much indebted to M. Plomp's text in Haarlem, 1997, no.322, especially for the details of literature and Provenance.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0080

Subject: Joseph Interpreting the Prisoners' Dreams (Genesis, XL)

Verso: not seen, but an inscription shows through to the recto.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash and grey wash (between the prisoners only); ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink (similar to the ink of the drawing but sometimes paler). Inscribed on the verso, which illegibly shows through the recto; there may have been an inscription at the top left, beginning with 'C' or 'G' but this is not legible.

173 x 206. No watermark (according to a note in the museum's files). Laid onto a modern blue mount.

COMMENTS: The subject is from Genesis 40, which relates that Pharaoh imprisoned the baker and butler along with Joseph. The latter interpreted the other two men's dreams, correctly foretelling that the baker would be hanged while the butler would be restored to favour. The scene was often treated by Rembrandt and his pupils and the present work was probably inspired by Benesch 0423 verso (cf. also Benesch 0109, 0110, 0476, 0912 and A103, as well as the drawing related to Benesch 0423 verso now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles [inv. 95.GA.18]); there are also a number of paintings, including one of 1648 by Jan Victors now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.[1]

In style the drawing relates to Benesch 0079 and but has perhaps closer connections with Benesch 0061, Benesch 0062 and Benesch 0070. The pose of the central figure resembles that of Benesch 0267, but the latter seems to be the work of a different artist; in general, similarities with drawings by Van den Eeckhout are less persuasive (cf. e.g. Benesch 0077 and 0390), although those with Ferdinand Bol occasionally seem closer (see Fig.a).

Condition: the sheet discoloured and foxed, but the ink not faded.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?[2]

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: USA Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago (inv.1967.144)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1954/73, no.80, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares Benesch 79); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (perhaps a copy); Sumowski, 1957, p.257, repr. fig.13; Exh. New York, Schab Gallery, 1966, no.167 (Rembrandt); Art Quarterly, xxx, 1967, p.66, repr. p.76; Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, no.103, repr.; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.42, n.2, repr. and under no.75, n.9 (Rembrandt; the basis for a painting by Victors in the Rijksmuseum [1648; inv. A451; Sumowski, Gem., 1738, repr.]); Haarlem, 1997, p.293, under no.322; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.4.2, repr. (Flinck, c.1638); Schatborn, 2010, pp.15-16, repr. fig.15 (Flinck); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Barron Grahame; his sale, London, Christie's, 15 March 15, 1878, lot 136; E.J. Poynter (L.874); his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 24-25 April, 1918, lot 281; Victor Koch, London (according to Benesch, 1954); sold to William H. Schab Gallery , New York, 1966 (according to notes in curatorial file in Chicago); sold by them to the present repository in 1967, using the Kate S. Buckingham Fund, as part of the Clarence Buckingham Collection.

[1] Inv. A451; Sumowski, Gemälde, no.1738, repr.; the painting was inspired by the design known through Benesch 423 verso.

[2] Suggested by Peter Schatborn when visiting Chicago in 1990.

First posted 4 June 2012. [Last sentence of main text added 20 December 2020]

 

Benesch 0081

Subject: The Departure of the Prodigal Son (Luke, XV, 13)

Medium: Pen and brown, iron-gall ink with brown wash.

193 x 275 (top corners rounded). Watermark: countermark [C?]D, PD or PB (not clear - see further below)

COMMENTS: Christ's Parable of the Prodigal Son, which teaches that all sinners can be forgiven if they repent, was frequently depicted in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Rembrandt himself made paintings, prints and drawings related to the story and in this he was followed by his pupils.[1]

The drawing has frequently been doubted as by Rembrandt in the past, beginning with Carel Vosmaer as long ago as 1868 (see literature). It approaches Benesch 0061-62 in style more than any drawing that can clearly be attributed to Rembrandt himself, but the handling is here more liquid, suggesting a somewhat later date, perhaps even in the 1640s, when Rembrandt's own style developed in this direction (the first among his documentary drawings to exhibit these traits is Benesch 0482 of c.1640). The use of iron-gall ink, which Rembrandt used from around 1637-39, might also suggest the date for the drawing.

It has been pointed out that the figure on the right depends on his counterpart in Benesch 0136, of c.1636,[2] while the architecture and the onlooker peering out of the window (here the elder brother) depend on Rembrandt's etching of the Return of the Prodigal Son, also of 1636 (Bartsch 91). The horse resembles the one in Rembrandt's etching of the Good Samaritan of 1633 (Bartsch 90),[3] while the main figure, which has analogies with Rembrandt's self-portraits,[4] may depend on the Prodigal Son as seen on the right of Benesch 0100 verso.[5] Such borrowings are common in pupils' drawings, and provide in this instance a terminus post quem of 1636. A comparable treatment of the subject, sometimes attributed to Ferdinand Bol, is in the Lugt Collection and is drawn on paper with a comparable watermark.[6] Schatborn attributes the present drawing to Govert Flinck (in Paris, 2010, under no.34, etc. - see Literature below).

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?? or Ferdinand Bol??

Date: 1636-44?

COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv. C 1309; stamped with L.1647)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: (always as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated): Franke, 1865, port.IV, no.8/2; Vosmaer, 1868, p.507; (Van Hoogstraten or Van den Eeckhout); Michel, 1893, p.577 (Rembrandt); Dresden [Woermann] 1896-98, viii, p.91, no.300, repr. pl.vii (Rembrandt); HdG no.217; Wurzbach, 1910, p.56, no.217 (perhaps Van Hoogstraten?); Bredt, 1921, New Testament, I, p.52, repr. (Rembrandt); Benesch, 1922, p.36 (not by Rembrandt); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.23 (perhaps by Van den Eeckhout); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.383, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1634; the main figure and his clothes resembles self-portraits and comparable images of c.1634-35); Kauffmann, 1926, p.160 (very doubtful as Rembrandt); Weisbach, 1926, p.173 (Rembrandt); Hell, 1930, p.23 (Rembrandt); Benesch, 1935, p.16 (Rembrandt, c.1632-33); Gerson, 1936, pp.76ff. and 154 no.Z 158 (perhaps an early work by P. Koninck); Benesch, 1954/73, no.81, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares for style Benesch 64, 77 and 80); Vetter, 1955, repr. pl.3; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 (P. Koninck); Valentiner, 1957, p.59 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1958, p.195, under no.41 (as Gerson, 1936); Jursch, 1958-59, p.59, repr. fig.1 (Rembrandt); Benkendorf, 1960, p.9, no.5 (as Benesch, 1954); Exh. Dresden, 1960, no.5 (as Benesch, 1954); Roger-Marx, 1960, pp.333ff., repr. pl.154a (as Benesch, 1954); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.31 (perhaps P. Koninck); Scheidig, 1962, p.37, repr. pl.12; Rotermund, 1963, p.185, repr. pl.198; Sumowski, 1963, p.209, under no.40 (as Gerson, 1936); Bergström, 1966, p.147-48, repr. pl.3 (Rembrandt); Tümpel, 1968, p.383 (P. Koninck); Tümpel, 1968.I, p.118, repr. pl.24 (P. Koninck); Van der Waals, 1970, p.62, repr. pl.4 (Rembrandt, with Self-Portrait as the Prodigal Son); Exh. new York-Paris, 1977-78, under no.12 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VI, 1982, no. 1521b** (attributed to P. Koninck; figure on right based on Rembrandt as in Benesch 136; style compared with Dismissal of Hagar, formerly Dresden, S.1367* and Christ healing the lame man in Braunschweig, inv.374, S.1379*same period as Benesch 76; like Bol's treatment of the subject in Lugt Collection, S.251*, perhaps based on a lost Rembrandt); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, under no.27, n.10 (Koninck); Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.67, repr. (attributed to Flinck; horse reflects 1633 etching of Good Samaritan, Bartsch 90); Exh. Paris, 2006, no.35 (attributed to Flinck, c.1633-36, or 1640s); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.5.2, repr. (Flinck, c.1635-36, directly imitating Rembrandt; horse and architecture based on Rembrandt etchings, Bartsch 90 and 91); Paris, 2010, under no.34, repr. fig.15 (Flinck, c.1636; watermark perhaps the same as in version attributed to Bol in Paris, Lugt collection, Inv. 2529, Sumowski 215*); Schatborn, 2010, pp.25-26, repr. fig.25 (Flinck; as Paris, 2010; main figure based on Benesch 100, verso); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: acquired by the present repository before 1756.

[1] Apart from Rembrandt's celebrated paintings of The Prodigal Son in the Tavern, now in Dresden (Bredius 30; Corpus A111) and of The Return of the Prodigal Son , in St Petersburg ( Bredius 598), Benesch catalogues no less than fourteen drawings, three of them as copies after or tentative attributions to Rembrandt: Benesch 81 and 651 (The Departure of the Prodigal Son; another, otherwise uncatalogued school version of the 1650s was sold London, Christie's, 3 July, 2012, lot 54, repr.), 601 (The Prodigal Son among the swine), 528a, 529 and C42 (The Prodigal Son with the loose women), A40a, 519, 562, 983,1101,1017,1037 and A90 (The Return of the Prodigal Son). This last subject was treated in his etching of 1636 (Bartsch 91).

[2] By Sumowski, 1982.

[3] Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.67.

[4] As pointed out by Valentiner, 1925, no.383. The Dresden picture of c.1635 depicting the related subject of the Prodigal Son in the Tavern (Rembrandt and Saskia) is perhaps the closest (Bredius 30, Corpus A111).

[5] See Schatborn, 2010.

[6] Inv. 2529 verso; Sumowski 251*; see Paris, 2010, no.34 (verso), for the fullest discussion. The mark on the Lugt drawing is a countermark FD, while that in Dresden is less distinct (in Exh. Dresden, 2004, it is described as '[C?] D').

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0082

Subject: A Study for Lot Drunk

Medium: Black chalk, heightened and corrected with white. The tone of the chalk varies considerably. Ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Signed and dated below by the artist: 'Rembrandt. ft. / 1633'; inscribed verso in graphite, below: 'No.14 Van Rembrandt / - 7 - 10' and in pen and brown ink: 'h.9¾ / b.7½ Rembrandt van Rijn f 1633 / gebooren bij Leyden 1606 / gestorven Amsterdam 1674 / Discipel / van P. Lastman / en J. Pynas'

253 x 189. Laid down on laid paper. Watermark not visible; chain lines perhaps 27h; laid lines c.17-18 per cm.

COMMENTS: The signature and date are clearly autograph (this is the first dated drawing to be signed 'Rembrandt' in full), giving the drawing documentary status, as does its relationship with a now lost painting by Rembrandt known through a print, in reverse, by Jan Van Vliet (Hollstein 1) and a pupil's copy in the same direction as the painting, now in the British Museum.[1] The print dates from 1631 and represents the Drunkenness of Lot (Genesis, XIX, 30-38): after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot dwelt in a cave with his two daughters. To preserve the family's future, on two consecutive nights the daughters made their elderly father drunk with wine, lay with him, and became pregnant, the eldest with Moab, the younger with Benammi.

The painting differs from the drawing in the placement of Lot's arms and upper body, as well as his expression. Here he seems more contemplative compared with the loud and demonstrative characterisation in the painting. Yet the position of the legs remains the same and the vigorous and exploratory style throughout the drawing is consistent, so that there can be little doubt that the drawing was made as a preliminary study.[2] The date written on the drawing, 1633, was added two years after the completion of the print (perhaps on its presentation or sale; the signature is also anomalous for 1631 - see under Benesch 0057) and the drawing must have been made in or shortly before 1631. It resembles works of the earlier period in style, especially Benesch 37, 39-41 and 20. Some changes were made to the figure's pose and clothing in the finished painting, in which Lot cries out in his drunken stupor.

It has been suggested that the drawing may have been retouched by Rembrandt in 1633, when he signed it.[3] While this is possible, all the stylistic traits of the drawing are already apparent in the above-mentioned works of c.1630-31, especially Benesch 0020, Benesch 0037 and Benesch 0042, which may have been made from the same model.[4]

Condition: Generally good; slightly soiled, mostly near the edges; a brownish stain, not severe, near Lot's left knee; slight foxing mostly at upper left and lower left edge, and a few brown ink spots upper right.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1630-31.

COLLECTION: D Frankfurt, Städel Museum (inv. 857).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.90, repr. (study for the lost painting); HdG 324; Valentiner 42; Handzeichnungen alter Meister im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, iv, 1909, no.9; Benesch, 1925, pp.10 and 15; Exh. Frankfurt, 1926, no.351; Bredt, 1927, I, p.15; Bauch, 1933, p.180; Benesch, 1947, no.26, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.82, repr. (1633; drawing later than the painting); Corpus, I, 1982, p.149, under no.A11 (signature later than the drawing); Bruyn, 1983, p.56; Exh. Frankfurt, 1991, no.22; Exh. Frankfurt, 2000, no. 55, repr.; London, 2010 (online) under nos. 7a, note 5 and no.89 (as Corpus, 1982; earliest dated drawing signed 'Rembrandt'); Schatborn, 2011, pp.298-99, repr. fig.10; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn 2011, no.14, repr. fig.10 (documentary drawing); This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (c.1630-31); Exh. New York, 2016, p.40; Schatborn, 2019, no.13, repr. (1631-1633); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, pp.67-68, repr. fig.83 (c.1630-33).

PROVENANCE: Johann Friedrich Städel (1728-1816), Frankfurt.

[1] British Museum inv. 1836,0811.560 - see London, 2010 (online), anonymous after Rembrandt, no.89, repr.

[2] Benesch, 1954/73, no.82, believed that in 1633 Rembrandt posed his model in a similar posture to the earlier painting.

[3] Suggested by Schatborn, 2010, pp.298-99.

[4] For the model, see under Benesch 37.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0083

Subject: The Raising of the Cross (Luke, XXIII, 33)

Medium: Black chalk with grey wash.

232 x 187.

COMMENTS: The drawing repeats the subject and, with some variations, the design of one of Rembrandt's paintings of Christ's passion made for the Stadholder, Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange (Bredius 548, Corpus A69). However, X-radiographs of the picture, which is datable 1633 and now in Munich, reveal that the drawing was made after rather than before it, as many authors had not unreasonably assumed (see literature below). The drawing does not repeat any of the abandoned motifs seen in the X-radiograph, including a further figure on the left, pulling to raise the cross, or Christ's head lolling to one side, so that the drawing is certainly derived from rather than preparatory for the painting.

Several attributions have been proposed for the drawing but that to Govert Flinck[1] is convincing. In another drawing, now in Leiden (Prentenkabinet der Rijksuniversiteit, inv.120, Sumowski 949*) Flinck made a comparable variation - though with yet greater departures from the original - on Rembrandt's 1636 Ascension of Christ, painted as part of the same commission for the Stadholder (Bredius 557, Corpus A118). There are also echoes of Benesch 0006 recto and some similarities with the Rembrandt school version in Boston mentioned in connection with that drawing.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1635-40?

COLLECTION: A Vienna, Albertina (inv.9396)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Schönbrunner and Meder, 1893-1908, no.422, repr. (Rembrandt; originally acquired as by Bol); Riegl, 1902, repr. pl.12; HdG 1423; Wurzbach, 1910, p.420; Fraenger, 1920, p.84, repr. fig.63 (influenced Van Vliet etching of the same subject [Hollstein 8]); Lütjens, 1921, p.93, n.1; Kauffmann, 1922, p.89; Leporini, 1925, fig.283 (1955 ed., p.271, fig.144); Van Regteren Altena, 1925.II, p.141, repr. fig.5; (probably by van den Eeckhout); Benesch, 1925-26, pp.25ff.; Bauch, 1926, p.64, n.56; Riegl-Swoboda, 1931, repr. pl.56; Benesch, 1933-34, p.296; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.484 repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Weski, 1942, p.9; Benesch, 1947, no.30, repr.; Überwasser, 1948, repr. pl.xiv; Exh. Vienna, 1949, no.96; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.83, repr. (1633; in 1954 misquotes opinion of Regteren Altena 1925 as Backer); Exh Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.21, repr. Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.66; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.9; Müller Hofstede, 1956, p.93f.; (not Rembrandt or Backer); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 and 1956c, p.351 (Backer, wrongly thinking this follows van Regteren Altena, 1925.II); White, 1956, p.323 (not Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.260 and 273, repr. fig.27 (van den Eeckhout, 1640s); Gerson, 1957, p.150 (Flinck); Müller Hofstede, 1957, pp.93f. (Moeyaert); Roger Marx, 1960, pp.142 and 145, repr. fig 33a (Rembrandt); Haverkamp Begemann, 1961, p.21 (school work); Sumowski, 1962, p.12 (van den Eeckhout); van Hall, 1963, p.273, under no.99 (Rembrandt; mentions attribution to Backer); Sumowski, 1963.I, p.216, under no.85 (van den Eeckhout); Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, p.129, under no.111 (Rembrandt); Exh. Vienna, 1965, no.92; Bauch, 1966, p.4, under no.57 (probably S. Koninck); Exh. Munich, 1967, p.61, under no.394 (school work); Brochhagen, 1968, pp.39f. (school work); Arpino and Lecaldino, 1969, p.134, no.2, repr. (van den Eeckhout); Hamann-Sumowski, 1969, p.449 (van den Eeckhout); Exh. Vienna, 1969-70, no.2, repr.; Benesch, 1970, pp.87 and 116 (Rembrandt); Kai Sass, 1971, pp.16 and 23, repr. and p.78, n.63 (Rembrandt); Broos, 1972, p.100, repr. fig.1 (Rembrandt; influence of Altdorfer woodcut, Winzinger 54 [New Hollstein w29]); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973-74, p.36 (often doubted; A. Tümpel believes by Moeyaert); Exh. Sacramento, 1974, pp.37-38, repr. fig.60 (Moeyaert); Guratzsch, 1975, p.249 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, Drawings, IV, 1981, no.977*, repr. (Flinck); Rotterdam, 1988, under no.2, repr. fig.c (perhaps by Van den Eeckhout); Corpus, II, 1986, pp.317 and 319, under no.A69, copy no.1, repr. fig.8 (as Moeyaert after Rembrandt); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Herzog Albrecht von Sachsen-Teschen.

[1] First suggested by Gerson, 1957, p.152. Other suggestions have included Backer (see Van Regteren Altena, 1925.II, p.141, this being the first time that the attribution to Rembrandt was doubted) and Cornelis Moeyart (see literature).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0083a (Bartsch 73,ii, touched)

Subject: The Raising of Lazarus (John, XI, 43-44), the larger plate: touched proof with a Sketch of a Woman Shrinking Back

Verso: Offset of the Sketch of a Woman Shrinking Back

Medium: Etching, with the figure of Martha adjusted in graphite in the lower right corner (the retouching has created an offset on the verso, which resembles a black chalk drawing, see further below). Signed in the plate on rock at centre: "RHL. v. Rijn".

370 x 258. Watermark: Strasburg bend and lily, 'WR' below (Hinterding variant H.a.a.; close to Piccard, XIII, nos.867, 872, 875, 876, 879, 881 and 885, from Strasburg, Oberkirch, Zweibrücken, Gengenbach and Bremen, with dates from 1588 to 1634); chain lines 28v.

COMMENTS: This is a documentary drawing. Like Benesch 0057, it is an impression of an etching - the second state of the 'Raising of Lazarus' (Bartsch 73) - touched by the artist in graphite in the lower right-hand corner.[1] Unfortunately his retouchings have been partly erased, but are clearly visible in an offset on the verso.

The etching is based on Rembrandt's painting of the same subject of c.1630-31 (now Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Bredius 538, Corpus A30). X-radiographs of the painting reveal that its composition was altered, having originally been closer to the etching, with Lazarus' head nearer the centre and the woman with outstretched arms holding a cloth. The two works were apparently created in a somewhat symbiotic relationship, with many of the changes to the painting made later than the etching, which had in turn originally been based on the picture in its still incomplete form, but underwent developments of its own independently of the final picture.[2]

Having etched the first state, Rembrandt decided to alter the figure of Martha in the lower right, which in its first, etched form resembles her counterpart in the Los Angeles painting. He decided on a more erect stance, as realised in the third state of the print. The graphite sketch on the recto of the present sheet rehearses this change and was adopted without significant changes apart from being worked up in detail. It was included by Benesch in his catalogue of Rembrandt's drawings in the mistaken belief that the verso image of this figure is an original drawing. But as can be demonstrated by reversing a photograph of a detail the verso sketch and comparing it with the recto, the verso is merely an offset of Rembrandt's retouching on the recto. The apparently left-handed diagonal shading in the verso from the top left to bottom right (a right-handed draughtsman normally shades from top right to bottom left) is further confirmation that Benesch 83a is an offset from the recto. Nevertheless the drawing documents Rembrandt's most cursory drawing style at the period of the etching's creation, c.1632,[3] and for this reason here retains its place in a catalogue of Rembrandt's drawings, alongside some other touched proofs. Perhaps the sheet was lying on a prepared copper plate or specially prepared sheet to pick up the traces from the recto on the verso.

Condition: Generally good, but the graphite lines at lower right on the recto have been erased in part, scraping the surface of the paper just above the foreground figure’s left hand.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1632.

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. 1848,0911.35).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Duchesne, 1826, p.102, no.543 (described as a touched first state: 'Cette épreuve a de légères retouches au crayon, qui feraient croire que Rembrandt avait eu l'intention de placer une figure debout sur le devant à droite, au lieu de la femme vue par le dos.'); Mariette, 1857, p.351; Blanc, I, 1859, p.167, under no.48 (touched in black chalk; seen in British Museum; no reference to verso); Middleton, 1877, p.10 (the print by van Vliet and Rembrandt; the graphite touches made by Rembrandt for van Vliet to follow); Middleton, 1878, p.178, under no. 188 (recto and verso differ from each other and from the end result); Dutuit, 1882, p.369 (as Middleton, 1878); Rovinski, 1890, col.45, under no.73, repr. I, pl.230; Seidlitz 1895/1922, pp.62-63/124, under no.73 (recto touched in chalk in 3rd state; verso differs from recto); London, 1899, p.29, no.98b; Hind, 1912/24, under no.96, repr. (c.1632; 3rd state); Saxl, 1923-4, p.153, n.1, repr. p.264 (verso a drawing; similarity of this figure to those in attitudes of surprise by Raphael in tapestries of 'St Paul preaching in Athens and Death of Ananias'); Hind, 1932, repr. pl.XXVIII; Münz, 1952, I, repr. pl.214, II, pp.92-3, under no.192 (without reference to the verso); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.83a, verso repr. fig.90/98 (c.1633); Müller Hofstede, 1957, p. 152 (by C. Moeyaert); White, 1969, I, p.32, II, repr. figs.17-18 (the verso a tracing); White and Boon, 1969, I, p.38 (the verso a drawing); Campbell, 1971, p.75 (quotes Saxl, 1923-4, but debt to Raphael not slavish); Exh. Sacramento, 1974, p. 37, repr. fig. 60). TheCorpus, II, under no.A69, p.319, repr. fig. 8 (Moeyart after Rembrandt) Schatborn, 1986, pp.36-38, repr. figs.1-3; Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.135, repr. fig.75 in reverse (offset; compared to 'Study of a Woman', Rotterdam, Benesch 518 verso); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2.I, p.186, repr. fig.7c; Exh. London, 1992, no.6a, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1993, p.121, n.31; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, p.122,under no.17, repr. figs a and b (respectively recto and verso); Hinterding, 2006, p.81 (various states of the print - fewer than previously thought - all from same period, as watermarks reveal); Royalton-Kisch, 2010 (online), no.6.1, repr.; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.15, repr. fig.89 (documentary drawing); Exh. Glasgow, 2012, no.11, repr. p.89, fig.48; This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012; [Not in Schatborn, 2019, presumably as regarded only as a print]; Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.71, repr. figs 90-91 and no.56, repr. (c.1632).

PROVENANCE: Jan Pietersz. Zomer; A. M. Zanetti; purchased from him in 1791 by Dominique Vivant Denon (PROVENANCE given by Duchesne, 1826); his sale, 12 February, 1827, no.343; Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford (L.58; probably purchased by the Earl of Aylesford from Samuel Woodburn in 1829); Messrs William Smith, from whom purchased by the present repository in 1848.

[1] For the states, which have been renumbered (there are now only five rather than Hollstein's eight), see Hinterding in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-01, p.32, and Hinterding, 2006, p.81.

[2] The relationship between the two works is not so straightforward that one can claim that the etching copies an early 'state' of the painting, but it does repeat motifs that were abandoned in the oil. For example, the X-radiograph of the latter suggests that that the man with outstretched arms in the etching originally figured in the oil, as also the man with the turban and long beard at the far left of the etching. Rembrandt removed (and in the latter case, arguably adjusted) these figures in the painting, probably when he changed the position of Christ. The changes to the figure of Martha in the lower right corner of the etching is however a development away from the painting in its final form, so that the etching had its own momentum as it developed, independent of the painting.

[3] The date proposed by White and Boon, 1969, p.38, and which has been adhered to, within a year, by all writers. Benesch proposed 1633, believing that the present figure (as seen from the fifth state) is a portrait of Saskia. The woman behind the tomb he thought was the so-called sister of Rembrandt. However, as mentioned in n.2, this portion of the etching is based on his painting, probably completed as early as 1630-31 (see Corpus, I, 1982, p.304).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

Benesch 0084

Subject: Two Figures, one kneeling

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

98 x 73.

COMMENTS: Benesch connected the drawing with figures in the left background of the 1633 etching, the Ship of Fortune (Bartsch 111), but the relationship is vague. Sumowski, under no.159*, rejected it as a copy, but in style the penmanship links convincingly with Flinck, not least with Benesch 0124 and 0129, with their looping, thick pen lines. The indication of the head at the top right resembles those in Benesch 0002 and Benesch 0454 verso. Benesch's only stylistic comparison weas with the latter.[1]

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1640?

COLLECTION: D Frankfurt, Städel Museum (inv.3080)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 338; Frankfurt, 1913 xii, no.9a, repr. (as 'Pygmalion before the statue'); Benesch, 1925 [1970, p.51]; Exh. Frankfurt, 1926, no.354; Valentiner 535; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.84, repr. (study for 1633 etching Ship of Fortune, Bartsch 111; compares Benesch 454); Sumowski, I, 1979, under no.159* (copy); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

[1] On a visit to Frankfurt (2 Oct 1991) I noted that the drawing was by the same hand as Benesch 65 (also in Frankfurt). In an email of 2004 I suggested an attribution for Benesch 84 to Flinck to Peter Schatborn, who agreed in his reply (3 Feb 2004).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0085

Subject: Ahasuerus on his Throne (Esther, VII, 1-10)

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink with brown wash, with some white bodycolour and grey wash, on paper prepared light brown. Some later additions in pen and black ink with grey wash. Laid down on grey card with two ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.

177 x 131. Watermark and chain lines not visible.

COMMENTS: The drawing is a characteristic, though severely damaged (and retouched) work from Rembrandt's "iron-gall ink" period, c.1638-39. Cf. Benesch 0161, 0168, 0423, 0442 and 0451 for the dating. The model was probably the actor, Willem Ruyter (on whom see Benesch 120).

The figure of Ahasuerus is unusually depicted alone, perhaps just after learning from his wife, Esther, that his closest confidant, Haman, had ordered the extermination of the Jews.[1] The object he is holding in his right hand has been identified as a knife or sceptre.[2]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1638-39?

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (RP-T-1930-38; stamped with L.2228)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Leiden, 1903, no.30; Lippmann, III, 96; HdG 1284 (c.1635); Exh. Paris, 1908, no.391 (c.1635); Saxl, 1908, p.349; Hofstede de Groot, 1909, no.11; Exh. Amsterdam, 1913, no.54; Exh. Leiden, 1916, no.14; Hirschmann, 1917, pp.10-11 (1635); Seidlitz, 1917, p.253 (Salomon Koninck? c.1635); Exh. Paris, 1921, no.65; Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.41 (c.1635); Benesch, 1935, p.16 (1633); Amsterdam, 1942, no.13, repr. pl.9 (1633-34); Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, no.58 (c.1634-35); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.85, repr. (1633-34); Slive, 1965, no.434 (1632-35); Amsterdam, 1985, no.10, repr. (end of 1630s); Exh. Amsterdam, 2006, p.39, repr. fig.33 ; Schatborn and de Winkel, 2006, p.391, repr. fig.6; Schatborn, 2019, no.56, and p.143, repr. (c.1638).

PROVENANCE: P.& D. Colnaghi, Ltd, London; Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, by whom presented to the present repository in 1906, with a lifetime interest until 14 April, 1930.

[1] As suggested by Schatborn in Amsterdam, 1985, no.10. Benesch, 1954, no.85, was the first to identify Ahasuerus; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.11, had suggested that the drawing showed a rabbi.

[2] Respectively by Benesch, 1954 and Hofstede de Groot, 1906 (see literature).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0086

Subject: Manius Curius Dentatus Refusing the Gifts of the Samnites (Plutarch, xviii,2; Valerius Maximus, iv, 3, 5; Cicero, De republica, III, 40)

Medium: Pen and brown, iron-gall ink with brown wash, heightened with white bodycolour.

145 x 186. Laid down on (pre-Potocki, 19th-century?) blue mat with a white stripe immediately around the drawing, then 6 black lines.

COMMENTS: The story concerns the Roman General and Consul, Manius Curius Dentatus (d.270 BC): when the Samnites sent him gifts to influence him, he was found by the hearth roasting turnips. Refusing the gifts, he stated that he preferred the simple life, roasting turnips, and to rule over the possessors of gold rather than to possess it himself. This morality tale was painted in the Amsterdam Town Hall by Govert Flinck in 1656,[1] but his version bears no relationship with Benesch 0086. Ferdinand Bol also made a modello of this subject for the same commission.[2]

The drawing belongs with Benesch 0064, so that Gerbrand van den Eeckhout becomes the likely draughtsman. The composition lacks clear focus, the blocked-out forms are not strongly structured by Rembrandt's standards (perhaps the nearest by him is Benesch 0423 verso), and the wash is uncharacteristic of the older artist, perhaps especially in the curtain. The iron-gall ink suggests a date at the very end of the 1630s, when Rembrandt was also using this medium (as in Benesch 0423, for example; on the iron-gall ink drawings generally, see Benesch 0157).

The drawing was etched when in the 'Cabinet de Mr Uilenbroek' by Bernard Picart in his Impostures Innocentes, 1734, I (see Bartsch, Appendix, no.60; de Claussin, Supplément, 1828, p.157, no.61). A copy of the drawing is in the Rijksmuseum.[3]

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1640??

COLLECTION: P Warsaw, University Library (inv.4279; formerly T.1155, no.8)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Warsaw, 1928, p.42; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.583 (c.1630); Benesch, 1935, p.16; Amsterdam, 1942, under no.115, repr. pl.87; Benesch, 1954/73, no.86, repr. (c.1633-34); Exh. Warsaw, 1956, no.18, repr. fig.11; Benesch, 1959 [1970, p.217, repr. fig.179] (notes Rembrandt's picturesque approach to the antique at this period); Scheidig, 1962, no.15, repr.; Pigler, 1974, p.383; Exh. Warsaw, 1976, no.74; Exh. London-Birmingham-Dublin-Cambridge-Cardiff, 1980, no.70, repr. pl.69; Exh. Warsaw-Gdansk, 1980, no.72, repr. fig.41; Turner, 1980, p.213; Amsterdam, 1985, p.98 (Eeckhout, discussing copy in Rijksmuseum); Warsaw, 2004, no.1, repr. (quotes a letter from 1928 or before to the print room by Falck rejecting Rembrandt's authorship); Exh. Warsaw, 2006, no.29, repr. (Eeckhout, c.1650-55.); Golahny, 2007, pp.183-84, repr. fig. 1 (probably a copy or workshop drawing; Lastmanesque, three-figure composition; more melodramatic than Plutarch's description of the scene; inspired Bol's drawing, Sumowski 115 [mentioned in Comments above]); Kozak and Tomicka, 2009, no.30, repr. (Van den Eeckhout, c.1650-55); Bevers, 2010, p.54, repr. fig.19 (Eeckhout); The Present Catalogue, 2012; Bevers, 2015, p.465, repr. fig.4 (Eeckhout, comparing Benesch 0159); [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijter-Seiffert, 2020, pp.293-94, repr. fig.24 (unaware of the present catalogue; not Van den Eeckhout; unlikely to be from before Amsterdam Town Hall competition for this subject in the mid-1650s as no earlier Dutch depictions known).[4]

PROVENANCE: Gosuin Uilenbroek (1741); Stanisław Kostka Potocki (1755-1821), by whom presented to the present repository. (The drawing was held in St Petersburg between 1832 and 1923.)

[1] Sumowski, Gemälde, II, no.638, repr. The subject was represented by Matthäus Merian in Gottfried's Historische Chronica, which Rembrandt probably owned (see Golahny, 2003, pp. 138-47 and n.4 below).

[2] Sumowski, Drawings, no.115, repr. (Vienna, Albertina, inv.9594).

[3] Inv.RP-T-1897-A-3497. See Amsterdam, 1942, no.115, repr. (copy after Rembrandt); Schatborn, 1985, pp.96-98 (Eeckhout); Bevers, 2015, p.465, repr. fig.4.

[4] This last, surprising objection should carry no weight for various reasons, not least that the subject does appear and in literature was even a commonplace. In the sixteenth century there are examples by Holbein (in a woodcut initial S [P. 52; W. 26] and a fresco from the Grossratssaal in the Rathaus in Basel, a fragment of which is now in the Kunstmusem, Basel, inv.330; see Sander, 2005, p.17, repr. fig.2; viewable online at http://sammlungonline.kunstmuseumbasel.ch/ ), Schiavone (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv.1568; see: http://www.khm.at/de/object/270edd6978/) and a print by Giulio Bonasone (Bartsch, XV, p.160, no.208). The story was frequently referred to in seventeenth-century literary sources, including Dutch ones, as an exemplar of moral probity. Jacob Cats refers to it in his Sinne- en Minnebeelden (see H. Luijten [ed.], Jacob Cats, Sinne- en minnebeelden, Deel 2, Inleiding en commentaar, The Hague, 1996, p.300 and p.307, n.19) and it appears in his "co-production" with Johan van Beverwyck, the Schat der Gesontheyt (ed. princ. 1636; 1643 ed., p.318 with an engraved illustration of the scene on p.315). There is a drawing of the subject by Moeyaert (see: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/31570); a lost painting by Simon Vouet (1590-1649) is recorded in an engraving by François Tortebat (Robert-Dumesnil, III, p.220, no.11). Holm Bevers has drawn my attention to a print of the subject by Matthäus Merian the Elder from J. L. Gottfried's Historische Chronica..., Frankfurt, 1630-34, p.196 (see also Golahny, 2007, p.183, in Literature above, where she argues that Rembrandt owned this book). Other references are in the following (based, as also the foregoing, only on a rapid internet search, with no claim to completeness): Philibert van Borsselen, Strande oft Ghedichte van de Schelpen, Kinckhornen, ende andere wonderlicke Zee-Schepselen, Haarlem, 1611, p.D5r.; ibid., Den Binckhorst, ofte het lof des gelvck-salighen ende gerust-moedighen Land-levens, Amsterdam (Dirck Pietersz.), 1613, p.28; Niclaes de Clerk, Tooneel der Keyseren en Coningen van Christenryck, Arnhem (Jan Jansz.), 1615, p.3 verso [p.3b] (where referred to as M. Curius Fabricius) and Johann Philipp von Vorburg, Historia Romano-Germanica, Frankfurt, 1645, pp.115 and 224.

First posted 4 June 2012 [n.4 added 29 September 2020].

 

Benesch 0087

Subject: Three Studies of the Bust of an Old Man

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared light brown.

174 x 160. Laid down. No watermark visible; chain lines horizontal, distance apart unclear.

COMMENTS: The drawing may, as was long thought, have been intended to represent the apostles at the Supper at Emmaus (Luke, XXIV, 30-31), although the idea cannot be proven as no directly related works are known.[1]

In style the drawing belongs with the iron-gall ink group of the late 1630s - Benesch rightly compared his no.0218, but perhaps Benesch 0249 is closer still. An unusual characteristic of these drawings is the somewhat unvarying width of the lines, resembling an etching, as if the pressure exerted on the pen was kept even. In my view (not previously recorded), the present drawing is also executed in iron-gall ink on paper prepared brown, which makes a date c.1638-39 likely. Unusually, the pen-lines have hardly 'bled' into the paper at all due to the acidic effect of iron-gall ink, so that they resemble the lines of a drawing in bistre.

The drawing was etched by I.J. de Claussin (1766-1844) on a plate which includes motifs from other drawings attributed to Rembrandt.[2]

Condition: generally good (see remarks above concerning the ink); some spots and foxing

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1638-39?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection (inv.1922)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.584; Exh. Amsterdam, 1898, probably no.262 (collotype exhibited; c.1633); HdG 993 (c.1635); Heseltine, 1907, no.33, repr.; Exh. London, 1929 and 1929.I, no.590; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.242 (c.1637); Stechow, 1934, pp.335-36, repr. fig.3 (c.1634); Valentiner 527 (c.1633); Benesch, 1935, p.16 (c.1632-33); Van der Eecken, 1937, p.20, repr; Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.82, repr. pl.LIII (c.1637); Exh. Rotterdam, 1938, no.426, repr. fig.250; Benesch, 1947, p.18, under no.38 (c.1633-34); Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.159 (c.1640); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.87, repr. and II, under no.218 (c.1633-34); Drost, 1957, pp.181-82, detail repr. fig.202 (c.1635); Exh. Paris, 1957 (no catalogue); Gombrich, 1960, p.346, repr. pl.284; Sumowski, 1961, p.4, no.87; Sumowski, 1963, p.219, under no.104 (c.1630); Gerson, 1968, pp.220-21, repr. fig.C; Exh. Paris, 1970, no.227, repr. (1634); Exh. New York-Paris, 1977-78, no.86, repr. pl.67 (as Benesch); Koerner, 1986, pp.25-26, repr. fig.13 (as Benesch); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, no.1, repr. pl.XII (c.1633-34); Starcky, 1999, pp.38-39, repr. (as Benesch); Westermann, 2000, pp.219-20, repr. fig.143 (as Benesch); Exh. London-Paris-Cambridge, 2002-2003, under no.44, repr. fig.1, c.1635; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.10, repr. (c.1635); New York, 2006, under no.203 (c.1632-34); Exh. New York, 2011, p.88, repr.; Slive, 2009, p.61, repr.fig.5.8; Paris, 2010, no.1, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no..29, repr. (c.1635).

PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, jnr (1694-1771), London (L.2170); probably his sale, London, Langford, 5 February 1772 and following days (the lots are only cursorily described in the catalogue); Joshua Reynolds (1723-92), London (L.2364); his sale, London, De Poggi, 26 May, 1794 and following days, either from album QQ, nos.960-985, or RR, nos. 987-1009 (only artists' names are given in the catalogue); Samuel Woodburn (1786-1853), art dealer, London (L.2584); his sale, London, Christie's, 12-14 June, 1860, lot 1047 ('Studies for the disciples at Emmaus'), bt Roupell, £1-11s-6d;[3] Barron Grahame (1792-1877), Morphie, Scotland; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 15 March, 1878, part of lot 132, bt Noseda, £3-8s-0d; John Postle Heseltine (1843-1920), London (L.1507); his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27-28 May, 1913, lot 4, repr., bt Kappel, Dfl.4200; Marcus Kappel (1839-1919), Berlin; Paul Cassirer (1871-1926), Berlin; Frits Lugt, Maartensdijk and Paris (L.1028), acquired 29 October, 1924.

[1] The drawing was first entitled 'Studies for the disciples at Emmaus' when it featured in the Woodburn sale in 1860 and the concept was generally retained, including by Benesch.

[2] There are two impressions of the print in the British Museum, 1854,0513.73 and 1861,0413.54.

[3] Benesch, following the 1913 Heseltine sale catalogue, stated that after Woodburn the drawing belonged to Edward Bouverie, but this seems to be a mistake (as noted in Paris 2010).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0088

Subject: Group of Three Figures Conferring

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, heightened with white, on paper washed brown.

190 x 158. Top corners cut.

COMMENTS: The costumes suggest that the artist was considering a biblical subject, but no related work is known.[1]

The elongated figures and use of wash are commensurate with Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. He may have based himself on drawings such as Benesch 0141. Comparing the latter reveals how far removed the style is from anything ascertainably by Rembrandt. (The lack of literature is also telling.) It is worthy of note that Benesch primarily compared his no.0064, now also ascribed to Van den Eeckhout.[2]

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: Private Collection, USA.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: H. Comstock, International Studio, Dec. 1926, p.35; Valentiner, unpublished vol.III, no.1426; Benesch, 1954/73, no.88, repr. (c.1633-34); Bevers, 2010, pp.53-54, repr. fig.17 (Van den Eeckhout); Paris, 2010, p.169, under no.60, n.16 (Eeckhout); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: L. Boehler (art dealer), Lucerne; Albert Keller, New York City (according to Benesch, 1954/73); Conrad Graeber (art dealer), Baltimore, 2003.

[1] According to Benesch, Valentiner proposed that the drawing represented Joseph and Mary seeking accommodation in Bethlehem (Luke, II). A theatrical context (for which see under Benesch 0120), also seems possible.

[2] He also compared Benesch 0239 and 0260.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0089

Subject: Christ Among his Disciples on the Mount of Olives

Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey and brown wash and black, red and green chalk, heightened with white bodycolour. Ruled framing line in pen and black ink. Signed and dated in black chalk, upper right: 'Rembrandt. / f. 1634'

357 x 478. An irregular patch in the centre replaced by the artist and a 20mm horizontal strip detached and then re-added along the top.

COMMENTS: A signed and dated documentary sheet. For various reasons, however, it may be that the date, like those on Benesch 0017, 0057 and 0082, is not to be taken at face value and was perhaps added when the drawing was passed on by the artist: these include the general relationship of the figure in the centre to Benesch 37 and, in reverse, to Benesch 0041 (the same figure may have inspired Benesch 0267), the self-portrait-like figure on the left, yawning or calling out, who relates to Rembrandt's drawn and etched self-portrait studies of the Leiden period, the similarity of the figure immediately behind him to Benesch 0040 and the resemblance between the model on the extreme right and that that in Benesch 0020 of 1631. For the use of red chalk, compare also Benesch 0056, and the widespread use of grey wash also occurs found most often in Rembrandt's early drawings. The overall style, too, seems Lastmanesque,[1] so that a date at the end of the Leiden period (c.1631) is stylistically more probable than 1634. It may of course be that Rembrandt did some further work on the drawing in 1634 (such as adding the fence to the right, as has been suggested),[2] when he inscribed it, although clear evidence for this is lacking: despite the complexity of the mix of media, the style - or indeed styles -of the drawing seem consistently redolent of the Leiden period.

The subject has been the subject of debate, suggestions including the Raising of Lazarus,[3] the Healing of the Epileptic,[4] and Christ appearing to his disciples after the Resurrection,[5] but it seems rather straightforwardly (given the nocturnal setting and the garden fence to the right) to represent Christ among his disciples on the Mount of Olives. Curiously Rembrandt left one face only blocked in (upper left) and, even counting this figure, there are only 10 rather than 11 disciples present. It could be that the drawing was cut down at the right (as suggest in Corpus, VI, 2017 - see Literature below).

The purpose of the drawing is uncertain but it may have been intended, at least in its present state, as a design for an unrealised print.[6] This would bring it into relationship with various other works in grisaille or restricted tones, often on paper now laid onto canvas or panel: the Joseph telling his Dreams in the Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam of c.1634 (paper on card, 627 x 811; Bredius 504, Corpus A66), the Adoration of the Magi, now in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg of c.1633-35 (paper on canvas, 448 x 391; not in Bredius. Corpus C46, but see for its reinstatement as by Rembrandt Corpus V, p.180), the St John the Baptist Preaching, now in Berlin of c.1633-34 (canvas on panel, 627 x 811 but enlarged from 398 x 495, Bredius 555; Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110), the Ecce Homo in the National Gallery, London, of 1634 (paper on canvas, 545 x 445; Bredius 546, Corpus A89), the Lamentation also in the National Gallery, London, of c.1634-35 (paper on canvas, 319 x 267; Bredius 565, Corpus A107) and perhaps the Entombment painted on panel now in the Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, perhaps of c.1634 but possibly somewhat later, c.1640 (321 x 403; Bredius 554, Corpus A105).[7] In addition there is the etching of the Deposition of 1633 by J.G. van Vliet after Rembrandt (Bartsch 81 [2]), which has always been regarded as a pair to the Ecce Homo print made in 1636 by Van Vliet after the above-mentioned grisaille (Bartsch 77). Certainly there is much evidence to support the hypothesis that Rembrandt was contemplating the production of a set of prints that echoed in many cases the subjects from the Passion of Christ that he was concurrently painting for the Stadholder. While the style of these works is far from uniform, they are harmonised by their tonalities and usually by their figure-scale, as well as by the technical aspects.

A full-size copy of the drawing passed through the Amsterdam art market at the sale of O. Brenner and others, 14 December 1911, no.1274, as by Leonaert Bramer. A drawing in the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris (Benesch 0495, qv), represents a comparable scene.[8]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1631 (and 1634)?

COLLECTION: NL Haarlem, Teyler Museum (inv. O* 47 [formerly, in 1854, Q7, and 1864, O*74]; stamped with L.2392)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1968, p.440; Vosmaer, 1877, p.506; Michel, 1893, p.592; Lippmann, I, 165; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Haarlem, 1904, p.106; Wickhof, 1906, p.25; HdG 1319; Weisbach, 1926, pp.141-42, repr. fig.23; Van Dyke, 1927, p.29 (attribution uncertain); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.363, repr.; Exh. London, 1929, no.572 (Commemorative Catalogue, p.196); Müller, 1929, p.76 (Lastman influence); Hell, 1930, pp.18, 20; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.231; Paris, 1933, p.47, under no.1254; Graul, 1934, no.28, repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.20; Benesch, 1947, p.22, no.44, repr.; van Regteren Altena, 1948, no.18; Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.148; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.89, repr. (independent work or project for a painting; Christ and halo resemble etchings Bartsch 88 and 68); Benesch, 1955, p.394, repr. fig.2; Van Gelder, 1955, p.396; Baard, 1956, p.27, no.45, repr.; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.28, repr.; Knuttel, 1956, p.54, repr. fig.8; Rotermund, 1956, pp.197-201, repr. fig.159; Benesch, 1960, p.145, repr. pl.II; Exh. Brussels-Hamburg, 1961, no.47, repr.; Rotermund, 1963, pp.181-82, no.184, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.108; Brion, 1965, p.197, repr. fig.113; Slive, 1965, I, no.175; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1967, p.111, repr; Gerson, 1968, p.225, repr. fig.72a; Haak, 1968, p.113, repr. fig.165; Van Gelder, 1973, p.192; Knipping, 1974, II, p.450, repr.; Exh. Haarlem, 1978, no.681; Sumowski, Drawings, 1979 etc., under no.124*; Corpus, II, 1986, pp.473 and 476; Schatborn, 1986.1, p.62; Tümpel, 1986, p.162, repr.; Walsh, 1986, pp.16-17, repr.; Exh. New York, 1988, under no..31 (drawn before Rembrandt studied Leonardo's Last Supper in Benesch 0443-45); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.84; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991–92, no. 6, repr.; Exh. London, 1992, p.46, n.5, and pp.47, 50, 57 and 202; Haarlem, 1997, no. 323, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.51ff (repeated in Corpus, V, pp. 182–83 [Van de Wetering suggests that Rembrandt was planning a Passion series in print, and that the drawing could have been prepared for an unrealised part of this plan]); Corpus, V, 2011, pp. 182–83 (as Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001); Schatborn, 2011, p.299, repr. fig.12; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.19, repr, fig.12 (documentary drawing); Exh. Paris-Philadelphia-Detroit, 2011-12, p.112 and no.15, repr. pl.4.4; This Catalogue online, 4 June 2012 (1631 and 1634); Corpus, VI, 2017, no.111, repr. (as Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001; the commission for the series of Passion prints and for this unusual subject may have been awarded by Mennonites, who identified with Christ's disciples; fence to right and signature/date perhaps added later); Schatborn, 2019, no.14 and p.25, repr. (1634; for an unexecuted print); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.74 and no.116, repr. (1634).

PROVENANCE: E. Valckenier-Hooft; her sale, Amsterdam, 31 August, 1796, lot A4, bt Hendriks for the present repository.

* The present catalogue entry is highly indebted to Michiel Plomp's text in Haarlem, 1997, no.323, repr.

[1] As first noted by Müller, 1929.

[2] Van de Wetering in Corpus, VI (see Literature above). The same author also suggests that the unusual subject marries well with the Mennonite faith, as they identify closely with the disciples.

[3] Lippmann, and Van Regteren Altena, 1948.

[4] Wickhof, 1906.

[5] Weisbach, 1926 and Corpus, 2011. Panofsky (in the German edition of Exh. Brussels-Hamburg, 1961) suggested that the scene conflates the Calling of the first disciple and the first healings (Matthew, IV, 18-25 with the Beatitudes (Matthew, V, 1-12).

[6] See Van de Wetering most recently in Corpus, V, 2011, pp.176-183.

[7] See Exh. Glasgow, 2012.

[8] A copy of Benesch 0495 is in the Louvre [Paris, 1933, p.49, no.1263, repr..])

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0090

Subject: The Angel Preventing Abraham from Sacrificing his Son, Isaac

Verso: A Rough Composition Study, in red chalk.

Medium: Red chalk over black chalk, with grey wash, on paper prepared with light brown wash (verso red chalk only). : Signed (?), recto, lower left, in the same red chalk as that employed in the drawing: ‘Rembrandt [the final ‘t’ unclear]’.

195 x 147. Watermark: Eagle with Basel Crosier, similar to Churchill 438 (Basel 1633) and Hinterding A.a.a. (datable 1635); chain lines: 23-24v.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, being a preparatory study for the painting of this subject in St Petersburg (Bredius 498, Corpus A108), which is dated 1635. The compositions differ substantially in the positions of the angel, of Abraham's right hand, and Isaac's left leg. The drawing was also used for a painted variant in Munich completed in 1636, where the angel's pose follows the drawing more closely. To judge from the many pentimenti, the drawing must have been made first, and for stylistic reasons this also seems likely - it has a great deal in common with the red chalk drawings of the Leiden period (compare Benesch 0015, for example, with the same combination of media handled similarly). The verso gives a rare and fascinating insight into Rembrandt's most cursory jotting style.

The design, including the figures, was initially sketched lightly in black chalk. Subsequently, the red chalk was applied with varying degrees of pressure, often exceptionally hard: the upper outline of Abraham's right sleeve looks almost as if it has been indented. The grey wash was used last, to add shadow and model the forms, the tip of the brush at times clarifying the outlines, as for example in the face of the angel, the bundle of sticks on the right and beneath the figure of Isaac. The profiles of the latter's legs are seen in several positions.

The variant initial outlines make it unlikely that the study was made after the St. Petersburg canvas in order to prepare the second version of the painting in Munich of 1636, as has sometimes been proposed.[1] The improbability of this hypothesis is reinforced by the different positions of the knife and of Isaac's left leg, which were changed for both paintings. The pose of Abraham, not fully resolved in the drawing, is also unlikely to have been based on the earlier painting as it is more-or-less identical in both oils.[2] However, recourse must have been had to the sketch for the pose of the angel in the Munich painting. Also in support of a dating before both the painted versions, it should be noted that the combination of red and black chalks with grey wash is encountered, for example, in the signed and dated drawing in Haarlem of 'Christ among his Disciples' (Benesch 0089) of c.1631/34, but not in later works. The style of parts of the Haarlem drawing is also comparable.

The slight sketch on the verso is difficult to decipher, but seems to be a study for the lower half of the same design.[3] If this reading is correct, it makes it yet less likely that the drawing was made after the completion of the St. Petersburg painting.

Rembrandt returned to the subject of the 'Sacrifice of Isaac' in an etching of 1655 (Bartsch 35, Hind 283) which is reminiscent of his earlier design.[4] All Rembrandt's versions depend on earlier treatments of the subject by Rubens and, in particular, Pieter Lastman.[5] It has also been noted that the compositions of the 1630s depart from the biblical text, which states that the angel interceded as Abraham reached for the knife. The later moment chosen by Rembrandt coincides with a mention of the story by Jacob Cats in 'Houwelyck', first published in 1625.[6]

A drawn variant of the design attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, closer to the Munich painting in the position of the angel and to a lesser degree reminiscent of the 1655 etching, is in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.[7]

Condition: good, though rubbed in parts; small repairs at top right and lower left corners; creased horizontally at top; scraped around Abraham’s head.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1634-35?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. 1897,1117.5)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode and Hofstede de Groot, III, 1899, under no.208 (for Munich painting); Exh. London, 1899, no.A4 (for Leningrad or Munich painting); Kleinmann, IV, no.23; Lippmann, IV, no.81; Bell, c.1905, p.16, repr. pl.I (for St. Petersburg painting); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.866 (c.1636, for Munich painting); Valentiner, 1906, p.174 (for Munich painting); Valentiner, 1908, p.565, under no.515 (for Munich painting); Becker, 1909, p.102; Wurzbach, 1910, p.417 (for Munich painting); Hind, 1912, I, p.51; London, 1915, no.6, repr. pl.II (for St. Petersburg or Munich painting); Hofstede de Groot, 1915[I], p.84, repr. fig.8 (a pupil followed the drawing for the angel in Munich painting); Hofstede de Groot, VI, 1916/15, p.28, under no.8 (for Munich painting); Kauffmann, 1920, p.69 (see n.6 above); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.48 (1635-6, for Munich painting); Weisbach, 1926, p.190 (compares with Munich painting); Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.2 (for St. Petersburg painting); Van Dyke, 1927, p.51 (by Bol, for his painting in Munich); Müller (Hofstede), 1929, pp.66-7, repr. p.65, fig.16 (after St. Petersburg painting, for Munich version; stresses Lastman influence); Schneider, 1932/73, p.49 (influenced Lievens painting of the subject in Rome [repr. Sumowski, 'Gemälde', III, 1983, no.1194]); Benesch, 1935, pp.21 and 25 (for St. Petersburg painting and used for Munich painting); Benesch, 1935[I], p.263 (for St. Petersburg painting); Exh. London, 1938, no.6; Popham, 1939, p.68 (echoes of earlier Mannerists); Benesch, 1947, p.22, no.49, repr. (for St. Petersburg painting); 'Rembrandt Bible', 1947, no.6, repr.; Rosenberg, 1948/64, I, p.225/354, n.8 (for Munich painting); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.90, repr. fig.98/105 (for both paintings; Lastmanesque); Benesch, 1955, p.396, reprinted 1970, p.183 (Caravaggesque); Exh. London, 1956, p.24, no.8 (for Leningrad painting); Gerson (and J.G. van Gelder), 1957, p.124 (van Gelder: Flinck?; Gerson: Rembrandt); Valentiner, 1957, p.55 (probably used by Bol, who may have made Munich painting); Sumowski, 1957-8, p.237 (used by Flinck for Munich painting); Benesch, 1960, p.17 and no.13, repr. (as in 1935; chose moment of highest tension); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.22 (pupil's work based on St. Petersburg painting, perhaps for Munich painting); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (for Munich painting); Gantner, 1964, p.51; von Moltke, 1965, p.13 (for Munich painting and after St. Petersburg version); Slive, 1965, II, no.530, repr. (for Munich painting); Bauch, 1966, p.29, under no.A10 (for Munich painting); Rosenberg, Slive and ter Kuile, 1966, p.83 (for Munich painting); Wegner, 1966, p.103 (notes literature ignored by von Moltke, 1965); Exh. Munich, 1966-7, p.36, under no.66 (for Munich painting); Munich, 1967, p.73 (for Munich painting; quotes Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961); Gerson, 1968, pp.64 and 226, repr. fig.a (for Munich painting): Haak, 1969/68, p.126, repr. fig.193 (c.1635, for Munich painting); Waals, 1969, p.99 (between the two paintings); Campbell, 1971, pp.29-30 (follows Benesch but contrasts Lastman's version of the theme); Broos, 1972, p.147, repr. fig.13 (for Munich painting); Loevinson-Lessing, 1974/71, under no.10, repr. (between the two paintings); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.155; Sciolla, 1976, p.6 (for St. Petersburg painting); van de Wetering, 1977, p.41, n.44 (for St. Petersburg or Munich painting); Clark, 1978, p.124, repr. fig.137 (for St. Petersburg painting; contrasts later etching); Vogel-Köhn, 1981, p.18 (as Benesch); Corpus, I, 1982, p.22, nn.42-3 (for Munich painting?); Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.12 (as Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961); Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, p.1018, under no.611 (for Munich painting); Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-86, no.2 (1635-6; composition depends on Lastman and Rubens); Corpus, II, 1989, pp.106-7, repr. fig.5 (workshop; signature dubious; based on St. Petersburg painting, perhaps by the pupil – Bol? – who executed the Munich version, or else based on the latter [cf. Van Dyke, 1927, and Valentiner, 1957]); Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), pp.139-40, verso and recto repr. figs.22-3 (publishing verso; both studies of c.1634 for St. Petersburg painting); Exh. London, 1992, no.13, repr. in colour (drawn c.1634-5 before both the painted versions); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.464 (not Rembrandt; a studio variant; follows Müller Hofstede, 1929); Klessmann, 1992, p.449, repr. fig.3 (stresses influence of Rubens' painting in Kansas); Schatborn, 1994, p.21 (convincing as Rembrandt); Giltaij, 1995, p.98 (a pupil's imitation of Munich painting); Exh. Manchester-Brighton-Swansea-Dulwich, 1996-97, 'The Inner Eye', no.176; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, no.74, repr. in colour; Dekiert 2004, pp.55-57; Exh. Copenhagen, 2006, p.115, repr. fig.11 (between the two versions, to instruct the pupil); Schwartz, 2006, p.346, repr. fig.615 (as Müller-Hofstede, 1929); Exh. Dijon, 2003-2004, no.43, repr.; Exh. Munich, 2004; Tümpel, 2006, p.491, repr. fig.6 (summarises opinions; iconographic discussion of the two paintings); Bevers in Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, pp.22-25 (Rembrandt; drawn between the two painted versions); London, 2010 (online), no.10, repr. (as Exh. London, 1992); Schatborn, 2011, p.305, repr. fig.23; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.35, repr. fig.23 (documentary drawing); Exh. New York, 2016, p.32; Schatborn, 2019, no.43, repr. (1635/36).

PROVENANCE: Many drawings of the subject by Rembrandt are mentioned in early sale catalogues. An ‘Abraham offering up Isaac’ appeared in the sale of Samuel Woodburn, Christie’s, 9th day, 26 June, 1854, lot 2193, sold with one other to C. Hall for 4s, (first noted in British Museum files by C. White); another appeared in a later Woodburn sale, Christie’s, 13 June, 1860, lot 1381, bt with one other by Robinson for 15s; perhaps more plausibly the present sheet was that in the Andrew James collection, listed there as a slight sketch by Waagen , 1857, p.214 and Brunet, 1866, p.260, and sold in James’ sale, Christie’s, 28 April, 1873, lot 62, bt Col, £9-15-0. The extraordinary sum of £189 was made by another drawing of the subject, said to have come from the Lawrence and Esdaile collections, sold at the Bale sale, Christie’s, 15th day, 10 June, 1888, lot 2436, bt Thib[audeau?]; purchased from Dr J. Law Adam[8] by the present repository in 1897.

[1] E.g. by Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, under no.611, with earlier literature apart from van de Wetering, 1977, p.41, n.44 (a text that is reprinted, with variations, in Corpus, I, 1982, p.22 notes 42-3), who also suggests that the drawing was made between the St. Petersburg and Munich paintings. According to P. van Thiel (in Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2, p.182) the initial lay-in of the Munich picture followed that in St. Petersburg. This is corroborated by the findings of the restorer, the late Hubert von Sonnenberg, who found traces of the earlier position for the angel underlying the Munich version (visible in infra-red light). His findings were made public at the Symposium in London, National Gallery, 23 May, 1992.

[2] Now usually identified as Govert Flinck (see Sumowski, loc. cit.) or Ferdinand Bol (see Corpus, under no.A108). The work is signed by Rembrandt to the effect that he changed and overpainted it ('Rembrandt, verandert. En over geschildert. 1636').

[3] This reading requires turning the sheet 90º clockwise (as in the illustration here) and interpreting the short, emphatic dash, upper centre, as Abraham's knife, with an arm reaching towards it from the right, and an apparently bearded figure (Abraham) to the left.

[4] As pointed out by White, 1969, II, p.93. A related drawing at Compiègne was published by Sumowski, 1971, p.136, repr. fig.15 (rejected by Bruyn, 1990).

[5] See Broos, 1977, pp.51-2 (with previous literature) and Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-6, under nos.1-2.

[6] Kauffmann, 1920, p.69. The same book by Cats contains an illustration that appears to have influenced another work of the same period, the 'Ecce Homo' grisaille in the National Gallery, of 1634 (Bredius 546, Corpus A89) - see Bauch, 1960, pp. 192-5.

[7] Inv.2033/1863, Sumowski 773* dates it to the 1660s.

[8] The British Museum’s manuscript Reports for 1897 give the name as ‘Dr Law Adam / 16 Vicarage Gate, Kensington’; the Departmental Register gives the name as ‘Dr Adams’. No other information about him is known, but the sheet came from him along with a miscellaneous group of prints and drawings.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0091

Subject: Two Figures Seated at a Table

Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink by a later hand, lower right: 'Rembrandt'

101 x 110.

COMMENTS: The drawing is now usually grouped with works by the so-called Munich Forger, thought to have been active at the end of the seventeenth or durin the eighteenth century (see also Benesch 0967-68).[1] The unruly inscription and somewhat sloppy draughtsmanship are characteristic. Although dependent on motifs of the 1630s, the style seems considerably later, and could not be from before the late 1640s. Similarities to figures in the Berlin drawing of the Last Supper after Leonardo (Benesch 445) and those on the left of the grisaille of Joseph telling his Dreams (Bredius 504, Corpus A66) had led to optimistic assessments of the drawing in the past, but it has not been published as by Rembrandt since the first volume of Benesch's catalogue of 1954/73. Athough many drawings attributed to the Munich Forger have later retouchings, and some appear to be entirely the work of an artist active around 1700 or possibly later, in the present case, and perhaps some others, it is possible that the drawings were made by an artist who had been pupil of Rembrandt.

Summary attribution: Anonymous ("Munich Forger"?)

Date: 1640s or later, perhaps even 18th century.

COLLECTION: D Munich, Graphische Sammlung (stamped with L.620)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Munich, 1884-93, no.149a; HdG 386; Neumann, 1919, Anmerkungen, p.10, repr. (relates to Berlin Last Supper drawing Benesch 445); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (study for painting of Joseph telling his Dreams (Bredius 504, Corpus A66); Kauffmann, 1926-27, p.159; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.91, repr. (c.1635 and as Benesch, 1935; close to Berlin Last Supper Benesch 445); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (18th century, Munich forger); [Not in Exh. Munich, 1966-67, or Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002]; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich.

[1] See Renger and Burmester, 1985-86, Burmester and Renger, 1986, Exh. Munich, 2001-2002, p.207 and Burmester and Renger , 2003.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0092

Subject: The Rape of Ganymede

Verso: Laid down.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and grey-brown wash (the ink appears to be an ordinary brown bistre, although in some heavily worked parts, especially the rump of the infant, it has attacked the paper as though it were acidic. The possibility that Rembrandt retouched the drawing in iron-gall ink, which could have caused this degradation, cannot be excluded); ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.

186 x 162. No watermark visible; chain lines horizontal, distance apart uncertain; laid lines c.16/cm.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, thanks to its relationship with the painting of the same subject in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, which is signed and dated 1635 (Bredius 471; Corpus A113).

The iconography depends ultimately on several written sources from antiquity (Homer's Iliad, xx, 231-35; Virgil's Aeneid, v, 252ff.; Ovid, Metamorphoses, x, 152-61). They relate that the shepherd Ganymede, the son of King Tros of Dardania (who gave his name to Troy) and his wife Callirrhoe, was considered beautiful by the Gods and in particular by Jupiter, who disguised himself as an eagle and abducted him. He became Jupiter's cup-bearer and, to make amends with his father, Jupiter presented King Tros with four immortal horses for his chariot (in post-Homeric versions, he gave a golden vine). Ganymede was later considered the genius of the sources of the Nile, and the astronomers made him into the constellation of Aquarius.

From the swift, energetic style the drawing appears to be a preliminary sketch, executed before work on the painting had begun. Rembrandt may have worked on the oil for some time, so that the drawing could date from around 1634, or even earlier.[1] The painting adds or elaborates some details, such as the bunch of cherries in the child's left hand and the landscape background, and yet it omits the child's distraught parents, seen in the lower left corner of the drawing, one of them possibly viewing the abduction with the aid of a telescope.[2] This may be an oblique reference to the astrological aspects of the story.[3] Karel van Mander mentions the parents in his 'Explanation' of the myth in his 1604 translation of Ovid, and also states that Ganymede was still at an early age when abducted.[4] By showing him as an infant, Rembrandt avoids the common homoerotic aspects of the tale, seen in full strength in Michelangelo's version.[5] Rembrandt's pupil, Nicolaes Maes (1634-1693), was one of a number of seventeenth-century artists who portrayed recently deceased children in the guise of Ganymede as a memorial and iconographic consolation to their grieving parents; but the nature of Rembrandt's representations of the scene, here and in the painting, makes it unlikely that he tackled the myth with the same connotations in mind - nobody would wish their child memorialised in such an undignified state.[6]

Rembrandt appears first to have drawn the head of Ganymede, as the lines used for the eagle Jupiter, though drawn loosely, do not cross his profile. Nor does the shading impinge on Ganymede's outstretched left arm, so that his body may have been roughed out in its entirety before Jupiter was sketched in. This done, the figures below were probably added to complete the composition; and the spaces between all the protagonists filled with curling lines and hatching, suggesting movement and, perhaps, clouds or smoke. These areas were later emphasized with wash, especially to the right, and the same medium was applied to add contrast and shadow to the eagle and Ganymede.

In style, the drawing is loose and sketchy, with flurries of lines roughing out the forms and only rarely, as in the child's face, concerned with details. An abstract quality in the figures is leavened by the delicately applied wash, which clarifies the modelling of many features and gives the direction of the fall of light. But in the swirling turbulence of the background, the effect of both the penlines and the wash is almost 'expressionistic'. As noted above, the heavily reworked rump of the child seems to be in iron-gall ink, raising the possibility that Rembrandt, who used this medium only from around c.1637-39, may have retouched the drawing later.

It is interesting to note how genre drawings such as Benesch 0401 and 0313 relate to this representation of a mythological scene. At times Rembrandt produces an almost seamless transition between types of subject-matter that were traditionally kept distinct.

Condition: generally good, though slightly cut down, especially above - the painting includes a section of sky clear above the wings of Jupiter, which are trimmed here; the ink seems to be bistre but as noted above has in parts degraded like iron-gall ink, especially in the child's hind quarters.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1634-35.

COLLECTION: D Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv. C1357; stamped with L.1647).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Heucher, 1738, p.116 (Bureau X); Gruner, 1862, XIII, i; Franke, 1865, Holländische Schulen, port.IV, repr. pl.XIII, no.i; Michel, 1893, repr. opp. p.222; Dresden (Woermann), 1896-98, vol.viii, p.90, no.292, repr.pl.IV; HdG 241; Graul, 1906, no.20; Lippmann, I, 136; Kauffmann, 1918, p.48, repr. fig.14; Neumann, 1918, p.10 and no.57, repr.; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, III, 1925, p.15, no.47; Weisbach, 1926, repr. fig.57; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.609; Benesch, 1935, p.21; Gerson, 1936, Z.xlxxix (as Rembrandt); Benesch, 1938, pp.45-6 (reprinted 1970, p.132); Rosenberg, 1948, p.161; Benesch, 1954/73, no.92, repr.; Benesch, 1955 (reprinted 1970, p.183); Exh. Dresden, 1960, p.11, no.11; Scheidig, 1962, pp.41ff., repr. pl.33; Rosenberg, 1964, p.274; Clark, 1966, p.17, repr. fig.15; Schatborn, 1975, pp.8-19; Russell, 1977, pp.5-18; Exh. Washington-New York- San Francisco, 1978-79, no.592; Bruyn, 1983, p.54; Corpus, III, 1989, under no.A113, repr. p.167, pl.5; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, vol.2, no.10; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1991-92, p.460 (suggests drawing may have been made after painting begun [but without arguments]); Grohé, 1996, p.109, repr. pl.19; Exh. Dresden-Vienna, 1997-98, pp.178ff., no.81; Bevers, 2000-2001, pp.70-72; Exh. Dresden 2004, no.102; Exh. Amsterdam, 2006.II, repr. fig.54; Exh. Dresden, 2006, no.3, repr; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.65, repr.; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.29, repr. fig.105 (documentary drawing); The Present Catalogue, 2012; Exh. Washington-Paris, 2016-17, no.66, repr. (1635); Schatborn, 2019, no.16, repr. (c.1635).

PROVENANCE: Gottfried Wagner (d.1725), Leipzig; acquired by the Electors of Saxony with his collection in 1728, and though them became part of the collection of the present repository.

[1] Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.460, suggested that Rembrandt may have drawn the sketch only after work on the canvas had already begun, but in view of the loose and inventive style, this seems unlikely.

[2] Benesch thought it a cross-bow; Rosenberg, 1964, a bow and arrow; Valentiner, 1934, thought the intention was to show one or two feathers torn from the eagle's tail. The figures could in theory be Ganymede's brothers, Ilus and Assaracus.

[3] See Corpus, under A113; Rembrandt probably denotes Ganymede's placement in Aquarius in the painting by showing the child urinating in fright. The catamitic connotations of the myth (the word being derived from the Latin corrupted form of Ganymede's name, Catamitus), are clear in many earlier treatments of the subject: by Michelangelo, Correggio and Rubens, and in the celebrated antique statue attributed to Leochares (of which there is a supposed copy in the Vatican). But these associations were negated by Neo-platonic humanists who contrived to see in Ganymede a symbol of the purity of the soul, and some theologians even compared his ascent to heaven with Christ's. In the popular medieval Moralised Ovid, Ganymede was seen as a prefiguraton of St John the Baptist. The pure soul's progress to heaven was the symbolism attached to Ganymede in Andrea Alciati's influential Emblematum Liber, which also portrays him as an small child. This is reflected in the writings of Karel van Mander. In his 1604 edition of the Metamorphoses, he stated that the pure human soul was so beloved of God that he was often taken prematurely (see van Thiel in Exhibiton Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2, under no.24. Russell, 1977, first aired many of the ideas now attached to the painting. See also Knipping, 1974, I, p.45). Thus divested of its homoerotic overtones, the story came to act as a commemoration or consolation to bereaved parents, a usage found in the work of Rembrandt's pupil Nicolaes Maes (Russell, op. cit.). The cherries in the painting, a fruit often associated with the Christ child as the 'Fruit of Paradise', could also have positive connotations related to Christian symbolism, although different associations are possible (see Corpus, III, 1989, p.166).

[4] Karel Van Mander, 'Uitleggingh op den Metamorfosis Pb. Ovidij Nasonis' in his 'Schilderboeck', 1604, fol.87.

[5] Probably known to Rembrandt through the engraving after Michelangelo by Nicolas Beatrizet of 1542 (Bianchi 35). See further note 3 above.

[6] See Schaller, 2005.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0093

Subject: The Taking of Samson (Judges, XVI, 18-21)

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink.

147 x 202.

COMMENTS: Some recent commentators have rejected the drawing, but although more sketchy, the stylistic connections with, for example, Benesch 0097 are too close.[1] Compare also the left side of Benesch 0151. There are also analogies with the underdrawn state of Christ and of the apostles on the extreme right in the Last Supper after Leonardo of 1635, now in Berlin, Benesch 445. The cursory underdrawing is here all we have in many parts, and the exceptional aspects of the drawing result from this unusually unfinished state. The extraordinary energy of the drawing is palpable and at times the nib split into 'tramlines' where extra pressure was exerted on the pen, particularly in the figure on the left.

The subject is probably the moment just prior to Samson's blinding, the latter shown in the celebrated Frankfurt painting of 1636 (Bredius 501, Corpus A116), with which the drawing may have an immediate connection. A date around 1636 seems likely owing to this relationship, but the iron-gall medium and the stylistic links with the iron-gall ink drawings of a slightly later period (e.g. Benesch 0246 verso and 0423 verso) suggest that the drawing could be from a little later, c.1638.

The central part of the design may be indebted to the painting of c.1618-20 now in Dulwich by the young Anthonie van Dyck (inv. DPG127), which it resembles more closely than the better-known version of 1609-10 by Rubens now in the National Gallery in London, which was engraved in reverse by Jacob Matham (Hollstein 11, New Hollstein [Matham] 10). Samson's pose is especially similar, including the position of his feet. How Rembrandt might have known Van Dyck's design is uncertain, although the latter visited the Netherlands in 1631-32 and his painting is first recorded in Amsterdam in 1711.[2] The style of the drawing, with its thin, almost spiderweb lines, is also unusually reminiscent of the Flemish master's drawings.[3]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1636-38

COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv.C 1966-66 with the stamp L.1647)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 263; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.70 (Christ falling under the cross); Valentiner 807 (connects with Frankfurt painting); Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.93 (c.1635; perhaps connected with Anholt Diana, Bredius 472, Corpus A92); Exh. Dresden, 1960, no.10; Scheidig, 1962, repr. pl.17; Holler, 1997, pp.191-94 (Rembrandt); Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.86, repr. (1636-38, by a pupil); Exh. Paris, 2006, no.50, repr. (as Exh. Dresden 2004; possibly retouched); Exh. Dresden, 2019, pp.63 and 65, repr. fig.25 (Jan Victors?); Schatborn, 2019, no.47, repr. (c.1636).

[1] Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.70 even listed the subject as the same as Benesch 97. See Literature above for the doubts expressed concerning the attribution, which have arisen only since 2004 and, to the compiler, seem wholly unwarranted. The attribution to Victors (in Exh. Dresden, 2019) is perhaps best described as imaginative: one of the most lively and delicate of drawings assigned to one of the most stolid painters of the Rembrandt circle, by whom no certainly attributed drawings are known (and whose rather static 1645 painting of the subject in Braunschweig demonstrates what might be expected of him -- see https://rkd.nl/explore/images/242481).

[2] See Barnes, Poorter, Millar and Vey, 2004, no.1.5, repr. The provenance is there given as '?David Amory, Amsterdam, 1711' and the description of the picture in his sale catalogue of 1722 coincides well with the Dulwich painting.

[3] Compare, for example, Van Dyck's cursory sketches for the Martyrdom of St Catherine, now in Braunschweig, of c.1618-29 (Vey no.60) or the penwork in the later sketch of Diana and Endymion, now in the Morgan Library, New York, of c.1629 (Vey no.132).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0094

Subject: Milo of Croton

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

100 x 100.

COMMENTS: Although not a drawing I have seen, there seem to be few close connections with Rembrandt. Benesch compares only no.0093, but the analogies are largely restricted to the figure's nearer leg. Unusual for Rembrandt and his pupils is the straight line drawn across the nose below rather than above or through the eyes. The invention, given the subject, seems hesitant. The liquid style might suggest a Rembrandt pupil of the 1640s rather than the 1630s, the period to which the drawing has previously been assigned, and there are some analogies with Samuel van Hoogstraten.

Milo of Croton (or Milon of Crotona) was a Greek wrestler of astonishing strength who lived during the 6th century BC. He reputedly died after attempting to split a tree trunk asunder - he became trapped and was devoured by wolves. Apart from a celebrated woodcut by Niccolo Boldrini (1510-70) after Pordenone,[2] the subject is rare, especially before Rembrandt's time.[3]

Summary attribution: Anonymous

Date: 1640-45?

COLLECTION: Private Collection (Harris?)[1]

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.233; Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.94, repr. (c.1635; compares Benesch 0093); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Amsterdam, with Frans Buffa & Zonen (dealer).

[1] Benesch simply gives the name of the owner as 'Harris'.

[2] Passavant, VI. p.237, no.70.

[3] There are two drawings of the subject by Rembrandt's younger contemporary, Salvator Rosa (1614-73), in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, (inv.1986.579 and 1987.61) but they have nothing in common with Benesch 0094.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0094a

Subject: St Peter, half-length

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash; later (?) touches in blackish brown ink around the ear. Inscribed verso, in light brown ink: "J R-N.18 √≡" and centre: "Z . z . JG."

83 x 70.

COMMENTS: In no part (and in neither the hands nor the face) does the drawing convince as by Rembrandt. Benesch offered no comparisons (in 1964 he stated only that it depicts St Peter at the moment of his liberation from prison) and the contrast with Rembrandt's own drawings of the same type, like Benesch 0132 and 0141, is great. Flinck is a possibility - compare Benesch 0117.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??

Date: 1638-40

COLLECTION: USA, New York, Morgan Library, Thaw Collection (inv. EVT 327)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, Leicester Galleries, 1942 (no catalogue); Benesch, 1964, p.113, repr. fig.9 (Collected Writings, 1970, p.251, repr. fig.217); Benesch, I, 1973, no.94a (c.1635; [without any comment]); Exh. New York, 1975, no.25, repr.; Exh. New York, 1994-95, p.252, repr.; New York, 2006, no.208, repr.; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Lili Froehlich-Bum, London; Redfern Gallery, London; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York, by whom presented to the present repository.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0095

Subject: Jacob Lamenting at the Sight of Joseph's Blood-Stained Cloak (Genesis, XXXVII, 32-34)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, touched with white heightening in Jacob's hands; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.

174 x 155. Watermark: probably a fragment of a Strasburg lily (repr. Berlin, 2006, p.218; similar to Hinterding, 2006, p.208, C'.b., HMP 235084)

COMMENTS: The drawing represents the harrowing moment when Jacob is shown the bloodstained cloak of his favourite and youngest son, Joseph. Four of the latter's brothers are depicted, viewing the old man's reaction with a mixture of fear and guilt, here wonderfully conveyed in the most abbreviated shorthand. The anguished expression of the old man himself is fully elaborated, with alternative poses for him sketched at the upper right.

Rembrandt had previously treated the subject in an etching of c.1633 (Bartsch 38), from which a few elements here are derived, including the use of a tall figure to frame the design on the left and a brother anchoring the apex of the central group and pointing away.

The drawing has attracted varying comments in the past concerning both its attribution and date (see literature below). For the style, compare the documentary drawing Benesch 0141, which however seems to be earlier and is less liquidly handled. The figure on the left seems to echo that on the left of the Berlin study after Leonardo's Last Supper of 1635 (Benesch 0445), providing a probable terminus post quem. The two central brothers resemble the two boys on the right of the Pancake Woman, Benesch 0409, as well as the background figures in the Quacksalver, Benesch 0416. The drawing was rightly catalogued by Benesch near his no. 0096, which argues for a date near 1640, and he also compared the left hand figure to that in Benesch 0097. According to Bevers (in Berlin, 2006), the ink employed contains iron-gall, which would confirm a date in the period c.1637-39, when Rembrandt's iron-gall drawings all seem to have been made. Bevers also published the watermark, which is similar to that found in Benesch 0100.

No directly related etching or painting seems to have resulted from the drawing, although the figure of Jacob is comparable to Benesch 0107 and 0109. The alternative head of Jacob looking up is close to Benesch 0104 verso, which combined with the difficulty of finding comparisons with Rembrandt's documentary drawings and the doubts previously expressed by other witers, makes the attribution to Rembrandt somewhat less than certain, but overall, because of the drawing's sheer expressive power, I have decided to refrain from placing a question mark over the attribution. In theory, the drawing ought to resemble Benesch 0093, 0097 and 0100 more closely (being drawings of the same type and period) and Benesch 0104, 0106, 0107 and 0109, all now associated with Ferdinand Bol, rather less.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1637-39?

COLLECTION: D Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ 5213, stamped with L.1612 and 2504)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Friedländer, 1901, p.213; HdG 29; Berlin, 1910, no.273; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.13 (early); Bode, 1915, cols.217-18; Valentiner 97 (very doubtful, c.1630); Kauffmann, 1926, pp.160 and 174 (c.1631-32); Bredt, 1927, I, p.49; Van Dyke, 1927, p.48 (Ferdinand Bol); Berlin, 1930, p.222, repr. pl.144 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.232; Lugt, 1931, p.57; Rijckevorsel, 1932, pp.84-85, repr. fig.83; Bauch, 1933, p.227; (c.1632-33 if genuine); Paris, 1933, under no.1133 (before 1628); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (c.1635); Benesch, 1947, I, under no.52 (c.1635); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.95, repr. (c.1635); Benesch, 1955 [Collected Writings, I, pp.184-85, repr. fig.152] (c.1635; eloquent description of the penlines, 'almost like stalks of straw'); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.40 (c.1635); Rosenberg, 1956, p.67; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.27 (c.1632-35); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257; Bauch, 1960, p.256, n.79 (mid-1630s); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.22; Clark, 1966, pp.4-5; Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.17; Sciolla, 1976, no.XI, Clark, 1978, pp.48-49; Sumowski, 1979 etc., under no.182*, n.2; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.42, n.2 (Jacob the basis for Benesch 109); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.7; Haak, 1969 (1990 ed.), pp.102-103, repr. fig.153 (c.1635); Rosand, 2002, pp.224-26, 241 and 245-46, repr. fig.211 (imagery close to Judas Returning the 30 Pieces of Silver, Bredius 539A, Corpus A15); Exh. Berlin, 2002-2003, no.77 (c.1635-38); Kreutzer, 2003, pp.50-51 and 190 (c.1635); Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.100 (c.1635-38; echoes earlier etching, Bartsch 38); Berlin, 2006, no.14, repr. (c.1635-37; echoes etching, Bartsch 38); Schatborn, 2019, no.40 and pp.18 and 25 (c.1635; among first drawings of biblical scenes).

PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, jun., London (L.2170); Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), Berlin, with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0095a

Subject: The Raising of Jairus' Daughter (?) [Mark, V, 35-43]

Medium: Etching after a lost drawing apparently in pen and brown ink with brown wash.

184 x 228 (to platemark); 141 x 210 (to border-line, as illustrated here)

COMMENTS: Benesch included this image, the etched reproduction by Joseph Schmidt (1750-1816) illustrated here, after a lost drawing. While the subject, if correctly identified,[1] relates the drawing to Benesch 0061-62, which might bring Govert Flinck into contention, the style is not obviously his. None of Benesch's many comparisons is entirely persuasive (with Benesch 0095, 0097, 0099, 0100, 0106, 0108 and 0263). Perhaps the closest of them is Benesch 0108 and the wash is also reminiscent of Benesch 0138, so that the lost drawing could be by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. Unless the original drawing resurfaces, any judgment will necessarily remain particularly tentative.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??

Date: 1638-40??

COLLECTION: Whereabouts unknown

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.95a, the etching by Schmidt repr. (c.1635; only known through the etching; see further main text above) ; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Perhaps in Vienna when etched by Joseph Schmidt (1750-1816), who was primarily active there.

[1] The crucial figure of Christ is of course absent here. Schmidt made another etching after a supposed Rembrandt drawing, in a similar style, that shows an old man in bed attended by two women and with two babies in a cot nearby (an impression of the print is in the British Museum, inv. 1895,0915.1436).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0096

Subject: A Woman's Execution

Verso: Slight sketch of the head of the same woman

Medium: Pen and brown ink, corrected on the recto only with white bodycolour. Inscribed verso, in graphite, top left: '499 39 i/' [crossed out]/ '41/23'; and lower right, at a 90-degree angle to the above: '465/2' and at the same angle as the upper inscriptions: 'E'[?] / '-15/-';[1] and lower left: 'I.5302' [the Lugt inventory number].

195 x 256. The drawing has been cut vertically down the centre and rejoined using an 18mm wide backing strip; Watermark: Strasburg lily in crowned shield, with number '4' and initials 'WR' below (comparable to Laurentius and Laurentius no.438 of 1630, but lacking the oblique 'shoulder' to the shield at the top left side), repr. Paris, 1910, II, p.189, no.9;[2] chain-lines: 27h.

COMMENTS: The subject is uncertain; presumably the drawing represents the death of a woman in history or mythology, or the martyrdom of a female saint such as St Catherine, as Benesch tentatively proposed. St Catherine is indeed the most likely candidate, an idea that has been rejected for lack of her usual attribute, the wheel, but this would not be unusual in a composition by Rembrandt.[3] Her executioner is repeated on the right; two other figures bind and hold her. She may be kneeling on the steps to a platform, down which her drapery cascades to the right. The central figure was initially drawn in thin lines in a slightly lower position (subsequently coated with white heightening), while the head at the top right could be an elaboration of the figure on the left (though Benesch regarded it as a sketch for an oriental spectator of the scene). There is a small study of the woman's face on the verso which could have been drawn first of all, though this is uncertain. If so, it would reveal that Rembrandt might elaborate a composition around a central or focal point - as might be expected.

There are sufficient stylistic analogies with the documentary drawing, Benesch 0482, to secure the attribution and place the drawing c.1640.[4] A comparison with Benesch 95 (made by Benesch) is also valid. The broad, liquid handling is more typical of the early 1640s than the mid-1630s, the period to which Benesch and others have assigned drawing (some have preferred an even earlier date - see literature).

Condition: top corners made up (the left more than the right); the sheet sliced vertically into two halves and rejoined (as noted above).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1640?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection (inv. 5302)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.145; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.96, repr. (c.1635; comparing his nos.93, 95 and 97 and the 1635 etching, Stoning of St Stephen, Bartsch 97); Van Gelder, 1955, p.396; Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.257 and 264; Exh. Paris, 1957 (no catalogue); Benesch, 1964, p.113 [Collected Writings, 1970, p.252] (c.1635); Exh. New York-Paris, 1977-78, no.85m, repr. pl.68 (early 1630s); Fryszman, 1978, p.345; Sumowski, 1979 etc., , 1979, under no.181* (c.1635); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, no.8, repr. (c.1640); Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001, under no.26, n.2 (by Ferdinand Bol); Exh. Dresden, 2004, under no.86; Berlin, 2006, under no.14; Exh. Paris, 2006, under no.50; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.27, repr. (c.1640); Paris, 2010, no.9 (c.1640); Exh. New York, 2011, p.89, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.63, repr. (c.1640).

PROVENANCE: Mrs Brenda Harks Riddolls; her sale, London, Sotheby's, 21 December 1937, no.25, bt Wheeler for Lugt, £9; Frits Lugt, The Hague and Paris (L.1028) by whom vested in the present repository.

[1] Read in Paris, 2010, as '-157' but it seems closer to the British shorthand '15/-' for 15 shillings.

[2] The mark is compared in Paris, 2010 with that in Benesch 343, but only a fragment of the top of the mark on the latter is visible, so it could be of a different type; it has both its 'shoulders' and a fatter central leaf to the lily.

[3] In a letter to Frits Lugt of February 1952, Rotermund rejected the idea that a saint was shown as he knew of no martyrdom that corresponded with the details in the drawing (see Paris, 2010, no.9, p.46).

[4] The comparison first made by M. van Berge-Gerbaud in Exh. Paris, 1997-98.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0097

Subject: Christ Falling under the Cross on the Way to Calvary

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, perhaps rubbed with the finger. Inscribed in pen and brown ink by a later hand, lower left: 'Rembrant'; inscribed verso, in graphite, with the inventory number '1554'.

144 x 260. Watermark: arms of Fraubrunnen, Bern (repr. but not identified in Berlin, 2006, p.220, no.8; see Laurentius and Laurentius, no.173 [1635]).

COMMENTS: The drawing represents one of the three moments when Christ fell down under the weight of the cross as he carried it on the road to calvary. That Christ carried his own cross is mentioned in the Gospels, Matthew XXVII, 31–33, Mark, XV,20–22, Luke, XXIII, 26–32 and John, XIX, 16–18, the latter describing how Simon of Cyrene was forced to assist (not shown here), while Mark mentions the presence of the three Maries at the Crucifixion (Mary Salome, the mother of James, Mary the wife of Cleopas and Mary Magdalene). The scene, elaborated in the medieval period, became an established and common iconography in western art before 1500. Rembrandt was chiefly inspired by the engravings by Martin Schongauer (earlier 1470s, Hollstein 9) and Lucas van Leyden (1521, Bartsch/New Hollstein 51).[1] As can be judged from these and other earlier versions, the broadly drawn figure on the left is a soldier, presumably carrying the instruments to fix Christ to the cross in a basket slung over his lance or club. Also soldiers are the two men behind and above Christ, one apparently reloading the weight of the cross onto Christ's shoulder, the other urging him on with a whip. Behind the latter is a cavalryman, cut at the top, the horse's eyes and nose visible near the top of the crossbar. The other four figures include a woman in the centre wearing a veil (one of the Maries?), St Veronica (?) moving in from the right, apparently holding out the image of Christ on her kerchief,[2] and in the foreground the swooning Mary, the mother of Christ, attended by St John. The moment of Mary's 'swoon' gave the name 'Lo Spasimo' to the painting of the subject by Raphael of c.1514-16 (Prado, Madrid), which would have been known to Rembrandt through the engraving by Agostino Veneziano of 1517 (Bartsch 28, or through the engraved copy attributed to Francesco Villamena, c.1565-1624). That Rembrandt chose this same moment may not be coincidental. Characteristically, he envisaged the swoon in a realistic and original manner, placing Mary horizontally so that she acts as a compositional and emotional foil to the fallen Christ, who is without the usual crown of thorns. Other artists who may have prompted Rembrandt to attempt the subject, which is rare in the northern Netherlands in the seventeenth century, include both Rubens and Van Dyck.[3]

Rather clearly autograph (when I first studied the drawing seriously in 1988 I noted that it was 'a miracle'), Benesch compared for style the 1635 Berlin Last Supper after Leonardo (Benesch 0445), but the lines here are less splintered and the drawing could be slightly later (compare, for example, Benesch 0293). The watermark, not previously deciphered or dated, confirms that the drawing is likely to be from around 1635. Rembrandt drew many subjects from the Passion of Christ while he was involved with painting his Passion series for the Stadholder, Frederik Hendrik of Orange, between 1632 and 1639.[4]

A slight sketch on the verso of Benesch 0264 (qv) appears to be a rehearsal for a number of key elements here.

A pupil's drawing of a fallen warrior with two women now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, was influenced by the figures of Mary, John and St Veronica.[5]

Condition: top left corner repaired; otherwise good.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1635-36?

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staaliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ 1554; stamped with L.1607)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte, 2, 1881, col.XXXXIV (acquisition report); Lippmann, I, 15; Michel, 1890, p.82; Michel, 1893, p.573; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.33, repr. (c.1636); HdG, 1906, no.71; Valentiner, 1906, p.175; Rembrandt-Bijbel, 1910, no.27; Valentiner, 1913, pp.108ff. (1914 ed., p.162); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.58 (1630s); Valentiner, 1914, pp.118-19; Neumann, 1918, no.55, repr.; Dehmel and Pfister, 1920, pp.8-9; Stockholm, 1920, pp.63-64, under no.IV, 18; Bredt, 1921, II, p.86; Kauffmann, 1926, pp.168 and 175 (c.1634-35); Berlin, 1930, p.227, repr. pl.155 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.228 c.1635); Graul, 1934, no.228 (mid-1630s); Valentiner 481 (c.1636); Benesch, 1935, pp.21 and 26 (c.1635); Schinnerer, 1944, no.94 (c.1636); Weski, 1942 (c.1635);[6] Benesch, 1947, no.47, repr. fig.47 (c.1635); Benesch, 1954/73, no.97, repr. (c.1635; compares Benesch 445); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.45 (c.1635); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.10 (mid-1630s); Van Gelder, 1959, p.19, repr. fig.62 (c.1635); Bauch, 1960, p.256, n.79 (mid-1630s); Benesch, 1963, pp.19-20, no.15 (c.1635); Gantner, 1964, pp.97-99, repr. fig.26 (c.1635); Slive, 1965, no.15 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1968, no.22 (c.1635-36); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.40; Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.98 (c.1635); Sciolla, 1976, under no.VIII; Broos, 1977, p.101; Amsterdam, 1981, under no.4; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.88, repr. fig.88a; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, no.5, repr. (mid-1630s; basis in Schongauer); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.460; Schatborn, 1993, p.157 basis in Schongauer); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997, p.XXII (figure to left identified as Simon returning from the fields); Haarlem, 1997, p.134, under no.117; Sell, 1998, p.37; Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, no.40, repr. (mid-1630s); Exh. Dresden, 2004, under no.86; Berlin, 2006, no.8, repr.; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.13.1 (c.1635;); Schatborn, 2010, p.33, repr. p.41, fig.2; Schatborn, 2019, no.30 and pp.18 and 25, repr. (c.1635; among first drawings of biblical scenes; Schongauer influence).

PROVENANCE: J.C. Robinson (L.1433), from whom purchased by the present repository in 1880 (acquisition number 189-1880).

[1] Cf. also Dürer's woodcut from the Large Passion (Bartsch 10). The present catalogue entry is much indebted to that by Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.8.

[2] The identification of this figure as St Veronica was tentatively proposed by Schatborn in Exh. London-Amsterdam, 1991-92, under no.5, stating that the idea was from Stephan Kemperdick. The identification, while possible, is uncertain: the sudarium (kerchief) is not clearly delineated and the head (or heads?) appear too small in proportion and could be those of more distance onlookers. Her pose, rushing forward, would be inappropriate had she just received the image of Christ. Of all the iconographies associated with Christ's Passion, St Veronica was one of the most modern inventions and one closely associated with the Roman Catholic church. She is usually shown alone with the 'Vera Ikon' or true image of Christ, but occasionally forms part of depictions of the Road to Calvary. One that Rembrandt might have known, although its composition has nothing in common with the present drawing, was by Jacopo Bassano and recorded in the middle of the 17th century as in the Reynst collection in Amsterdam (see the engraving by Jeremias Falck in the Cabinet Reynst; Variarum imaginum a celeberrimis artificibus pictarum Caelaturae. An impression is in the British Museum, inv. 1887,0722.166. For further details see Logan, 1975, pp.38-45.)

[3] See Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.8. He refers to Rubens' altarpiece for the church at Afflighem, now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (Oldenburg, 1921, no.419; there is also the version engraved by Paulus Pontius in 1632, Schneevoogt, 41, 262, Hollstein 8) and Van Dyck's painting for the Dominican church of St Paul in Antwerp (Barnes, De Poorter, Millar and Vey, no.I.25, repr.7), for which a number of related drawings survive (Vey, 1962, nos.7-13). The latter painting was engraved in reverse by Cornelis Galle (New Hollstein, VII, no.522), but possibly later than Rembrandt's drawing.

[4] See the Descent from the Cross of 1632-33 (Bredius 550, Corpus A65), the Raising of the Cross of c.1633 (Bredius 548, Corpus A69), the Ascension of Christ of 1636 (Bredius 557, Corpus A118), the Entombment of Christ of c.1635-39 (Bredius 560, Corpus A26) and the Resurrection of Christ also of c.1635-39 (Bredius 561, Corpus A127). These were later joined by the iconographically distinct Adoration of the Shepherds of 1646 (Bredius 574, Corpus, V 11) and a now lost Circumcision of Christ, also of 1646 (Corpus, V 10). All the paintings, apart from the last-named, are in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, the other (the copy) being in the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum in Braunschweig.

[5] As noted in Amsterdam, 1985, no.88, repr.

[6] Reference to be checked; the drawing is mentioned on pp.12, 19 and 159 of the author's 1942 dissertation of the same title (see Berlin, 2006, under no.8).

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0098

Subject: Soldier and Rearing Horse

Medium: Pen and brown ink over indications in black chalk; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.

128 x 84

COMMENTS: A rather feeble drawing, likely to be by (or after) Govert Flinck (cf. Benesch 0111-12 and Sumowski nos 948a* and b*).[1] There is no close stylistic relationship with anything that can be assigned to Rembrandt with any confidence. The traces of black chalk underdrawing make the idea of a copy likely, as the original would almost certainly have been done 'alla prima,' without preliminary indications. There is also another copy in existence, which came from Zomer's collection.[2]

The horse is derived from Rembrandt's etching, A Cavalry Fight, of c.1630-32 (Bartsch 117) for which Benesch and others thought the drawing was a preliminary study.

Summary attribution: By or after Govert Flinck?

Date: 1635-40?

COLLECTION: R Moscow, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: N. Brunov in Sidorov, 1923, VIII (c.1641; study for etching, Large Lion Hunt of 1641, Bartsch 114); Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.98, repr. (c.1635; study for the etching of a Cavalry Fight, Bartsch 117, in fact a Conversion of Saul; compares for style Benesch 101 and 399); Levitin, 1966, pp.21-22; Exh. Moscow, 1969-70, p.26, repr.; Moscow, 1974, no.170, repr.; Bernhard, 1976,, II, p.149, repr.; Levitin, 1991, no.121, repr.; Sadkov, 1998, p.163 (Rembrandt?); Moscow, 2001, p.245, no.340, repr.; (as Sadkov, 1998); Moscow, 2010, no.190, repr. (Flinck; compares De Wet, Sumowski 2380ax, but follows [oral, 2009] suggestion of Schatborn, comparing Flinck, Sumowski 948ax [Melbourne, Seated Man], Sumowski 955x [Amsterdam, Saddled Horse] and Sumowski 948b [sale, Amsterdam, Mak van Waay, 29 October, 1979, lot 203, repr., Joseph in Prison (now Los Angeles, Getty Museum, inv.2007.5)]); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: A.W. Thibaudeau (L.2473; not in his sale, London, 1889); Sergey Vassilievich Pensky, Moscow, by whom bequeathed to the present repository (then the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts [until 1937]), 1912.

[1] From my notes: 'near Flinck?' (annotated Benesch, 09/09/1987); Flinck suggested to Schatborn who agrees (e-mail 03/02/2004).

[2] A photograph was kindly sent to me by Christie's in London in June 1990. Zomer's collector's mark (L.1511) is mostly hidden by the window of the mount in the photograph. The back of the mount has a printed label in poor condition in Russian and French, which like Benesch 98 claims a provenance from Thibaudeau.

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0099

Subject: The Annunciation (Luke, II, 29-30)

Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched with corrections in white bodycolour.

144 x 124.

COMMENTS: Rembrandt remains remarkably faithful to the text of St Luke's description of Mary's reaction the words of the angel Gabriel: " And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God." While the fearful and stunned Mary has slipped from her chair, shed a slipper and dropped her book by her feet, the angel takes her hand and attempts to comfort her. Adjustments to Mary's arms, hands and legs seems to emphasise the sense of movement and anxiety. The shape to the right may indicate a prie-dieu, and a pet cat (presumably) scuttles away below. As so often, Rembrandt revolutionises the traditional iconography by showing the angel and Mary in such close proximity, and in tactile contact. The composition influenced Ferdinand Bol in his drawing of the subject, in which many of the same motifs recur and the cat plays with a ball of string.[1]

The drawing should probably be placed around 1635. Although it has the thin lines and delicacy of silverpoint, as in Benesch 0427, the wings have analogies with those in Benesch 92, though drawn with less speedy bravura.

A copy is in Weimar (HdG 529, Valentiner 814).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1635?

COLLECTION: F Besançon, Musée des Beaux-Arts (inv.D.2618; stamped with L. Supplément 238c).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 548; Valentiner 814; Kramar, 1926, I, p.32, repr. fig.7; Benesch, 1935, p.21; Exh. Amsterdam, 1935, no.34; Benesch, 1947, no.48, repr.; Benesch, 1954/73, no.99, repr. (c.1635; compares Benesch 90, 95 and 445); Exh. Paris, 1970, p.96, no.209; Exh. London, 1992, under no.7, n.2; Exh. Besançon, 1999, no.24, repr.; Exh. Besançon-Richmond, 2003-2005, p.66; Berlin, 2006, under no.47; Schwartz, 2006, p.347; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.11, repr.; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.8.1, repr. (c.1635; inspired the version by Bol in Oslo, inv.NG.K&H.B.15591, Sumowski 180*); Schatborn, 2019, no.36 and pp. 18 and 25, repr. (c.1635; among first drawings of biblical scenes).

PROVENANCE: Jean-François Gigoux (1806-94; L.1164), by whom bequeathed to the present repository.

[1] Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet, inv. B-15591, Sumowski 180*, Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.8.2, repr..

First posted 4 June 2012.

 

 

Benesch 0100

Subject: The Lamentation of Christ at the Foot of the Cross

Verso: Soldiers and Women (the Prodigal Son?)

Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched on the recto with red chalk and white heightening (to the lower left); fine scratching diagonally over the recto of the sheet. Inscribed verso in partly erased graphite, lower left: '432' and '0'

173 x 155. Top corners made up. Watermark: fragment, the top part of a Strasburg lily (comparable to Hinterding, 2006, C'b; HMP 235084)

COMMENTS: The subject of the lamentation at the foot of the cross after Christ's deposition is not specifically described in the gospels but was nevertheless commonly depicted in western art by the fifteenth century (see further under Benesch 0154). Most of the figures can be identified on the basis of other versions of the subject, with the reclining Christ in the arms of Mary, his mother, with Mary Magdalene wringing her hands (below the ladder) next to St John, who holds Christ's hand and looks at two further mourners. Joseph of Arimathea and Nikodemus stand on the right with a further mourning figure to the left of the ladder. The combination of these elements with the group of the Pietà is found in early Netherlandish paintings, which may have inspired Rembrandt's design.[1] The possible influence of Annibale Carracci's etching of the same subject, the so-called Christ of Caprarola of 1597, has been rightly mooted, especially with regard to the turning figure of St John, echoed in the present drawing towards the left. The figures on the extreme left edge also reflect the pose of the Magdalene in prayer on the left of Annibale's etching.[2]

The drawing resembles the British Museum version (Benesch 0154) in several respects and may be viewed as a preliminary sketch for the more developed work, which in turn led to the grisaille in the National Gallery in London (Bredius 565 Corpus A107). Christ's mother there falls back in a faint and there are other obvious differences, but there are general similarities in the grouping of the foreground figures. The present drawing may also have inspired Benesch 0063, in which Christ is again cradled by his mother.

The verso sketches contrast entirely, showing a couple engaged in acts of lust in three variations. The upper study was drawn last is clear from the way it avoids overlapping the contours of the lower sketches. It appears to rehearse the two figures in the centre of Benesch 0394,[3]. There are also similarities with the motif at the top of Benesch 0398 and in a drawing now in the Peck collection, Boston (Valentiner 768).[4] The sketch on the right, showing the woman mounting the man's lap, brings the drawing into the sphere of Rembrandt's painting of himself and his wife as the Prodigal Son squandering his Inheritance, now in Dresden, of 1636.[5] As in that painting, the face of the man on the right could be intended as a self-portrait of the artist - his face appears in a similar position and expression in the painting, with a comparable beret with feather and the light in the same direction (the woman, especially in the sketch on the left, is not wholly unlike Saskia, either). The X-radiograph of the painting shows that the woman (Saskia) was initially painted wearing a veil of the type seen in the figure on the left of the drawing.[6]

Both the recto and verso compare in style with the documentary drawings, Benesch 0140-41, but with marginally more liquidity, suggesting a slightly later date c.1635, and Benesch 0445, the dated Berlin version of the Last Supper after Leonardo of 1635. Like Benesch 0154, the drawing was doubtless made as the artist wrestled with ideas while painting his series of the Passion of Christ for the Stadholder (see under Benesch 0097). The verso may date from the period when Rembrandt began work on the Dresden Prodigal Son, completed and dated in 1636.

Condition: Trimmed at the top (see verso image); lower left corner repaired and top corners made up; a brown stain towards upper right and minor stains or discolouration elsewhere.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1635?

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ.2312).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte, 2, 1881, col.LXXXII (acquisition report); Lippmann, I, 11; Michel, 1893, p.573; Von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; HdG 75 (c.1635); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, nos.62-63 (recto and verso; c.1635); Neumann, 1918, p.118; Neumann, 1918.I, no.56, repr.; Stockholm, 1920, p.39, under no.II, 17 (not Rembrandt, but defended as Rembrandt by Neumann in the same publication); Kauffmann, 1926, p.164 (recto c.1630-32); Weisbach, 1926, p.612, n.8 (verso); Stechow, 1929, p.226; Berlin, 1930, p.228; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.236 (c.1635); Lugt, 1931, p.58; Paris, 1933, under no.1133 (c.1628); Valentiner 494 (recto, c.1634) and 773 (verso, c.1634); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (c.1635); Benesch, 1944, p.295; Schinnerer, 1944, no.84 (recto, c.1635); Benesch, 1947, I, under no.52 (c.1635); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.100, repr. (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.46 (c.1635); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.257 and 264 (c.1635); Slive, 1965, I, no.11 (c.1635); Tümpel, 1968, pp.119 and 122 (c.1635; verso a sketch for the Prodigal Son in the brothel); Harris, 1969, p.162; Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.109; Broos, 1977, p.101; Amsterdam, 1981, under no.2; Corpus, III, 1989, under nos.A107 (recto) and A111 (verso); Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.88 (recto) and 94 (verso); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.7; Royalton-Kisch, 1989, pp.135-36; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.16, verso repr. fig.7; Exh. London, 1992, under no.12 (c.1634-35); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.39 (the verso), repr. (c.1635); Van Straten, 2002, p.278 the verso not the Prodigal Son); Exh. Boston, 2003, under no.4 (verso); Kreutzer, 2003, pp.164-65 and 195 (recto, c.1635); Exh. Dresden, 2004, under no.67 (verso); Bevers, 2005, pp.469-470; Berlin, 2006, no.9, repr.; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.5.1, repr. (verso exhibited, recto repr.fig.5a; c.1635-36); Exh. New York, 2016, p.34, repr. fig.29; Bracken, 2018, pp.157-64 (see n.2); Schatborn, 2019, nos. 35 [recto] and 31 [verso], and pp.18 and 25 repr. (c.1635; among first drawings of biblical scenes).

PROVENANCE: F. Heimsoeth, Bonn; his sale, Frankfurt, Prestel, 5 May, 1879, lot 146; Rudolf Schuster, Berlin, by whom presented to the present repository in 1881.

[1] See Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.9. The present catalogue entry is much indebted to Bevers's text.

[2] Bartsch, XVIII, p.182, no.4, as suggested by Bracken, 2018, pp.162-64. Various copies of the print are recorded, including one by Agostino Carracci (Bartsch XVIII, p.93, no.101) and an anonymous copy in reverse (Bartsch, XVIII, p.182, no.4 [copy in reverse]) . Bracken further argues that Rembrandt's drawing was made at an intermediate stage during the development of Benesch 0154 (chiefly to rehearse the introduction of the ladder). However the style seems characteristic of Rembrandt's primi pensieri (compare and contrast Benesch 0292 and Benesch 0423, for example, which were 'intermediate-stage' drawings).

[3] Bevers, loc. cit..

[4] Loc. cit..

[5] Dresden, Gemäldegalerie, Bredius 30, Corpus A111.

[6] Corpus A111, the X-radiograph repr. p.135, fig.2, with mention of the veil on p.140 (lower right column).

First posted 4 June 2012.

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