a revision of Otto Benesch's catalogue raisonné

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Benesch 101-200



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Abbreviations: the bibliographical abbreviations refer to the literature listed under the Bibliography tab. It should be assumed that the authors quoted regarded the drawings referred to as by Rembrandt unless otherwise stated.


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Benesch 0101

Subject: The Beheading of St John the Baptist (Mark, VI, 21-28)

Medium: Pen and brown ink on paper prepared pale brown. Inscribed by Léon Bonnat in pen and brown ink, top right: '35'.

137 x 112. Watermark: a crown above a band with three orbs (truncated); chain loines horizontal.

COMMENTS: The drawing is related to the etching by Rembrandt's collaborator, Jan van Vliet, of c.1631-33, which bears Rembrandt's monogram as its designer.[1] Thus the drawing is likely to date from c.1630-31.

The study is not always accepted as by Rembrandt, which excludes it from 'documentary' status; but it resembles a lively preparatory drawing for, rather than a derivation from the etching: the changes in the positions of the arms and the dynamic style both argue in favour of its being a preliminary work. The position of the corpse of St John is wholly different. There are, however, grounds for concern in the style. The thin underdrawing of the executioner resembles later works by Rembrandt (cf. Benesch 0093 and 0097 and 0100 recto) and the brown preparation is also more characteristic of the later 1630s. Yet as the drawing does not appear to be based on the print and the head of the executioner and the dead saint's body are reasonably close in style to Benesch 0095, on balance the drawing seems to be autograph and to date from before the etching, c.1630-31. It is perhaps later than Benesch 0009 verso (Benesch's recto), given the greater confidence of the draughtsmanship here.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt?

Date: 1630-31?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv. RF 4743; stamped with L.1886).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Dutuit, 1885, p.95; HdG 689; Valentiner 278; Kauffmann, 1926, pp.164 and 174 (compares Benesch 100 and 95); Van Dyke, 1927, p.53; Paris, 1933, no.1133, repr. pl.21 (1625-28); Benesch, 1935, p.21; Münz, 1952, II, p.173; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.101, repr. (c.1635; compares as Kauffmann, 1926 but also Benesch 104-5 and 108); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.262, repr. figs 50 and 51; Bauch, 1960, pp.99 and 256; Roger-Marx, 1960, repr. fig.51a; Broos, 1975-76, p.204 (represents Execution of Julius Paulus; influence of a print by A. Tempesta); Broos, 1977, p.101; Blankert, 1982, p.118, repr. pl.202d; Exh. Louvre, 1988-9, no.7, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1996, p.76, under no.19; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, under no.57, repr. fig.57a (c.1627); Schatborn, 2019, no.5, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Léon Bonnat, by 1885 (L.1714; no.35 in his Rembrandt album, with his number top right), by whom give to the present repository in 1919.

[1] Bartsch 93 as by Rembrandt, but now generally assigned to Van Vliet (see Exh. Amsterdam, 1996, no.19).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0102

Subject: A High Priest, standing, full-length

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash.

182 x 126. Chain lines: 27h. Laid down on a 19th? cent blue mat with a grey wash strip and three black lines.

COMMENTS: The drawing is somewhat faded, but the style is characteristic of Ferdinand Bol, to whom the drawing was first given by Sumowski in 1956-57 (see literature below). Bol was one of Rembrandt's most talented and successful pupils, but his drawings tend to have a somewhat sloppy liquidity. The drawing may date from the first half of the 1640s, slightly later than Sumowski surmised. Compare also Benesch 0103.

The drawing has often been brought into discussions of a painting of Zacharias in the Temple, possibly by Rembrandt but now known only through two copies.[1] There, a comparable figure is shown turned to the right before an altar.

Condition: rather faded.

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol?

Date: 1640-45?

COLLECTION: P Wroclaw, Ossolineum (inv.8707)

FURTHER LITERATURE/COMMENTS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.102, repr. (c.1635; records that Hofstede de Groot knew and accepted the drawing verbally; refers to Benesch 103, 265 and 329 [but without explanation]; a project for Bredius 542); Exh. Warsaw, 1956, no.105, repr. fig.59; Gerson, 1956, p.283 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.260 and 274, repr. fig.9 (Bol); Sumowski, 1956/57, p.260, no.274, repr. (Bol); Drost, 1957, p.164 (Rembrandt influenced by Elsheimer); Sumowski, 1957/58, p.235 (Bol); Gerszi, 1971, pp.102f. (Bol); Munich, 1973, p.53, under no.283 (noting attribution to Bol in RKD archives); Schatborn, 1973-74 (according to Sumowski - reference uncertain), p.36 (rejects Benesch's connection with Bredius 542); Sumowski, Drawings, I, 1979, no.165x, repr. (Bol, end of 1630s; compares Study of the Maries in Wroclaw, Sumowski 98); Exh. Wroclaw 1998, no.4 (Bol); Exh. Warsaw, 2006, no.22, repr. (Bol. c.1636-40); Kozak and Tomicka, 2009, no.19, repr. (Bol, c.1636-40); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

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

[1] Bredius 542. See Sumowski, Gemälde, I, p.22, n.22 (with further literature).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0103

Subject: Study of a High Priest (half-length, to right)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash (the upper corners restored in pen and violet grey ink, which also disfigures the face and other parts of the drawing); unruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink (perhaps partly ruled down right side). Inscribed verso in violet ink: 'Inv. No. 1549' and in graphite 'HdG 372'.

86 x 78; the upper corners restored and the face inset on a separate fragment of paper. No watermark.

COMMENTS: See Benesch 0102. Published as by Bol by Rosenberg (1956) and Sumowski (from 1961, and in 1979 etc., no.163*), the style and the motif closely resemble Bol's drawing of Nathan exhorting David now at Windsor Castle (inv.6517, Sumowski 134*), for which the present drawing is a preparatory study. The latter also has sections pasted in. The figure in both drawings is clearly derived from the priest in the etching of Christ before Pilate made by Jan van Vliet after Rembrandt's design in 1634-36 (Bartsch 77).[1]

Condition: retouched and cut (see under medium above).

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol?

Date: 1640-45?

COLLECTION: D Munich, Graphische Sammlung (inv.1549; stamped with L.620, L.2723 and L.2674)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 372 (c.1632; study for ex De Boer painting of Zacharias, Bredius 542); Benesch, 1935, p.22 (c.1634-35); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.103, repr. (c.1635; compares style with Benesch 266-67; also compares school drawings Sumowski 124-25*, the latter probably by Lievens; rejects HdG's association with Bredius 542 as Benesch 103 by Rembrandt; reworked by Bol, who used it for the Windsor drawing [Sumowski 134*); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (Bol, as also the corrections and additions; study for his drawing at Windsor); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 (unsympathetic drawing by Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (Bol); Sumowski, 1965, p.124, under no.19; Exh. Munich, 1966-67, no.54 (Bol); Trautscholdt, 1967, p.129 (Bol); Munich, 1973, no.283, repr. pl.374 (Bol); Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, no.163* (Bol; variant of Windsor drawing); Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.73 (Bol, c.1636-40; basis in Bartsch 77; related to Windsor drawing, Sumowski 134*) ; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich (inv. 1802-5).

[1] As noted in Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.73. The print is based on Rembrandt's grisaille in the National Gallery, which is in reverse and dated 1634 (Bredius 546, Corpus A89).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0104

Subject: Christ Comforted by the Angel on the Mount of Olives (Luke, XXII, 42-43)

Verso: Christ kneeling in Prayer on the Mount of Olives.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash and white bodycolour; much reworked by a later hand on both recto and especially the verso.

83 x 134.

COMMENTS: This is a difficult drawing to judge because it has been extensively reworked, especially on the verso. Most commentators reject the drawing, even after due allowance is made for the retouchings by a later hand, probably the Munich Forger. However, in the core of the recto there are stylistic links in the main group with Benesch 0095 and 0100, as well as with the head of the apostle on the left of the Last Supper after Leonardo, Benesch 0445. Other documentary drawings bring support for an attribution to Rembrandt, especially the 1635 Dresden Ganymede (Benesch 0092) and the pen and ink parts of the British Museum's Lamentation (Benesch 154). The penwork also has links with Benesch 273. See further no.127B, another trial for the figure of Christ which may originally have formed part of the same sheet, as shown in the illustration here (this has not previously been remarked). Perhaps also supportive for Rembrandt is the existence of copies and derivations, including Benesch 105 and another drawing in Munich.[1] The penwork of the disfigured verso is particularly close to the figure looking up at the upper right of Benesch 95.[2]

The strongest case for attributing the drawing to a pupil is provided by Ferdinand Bol's Annunciation, now in Oslo (Sumowski 180*) and by Benesch 0102. As usual with Bol's preliminary sketches, the draughtsmanship appears sloppier and the forms slacker; so on balance the present drawing is ascribed to Bol, but not without considerable reservations on my part (if on nobody else's!) in view of the analogies mentioned above. The attribution to Rembrandt becomes less likely if Benesch 127B really did form part of the same sheet, as both the style and the overall mise-en-page seem unlike Rembrandt.

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol??/Rembrandt???, retouched by a later hand.

Date: 1635-40??

COLLECTION: D Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung (inv.1494; stamped with L.620)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Munich, 1884-93, no.66b, repr. (Rembrandt); HdG 387 (Rembrandt); Valentiner,1925, p.468, under no.25 (probably an imitation); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (Rembrandt, c.1634-35); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.104, repr. (as Benesch, 1935; compares Benesch 100; only recto known in 1954 ed.); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (falsification); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257 (probably Rembrandt); Exh. Munich, 1957, no.51 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1958, p.198, under no.72 (perhaps Rembrandt c.1635); Rotermund, 1963, repr. fig.218 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1963.I, p.213, under no.72 (Rembrandt, c.1635); Benesch, 1964, p.114, repr. (publishes verso, as reworked; reprinted 1970, p.252, repr. fig.219); Exh. Berlin, 1970, under no.121 (relates Christ figure to St Stephen in Benesch 959); Munich, 1973, p.160, no.1116, repr. pl.314 (Rembrandt?); Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, no.181*, repr. Bol, in Rembrandt's style of mid-1630s as in Benesch 95-96; derived from Benesch 127B by Rembrandt, which resembles Benesch 164); [Not in Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2]; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich (L.620).

[1] Munich, 1973, no.1376, on which see Burmester and Renger, 1986, p.17, repr. fig12a (and in 12b under an infra-red reflectogram - the drawing has also been extensively retouched).

[2] Sumowski is persuaded by the comparison (in his discussion of the present drawing, Sumowski 181*).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0105

Subject: Sketch for Christ on the Mount of Olives

Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed by a later hand: 'Rembrand'.

54 x 94.

COMMENTS: Retouched by a later hand, the "Munich Forger", as so often with the Munich drawings, hampering a judgement of the drawings qualities. The 'signature' was also added by this hand. Apart from with Benesch 0104, there are stylistic links with two drawings by Rembrandt: Benesch 101, with its similar arms and torso, and Benesch 0452. Neither is documentary and considerable doubts must remain. Even allowing for the later retouching, the drawing seems timid throughout, further removed from Rembrandt than Benesch 0104 recto, from which it may be derived.

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol??

Date: 1635-40??

COLLECTION: D Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung (inv.1495; stamped with L.620).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.105, repr. (relates to Benesch 104); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (falsification); [Not in Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2]; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich (stamped with L.620).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0106

Subject: Seated Man in Fetters (lamenting)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, toiuched with white bodycolour (in the figure's left knee). Extensively reworked by a later hand in grey wash and with touches in the eyes, nose and mouth.

131 x 125

COMMENTS: The figure may represent St Peter in prison[1] (though his beard is usually longer) or the baker whose dreams were interpreted by Joseph, who correctly foresaw his execution.[2] The latter is supported by the use of the same model in Benesch 0107, where he apparently wears a baker's cap. Other treatments of the same Joseph story from approximately the same period are Benesch 0079, 0109 and 0423 verso.

This seems, despite the extensive reworkings - including in the face - by a later hand, so close in style to Benesch 0095 that an attribution to Rembrandt cannot be wholly excluded, despite its slightly less successful grip on form. The drawing if now generally assigned to Ferdinand Bol. Compare also Benesch 0104, 0107 (perhaps showing the same model) 0273, and the right hand figure in Benesch 0399.

Condition: much faded; retouched as discussed above (under medium and comments)

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol?? or Rembrandt??? Retouched by a later hand.

Date: 1635-40?

COLLECTION: D Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung (inv.1635; stamped with L.620).

PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich (L.620).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Munich, 1884-93, no.84a, repr. (Rembrandt); HdG 388 (Rembrandt; shows Judas in remorse or Peter penitant); Valentiner 95 (if Rembrandt, c.1630; compares Benesch 95 and 263; probably an imitation; Jacob lamenting?); Berlin, 1930, p.222, under no.5213 (less expressive than [Benesch 95]; Jacob lamenting?); van Rijckevorsel, 1932, p.85, repr. fig.82 (Rembrandt); Bauch, 1933, p.227 (if Rembrandt, c.1632-35); Benesch, 1935, p.21 Rembrandt, c.1634-35); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.106 (Rembrandt c.1632-35; a prisoner in a 'Joseph interpreting the Prisoners' Dreams'); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (falsification; subject-matter uncertain); Exh. Munich, 1957, no.52; (doubtful as Rembrandt); Munich, 1973, p.161, no.1117, repr. pl.315 (Rembrandt?); Sumowski, Drawings, I, 1979, no.182* (Bol, late 1630s; compares Benesch 104 and 107 [both also considered as Bol]); Berlin, 2006, under no.14 (Bol); [Not in Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2]; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

[1] As suggested by Hofstede de Groot, who also thought of Judas.

[2] As suggested by Benesch and supported by Sumowski.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0107

Subject: Head of a Bearded Man in a Cap

Medium: Pen and brown ink; perhaps retouched in the cap.

41 x 52.

COMMENTS: To judge from the cap, the head may be that of the baker whose dreams were interpreted by Joseph (see Benesch 0106). Close in style to Benesch 0106 (q.v.), and like that drawing attributed to Bol by Sumowski (164*). There is a lack of clarity and expressive power in the present drawing which mark it out from Rembrandt's heads[1] and also brings it closer to Bol (compare Benesch 0103). Here there are more lines to much less effect than in the head Benesch 0106, which along with Benesch 0095 may have inspired the present drawing. Here there are more lines to much less effect than in the head Benesch 0106.

Codition: as Benesch pointed out, this is clearly a fragment.

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol??

Date: 1635-40?

COLLECTION: D Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung (inv.1717)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 433 (Rembrandt); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (Rembrandt, c.1634-35); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.107, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1635; fragment of a much larger sheet; cap added later; compares Benesch 106); Exh. Munich, 1966-67, no.57 (Bol); Munich, 1973, p.53, no.286, repr. pl.374 (Bol); Sumowski, 1979 etc., no.164*, repr. (Bol, end of 1630s; compares Benesch 220 and 268 to differentiate from Rembrandt; compares Benesch 103 [S.163*] and Windsor drawing of Nathan [S.134*]); [Not in Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2]; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich (L.620).

[1] Sumowski rightly compared Rembrandt's heads in Benesch 220 and 268.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0108

Subject: The Crucifixion

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and grey-brown wash in various tones, with some white bodycolour. Inscribed lower right, in black chalk: '2'.

218 x 179 (including an added section of paper added and stuck down lower right; the top corners rounded).

COMMENTS: Some of us have long doubted this drawing (since 1988 in my case) but because of the drawing's sheer quality, hesitated. Those who wish to maintain the Rembrandt attribution will take heart from the drawing's overall strength and energy, and from a few comparisons of details: the almost obliterated smiling face near the left edge and the face of the happy bordello-dweller in Benesch 100 verso; the hands of the man standing to the right of the cross (Joseph of Arimithea?) and those of the nearer figure in Benesch 0140; the hatching on the same figure and his tram-line nose and the background figure at the top of Benesch 0140; the trail of shading down the edge of the cross and the wirey line of shading down the door-jamb. But those of us who disagree will point to the fact that the drawing seems so utterly different to others of the same type that are secure in their attributions, especially Benesch 0154 but also Benesch 0096, 0097, 0100 (apart from that one face) and so forth. None of Benesch's comparisons is convincing; nowhere among the secure drawings do we find the energetic but ultimately meaningless tangle of lines at the lower right edge (cf. Benesch 0078?); the rudimentary, expressionless faces seen in most of the drawing (the three exceptions being the head of Christ, the smiling face noted above and the pained face on the extreme right). The sinewy Christ is strangely rough-hewn, as if from wood. The crucial links in the faces in the background are with Benesch 0138 and with the present drawing, Van den Eeckhout emerges as an exceptionally gifted artist when young - as indeed he remained later on.[1] Some elements appear to have been derived from Rembrandt's etchings of the Crucifixion made in c.1635 and c.1641 - hence the date proposed.[2]

Having stated all that, I cannot completely exclude the possibility that the drawing was corrected by Rembrandt, in the stronger lines at the hat and collar of St Joseph of Arimithea, in the skirts of the Magdalene (if it is she) left of centre and perhaps elsewhere.

The figure at the lower right, presumably of the swooning Virgin Mary, appears to reflect Hagar in Pieter Lastman's 1614 painting of the Angel appearing to Hagar (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, inv.M.85.117).[3]

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout? (Retouched by Rembrandt??)

Date: c.1641?

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ. 12954; formerly 4-1929*).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte, lx, 1929, p.57; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.230 (c.1634); Berlin, 1930, p.227 (Rembrandt); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.486 (c.1634; probably a study for the etching, Bartsch 80, NH 143); Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, 1947, no.52, repr. (c.1635); Benesch, 1954/73, no.108, repr. (compares background of Rembrandt's etched Small Calvary of c.1635 [Bartsch 80; NH 143]; groups with Benesch 0110, 0111, 0399, as well as Benesch 0095, 0095a, 0100 and 0104); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.35 (c.1634); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.22 (c.1635); Möhle, 1967, p.42 (c.1634); Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.100 (probably a study for the etching, Bartsch 80; NH143); Exh. London, 1992, under no.9 (c.1633-35); Starcky, 1999, no.58-59 (c.1635); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, no.41, repr. (Rembrandt); Bevers, 2005, pp.468-69 (Van den Eeckhout); Berlin, 2006, pp.192-93, repr. (attributed to Eeckhout, 1635-40; compares Benesch 0138 and 0160; background based on Rembrandt's etched Small Calvary of c.1635 [Bartsch 80] as well as the Van Vliet and Rembrandt Ecce Homo [Bartsch 77]); Exh. Amsterdam, 2007, p.118 (Van den Eeckhout); Exh. Paris, 2007, p.122 (as Berlin, 2006); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.13.2, repr. (Eeckhout, c.1640; unusual motif of body broken on a wheel behind; dependant on Rembrandt's etched Oval Crucifixion of c.1640 [Bartsch 79] and Small Calvary of c.1635 [Bartsch 80]); Bevers, 2010, pp.40 and 45, repr. fig.1 (Eeckhout, c.1640, depending on Rembrandt's etched Oval Crucifixion, Bartsch 79); London, 2010 (online), under Eeckhout, no.1; The Present Catalogue online, 2012 (Eeckhout); Exh. Berlin, 2015, pp.40 and 58, n.8 (Van den Eeckhout); NH Rembrandt, 2013, under no.143 (Van den Eeckhout; based on Bartsch 80; NH 143); Berlin, 2018, no.57, repr. (Van den Eeckhout, c.1641; as Berlin, 2006, also comparing Eeckhout drawing Sumowski 649, Warsaw; the executed man on the wheel to right perhaps inspired by a print by Maerten van Heemskerck, NH 383; other elements taken from Rembrandt Crucifixion etchings, Bartsch 79-80; NH 196 and 143); [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijter-Seiffert, 2020, p.292, repr. fig.19 (not Van den Eeckhout).

PROVENANCE: Michael Sadler; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 12 December, 1928, lot 108; J. Mellaart (dealer) from whom acquired by the present repository in 1929 with the Max-J. Friedländer-Stiftungsfond.

[1] I became convinced of Van den Eeckhout's authorship and noted it and discussed it with colleagues at the Boston exhibition in 2003, comparing Benesch 148 and also the drawing in the Rijksmuseum of a Captive, Amsterdam, 1942, no.96, repr. (as Rembrandt school) and Schatborn, 1985, p.96, repr. (as Van den Eeckhout); the attribution was published by Bevers, 2006.

[2] See Bevers, especially in Berlin, 2018, no.57.

[3] See Philip Conisbee et al., The Ahmanson Gifts: European Masterpieces in the Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, 1991, no. 37, repr. (and viewable on the Museum's website); Seifert, 2011, repr. p.207, fig.3.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0109

Subject: Joseph Expounding the Prisoners' Dreams (Genesis, XL, 19)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash.

155 x 180. Watermark: double-headed eagle, both heads crowned (cf. Heawood 1302 [Holland, 1635] and 1303 [Amsterdam, 1644]).

COMMENTS: A fine drawing, the high point of which is the characterisation of the butler on the right. For the subject see Benesch 0080 (by Govert Flinck). The style is far from Rembrandt's own and the sense of scale and the intervening proportions are rather stolid. (Compare, for example, Rembrandt's own treatments of the subject In Benesch 0110 and 0423 verso.) None of the documentary sheets help to bring the sheet back towards Rembrandt (perhaps the closest being Benesch 0154 and 0164) and the drawing must be one of the most successful - and Rembrandtesque - works by and of his pupils. I had first thought of Govert Flinck, but the comparison with the drawing of the Messenger of God appearing to Joshua (Sumowski 90) speaks for Ferdinand Bol,[1] who is known for his more liquid version of the subject in Hamburg (Sumowski 101). There are telling comparisons in the background architecture of the two drawings, as also in the hatching and liquidly emphasised outlines that often seem counter-intuitive to the source of light. The style here emulated resembles Benesch 0293 recto.

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol??

Date: 1640?

COLLECTION: Private Collection USA.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Kauffmann, 1926-27, p.174 (c.1633-34); Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 1929; Exh. Providence, Rhode Island, 1931; Valentiner 104 (c.1633); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (c.1634-35); Exh. Omaha, 1941; Rosenberg, 1948, p.129, repr. fig.175 (c.1633); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no,109, repr. (c.1635; shows development from Benesch 0080; subject also treated in Benesch 0110 and 0106 [the baker]; compares Benesch 399 for style); Exh. Middletown, Conn., Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, 1956; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.4, repr. (c.1633); Exh. Hartford-Dartmouth-Boston, 1973–74, no.18, repr. (mid-1630s); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.42, n.2 (late 1630s, perhaps by Bol; based on Benesch 95); Berlin, 2006, under no.14 (quotes Amsterdam, 1985) ; [Not in Schatborn, 2019]..

PROVENANCE: Joachim von Bergmann; Störkel-Kauffung, Silesia; A.S. Drey (dealer, Munich) 1927.

[1] Peter Schatborn first suggested Ferdinand Bol (Amsterdam, 1985, under no.42, n.2).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0110

Subject: Joseph Expounding the Prisoners' Dreams (Genesis, XL,/ 1-20)

Verso: Inscriptions only (see below)

Pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite: '5690 / voir livre' and 'à 21½ . 20½'.[1]

117 x 114. Watermark: indistinct geometrical shape (like a square root sign); chain-lines 23-26v; mount: modern only (with yellow decorative strip, like Benesch 1013).

COMMENTS: For the subject, see Benesch 0080 (although here seated, the gesture of Joseph is similar), 0110, 0423 verso, 0476 and 0912.[2] Rembrandt may have been inspired by the treatment of the subject by Lucas van Leyden in an engraving of 1512 (Bartsch/New Hollstein 22), although his results are different.

There are unsatisfactory qualities in the draughtsmanship, especially in the characterisations and the lack of dramatic interaction, and the scale of the figures is also odd. The separate hand study resembles Benesch 0111-112, making the notion that Govert Flinck could have made this drawing difficult to refute - Joseph's hands also match those of Christ in Benesch 0070.[3] Yet the background figure and the head of the figure on the left have their counterparts in the documentary drawing, Benesch 0142 recto and verso, and Benesch 0133 is also stylistically close. The variety of pressure on the pen is also characteristic of Rembrandt, so that on balance the drawing may be tentatively retained under Rembrandt's name.

Condition good, though a little faded; some old foxing; repair to small hole, top centre.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt?

Date: 1635?

COLLECTION: Private Collection.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1947, no.54, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.110, repr.; Schatborn in Christie's sale catalogue, 9 November, 1998, lot 124 (Rembrandt, c.1634-35; compares Benesch 80 for Joseph; also Benesch 95, 97, 100, 133, 142) ; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: C.A de Burlet, Basel; private collection; Thomas Gibson Fine Art (dealer, London; their catalogue, June-July, 1987, pp.38-39, repr.);[4] private collection; offered through Jason McCoy Inc., New York, 1995; sold Amsterdam, Christie's, 9 November, 1998, lot 124, repr.

[1] Perhaps the measurements of an older mount or frame?

[2] Other versions by Rembrandt's pupils also exist, including Benesch A103 and Ferdinand Bol's drawing in Hamburg, inv. no.22412, Sumowski 101 (Hamburg, 2011, i, no.122, repr. iii, p.46).

[3] In an email of 3 February 2004, Peter Schatborn kindly told me that he thought the drawing was by Flinck.

[4] Their catalogue, June-July 1987. They kindly permitted me to study the original out of the frame.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0111

Subject: Sts Peter and John Healing the Lame Man (Acts, III, 1-8)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

121 x 172mm.

COMMENTS: The subject was treated by Rembrandt in his etching of c.1629 (Bartsch 95 - see under Benesch 12). Some of the motifs are taken over here: the discarded crutches, the open arms of St Peter. More than Benesch 0110, the style here speaks strongly for the authorship of Govert Flinck, with its even penlines, and may be compared with Benesch 0112, 0116 and 0121, for example, as well as with the similar figure to St Peter in Benesch 124. What appears to be a copy after a comparable drawing by Flinck is in the British Museum.[1]

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: D Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1915, p.21; Benesch, 1947, no.55, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.111, repr. (c.1635; groups with Benesch 108); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

[1] Inv. 1895,0915.1271; Sumowski 948a* (Flinck); London, 2010 (online), no.10 (?after Flinck).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0112

Subject: Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath (I Kings, XVII, 10-15)

Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed by Léon Bonnat top right in pen and brown ink: '16';

117 x 159. Watermark unclear: a crowned shield with initials MM below (?).

COMMENTS: The subject is unusual. The style is characteristic of Govert Flinck (compare Benesch 0111, which Benesch also saw as analogous).[1] The child and dog are likely to have been derived from the etching of the Pancake Woman of 1635 (Bartsch 124), rather than being preparatory for it (they are in the same direction as in the print). Intriguingly, another drawing of the subject by a pupil (Benesch C19) also includes a pancake-woman.[2] Elijah's face resembles that of the old man in the Burchard Grossmann album (Benesch 0257).

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv. RF 4670; stamped with L.1886a).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 732 (c.1635; child and dog compared to 1635 etching, the Pancake Maker, Bartsch 124); Paris, 1933, no. 1119 (identifies subject); Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, 1947, no.57, repr.; Boeck, 1953, p.218 (adapted but not reversed in the etching, Bartsch 124; NH 144 [gives wrong Benesch number as 57 ]); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.112, repr. (compares Benesch 111; otherwise as HdG); White, 1969/1999, p.157, n.13/p.271, n.14 (see n.2 below); Bruyn, 1983, p.57 (Rembrandt); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.6, n.3 (not Rembrandt; based on the etching, Bartsch 124); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, p.194, under no.10, n.7 (as Amsterdam, 1985; motif of child harrassed by a dog perhaps inspired by prints by Marcantonio [Bartsch 350] and Goltzius [Bartsch 270], which in turn refers to Raphael's Galatea); Amsterdam, 2017,, accessed 11 January 2019 (as Amsterdam, 1985); ; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Léon Bonnat (by 1885, with his album number '16'; stamped with L. 1714), by whom presented to the present repository in 1919.

[1] In an email of 3 February 2004, Peter Schatborn agreed with my suggestion that the drawing could be by Flinck.

[2] See White, 1969/1999, p.157, n.13/p.271, n.14.

First posted 4 June 2012.


Benesch 0113

Subject: The Virgin and Child Seated by a Window

Verso: An Interior Winding Staircase.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash. Inscribed lower left, in pen and brown ink; ‘Remb [?]’.[1]

155 x 138. Watermark: none.

COMMENTS: In a general way the pose of the figures on the recto is based, in reverse, on an engraving by Barthel Beham (Bartsch 8, Pauli 9). This evidence, together with the style of the woman's head-dress, make it likely that the artist intended to represent a 'Virgin and Child' rather than a genre study of a mother and child.

The drawing exhibits a splintery angularity of line, most evident in the faces and drapery, that recalls Rembrandt's style in the surviving sketches for his painting of 'St John the Baptist preaching' in Berlin, datable c.1633-34 (Bredius 555, Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110). The most comparable to the present sheet are two studies in the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (Benesch 0140-41), which houses another drawing in the same style, Rembrandt's pen and ink study after Leonardo's 'Last Supper' (Benesch 445), which is dated 1635. The British Museum's drawing differs from these in that the shading is executed in wash rather than with hatching in pen and ink, but in other respects the style and technique are similar. Other sheets to which the present drawing has been justifiably compared on grounds of style and iconography include the Bearded Man in a High Cap (Benesch 267), the Holy Family near a Window (Benesch 114) and the study of a Woman and Child, now in the Louvre (Benesch 275).[2]

The staircase on the verso (upside down in relation to the recto) resembles that in a drawing in Copenhagen (Benesch 392) representing a domestic interior and which is executed in the same style. The motif recurs in a painting in the Louvre of an Old Man in an Interior, a studio work,[3] and like the Copenhagen drawing it depicts the hanging basket, omitted from the winding staircases that appear in other works by or associated with Rembrandt.[4]

The attribution would be unproblematic were it not for the doubts that have been expressed concerning the Copenhagen drawing (see under n.3 below), and the stylistic proximity of the recto to a rejected drawing in the Rijksmuseum of a 'Captive led by a High Priest and two Soldiers'.[5] Furthermore, the style of the recto and verso is not entirely consistent, the latter being more liquid in handling than the former. The connections noted between the present sheet and Rembrandt's own drawings of the mid-1630s are insufficiently persuasive to warrant adherence to the traditional attribution to Rembrandt; and as with the 'Bearded Man in a high Cap' (Benesch 0267), which it resembles in style, Van den Eeckhout is the most likely draughtsman among the pupils. Once again there remain insufficient links with his secure work to underpin the connection more than tentatively.

Condition: good, but trimmed on the left, where a second sketch of the child is largely cut away; slight skinning, and small loss at top edge.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1638?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. 1859,0806.72)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Blanc, II, 1861, p.455; Vosmaer, 1877, p.602; Dutuit, iv, 1885, p.86; Michel, 1893, p.581; Seidlitz, 1894, p.121 (1630s); Exh. London, 1899, no.A5 (before 1636); Lippmann, I, no.114; Kleinmann, IV, no.25; Bell, c.1905, repr. pl.IV; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.877; Baldwin Brown, 1907, p.141; Saxl, 1908, p.234 (c.1646, for Kassel 'Holy Family', Bredius 572; same model in 'Adoration of Shepherds' in London and Munich, Bredius 575 and 574; Hendrickje the model, if she indeed seen in 'Woman taken in Adultery', Bode 338 [repr. Valentiner, 1909, no.537]); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; Hind, 1912/24, under no.27; (compares later etching of 'Madonna with the Cat', Bartsch 63; the drawing much earlier); London, 1915, no.17 (c.1630-35; compares etching of 'Virgin and Child with the Cat and Snake', Bartsch 63; the annotation as on Benesch 138; verso motif in Louvre painting, Bredius 431 and etching of 'St Jerome in a dark Chamber', Bartsch 105); Benesch, 1925, p.31 reprinted 1970, p.89 (1635-6 at the earliest); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.320 (c.1635); Hind, 1926, p.9 (see under Inscriptions); Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.3 (c.1635-6); Van Dyke, 1927, p.106 (by Lievens?); Rijckevorsel, 1932, pp.121-2, repr. fig.137 (c.1635; based on Barthel Beham and Veronese); Graul, 1934, no.6 (c.1635); Exh. London, 1938, no.17; Benesch, 1947, p.16 and no.64, repr. (c.1635; a religious subject but drawn from nature); Münz, 1952, II, pp.105-6, under no.229, and p. 112, under no.247 (c.1642; compares recto as Hind, 1912, verso to 'St Jerome in a dark Chamber', Bartsch 105); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.113, repr. figs.128-9/133 and 131 (c.1635; related to drawings in the Louvre, Benesch 275, and Weimar, Benesch 263; the verso possibly earlier, c.1633, and related to the study in Copenhagen, Benesch 392, and to Louvre painting of 1633, Bredius 431, Corpus C51; the staircase also seen in Stockholm sketch, Benesch 351 verso); Biörklund and Barnard; 1955, p.109, under no.BB54-C (as Hind, 1912); Exh. London, 1956, p.22, no.2; Slive, 1965, I, no.116, repr. (c.1635-7, probably a study from life); Clark, 1966, p.154, repr. fig.146 (c.1635; hooded head of Virgin resembles Mantegna and Donatello); Bloch, 1967, p.716 (questions whether a religious work); Bernhard, 1976, II, recto repr. p.10; Exh. Paris-Antwerp-London-New York, 1979-80, p.99, under no.68 (see n.1 above; notes winding staircase in Pierpont Morgan drawing, 'Woman carrying a Child downstairs', Benesch 313); Vogel-Kohn, 1981, p.37 and no.18, repr. (c.1635-6, in Renaissance mode); Hoekstra, III (deel 1), 1983, p.65, repr. (c.1635-7); Exh. London, 1992, no.11, repr. in colour (c.1634-5); Schatborn, 1992, p.21 (perhaps by a pupil such as Bol; wash, in particular, unsatisfactory); Giltaij, 1995, p.96 (perhaps by Bol); London, 2010 (online), Van den Eeckhout no.19, repr. (attributed to Van den Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, p.68, n.6 (uncertain if by Eeckhout); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: John Bouverie (L.325); by descent to the first Earl of Gainsborough; his sale, Christie’s, 20 July, 1859, lot 125 (with Benesch 656 also in the British Museum, inv.1859,0806.73) bt Tiffin, for the present repository.[6]

[1] Numerous other Rembrandt and Rembrandt school drawings are similarly inscribed, or else abbreviated to the first character (perhaps an 'R', 'RH' of 'Rt' in seventeenth-century style), including Benesch 0138. See Hind, 1926, p.9; Sumowski 237x (a drawing attributed to Ferdinand Bol, in Berlin. inv.4313); Leipzig inv. no.8301 (Corpus Gernsheim photo 139511) and Exh. Paris-Antwerp-London-New York, 1979-80, pp.99-100, for a list of some others. See also the comparable inscriptions on Benesch 0264, 0271, 0275, 0313, 0335, 0343, 0350 and 0390. Many of these drawings are clearly not by Rembrandt himself and many appear to be by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. In some cases the paraphe, as in Benesch 0113, resembles the last four letters of the latter's name ('hout') although this is never clearly the case.

[2] The first comparison in Exh. London, 1992, the others in Benesch, 1954/73.

[3] Bredius 431; Corpus, III, 1986, no.C51, where listed as a studio work of 1632 or the late 1630s. The attribution of the Copenhagen drawing (Benesch 392) is there described as 'approximate' (p.642).

[4] These are the etching of 'St Jerome in a dark Chamber' of 1642 (Bartsch 105), the paintings of the 'Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard', of 1637 (Leningrad, Bredius 558, rejected [in my view wrongly] by the Corpus, III, 1989, no.C88 but reinstated in Corpus, V, pp.206-7, 2011), and the 'Healing of Tobit' (Stuttgart, Bredius 502, a school work - see Corpus, III, 1989, no.C86) and a drawing in Stockholm the subject of which may be the 'Massacre of the Innocents' (Benesch 351 verso).

[5] HdG.1271, Amsterdam, 1942, no.96, repr. pl.73. Attributed to van den Eeckhout by Schatborn, 1985, p.96, repr. fig.4.

[6] The Bouverie collection was formed by John Bouverie (c.1723-50), much earlier than Lugt supposed. It was subsequently inherited by his nephew, John Hervey, Christopher Hervey, Elizabeth Bouverie (John's wife), Charles Middleton, and Charles Noel, first Earl of Gainsborough, who was responsible for the 1859 sale (see Exh. London, 1991, pp.21-4, Turner, 1994 and Lugt online at <> consulted 12/01/2013).

First posted 4 June 2012.


Benesch 0114

Subject: The Holy Family Seated by a Window

Verso: Not seen (drawing framed)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash (perhaps containing iron-gall) and later grey wash (some penwork also later, see below); a scraped highlight above Joseph's upper knee. No inscriptions visible.

140 x 163 (according to Benesch; the sheet now pinched by its mount to sight size 136 x 161). Watermark not visible. Chain lines vertical, distance apart uncertain. The laid lines appear to be broad, as if from a fairly thick paper. On a modern mount.

COMMENTS: Like Benesch 0263, close to Ferdinand Bol. There is a second version of the Virgin's facial profile just above where her hands are placed. The style is puzzling and differs in the two main figures, prompting Benesch (1954/73) to suggest that the Virgin and child were drawn from life (commandeering Saskia and Rumbartus as models) while Joseph was added from the imagination. But Rembrandt would probably have melded the figures together more successfully. The drawing has been heavily worked over by a later hand in pen and brown ink (the diagonal shading lines above Joseph) and grey wash (there and elsewhere, including the back of the head of the Virgin), and in iron-gall brown wash (at lower right) which hampers the judgment. Much of the brown wash is original, and behind the Virgin (apart from the iron-gall area) it is highly Rembrandtesque although the slashing vertical strokes on the right resemble those in Benesch 0109. On balance the style is too sloppy for such a developed composition by Rembrandt, despite its touching, humane qualities, and too close to Bol. The relative scale and perspective of the figures is unsatisfactory. The figure of Joseph is impossible to parallel in style with Rembrandt's securely attributed drawings (whether or not drawn from the imagination), apart possibly from the bold stroke of the pen outlining his nearer arm; his further upper arm and elbow degenerates into a cushion-shape and the relationship between his torso and backside is overly truncated (surely Rembrandt would have corrected this with a bold stroke of the pen?). The Virgin is similar to Benesch 0113, another pupil's drawing (Van den Eeckhout) that depends on a similar concept and may have been drawn at around the same time. However, the style is less dry here, and the stronger penmanship in the Virgin and much of the wash in the shadows to the right resemble Rembrandt's own drawings of c.1640 sufficiently to admit the possibility that the drawing is partly by or corrected by him (cf. Benesch 0096). But even here the underdrawing (especially in the child, where it resembles no.0113), diverges from Rembrandt's own style. There is too much labour, 'sound and fury' working to a rather cacophonous effect and signifying too little! The overall impression is much closer to Bol's liquid and (compared with Rembrandt) less efficient manner.

Condition: slight stains and foxing; later penwork upper left and grey wash (see above); a diagonal fold, lower right corner.

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol?? Perhaps retouched by Rembrandt???

Date: 1635-38?

COLLECTION: USA, New York, Art Market? (seen by the compiler 12 Jan 1998 with Wildenstein, New York, who advertised the drawing in a Japanese magazine in November 1990).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.584, repr. opp. p.276; Lippmann, IV, 188a; HdG 987; Exh. Paris, 1908, no.340; Valentiner 324; Lippmann, I, 188a; Original Drawings Heseltine, no.50, repr.; Hind, 1912, repr. fig.XVI; Rijckevorsel, 1932, p.120, repr. fig.139; Benesch, 1935, p.22; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.114, repr. (c.1635; compares Benesch 113; see further under comments above); Exh. London, 1992, under no.11 and p.52, n.3; London, 2010 (online) under Eeckhout nos.18 and 19; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: George Hibbert (1757-1837), London (according to Benesch, but his mark, L.2849, not visible); J.C. Robinson (1824-1913), London (L.1433 in gold, lower right, but considerably more faded than it appears in Benesch); J.P. Heseltine; his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27 May 1913, lot 2, repr.; with Otto Gutekunst (dealer), London; private collection.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0115

Subject: One of the Three Magi Adoring Mary and the Child (Matthew, II, 1-12)

Verso: Laid down.

Medium: Pen and brown ink; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.

177 x 159. No watermark visible; chain lines 25h.

COMMENTS: The composition and especially the kneeling magus are influenced by Rubens, who treated the subject several times. The immediate model for Rembrandt was an engraving of 1621 by Lucas Vorsterman (Hollstein 9; Schneevoogt 80) based on Rubens' painting now in Lyons (Oldenbourg 1921, p.162), but the print shows the design in reverse. It could be that Rembrandt knew a second engraving, based in that by Vorsterman, that was published by C.J. Visscher in Amsterdam and shows the composition in the same sense as the painting.[1] There is also a drawing for the engraving, in the same direction as the painting, now in the Louvre.[2] In Rembrandt's Leiden years the same design apparently helped inspire two of his early paintings.[3]

Rembrandt's drawing is placed somewhat too early - c.1635 - by Benesch. Of his comparisons, the most satisfactory is with Benesch 0412,[4] a doubtful drawing. In style Benesch 0115 combines some disciplined areas that resemble iron-gall ink drawings of c.1638-39 (like the documentary drawings, Benesch 0168 and 0423 verso, or even Benesch 0207 recto) with the liquidity of the 1640s (cf. Benesch 0762, 0762a and 0763). Similarly veiled women in profile appear in Ferdinand Bol's 1644 painting of Judah and Tamar, now in Boston,[5] and in Benesch 0397.[6] See further under Benesch 0382 (verso).

A school version, perhaps of the 1640s, surfaced in 2004 (see illustration).[7]

Condition: generally good; some light foxing and iron-gall ink damage.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1638-42?

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv. RP-T-1930-22; stamped with L.2228)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, II, 92; Exh. The Hague, 1902, no.57; Exh. Leiden, 1903, no.7; Exh. London, 1904, no.129; HdG 1268 (1657; connects with Bredius 592 in Buckingham Palace); Exh. Paris, 1908, no.339 (1657); Saxl, 1908, p.342; Hofstede de Groot, 1909, no.10; Amsterdam (Rembrandthuis Gids), 1913, p.11 (1657); Exh. Amsterdam, 1913, no.24; Exh. Leiden, 1916, no.18 (c.1635); van Seidlitz, 1917, p.252 (1635-40); Hirschmann, 1917, p.12 (c.1638); Stockholm, 1920, p.52; Exh. Paris, 1921, no.56; Becker, 1923, no.29; Valentiner 302 (c.1637); Kauffmann, 1926, pp.173 and 176 (1637-38); Van Dyke, 1927, p.50 (Bol); Paris, 1933, under nos.1147 and 1186 (1635-40); Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.21 (c.1635); Benesch, 1935, p.23 (1634-35); Exh. Chicago, 1935-36, no.32; Exh. Worcester, 1936, no.31; Amsterdam, 1942, no.47 (1638-39); Poortenaar, 1943, no.45 (1647); von Alten, 1947, no.30 (c.1638); Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, no.6 (1635-40); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.115, repr. (c.1635; compares Benesch 113-114 and 263); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.66 (1635-40); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.99 (1635-40); Rotermund, 1963, no.145, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.89, repr. fig.14 (c.1635); Slive, 1965, no.324 (c.1635); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.32 (c.1634); Haak, 1974, no.13 (1634-35); Bailey, 1978, repr. p.82 (c.1635); Schatborn, 1981.I, no.6, repr. (c.1635); Amsterdam, 1985, no.9, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-86, p.36, n.24, repr. fig.24; Schatborn, 2019, no.39, repr. (c. 1635).

PROVENANCE: Jan Pieter Graaf van Suchtelen, St Petersburg (L.2332 has been removed; not in his sale, Paris, Blaisot, 4 June, 1862); Remy van Haanen, Vienna; H. Lang Larisch, Munich, 1900; Cornelis Hofstede de Grootby whom presented to the Rijksmuseum, with a life interest till 1930.

[1] As suggested by Schatborn in Amsterdam, 1985, although the publication date of the later print (Schneevoogt 82) is uncertain.

[2] Musée du Louvre, inv. 20310; Lugt 1949, 1135, pl LX.

[3] See Corpus under no.A9, repr. fig7, and A 40, detail repr. fig.6.

[4] A comparison first made by Henkel in Amsterdam, 1942.

[5] Sumowski, Gemälde, I, no.82, repr.

[6] As pointed out by Schatborn in Amsterdam, 1985. He suggests that the drawing might also be by Bol.

[7] Sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby's, 2 November 2004, lot 80, repr.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0116

Subject: Diana, Goddess of Hunting, and two Greyhounds

Verso: Laid down on modern mount.

Medium: Pen and brown ink in two shades, with brown wash in two shades, over black chalk.

185 x 271 (top corners cut). Watermark: Foolscap with five-pointed collar and initials resembling TD or TC, similar to Heawood, 1929 (Holland 1629) and Laurentius and Laurentius, p.220, no.511 (1637); chain-lines 24h. Compare Benesch 70.

COMMENTS: In a general way, Diana's features resemble those of Rembrandt's first wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, and as in the etching of Diana that Rembrandt made in around 1631 (Bartsch 201 - see under Benesch 0021), the figure is not idealised, despite her status as a mythological goddess.

There are traces of black chalk underdrawing which, together with some other weaknesses, reveal this to be a high quality copy. (Rembrandt's own pen sketches are never prepared with black chalk.) The penwork is highly reminiscent of Govert Flinck (compare Benesch 129), but the drawing is perhaps based on an original work by Rembrandt, given the strength of the composition. The wash is more crudely applied than in Benesch 0324, with which Benesch compared it. He also saw analogies between the dogs and that in Benesch 0411, a comparison which in fact demonstrates well the differences between an original and a copy. Despite the apparent verve with which the wash is brushed onto the sheet, it fails to enhance our comprehension of the forms - whether of the dog to the left or of the background towards the right, and this, too, is unlike Rembrandt.

The watermark is the same as in Benesch 0070, which is also attributed to Flinck.

Condition: somewhat washed and abraded; discolouration near edges caused by backing or supporting strips.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck? After Rembrandt?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: CH Geneva, Private Collection (Krugier 3226)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Basel 1928, no.148; Benesch 1938, pp.45-46, repr. (reprinted 1970, pp.132-33, repr. pl.45); Benesch 1947, no.70, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.116, repr. (compares Benesch 411 and 324); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.264; Sumowski, 1961, p.4, no.116; Von Moltke 1965, no.178; Exh. Berlin-Venice-Madrid-Geneva-Paris-Munich, 1999/2007, Berlin, 1999 ed., no.39, repr. ([author: H. Bevers; doubting Rembrandt attribution]; Venice, 1999 ed., no.47; Madrid, 2000 ed., no.60; Paris, 2003 ed., no.55, repr. [author: M. Royalton-Kisch; copy by Flinck after Rembrandt]; Munich ed., 2007, no.48, repr. [as Paris 2003 ed.]); Schatborn, 2010, pp.26-27, repr. fig.28 (after [?] Flinck; same watermark as Benesch 70, as noted by M. Royalton-Kisch); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Tobias Christ, Basel, his sale, London, 9 April, 1981, lot 24.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0117

Subject: The Death of Lucretia, with her father and husband (?) [Livy, I, 57-60]

Medium: pen and warm, rust-brown ink over graphite or black chalk; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite: '56' and '106'

93 x 125 mm. No watermark; chain lines 25h.

COMMENTS: It was the suicide of Lucretia after her rape by Tarquin, the king of Rome's son, that sparked the rebellion that gave rise to the first Roman Republic in 509 B.C..

Benesch's stylistic comparisons (listed under Literature below) fail to convince and Govert Flinck's drawings provide the most satisfactory analogies (e.g. Benesch nos.0119, 0124, 0389). Valentiner suggested Jan Victors and connected the drawing with a painting of the same subject (the death of Lucretia) in Detroit, but the attribution of the picture is not secure (see Sumowski, Gemälde, no.1923, repr.). Bevers has also suggested Victors (according to Schatborn, conversation, June 2012). A copy is in the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts.[1]. A version of the subject by Ferdinand Bol may date from the same period (Benesch, under C22; Sumowski 193*); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

Condition: good.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: Private Collection, D

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner, 1923, repr. fig. 10 (Rembrandt; a woman in labour); Valentiner, II, 1934, p.xxxi, repr fig.29 (as Jan Victors for his painting of the Death of Lucretia in Detroit); Benesch, 1935, p. 23. (Rembrandt); Paris, 1950, under no. 494 (doubtful); Benesch, , 1954/73, no.117, repr. (c.1636; compares profile in Benesch 115; also Benesch 301, 302 and 313); Sumowski, 1956-57,p. 257 (Rembrandt); Exh. Raleigh, North Carolina, Museum of Art, In Memory of W.R. Valentiner, 1959, no. 80; Sumowski, 1961, p. 4 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, Gemälde, IV, under no.1923; Exh. Paris-Ajaccio, 2012-14, under no.44, repr. fig.1 (text by P. Schatborn: close to Victors, comparing Benesch 129 inter al.; a copy is in the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, inv. M I.936).

PROVENANCE: Earl of Dalhousie (L. 717a); private collection, Berlin; W.R. Valentiner; H. Becker, Dortmund; Commerzbank, Dortmund; sale, Amsterdam, Christie's, 8 November, 2000, lot 25 (as Circle of Bol), f.135,106.

[1] Inv. M I.936; see under Exh. Paris-Ajaccio, 2012-14, no.44, repr.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0118

Subject: Pyramus and Thisbe (Ovid, Metamorphoses, iv, 55ff.)

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

140 x 165.

COMMENTS: The Babylonian lovers Pyramus and Thisbe committed suicide near the tomb of Ninus.[1] The nearer version of the dead Pyramus appears to have been covered over with white bodycolour, which has subsequently lost its opaqueness and oxidised to dark grey.

The drawing was convincingly attributed to Nicolaes Maes by Sumowski. It may be that Maes was inspired by Rembrandt's sketches for the sick woman in the Hundred Guilder Print, Benesch 0183 and 0388, so that the drawing may date from the late 1640s rather than the 1650s, as Sumowski proposed.

A copy was with Kekko Gallery, Lucerne.[2]

Summary attribution: Nicolaes Maes

Date: 1647-50?

COLLECTION: D Dresden, Kupferstichkabinett (missing since 1945).

FURTHER LIERATURE/REMARKS: von Seidlitz, 1894, p.122 (possibly Rembrandt); Lippmann, I, 100; HdG 302 (Hagar and Ishmael, with Hendrickje and Titus as models); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; Neumann, 1918, pp.162-63, repr. fig.26 (Pyramus and Thisbe); Kauffmann, 1920, p.65, n.2 (Rembrandt after 1631); Stockholm, 1920, p.32 (Rembrandt; Hagar and Ishmael); Bredt, 1921, I, p.19, repr. (Hagar and Ishmael); Singer, 1921. no.648, repr. fig.44; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.110, repr. (c.1654); Valentiner 602; Benesch, 1935, p.23; Wichmann, 1940, p.28, repr. pl.68 Rembrandt, c.1644); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.118, repr. (c.1636; Pyramus and Thisbe, though possibly Niobe; compares Benesch 311 and 436 and the nearer figure to Benesch 402); Pigler, 1956, II, p.220 (Pyramus and Thisbe); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 (Maes); Slive, 1965, I, no.101 (Rembrandt, c.1636-40); Munich, 1973, p.53, under no.287 (Rembrandt, c.1636); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VIII, no.1838*, repr. (Maes, c.1652-53, comparing especially his Supper at Emmaus in Louvre, RF 29043, S.1837*); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Anon. sale, Dresden, C.E. Heinrich, 7 August, 1837 where acquired by the Friedrich August II (1797-1854), King of Saxony (L.971) and thence to the present repository.

[1] The subject was identified by Neumann, 1918. Other writers had suggested Hagar and Ishmael; Benesch, 1954, proposed Niobe as a secondary possibility. The presence of Ninus's tomb behind the figures supports Neumann's view.

[2] Their catalogue, Meisterzeichnungen, VII, 1975, no.4, repr. The copy does not include the reclining figure covered with bodycolour in the original drawing. Pen and brown ink with brown wash. 178 x 248, from the Mariette collection and inscribed: 'le malade du samaritan consolé dans l'hostellerie'.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0119

Subject: A Woman Kneeling in Prayer near a Tree (Hagar?)

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

138 x 118.

COMMENTS: Characteristic in style of the drawings now given to Govert Flinck, such as Benesch 0124 and 0129; Benesch compared no.0116.[1] A comparison with documentary drawings by Rembrandt (including Benesch 0140, 0152 and 0154) is instructive for seeing the differences between the two artists. Flinck probably based himself on the style of some of Rembrandt's drawings in iron-gall ink of the later 1630s, such as Benesch 0246 and 0253. The drawing may well represent Hagar, and probably dates from not long after Rembrandt had concerned himself with the story in his drawing after Pieter Lastman (Benesch 447) and in his 1637 etching of her expulsion (Bartsch 30).

A copy of the figure without the tree appears on a sheet in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which includes two other figures, in a darker ink: the Canaanite woman from Benesch 0921 and the figure of a standing man in a rhetorical pose.[2]

Condition: some staining mostly near the edges, otherwise good.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1637-40?

COLLECTION: I Milan, Private Collection (Rasini).[3]

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Morassi, 1937, repr. pl.lxxxviii; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.119, repr. (c.1636; compares Benesch 116, 120 and 324, the garment to 316 and 318); [Not mentioned in Schatborn, 2010]; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: E. Peart (1756/58-1824), London (L.892); Earl of Warwick (1818-1893; L.2600); J.P. Heseltine (1843-1929), London (L.1508).

[1] My notes show that Flinck seemed likely to me for Benesch 119 in 1989. A photocopy was shown to me by Sotheby's for an opinion on 15 January 1996, when I suggested it was not by Rembrandt but by the same hand as Benesch 129, and in 2004 I suggested an attribution to Flinck to Peter Schatborn and he agreed (email, 3 February 2004).

[2] As pointed out by Benesch, 1954. The drawing in inv.10.1 and at the time of writing viewable online at: <>.

[3] As noted by Benesch, 1954/73.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0120

Subject: Willem Ruyter rehearsing the Role of Bishop Gozewijn

Verso: Laid down (inscription exposed)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with some corrections in white (in the nearer elbow and the base of the book). Inscribed verso, in pen and brown ink, lower centre: 'Rembrandt'.[1]

183 x 149. No watermark visible; laid lines horizontal, distance apart uncertain. Laid down on a modern mount only.

COMMENTS: There is a surprising distance, stylistically, between this drawing and Rembrandt's documentary sheets of the same period (e.g. Benesch 0140-142, 0152 and 0154): perhaps the closest is Benesch 0336, with its refined touch, but the style could certainly be closer. The high degree of finish and detail in Benesch 0120, right down to some individual fingernails, is highly unusual for Rembrandt, as is the even pressure and temper of the (unusually thin and delicate) lines. This latter characteristic gives the drawing something of the quality of an etching and it is worth comparing the hands to those of the background figure of Sara in the Dismissal of Hagar of 1637 (Bartsch 30). The trailing, saw-sharp, zigzag lines (in the nearer leg and the tablecloth) resemble those in Benesch 0059 and Benesch 0131, making the attribution seem yet more insecure. Benesch compared the drawing with Benesch 0121, which seems rather different, but hit the mark with his comparison with Benesch 0324, especially the right hand. That drawing shares the Van den Eeckhout-ish trailing zigzags and the thin penlines. While I accept that the drawing is very probably by Rembrandt, there are considerable difficulties in proving this to be the case, particularly in 1638, when it was made (see further below). During this period Rembrandt's drawings were generally broader and often made with iron-gall ink. In style Benesch correctly placed the drawing close to Van den Eeckhout's sketch of the same actor, Benesch 0123 verso. He also noted that the still-life resembles that in Rembrandt's painting of a Scholar in his Study, now in Prague, which dates from 1634 (Bredius 432; Corpus A95).

Along with Benesch 0121-23, the drawing probably represents the actor Willem Barthelsz. (or Bartholsz.) Ruyter (1587-1639). Here he prepares for his role as Bishop Gozewijn in a play by Joost van den Vondel, "Gijsbreght van Amstel", which Rembrandt must have sketched along with his pupils, including Govert Flinck (see Benesch 121) and Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (see Benesch 122).[2] The present drawing apparently shows him studying and rehearsing his lines, in his dressing room, with the text open in front of him and his costume behind.[3] The play was performed between 3 January and 16 February, 1638, when the drawings were presumably all made (and the time of year would also explain the warm, fur-lined coat the actor is wearing here). Other drawings sometimes associated (or that might be associated) with the performance of this or other plays include Benesch 0312 and 0316-322.[4]

Willem Ruyter also appears in Benesch 0230 and 0235, perhaps in Benesch 0324, and in a drawing, not in Benesch, now in the Rijksmuseum.[5] His corpulent frame may also lie behind a figure in one of Rembrandt's sketches for his grisaille of St John the Baptist preaching (Benesch 0141), the image of Pilate in Benesch 0139 and the actor in Benesch 0280d.

Condition: generally good; some slight foxing; top left corner repaired; small tear lower right; a small hole in the curtain, upper left.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1638.

COLLECTION: GB Chatsworth, Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement (Devonshire Collection inv.1018).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.832 (represents St Gregory); Lippmann,I, 79; Neumann, 1918, no.50, repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.24; Benesch, 1947, no.71, repr.; Exh. London, 1953, no.316 (pose suggests an actor); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.120, repr. (c.1636; compares Benesch 121 and 324 [especially the right hand]; see further above); Van Regteren Altena, 1957, p.135; Exh. Manchester (Chatsworth Drawings), 1961, no.89 (St Augustine); Exh. Washington etc. (USA tour of Chatsworth Drawings), 1962-63; Fuchs, 1968, p.37, repr. fig.63 (1636-38; Gozewijn in his dressing-room); Exh. London, RA (Chatsworth Drawings), 1969, no.88; Van de Waal, 1969, pp.146-47, repr. fig.10 (groups with Benesch 0121-23 recto and verso; identifies as Bishop Gozewijn [as Fuchs, 1968]; same sitter in Benesch 0324); Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, no.113, repr.; van de Waal, 1974, pp.73ff.; Exh. Tokyo, National Museum of Western Art (Chatsworth Drawings), 1975, no.82; Exh. Jerusalem (Chatsworth Drawings), 1977, no.35; Albach, 1979, p.19 (identifies actor as Ruyter); Dudok van Heel, 1979, pp.83-87, repr. p.84 (identifies as Ruyter [as Albach, 1979] and dates to around January 1638); Exh. Richmond etc. (USA tour, Treasures from Chatsworth), 1979-80, and London, RA, 1980-81, no.93; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.I, p.42, n.5; Exh. London (Chatsworth Drawings, BM), 1993, no.174, repr.; Schatborn, 1993, p.170; Exh. Washington-New York (Chatsworth Drawings), 1995-96, no.88; Schatborn and de Winkel, 1996, p.388, repr. fig.4; Chatsworth, 2002, no.1463, repr.; Exh. Braunschweig, 2006, under no.40, repr. fig.2; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.6.1, repr. (c.1638; subject Ruyter as St Augustine); Schatborn, 2010, pp.20-21, repr. fig.20 (1638); Schatborn, 2019, no.256 and p.143, repr. (c.1636).

PROVENANCE: N.A. Flinck (L.959), from whose collection purchased by the 2nd Duke of Devonshire in 1723/24; thence by descent.

[1] According to the Chatsworth typescript, the inscription here and on Benesch 0142 is by the 4th Duke of Devonshire.

[2] See Albach, 1979. Previously these drawings were thought to represent the investiture of the Jansenist founder, Cornelis Jansen 'Augustinus' as head of the diocese of Ypres, or even (as suggested by Erwin Panofsky) the investiture of the inspirer of the Jansenist movement, St Augustine, as bishop of Hippo (see Benesch under nos. 120 and 121).

[3] Schatborn and de Winkel, 1996, have suggested that Rembrandt was merely using Ruyter as a model for St Augustine (reiterated in Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.6) although the cap or beret he is wearing militates against this interpretation. The book on the table could be the script, which Ruyter is using as he rehearses his lines.

[4] See Van der Waal, 1956 and Dudok van Heel, 1979; also Schatborn and de Winkel, 2006 and De Winkel 2006, pp.244-46. Benesch 0337-40, Benesch 0350, Benesch 0354 and Benesch 0362 might be added to the list, as well as the Standing Woman of c.1638-39 on the verso of the Seated Old Man (perhaps also an actor?) in the Lugt Collection (Not in Benesch; Paris, Fondation Custodia, inv.4502 and repr. Paris, 2010, no.8 verso as well as in the present publication). It has been suggested that the slight sketch on Benesch 0391 verso also shows or was inspired by the actor (Paris, 2010, no.6).

[5] Inv. RP-T-1996-6. See Schatborn and de Winkel, 1996.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0121

Subject: Willem Ruyter in the Role of Bishop Gozewijn, being robed

Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched with white heightening on paper prepared with brown wash.

212 x 180.

COMMENTS: See Benesch 0120. There is every reason to think that Rembrandt would have been joined at the theatre or for rehearsals by his pupils, and the style here, though fluent and highly competent, differs as markedly from Benesch 0120 as it does from any of Rembrandt's documentary drawings (cf. Benesch 0142, where the main figure may have been a source for the Bishop; also Benesch 0161 and 0168). The pinched faces of the attendants seem especially unlike Rembrandt.[1] The even style is closer to Govert Flinck and may be compared, for example, with Benesch 080, 0119 and 0129. It is interesting that the attribution to Rembrandt was first doubted as long ago as 1890 by Hofstede de Groot.

The date, 1638, depends on the performances by Vondel's play (for which see under Benesch 0120). It has been suggested that the drawing shows the actor being dressed for his part, although the pose of the attendant with the crozier might suggest otherwise, so that it might show a rehearsal.[2]

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638.

COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv.C1388; stamped with L.1647).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Franke, 1865, Holländische Schulen, port. V, no.13/2; Hofstede de Groot, 1890 (MS notes in Dresden), p.20, no.51 (doubtful); HdG 238; Von Seidlitz, 1917, pp.246ff. (doubtful as Rembrandt - 'Master of the Bishop'); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.44; Benesch, 1935, p.23; Benesch, 1954/73, no.121, repr. (c.1636; reports and follows Panofsky's identification of the subject of this and Benesch 122-23 as the Investiture of St Augustine); Exh. Dresden, 1960, no.12; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.22; Albach, 1979, p.17, repr. pl.16; Van de Waal, 1969, pp.145-49, repr. fig.11 (identifies as Bishop Gozewijn); Dudok van Heel, 1979, pp.83-87, repr. p.85 (identifies as Ruyter [as Albach, 1979] and dates to around January 1638); Exh. Warsaw, 1997, p.126, no.III/31; Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.104, repr. (as Rembrandt but reporting Schatborn's attribution to Flinck, 28 November, 2003); Exh. Paris, 2006, n.67 (c.1637-38); Exh. Braunschweig, 2006, under no.40; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.6.2, repr. (Flinck, 1638); Schatborn, 2010, pp.15-16 and 20-21, repr. fig.19 (Flinck, 1638); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

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

[1] I annotated my copy of Benesch 'Flinck?' for this drawing in 1989. Peter Schatborn also reached this conclusion, which he communicated in 2003 to the compilers of Exh. Dresden, 2004.

[2] See Schatborn and de Winkel, 1996 and Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.6. The attendants' costumes seem plausibly monk-like to me.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0122

Subject: Willem Ruyter in the Role of Bishop Gozewijn, standing, facing left,

Verso: Blank, apart from the mark (L.291a in red) and some (apparently off-set) brown wash.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, touched with white bodycolour In the head to left, the top and bottom of the crozier, the drapery and the mitre, and mixed in with the brown wash to the right; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink (cut away at top). Inscribed lower left by a later hand: 'R' [1]

208 x 165. No watermark; chain lines 25h (c.14 laid lines per cm). On a modern museum mount.

COMMENTS: See Benesch 0120 for the subject and date, and for related drawings based on the same theatrical performance. Bishop Gozewijn is here represented in a scene from Act IV of Joost van den Vondel's play: as Gozewijn enunciates the Nunc Dimittis, his nephew Gijsbreght approaches to warn him to flee from the advancing Count of Holland with his troops. Gozewijn refuses and is soon slaughtered, together with the Abbess, Klaeris van Velzen.

Although the nib of the pen is here broader, the drawing has stylistic elements in common with Benesch 0120, especially in the evenness of line that gives the result qualities akin to an etching. Clearly by a different hand to Benesch 0121, the question is whether it is by Rembrandt, as Benesch 0120 seems to be, or by the artist responsible for the most comparable costume study, Benesch 0318, and for another analogous drawing, not in Benesch, now in the Ulm Museum.[2] Benesch 0318 in particular provides convincing comparisons, in the treatment of the detailed drapery, in the rigidly profile pose and in such details as the hands, suggesting that Gerbrand van den Eeckhout was the draughtsman. The discipline and overall high finish of the drawing seem unmatched in drawings by the other pupils we know. Compare also Benesch 0123, 0172, 0299 and 0312, as well as the figure of Solomon in Benesch 0146. The extended pursuit of such detail in a pen drawing seems foreign to Rembrandt, and if by him one might expect to find analogies with his etchings of the same period, but nothing proves persuasive. Perhaps the nearest documentary work in style by Rembrandt is the minor drawing in the Morgan Library, New York, for the St John the Baptist Preaching, Benesch 0366, a sketch that, if the main heads are compared, makes the present work, despite its extraordinary quality and after making due allowances for the different pen, scale and purposes of the two drawings, seem rudimentary.

Condition: generally very good; probably trimmed above (see comment on the framing-lines above; the top of the crozier is also cut); some glue stains on the verso around the edges; a pinhole, top left.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1638.

COLLECTION: D Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum (Inv. Z 552; stamped verso with L.291a in red)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Von Seidlitz, 1917, p.252; Braunschweig (Prestel-Gesellschaft, IX), 1925, pl.85 (anonymous pupil); Benesch 1935, p.23; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.122, repr.; van de Waal, 1956, p.204; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.258; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.22; Fuchs, 1968, p.38, repr. fig.62 (represents Gozewijn); van de Waal, 1969, pp.146-47, repr. fig.12 (represents Gozewijn); Exh. Braunschweig, 1969-70 (no catalogue); Hummelen, 1973, p.155; Albach, 1979, pp.16-17, repr. fig.15; Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, 1979, under no.130* (Rembrandt; inspired Bol); Exh. New York, 1979-80, p.102, under no.70; Exh. Braunschweig, 1993 (no catalogue); Exh. Washington (Chatsworth Drawings), 1995, under no.88; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, p.146, n.5; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2002, pp.274-75, repr. fig.1; Bevers, 2005, p.482 (van den Eeckhout, concurring with Schatborn); Exh. Braunschweig, 2006, no.40, repr. (as Rembrandt, questioning observations of Schatborn and Bevers); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.16, repr. fig.16a (Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, pp.63-64, repr. fig.38 (Eeckhout); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

[1] The ink in the letter R is paler than in most of the drawing but the same xcolour as the line immediately below it. At all events it seems like a crude imitation of the first letter of Rembrandt's signature.

[2] The Ulm drawing (inv.2009.9745) is repr. Albach, 1979, fig.23 and Bevers, 2010, p.64, fig.36. My own notes include a suggestion from 1986 that the drawing might be by Ferdinand Bol (there are stylistic links between the background figure on the left and the turbanned man on the left of Bol's study of Nathan Exhorting David, Sumowski 156*) but the attribution to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout has now gained more traction (see also under Benesch 0316-19).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0123

Subject: An actor as the Abbess Klaris van Velzen

Verso: Willem Ruyter in the Role of Bishop Gozewijn, facing forward

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, with some white bodycolour. Inscribed recto by Von Heucher in pen and brown ink: 'Rembrand.'.

175 x 142 (upper corners substantially cut away).

COMMENTS: The drawings on both sides of the sheet belong with Benesch 0120-122 and represent moments from the same play (for which see Benesch 0120 - and for the date, 1638). The verso may show the actor, Willem Ruyter, acknowledging the final applause, given the presence of the curtain to the right. (Some writers have exchanged the recto and verso from Benesch's description, but his order is retained here). Benesch noted that the garb worn by the abbess resembles that of the Brigittine order and includes the pedum with the panisellus. He also noted that the pose of the bishop on the verso resembles that in Benesch 0122, but seen from the side.

Stylistically, the distance from Benesch 0120 is marked and the attribution to Rembrandt seems highly questionable. The closest analogies are with drawings now attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, including Benesch 0160, where in the central figure of the standing magus and the nearer warrior to the right, the style offers many similarities, in the construction of form and the use of sharp zigzags and even-tempered outlines and hatching.[1] From Rembrandt we would expect more variety, zest and overall strength. The recto seems especially far from Rembrandt and both sides lack any clear relationship with the documentary pen drawings of the period (Benesch 0092, 0140-42, 0152, 0154, 0164, 0292, 0336 and 0445). Benesch himself compared no.0316, which is also now generally attributed to van den Eeckhout.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1638

COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv.C1303; stamped with L.1647).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Heucher, 1738, 116 (Bureau XV); Franke, 1865, Holländische Schulen, port. IV, no.6/1; Hofstede de Groot, 1890 MS in Kupferstich-Kabinett, p.10, no.53 (not Rembrandt); HdG 239; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, nos.45 and 45a; Benesch, 1935, p.23; Benesch, 1954/73, no.123, repr. (c.1636; recto and verso reversed; the recto shows a monastic garb similar to the Brigittines and she holds the pedum with the panisellus; compares verso to Benesch 316); Exh. Dresden, 1960, no.12; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.22; Albach, 1979, p.17, repr. pl.17 (recto); Van de Waal, 1969, p.147, repr. fig.13 (represents Abbess Klaeris van Velzen, the verso Gozewijn); Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.105, repr. (Rembrandt); Exh. Paris, 2006, no.68, repr. (c.1638); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.16 (Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, pp.64-67, repr. figs 39-40 (Eeckhout, comparing especially Benesch 318); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

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

[1] My annotated copy of Benesch shows that in 1987 I had thought the drawing could be by Ferdinand Bol, which at least shows that the drawing has long been viewed as questionable for Rembrandt; Peter Schatborn also thought of Bol (correspondence with the author, 3 February 2004). In 1890 Hofstede de Groot was the first to doubt that the drawing was by Rembrandt (see literature).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0124

Subject: Study of a Prophet or Apostle (St Peter?)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

157 x 102.

COMMENTS: The drawing is a copy after a drawing that was brought to my attention in 2018 (see the ‘Not in Benesch’ tab, with the date c.1634).

Note the subsidiary study of the drapery in the lower right corner of the sheet, which eleaborates the same motif that appears at the top left of the original. The present drawing was published by Gerson and Sumowski as by Philips Koninck. Benesch compared his no.0075, but the present drawing seems less fluid and perhaps closer to Govert Flinck - cf. Sumowski nos.948a, 948b and 951* (the shading by the feet), as well as Benesch 0069, Benesch 0111-112 and Benesch 0117. Benesch 0111 has a similar figure of St Peter on the left and a tentative identification of the saint here seems warranted.

Summary attribution: After Rembrandt (by Govert Flinck?)

Date: 1633-36?

COLLECTION: Whereabouts unknown.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Gerson, 1936, pp.71 and 1659, Z.216 (P. Koninck, 1650s); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.124, repr. (c.1632-33, having first thought c.1636; compares Benesch 75); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257 (Rembrandt, c.1632); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VI, 1982, no.1395*, repr. (P. Koninck, c.1655-58); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Dresden, Galerie Arnold (their catalogue, 1921, no.79, repr. as Rembrandt).

First posted 4 June 2012 (when called Govert Flinck?); revisited 19 November 2018.


Benesch 0125

Subject: Study for Jacob’s Dream

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash; a touch of red chalk in the nose.

101 x 129. Watermark: part of a coat-of-arms.

COMMENTS: Benesch compared no.0127, which is not wholly apposite as it has a clearer armature of lines that differs from the looser handling here. However, Benesch follows Rosenberg (Berlin 1930) in mentioning Ferdinand Bol's painting of the subject in Dresden (Sumowski, Gemälde, no.80). Although the drawing is not directly related to it, Bol is likely to be the draughtsman (compare for style, for example, Benesch 0167 as well as Sumowski nos 166x and 168x), despite some characteristics that resemble Flinck, especially in the lower right corner.[1] The many analogies with the documentary Bol drawing, Benesch 0167, also support the attribution and suggest they were made at around the same time. The drawing may have been trimmed at the top, possibly cutting away the angels and the ladder that comprise part of the subject-matter.[2]

Condition: Trimmed above; some spots and stains, especially towards the left.

There is an etched copy by I.J. de Claussin.

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol?

Date: 1640-45?

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv.5216)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.575; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.25; Lippmann, II, 271; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.9, repr. (mid-1630s); Neumann, 1918, no.60, repr.; Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.1; Valentiner, 1925, I. no. 70 (c.1635; attribution not quite certain); Berlin, 1930, p.221 (c.1635; used by Bol for his painting now in Dresden); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.231 (c.1635); Lugt, 1931, p.56 (notes etched copy be De Claussin);[3] Benesch, 1933-34, p.298, reprinted 1970, p.298 (c.1636); Benesch, 1935, p.24 (c.1636); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.125, repr. (c.1636; compares Benesch 0127; see further above); Bialostocki, 1956, pp.364 and 368; Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.39 (c.1635); Sumowski, 1956/57, p.256 (Rembrandt but similar to Bol, comparing latter’s Joseph Interpreting Dreams, Sumowski 101, in Hamburg); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (Bol more likely, for Dresden painting); Rotermund, 1963, p.18, no.40; Wegner, 1966-67, p.51 (Bol); Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.12 (c.1636); Munich, 1973, under no.280 (Bol); Sumowski, 1979 etc., under no.162x (not Bol); Bernhard, 1976, p.163 (c.1636); Blankert, 1982, under no.5 (not Bol, more like Rembrandt); Bevers, 2007, p.59, n.45 (perhaps Flinck); Paris, 2010, under no.33 [Flinck?]. (NB not in Berlin, 2006 and thus not considered to be by Rembrandt); Hamburg, 2011, under no.857, n.2 (either anonymous Rembrandt school or, according to Bevers, Flinck); The Present Catalogue online, 2012 (Ferdinand Bol? With some Flinck-ish characteristics); Berlin, 2018, no.75 (Flinck, c.1635-40; compares Benesch 0127 which is ‘for good reasons’ attributed to Flinck); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); William Esdaile L.2617); Robinson and Chennevières sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 20-21 November, 1882, lot 166; Baron de Beurnonville,; his sale, 16-19 Febrary, 1885, lot 207; Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.

[1] In correspondence with Peter Schatborn in 2004 I suggested Bol to him and he concurred (e-mail 3 February 2004). In Paris, 2010, under no.33, he prefers an attribution to Flinck, as does Bevers in Berlin, 2018, no.75. He rightly argues, following Benesch, 1954, that there are similarities with Benesch 0127 (qv).

[2] As noted by Bevers in Berlin, 2018, no.75.

[3] Bevers, Berlin, 2018, no.75, refers to Lugt’s MS notes in the RKD in The Hague of c.1932 which pronounce that he followed James Byam Shaw in thinking the drawing is probably by Bol.

First posted 4 June 2012.


Benesch 0126

Subject: St Peter Liberated by the Angel (Acts, XII, 6-7)

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with later greyish-blue wash.

953 x 857.

COMMENTS: Benesch compared the profile of the angel to that of Jacob in Benesch 0125; and in the shading there are also links with Benesch 0027. Given the hesitant drawing of the wings and of St Peter's left arm, Ferdinand Bol seems to be the likely draughtsman and the style accords with Benesch 0125 and 0167. Certainly there seem to be insufficient links with anything attributable to Rembrandt himself, not least the documentary pen drawings (compare among them Benesch 0092, 0140-142, 0152, 0154, 0164, 0292, 0336 and 0445).

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol?

Date: 1640-45??

COLLECTION: USA Sacramento, Crocker Art Gallery (inv. 1871.134)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Trivas, 1929-40, repr. pl.51; Trivas, Apollo, CVI, 1940, p.135; Exh. San Francisco, Master Drawings, Golden Gate International Exposition, 1941, no.84; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.126, repr. (c.1636; see further above); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Edwin Bryan Crocker (1818-1875).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0127

Subject: Delilah Cutting Samson's Hair

Verso: Sketch of a Woman Surprised and a Seated Scholar

Medium: Pen and brown ink, verso also with red chalk.

140 x 180.

COMMENTS: Compare the recto for style with Govert Flinck's drawings, Benesch 0070 - the wiry armature of the figure of Samson and the shading to the right are both replicated in that drawing - and (the woman on the verso) Benesch 0129. The connections Benesch makes with paintings by Rembrandt are far from convincing (see Literature below); that made by Schatborn in 2010 between the woman on the verso and Flinck's painting of 1640, the Angel Departing from Manoah and his Wife (now in Kingston), is persuasive, and the drawing probably served as a preparatory sketch for it.[1] Although the position of the arms is adjusted, the head and the expression are almost identical (and worth comparing with the seated baker in Benesch 423 verso, perhaps an inspiration for Flinck). There is also a stylistic link with the woman on the right of Benesch 0062. For the pose of Samson on the recto, Flinck may have been inspired by the figure of Lot in Benesch 0128 (the way the feet are drawn is also similar).

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck

Date: 1640?

COLLECTION: F Dijon, Musée des Beaux-Arts

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 577; Benesch, 1933-34, p.298, repr. fig.247 (reprinted Collected Writings, p.252, repr. fig.85); Benesch, 1935, p.24; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.127, repr. (c.1636; the recto related to Frankfurt Taking of Samson, Bredius 501 [Corpus A116]; verso related to Louvre Angel departing from Tobit and his Family, Bredius 503 [Corpus A121] and to Rijksmuseum Joseph Telling his Dreams, Bredius 504 [Corpus A66]; the pose of the woman anticipates Benesch 180); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.262 (copy after lost original in style of Benesch 128); Exh. Paris, 1976, no.92, verso repr.; Sumowski, 1979 etc., under no.88* (copy); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.85 (Rembrandt); Schatborn, 2010, pp.22-23, repr. figs.22-23 (Flinck; compares his painting of 1640, the Angel taking leave of Manoah and his wife, Sumowski, Gemälde, no.617 [Kingston, Ontario, Queen's University, Agnes Etherington Art Center]); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: His de La Salle.

[1] The painting is signed and dated 1640 and repr. Sumowski, Gemälde, no.617 and by Schatborn, 2010, fig.24.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0127A

Subject: A Sleeping Soldier

Pen and brown ink over black chalk.

42 x 63.

COMMENTS: Published by Sumowski as Ferdinand Bol's study for the soldier on the right of his signed painting of the Liberation of St Peter, which he dates c.1640.[1] This seems convincing, although the picture could be slightly earlier. A worked-up preparatory drawing for the composition is also known and, like the present sheet, has an underdrawing in black chalk.[2] .

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: Private Collection.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Raleigh (Valentiner Memorial exhibition), 1959, no.76, repr. (of a Sleeping Woman); Benesch, 1964, p.114, repr. fig.12 (reprinted 1970, p.252, repr. fig.216); Benesch, I, 1973, no.127A, repr. (1636; represents Samson, for Dijon drawing, Benesch 127, ; Sumowski, 1979 etc, I, no.88, repr. (Bol, after lost Rembrandt; related to Bol's drawing of Liberation of St Peter, formerly London art market, Sumowski 87); Sumowski, Gemälde, I, 1983, p.291; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: John Gilbert Ramsay, 15th Earl of Dalhousie, Dalhousie Castle, Midlothian (L.717a; presumably from the eighteenth century album of drawings by Rembrandt and his pupils, notably Nicolas Maes, which was sold in 1922 to P.&D. Colnaghi, London, and subsequently dispersed by Cassirer, Berlin); W. R. Valentiner; Schaeffer Galleries; L.A. Houthakker; D. Weitzner; H. Becker, Dortmund; sale, New York, Sotheby's, 8 January 1991, lot 28; sale, New York, Sotheby's, 26 Jan, 2005, lot 194, repr. ($21,600).

[1] Frits Lugt (RKD fiches) regarded the drawing as a school work.

[2] Sumowski 87; present whereabouts unknown (sold London, Christie's, 26-27 March, 1974, lot 87, repr. (as Bol).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0127B

Subject: Christ on the Mount of Olives

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

44 x 65.

COMMENTS: See under Benesch 0104: the two lines entering the drawing on the left appear to be continuations of the lines at the right edge of no.0104 recto, though the drawings would need to be brought together to prove the connection. Before noticing this I was more solidly inclined than now to ascribe the drawing to Ferdinand Bol. See also Benesch 0105 for the motif.

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol??/Rembrandt???

Date: 1635-40?

COLLECTION: USA NY, Private Collection

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Raleigh, 1959 (In Memory of W.R. Valentiner, North Carolina Museum of Art), no.77, repr. (Rembrandt; shows remorseful Judas); Sumowski, 1963, p.214, under no.72 (Rembrandt; Christ in Gethsemane); Benesch, 1964, p.114, repr. fig.11 (reprinted 1970, p.252, repr. fig.115; Rembrandt); Benesch, I, 1973, no.127B, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1636 [without further comment]); Munich, 1973, p.161, under no.1116 (according to Lugt a school work); Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, under no.181* (Rembrandt, late 1630s; compares Benesch 164); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Luigi Grassi (1858-1937; L. Supplément, 1171b); W.R. Valentiner; with Schaeffer Galleries, New York; with Boerner (according to Sumowski, 1979 etc.); sale, New York, Sotheby's, 13 January, 1993, lot 105, repr. ('attributed to' Rembrandt) ; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0128

Subject: Lot and his Daughters (Genesis, XIX, 30-38)

Verso: A Seated Woman and a Kneeling Figure by a Table (not by Rembrandt)

Medium: Pen and brown ink (verso also in red chalk).

152 x 191.

COMMENTS: For the subject, see Benesch 0082.

On balance the analogies with Benesch 0120, another drawing executed with a hair-fine nib, suggest that the attribution to Rembrandt is tenable, despite some weaknesses of detail and despite the difficulty of finding persuasive analogies with any of the documentary drawings. Some comparisons with Govert Flinck come too close for comfort (cf. the shading around the daughter on the left and the shading in Benesch 0127 recto). The differences between this drawing and Benesch 0070 may help define the borderline between Rembrandt and the young Flinck, and the degree of precision in the figure of Lot himself might argue for a date c.1634 rather than later.

Benesch's most satisfying comparisons are with Benesch 0342 and 0415. A painting of 1649 by Christoph Paudiss depends on the design,[1] as does another, anonymous copy.[2] There are a few touches of penwork at the lower right edge of the sheet which seem to be of a later date.

The verso, a schematic drawing in red chalk, strengthened in pen and brown ink, looks more likely to be by a child than by Rembrandt or one of his pupils. Whether it is contemporary with the recto or later it is difficult to say.[3]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1634-38?

COLLECTION: D Weimar, Goethe-Nationalmuseum (Schuch. I, 874/0001)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Schuchardt, 1848, I, p.309, no.874; Lippmann, I, 192b; Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.19, repr. (c.1630); HdG 528 (notes Paudiss painting, then thought to be by Backer); Hofstede de Groot, 1915.I, pp.486f. (Paudiss painting); Stockholm, 1920, p.54, repr. fig.61 (resembles Benesch 266 in style); Valentiner no.45, repr.; Benesch, 1935, pp.24 and 29; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.128, repr. (c.1636; different to 1635; compares especially Benesch 125 and 127, also 342 and 415); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (Benesch's dating overly strict); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257; Rotermund, 1963, no.19, repr.; Slive, I, 1965, no.209; Scheidig, 1976, no.15; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.75, n.6 (c.1636); Sumowski, Gemälde, IV, 1983 (published 1989), no.1552, repr. (basis for Paudiss painting); Exh. Zurich, 1989-90, no.134; Exh. Frankfurt-Weimar, 1994, no.54, repr. (c.1635); Bruyn, 1995, p.101 (comparing painting in Budapest); Exh. Amsterdam, 1999, pp.77-79, repr. (compares Benesch 97, 140 and 293; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.4.1, repr. (c.1638); Schatborn, 2010, p.26, repr. fig.27 (Rembrandt; influenced Flinck's style); Schatborn, 2019, no.57, repr. (c.1638).

PROVENANCE: J.W. von Goethe (L.1087).

[1] Inv. 57.2883; repr. Sumowski, Gemälde, no.1552. Bruyn, 1995, p.101, called the attribution of the painting to Paudiss into question.

[2] Noted loc. cit. and also Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257, repr. p.269, fig.12; oil on panel, 79.5 x 109 cm, private collection.

[3] I am grateful to Thomas Ketelsen for details of the verso, recently revealed, and providing the image (e-mail 14 April 2020).

First posted 4 June 2012 (see also n.3).


Benesch 0129

Subject: Lot and his Family Leaving Sodom (Genesis, XIX, 16-21)

Verso: Abraham's Sacrifice [by another hand?] (Genesis, XXII, 9-10)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, verso also with black chalk and white heightening; one (accidental?) touch of black chalk above the angel's head and of red chalk lower left (as if

226 x 235.

COMMENTS: The recto seems fairly clearly by the same hand as Benesch 0002 and far removed from Rembrandt's documentary sheets. It melds in style with many other drawings by or at least attributed to Govert Flinck, such as Benesch 0111, 0119, 0121, 0127 (the verso in particular) and 0170, and is suggestive also for Benesch 0116. Also worthy of comparison is Flinck's (perhaps later) drawing of an Old Man Seated in Melbourne, Sumowski 948*, in which the drapery is similar in style.

The verso, possibly but by no means certainly by the same hand, smacks of apprentice or even juvenile work, so may well be earlier than what is now called the recto. Benesch regarded the verso as the work of a pupil of Pieter Lastman and reminiscent of early drawings by Jan Lievens and Rembrandt. His mention of Lievens is apposite, as he produced some highly finished works with a comparable chiaroscuro.[1] Sumowski, who had toyed with the idea of Flinck for the recto in 1961, in his Drawings of the Rembrandt School attributed the verso to Jan Victors and the recto to Rembrandt, with the latter perhaps responsible for correcting Isaac's neck and shoulder on the verso. Bevers regards Jan Victors as the author of both the recto and verso; but the connections so far proposed for attributions to Victors depend more on iconographic than stylistic arguments and, at least for the recto, seem to be undermined by the comparisons mentioned above. One could also argue from Victors's paintings that he was an artist of greatly superior quality to the one responsible for the verso, which belongs to a group of drawings brought together by Sumowski (his nos.2324**-2330**) as tentatively attributed Victors (many of them are listed under Literature below).[2]

Some of the drawings in the latter group, it seems to me, have a more than passing resemblance to the etchings of Jan van Vliet (c.1600/1610-1668?): especially suggestive, perhaps, is the comparison between the Elijah on Mount Carmel, now in Berlin (Sumowski 2327**), or the Good Samaritan in the Fogg Art Museum[3] and Van Vliet's etchings of the 1630s, such as the Sellers of Song-Sheets of c.1632-34 (Bartsch 15), the Raising of Lazarus of c.1632-35 (Bartsch 4), the Peasants' Meal of c.1633-35 (Bartsch 17), the series of the Five Senses of 1634 (Bartsch 27-31) and the Passion series of c.1635-36 (Bartsch 5-10). Here we encounter figures grouped in the same way and on a similar scale, with equally distorted, caricatural expressions (sometimes in profile, like the figure behind Elijah in the Fogg Drawing or the Abraham here) and foreground figures seen more-or-less from behind but bent forwards, away from the viewer. The etchings also exhibit a comparable sense of chiaroscuro to that found in the group of drawings as a whole.

Whether the rectos and versos of these drawings are really by the same hand is a moot point, as noted above. If so, the more sophisticated drawings (on what are now generally regarded as the rectos, though they were probably originally the versos) must be in the artist's later, more developed or mature style. But the possibility that juvenile works or drawings by apprentices were later used by other, better versed artists seems equally probable. Perhaps the reverse is also possible: that drawings made by competent artists on the rectos were later employed for study works by amateurs or apprentices.

Summary attribution: Recto: Govert Flinck? Verso: Circle of Rembrandt: Govert Flinck??, Jan van Vliet??[4] or Jan Victors???

Date: 1635-45??

COLLECTION: A Vienna, Albertina (Inv. 8767; stamped with the mark of Albert von Sachsen-Teschen, L.174)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot 1396; Valentiner, 1925, p.467, under no.37 (recto doubtful as Rembrandt); Falck, 1927, pp.171-73 (recto copy by P. Koninck after Rembrandt); Valentiner 37 (recto by a pupil, perhaps same hand as the verso); Benesch, 1954/73, no.129, repr. (recto Rembrandt c.1636, comparing Benesch 128; the verso by a student of Lastman, recalling early Lievens and Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (recto perhaps Flinck); Sumowski, 1979 etc., X, no.2329**, verso repr. (recto Rembrandt; verso by Victors, perhaps retouched by Rembrandt; groups with other drawings where the verso was originally the recto: Haman and Esther, formerly Bremen, inv.09/730 recto and verso, respectively Sumowski 2336** and 2324**, Magi with Herod, also formerly Bremen, inv.1035, S.2325**, Herod Learning of Christ's Birth, Dresden, inv.C 1968-297, and Elijah on Mount Carmel , Berlin Inv.5662 verso, S.2327**); [Not in Exh. Vienna, 2004]; Bevers, 2007, pp.52-54, repr. figs.13 (verso) and 14 (recto; both sides by Victors); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.19.2, repr. (verso repr. fig.19b; both sides by Victors, c.1638-39, recto inspired by Benesch 128 and 161, with which compared and contrasted); Bevers, 2011, pp.377-78, repr. figs.14-15 (as in 2007); Royalton-Kisch, 2011, p.99, repr. p.97, fig.24 (as school of Rembrandt; as main text above, the attribution to Victors very questionable and has always adhered to Flinck, following Sumowski, 1961); The Present Catalogue, 2012; [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijter-Seiffert, 2020, pp.285-288, repr. figs 11 [verso] and 12 [recto] (unaware of the present catalogue but like it suggests not Victors; recto and verso by different artists?).

[1] Cf. the Presentation in the Temple (Louvre RF 22961, Sumowski 1627*) and the Lot Leaving Sodom (Albertina 9547, Sumowski 1628*).

[2] In my view they are not all necessarily by the same hand. Many are published in Bevers, 2007 and 2011.

[3] Inv. 1976.3, Sumowski 123*, published as by the same hand (i.e. as Victors) by Bevers, 2007, p.54, fig.15.

[4] The Van Vliet comparison was first made by me in a lecture at the Getty Museum on 2 February 2010. Peter Schatborn and I studied many of the Albertina drawings together in July, 1987, when we both doubted that Benesch 0129 was by Rembrandt.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot 1396, verso; Valentiner, 1925, p.467, under no.37; Falck, 1927, pp.171-73 (P. Koninck after Rembrandt); Valentiner 37 (recto by a pupil, perhaps same hand as the verso); Benesch, 1935, p.24; Gerson, 1936, p.172, no.Z LIV (compares Benesch 128 and 130); Benesch, 1954/73, no.129, repr. (recto Rembrandt, the verso by a student of Lastman); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (recto perhaps Flinck); Sumowski 2329** (recto Rembrandt; verso Victors); Paris, 1988, p.215, under no.307, repr. fig.22 (attributed to Victors; same hand as Louvre Lot and his Daughters, inv. RF 14842, Sumowski 2329a**); Bevers, 2007, pp.52-54, repr. figs.13 (verso) and 14 (recto; both sides by Victors); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.19.2, repr. (verso repr. fig.19b; both sides by Victors, c.1638-39, recto inspired by Benesch 128 and 161, with which compared/contrasted); Bevers, 2011, pp.377-78, repr. figs.14-15 (Victors); Royalton-Kisch, 2011, pp.99-100, repr. fig.24 (school of Rembrandt: Flinck? Not necessarily Victors).

NB Not included in Exh. Vienna, 2004.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0130

Subject: Tobias Taking Leave of his Mother? (Tobit, V, 16-17)

Pen and brown ink with brown and (later) grey wash; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed by Léon Bonnat with his album number in pen and brown ink, top right corner: '36'.

164 x 91.

COMMENTS: The subject is uncertain. The sheet appears to have been trimmed and could have included other figures (though a third one is sketched out in the left background).

Not a strong drawing but arguably by Govert Flinck. Benesch compared his no.0129 but there are closer links with Benesch 0121. The grey wash is by a later hand, which somewhat hampers any judgment.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??

Date: 1640?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (RF 4752)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 735 (somewhat doubtful); Falck, 1927, p.178 (copy after Rembrandt by P. Koninck); Paris, 1933, no.1250 (school; compares various school works and also Benesch 560); Gerson, 1936, pp.75 and 175, no.Z LXIX (School of Rembrandt; not Koninck; compares Benesch 128-29 and C2); ; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.130, repr. (c.1636; especially near Benesch 129, also 128; washes later); [NB not in Paris, 1988 or Exh. Paris, 1988-89]; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: No.36 from the album compiled by Léon Bonnat (L.1714; see inscriptions above); presented by him to the present repository in 1919.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0130A (Benesch Addenda 7)

Subject: Jacob Blessing Joseph's Sons (Genesis, XLVIII)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with later grey wash.

107 x 95.

COMMENTS: The moment depicted is when Joseph tries to persuade Jacob to place his right hand on his eldest son, Manasseh's, head, rather than on Ephraim's. The subject was treated by Rembrandt in his painting of 1656 in Kassel (Bredius 525).

As Benesch pointed out, the wash is a later addition but the style of the penwork belongs to the mid- or later 1630s. The thin lines seem close to Benesch 0128 but looser, and the liquid handling evokes that of Ferdinand Bol. The style also resembles Benesch 0274 and the penwork in Benesch 0359, this last now generally assigned to Bol (Sumowski 96). At all events the distance between the drawing and any securely attributed drawing by Rembrandt (or Bol) is too great to traverse, although a now lost work by Rembrandt may lie behind the design.

This idea is supported by the existence of three other copies: that recorded as formerly in the Luigi Grassi collection in Florence is only referred to in writing,[1] but the other two, both in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, have no wash, proving that the grey wash here is later, and they also reveal that the present sheet has been trimmed at the sides and below.

The composition influenced Jan Victors in two paintings now in Warsaw and Budapest.[2] As a result, one of the copies (inv. A2422; Benesch C23) has sometimes been attributed to him,[3] but the connections are not close enough to secure the attribution.

Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt, perhaps after Rembrandt.

Date: 1640?

COLLECTION: Private Collection (unknown)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, under no.63 (attribution to Rembrandt doubted); Benesch, I, 1973, no.130A, repr. fig.155 (c.1636; mentions two copies in Rijksmuseum including Benesch C23, and a third from the Grassi collection, which show the sheet cut; influenced Victors' painting in Warsaw and Victors may have drawn Benesch C23); Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.74-75, repr. p.164, fig.74a (comparing two other versions in Rijksmuseum and noting that from in the Grassi collection, all reflecting Rembrandt's style of mid-1630s, and perhaps based on a lost Rembrandt composition); Sumowski, Gemälde, IV, under nos.1744 and 1751 (see n.2 below) ; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: E.V. Utterson (L.909); Bernard Houthakker, Amsterdam; sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby-Mak van Waay, 17-18 November, 1975 lot 190, bt Richartz.

[1] Valentiner, 1925, who states that it was sold at Christie's in 1924.

[2] Haussherr, 1976, fig.20-21; respectively repr. Sumowski, Gemälde, IV, no.1751 (as from the early 1650s) and no.1744 (as from the late 1640s), repr..

[3] Benesch, 1954/73, II, no.C23, Sumowski, 1956-57, p.261.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0130B

Subject: A Woman Kneeling (Hagar?), full-length in profile to left

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

142 x 111.

COMMENTS: The subject is uncertain but Benesch's surmise that it represents Hagar in the Wilderness of Beersheba as she hears the voice of the angel seems likely (Genesis, XXII, 14-19). The pose is similar to that of Hagar in Ferdinand Bol's painting of Hagar and the Angel at the Well, of c.1650, now in Gdansk.[1] However, the mise-en-scene in slacklines to the right appears to be the work of a later hand, as he also noted. The photographs I have seen suggest that some of the lines may have been strengthened, perhaps by the hand responsible for the background.

Benesch's comparisons with nos.0316-21 are not generally persuasive - the drawing is more liquidly handled than those he cites and in this sense is reminiscent of Ferdinand Bol. But the firm structure and style, with a rather broad nib, is analogous to the shirt and collar in the Self-Portrait in Berlin, Benesch 0432. Yet the attribution cannot be secured on the basis of documentary drawings by Rembrandt, and Gerbrand van den Eeckhout may come in contention - cf. Benesch 0316 in particular (one of the drawings compared by Benesch).[2]

Benesch noted that the artist had attempted to cover the further hand with white bodycolour.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?? or Rembrandt???

Date: 1636-38?

COLLECTION: D Dortmund Private Collection.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1973, no.130B <Benesch Addenda 9>, repr. (c.1636; see further above; identifies as Hagar); Sumowski, Drawings, I, 1979, under no.132* (Rembrandt) ; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Neville D. Goldsmid, The Hague; Scheikévitch; Marignane; Leo Franklyn, London.

[1] Sumowski, Gemälde, no.89, repr; Blankert, 1982, no.1, repr., suggested the date, with which Sumowski concurred.

[2] Published as by Van den Eeckhout by Bevers, 2010, pp.61-63, repr. fig.34.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0131

Subject: Tobias Curing the Old Tobit (Tobias, XI, 13)

Verso: A Small Sketch of a Head

Medium: Pen and light brown ink. Inscribed verso in an 18th century hand: 'a 52'.

111 x 65.

COMMENTS: The subject is one that preoccupied Rembrandt in the early 1640s and the present drawing could date from around the same time (cf. Benesch 0547).

The drawing has little in common with any that may be attributed securely to Rembrandt. My own notes reveal that in 1988, the drawing struck me as similar to Benesch 0328, which had recently been relegated to the Rembrandt school by Schatborn. The young Tobias on the right, from the trailing zigzags in his lower drapery and nearer leg, which is indifferently described, fosters those doubts as the two drawings do seem comparable.

The unclear structure of the upper right arm of Tobit resembles that in Benesch 0328 and details such as these (including the rather fudged hands, so important to the scene as Tobias applies the fish-gall to cure his father's blindness), undermine the whole understanding of the forms and recession. Tobit's pose, including his expressionless hands, convey nothing of the anguish of an eye operation. An attribution to a pupil seems more plausible, and perhaps the style has more in common with Gerbrand van den Eeckhout than with Govert Flinck (see Benesch 0070), although Benesch's comparisons were mostly with drawings now attributed to Flinck (including Benesch 0129). Benesch 0130, in the drapery of Tobias, also has a similar use of a descending or trailing line that evolved unbroken into a zig-zag

Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt - Gerbrand van den Eeckhout???

Date: 1638-42??

COLLECTION: GB London, Courtauld Institute (Seilern Collection, inv. D.1978.PG.179)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.131, repr. (c.1636;); London, 1961, no.179 and Corrigenda & Addenda, p.58; Bredius-Gerson, 1969, p.599, under no.502; Held, 1969, p.114, n.; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: J.P. Heseltine (L.1508); W. H. Schab; acquired in London, 1948, by Count Antoine Seilern (Princes Gate Collection), by whom bequeathed to the present repository, 1978.

[1] Amsterdam, 1985, no.104.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0132

Subject: Zacharias (?) and the Angel (Luke, I, 18-19)

Pen and brown ink, with very pale brown wash in the sleeve of the angel; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite, upper centre: 'No.7'; and lower left partly erased) 'J.57868' [last digit unclear].

109 x 115. No watermark.

COMMENTS: The subject is uncertain but accords with the angel Gabriel's exchange with Zacharias, foretelling the birth of the future St John the Baptist. "Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man and my wife well stricken in years?"; "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings".

Despite some hesitant passages, the style relates reasonably well with documentary sheets like Benesch 0092, 0142 recto and verso, and 0336, as well as with Benesch 0099. The liquid confidence of the angel's wings is especially characteristic.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1634-35

COLLECTION: USA, Cambridge, Mass, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University (1999.163, Maida and George Abrams Collection).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.132, repr. (c.1636-37; compares Benesch 133 and 328); Sumowski, 1956-56. p.257; Exh. London-Birmingham-Leeds (Arts Council), 1962, no.121; Rotermund, 1963, pp.12-13 and 311, repr. p.38, fig.15; Exh. Washington-Denver-Fort Worth, 1977, no.31, repr.; Robinson, 1999, p.16; Exh. London-Paris-Cambridge, 2002–3, no.44, repr.; Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 2004 (no cat.); Berlin, 2006, p.55; Paris, 2010, I, p.24; Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 2006 (unpublished checklist); Exh. Wellesley, 2008 (no cat.); Exh. Greenwich, 2011-12, no.2, repr. (comparing Benesch 87); Schatborn, 2019, no. 32 and pp.18 and 25, repr. (c.1635; among first drawings of biblical scenes).

PROVENANCE: Comte de Robiano; his sale, Amsterdam, Frederik Muller, 15-16 June, 1926, lot 418 (Rembrandt); A.W.M. Mensing, Amsterdam; his sale, Amsterdam, Mensing and Muller, 27-29 April, 1937, lot 200 (as Govert Flinck), bt F. Lugt; C.R. Rudolf, from whom acquired by George and Maida Abrams, 1975 (L.3306); presented by them to the present repository, 1999.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0133

Subject: Boaz and Ruth (Ruth, II, 1-12)

Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite: 'K.d.Z. 1101' [twice] 'R.v.R' and 'H.d.G. 35'.

128 x 117. Watermark: apparently a fragment of a Basel staff with initials below.[1]

COMMENTS: The subject is clarified by the related composition of Benesch 0162, which must have been inspired by the present sheet. The paper may have been trimmed below, disguising some sheaves of corn, but it may be that Ruth is clutching some with her right forearm.[2]

Like Benesch 0132, the style relates well to the documentary sheet, Benesch 0092, and to Benesch 0099. No directly related works by Rembrandt are known.

Condition: a sizeable repair to a loss on the upper left, between the figures.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1634-35

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ 1101)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, II, no.58A; Michel, 1893, p.572; HdG 35 (Elias and the Shunammite; c.1635-40); Wickhoff, 1906, p.10 (notes that Buberl identifies as the Dismissal of Hagar); Saxl, 1908, p.339 (c.1632); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.19 (mid-1630s); Neumann, 1918.I, p.118; Valentiner 146 (identifies as Ruth and Boaz; c.1635); Kauffmann, 1926, p.175 (c.1634-35); Berlin, 1930, p.222, repr. pl.146 (c.1635-40); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.248 (as Berlin, 1930); Lugt, 1931.I, p.57 (c.1635); Benesch, 1935, p.27 (c.1637); Weski, 1942, p.19 (c.1635-36); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.133, repr. (c.1636-37; perhaps represents Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath; compares head of Boas to Benesch 328); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.57 (c.1635-40); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.264 (c.1635); Slive, 1965, no.284 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.22, repr. (c.1636-37); Berlin, 2006, no.10, repr. (c.1635; clarifies subject; compares Benesch 87, 97, 100, 132 and 445); Schatborn, 2019, no.33 and pp.18 and 25, repr. (c.1635; among first drawings of biblical scenes).

PROVENANCE: from the earliest holdings of the present repository.[1]

[1] According to Berlin, 2010.

[2] As suggested by Bevers in Berlin, 2010.

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0134

Subject: Isaac Blessing Jacob (?) (Genesis, XXVII, 1-40)

Verso: Tracing from the recto

Medium: Pen and brown ink; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink; verso tracing in graphite; inscribed verso in graphite, centre: 'JG' and lower right: '60'.

82 x 115. Watermark: a coat-of-arms and the letter M (only partly visible).

COMMENTS: The iconography is uncertain, as a number of possibilities combine the figures seen here, an old man in bed and one or more youths standing or kneeling nearby.[1]

For style, Benesch compared his nos.0133 and 0190 (the latter comparison seems wide of the mark), but the present drawing is more stilted and less close to documentary sheets such as Benesch 0140-142 and 0152. The youth in the foreground seems unusually harsh. Giltaij, in Rotterdam, 1988, attributed the drawing to Ferdinand Bol, which could well be correct; as he points out, there are analogies with Bol's Hagar and the Angel, now in the Rijksmuseum (inv. RP-T-1930-27, Sumowski 89), perhaps especially in the sleeves.

The verso tracing, though it resembles some drawings by Nicolaes Maes, to whom it has been attributed (see Literature below), is impossible to date; it could be much later, perhaps made with a view to recording the drawing or making an etching based on it. But the drawing was once attributed to Maes, as it came from the Dalhousie album which contained numerous sheets by him.[2]

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol?

Date: c.1635-40

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R 60)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Rotterdam, 1934, no.116; Exh. Dordrecht, 1934, no.18; Benesch, 1935, p.22; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.134, repr. and verso repr. in 1973 ed. p.38 (c.1636-37; was called Maes - only the verso by him; compares recto to Benesch 133 and 190); Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.25; Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.257 and 264, repr. fig.56 (influenced Victors); Rotermund, 1959, p.174, n.2; Rotterdam, 1969, p.61, repr. figs.140-141 (attributed to Maes, as also in Koenigs inventory); Rotterdam, 1988, no.47; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Earl of Dalhousie (L.717a); P.& D. Colnaghi (see under L.717a); Paul Cassirer (dealer; see under L.717a); L. Boehler (dealer, Lucerne); acquired in 1923 by 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.

[1] As well as Isaac blessing Jacob (Genesis, XXVII, 1-40), suggested in the Koenigs inventory (according to Rotterdam, 1988), Rotermund, 1959, suggested Isaac and Esau (Genesis, XXVII, 30-40) and Hoetink (in Rotterdam, 1969) proposed Eli and Samuel (I Samuel, III, 1-10).

[2] For those that Sumowski attributed to Maes, see his nos.1758, 1765, 1766, 1769, 1770-75, 1782, 1784, 1786-87, 1795*, 1801*, 1814-15*, 1842*, 1844*, 1848*, 1850*, 1852-53*, 1856-57*, 1859*, 1862-67*, 1869-70*, 1873*, 1879-81*, 1883-84*, 1886-89*, 1891-95*, 1897-98*, 1943*, 1970*, 1987* and 2007* (1981* and 1995* are wrongly included by Sumowski as from the Dalhousie album - see Rotterdam, 1988, nos.124-25).

First posted 4 June 2012.



Benesch 0135

Subject: Scene of Judgement (with Christ or Barabbas?)

Medium: Red chalk.

339 x 274. Watermark: a circle of intertwining lines from a flail in a chaplet mark (similar to Churchill 544 [1640] and Voorn, 1960, no.26 [1641]).

COMMENTS: In this strong and impressive drawing, the chalk has not 'taken' on the paper in places, which suggests something of the speed and energy of its execution. It can be related in style to the documentary red chalk studies after Leonardo's Last Supper (Benesch 0443-44) of 1635. The central figure in the action, often thought to be Christ but quite conceivably another captive, such as Barabbas, also relates stylistically to Benesch 0142a, another documentary sheet. Compare also for style Benesch 0017 and, as Benesch noted, Benesch 0136.

Despite these stylistic connections with works of c.1635, dating the drawing is not straightforward. The composition seems to reflect or may even anticipate Rembrandt's grisaille sketch of Christ before Pilate of 1634 (London, National Gallery),[1] in which as well as the general arrangement (note that the drop of the arch meets the head of the captive at the same point), the foreground figures are stylistically close to those here. The outlines of the grisaille were indented through to a copper plate and made into an etching between 1634 and 1636.[2] This is in reverse to the grisaille but in the same sense as the present drawing. These connections argue for a date c.1634. Yet comparable watermarks occur in three iron-gall ink drawings by Rembrandt, two in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 0393 and Amsterdam, 1985, no.13) and one in the British Museum (Benesch 0246), which date from a few years later than the works cited above, c.1637-39. As Rembrandt used red chalk in the documentary sketch of Joseph Telling his Dreams of c.1638 (Benesch 0161 verso) as well as in the portrait of Cornelis Claesz. Anslo of 1640 (Benesch 0758), a slightly later date is equally plausible here, and like the iron-gall ink drawings, the present sheet appears to have been prepared with a brownish tint. While it is rare for Rembrandt to reflect an earlier work to such a degree, the alternative, to suggest that the drawing is the work of a pupil such as Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, is not supported by the style and the high quality.

A pen drawing in the Rijksmuseum (referred to by Benesch, who did not think it by Rembrandt) works up the central figures in pen and ink (though spoiled by later additions in wash); it is now often attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout.[3]

As was pointed out by Benesch and others, the drawing anticipates the much later composition of the Ecce Homo drypoint of 1655 (Bartsch 76). Also worthy of note is the resemblance between the corpulent figure with a tall hat towards the right and Rembrandt's sketches of the actor Willem Ruyter, made in c.1638 (see under Benesch 0120). The idea that the drawing was made during the performance of a play - perhaps a Passion play - is certainly possible.

Condition: sadly washed or faded, the chalk now tending to pink, the paper to brown (though it may have been tinted, see above); a vertical crease c.30 mm from the left.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1634-38

COLLECTION: D Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv. C.1976-351; stamped with L.1647)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Heucher, 1738, p.116 (Bureau XV); Dresden (Woermann), 1896-98, viii, p.89, no.288 (c.1635); Lippmann, I, 137; HdG 221; Neumann, 1918, p.111, repr. fig.38; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.27; Valentiner 468; Benesch, 1935, p.24; Benesch, 1954/73, no.135, repr. (c.1637; Ecce Homo, though iconography uncertain; compares Benesch 138, 146 and 148 for type of composition, and Benesch 136 for style); Sumowski, 1956-57, I, p.263 (c.1633); Exh. Dresden, 1960, p.12, no.16; Scheidig, 1962, p.78, no.44, repr.; Dittrich, 1969, pp.107-109; Winternitz, 1969, p.177; Schatborn, 1985, p.96 (the Rijksmuseum version not a copy but inspired by Benesch 135); Exh. Dresden-Vienna, 1997-98, no.82, repr. (c.1633, following Sumowski, 1956-57); Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.101, repr; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.64, repr. (1633-35); Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, under no.14, repr. fig.14a (inspired Eeckhout’s Rijksmuseum drawing of the subject inv.RP-T-1930-25, which was also inspired by Rembrandt’s Christ before Pilate etching, Bartsch 77, NH 155); Schatborn, 2019, no. 44 , repr. (c.1636).

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

[1] Inv.1400, Bredius 546, Corpus A89.

[2] Bartsch 77, which was largely made by Jan van Vliet (see Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, no.24, with further literature).

[3] Inv. RP-T-1901-A-4526; see Schatborn, 1985, p.96, repr. (as Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, pp.16-17 (Eeckhout).

First posted 4 June 2012 (nos.1-135 were all posted together)


Benesch 0136

Subject: King Solomon with his Wives and Concubines Adoring an Idol

(I Kings XI)[1]

Medium: Red chalk.

482 x 376, arched top; an extra strip of paper added at the top; laid down.

COMMENTS: The drawing is usually regarded as unproblematically attributed to Rembrandt and as dating from the years 1635-37. In style the closest analogies, among the documentary drawings, are with Rembrandt's copies in chalk after Leonardo and Pieter Lastman (Benesch 0443-44 and 0446-49), especially with the 1635 copy after Leonardo's 'Last Supper' in the Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Benesch 0443). The latter is also a match for the grand scale of the sheet as well as in the inclusion of a baldacchino at the top. The figure on the right of the present sheet also has stylistic inks with the documentary drawing of St John the Baptist in the Courtauld Institute (Benesch 0142a). However, while the attribution is sufficiently secured on this basis, it is noteworthy that Benesch compared the drawing with good reason to three works that are now often attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (though not in all cases universally: Benesch 0138, 0146 and 0148). The connections are not confined to style but embrace the somewhat unindividualised characterisations, which is unusual for Rembrandt. The overly elongated figure of one of Solomon's wives immediately behind him also prompts some concerns. For these reasons I have placed a single question mark by the attribution.

The purpose of the drawing is unknown; but in the inventory of Rembrandt's possessions drawn up in 1656, item no.91 is described as a now lost painting of 'De Inweijdingh vanden tempel Salomons in't graeuw vanden selven' (The consecration of Solomon's Temple in grisaille by the same [i.e. by Rembrandt]).[2] Assuming that this depicted the same subject, the fact that it was painted en grisaille suggests that Rembrandt may have been planning a large-scale etching of the subject along the lines of those produced by Jan van Vliet,[3] for one of which, the 'Christ before Pilate' (Bartsch 77), a grisaille of 1634 survives in the National Gallery, London (Bredius 546, Corpus A89). The form of the baldacchino is comparable in that design (and in the early states of the etching, Bartsch 77). But whether the drawing was related to the now lost grisaille must remain a matter for conjecture. A large painting of the subject, measuring 228.8 x 313.5 cm, was recorded as by Rembrandt in the Van Kinschot sale in 1756, but no other trace of it has been discovered.[4]

The iconography became common in the sixteenth century and the composition was partly inspired by an engraving by Lucas van Leyden (Bartsch 30). While the composition of the drawing has been compared with Rembrandt's 'Simeon in the Temple' of 1631 in the The Hague (Bredius 543, Corpus A34), the figure-scale and the arched top relate the design more closely to the series of Passion paintings made during the 1630s for the Stadholder, Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt?

Date: 1635?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv.22970; stamped below with L.2207)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Graul, 1906, no.2, repr. (early 1630s); Valentiner 435; Kauffmann, 1926, p.175 (c.1635); Paris, 1933, no.1117, repr. pl.8 (early 1630s); Bauch, 1933, p.227; Benesch, 1935, p.24; Benesch, 1947, no.90, repr.; Van Gelder, 1949, p.207, Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.136, repr. (c.1637; compares Benesch 138, 146 and 148 and the copies after Lastman, Benesch 446-48); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.263; Bauch, 1960, pp.256-57 and n.79; Paris, 1968, no.80, repr.; Rotermund, 1969, p.102, no.116, repr.; Roy, 1970, p.59; Sciolla, 1976, no.16; Broos, 1977, p.102; Corpus, I, 1982, p.335; Sumowski, 1979 etc., iii, 1983, p.1384, under no.637; Starcky, 1985, pp.257-59, repr. fig.5; Corpus, ii, 1986, p.94, n.22 (early 1630s, comparing Mauritshuis painting of Simeon in the Temple of 1631); Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée , 1987, p.454; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no,.21, repr. (c.1636-38); Starcky, 1993, p.212 (provenance); Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.9, repr. (1635-37); Sluijter, 2015, p.230, repr. fig. 31 (Rembrandt, perhaps inspired by Lucas van Leyden, seems to have reintroduced this subject, later often depicted by R. van Troyen, W. de Poorter et al.); Schatborn, 2019, no.45, repr. (c. 1636).

PROVENANCE: Perhaps Pierre Crozat;[5] Conseilleur M. Nourri; his sale, Paris, 24 February, 1785, part of lot 779, bt 'Alexandrie', 6.1 livres; Charles-Paul-Jean-Baptiste de Bourgevin Vialart, comte de Saint-Morys; his collection seized by the French state in 1793 after the Revolution; listed in the NOTICE DU MUSÉE NAPOLÉON : DESSINS , vol. 6, p. 1041, chap. : Ecole hollandaise, Carton 83 (…) Numéro : 8169, as by Rembrandt, subject unknown; transferred to the Musée du Louvre in 1796-97.

[1] Probably correctly identified by Starcky in Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.21, as Ashtoreth (or Astarte), worshipped by the people of Sidon.

[2] The reading is my own but differs little from those in Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, pp.356-57 and Exh. Amsterdam, 1999, p.148.

[3] See Exh. Amsterdam, 1996, no.16 (Christ before Pilate, Bartsch 77) and no.17 (The Descent from the Cross, Bartsch 81).

[4] See Corpus, ii, 1986, p.94, n.22.

[5] According to L.3620, the Nourri collection was derived entirely from the Crozat sale.

First posted 13 April 2013.



Benesch 0137

Subject: Nude Study of a Woman with a Snake (Cleopatra)

Verso: Laid down (and seems to be blank)

Medium: Red chalk (in various tones), heightened with white.; an accidental stroke of black chalk crosses the nearer arm and breast.

247 x 137. Chain lines ?27v (certainly vertical); no watermark visible.

COMMENT: There has been some discussion as to whether the figure represents Eve or Cleopatra, but the headdress and drapery make the latter more probable - despite a superficial link in pose with Eve in Rembrandt's 1638 etching of the Fall of Man (Bartsch 28, and the related preparatory drawing, Benesch 0164). Though seen from behind, the woman in the etching of the Artist and his Model of c.1639 (Bartsch 192, and in the preparatory drawing for it, Benesch 0423),[1] is also posed similarly. But in the present drawing she seems to be preparing her breast for the fatal snakebite with an unusual squeeze of the breast.[2] The snake may have been something of an afterthought: the section that is wrapped around the leg is drawn flat over the underlying modelling and shading of the thigh, and there are pentimenti by the lowered hand and upper thigh - the arm may originally have been a little longer. In a second campaign of work Rembrandt used a brighter toned red chalk, in particular to enhance the modelling down the shadowed side of the belly and down the model's left leg. Traces of the lighter chalk also appear in the markings of the snake on the nearer thigh. The style, with its occasional strengthened outlines (as in the head) resembles that of the New York copy after Leonardo's Last Supper of 1635 (Benesch 0443) as well as the black chalk drawing of an Elephant in Vienna, dated 1637 (Benesch 0457), as has long been recognised.

Drawings of the nude by Rembrandt are not common, yet he probably made many more than we now know: the inventory of his possessions mentions (no.237) 'Een boeck vol teeckeninge van Rembrant gedaen, bestaende in mans en vrouwe, naeckt sijnde' (a book full of drawings by Rembrandt, consisting of men and women in the nude).[3]

Condition: generally good. The chalk slightly rubbed around the figure into the sheet; a few green stains (paint?) centre right edge and lower right edge; frayed in part at the edges, especially at the lower right.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1637?

COLLECTION: USA Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum (inv. 81.GB.27)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Paris, 1879, no.371; Hofstede de Groot, 1921, p.141; Exh. London, 1927-28; Byam Shaw, 1928, repr. pl.29 (comparing 1637 Elephant, Benesch 457); Exh. London, 1929, no.580 (Commemorative Catalogue, p.198); Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.238; Hind, 1932, p.33; Exh. London, 1938, no.539; Benesch, 1935, p.28; Benesch, 1947, no.85, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.137, repr. (c.1637; compares animal drawings of 1637, and Eve in etching, Bartsch 28); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.68; Benesch, 1960, no.30, repr.; Goldscheider, 1960, no.16, repr.; White, 1969, I, pp.42 and 177-78, repr. fig.266; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.32, n.5; Malibu, 1988, no.114, repr.; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.196, n.6 (perhaps a study for Eve in the etching, Bartsch 28); Exh. Boston, 2003; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.3.1, repr. (c.1637); Schatborn, 2019, no.285 and p.143, repr. (c.1637; rare study of female nude). PROVENANCE: Fournet, Paris; Otto Gutekunst, London (dealer); sale, London, Christie's, 7 July, 1981, lot 120; Villiers David; his sale, London, Christie's, 7 July, 1987, lot 120, where acquired by the present repository.

[1] London, 2010 (online), no.24, repr. The woman in the print may represent Venus, but with the symbolic palm of Victory.

[2] A comparable gesture occurs in the Origin of the Milky Way painted by Rubens in c.1637 (Madrid, Museo del Prado, repr. White, 1987, p.276, fig.301, along with the preparatory oil-sketch in Brussels, fig.300), the year to which Rembrant's drawing is usually assigned - can this be mere coincidence?

[3] The transcript is from Jaap van der Veen's in Exh. Amsterdam, 1999-2000, p.150.

First posted 14 April 2013.



Benesch 0138

Subject: St Paul Preaching at Athens

Verso: Laid down.

Medium: Pen and brown ink (in tones ranging from almost grey to rich dark brown) with brown and reddish-brown wash and some white heightening; touched with red chalk; ruled framing lines in pen and dark brown ink. Inscribed lower right, in pen and brown ink (not the same as used in the drawing, but seventeenth or eighteenth century): ‘Remt’ (?);[1] on old backing, in graphite: ‘37' [in a circle].

180 x 207; chain lines 22h. No watermark visible.

COMMENTS: The subject was common in Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries although rare north of the Alps. In the present composition the action appears to take place in an enclosed space; more usually it is seen before classical buildings, as in the most celebrated representation of the subject, that by Raphael for the Vatican tapestries (engraved by Marcantonio Raimondi).[2]

The drawing was long attributed to Rembrandt and variously dated between c.1630-40. Yet only general stylistic analogies exist with Rembrandt's own work of the 1630s. The few finished and undoubted composition drawings of the period, such as the study for 'Judas repentant' (Benesch 0008), the signed 'Christ among his Apostles' at Haarlem of 1634 (Benesch 0089), the 'Ganymede' of 1635 in Dresden (Benesch 0092) and the British Museum's 'Lamentation' (Benesch 0154) are so far removed in style and technique from the present drawing that the attribution to Rembrandt is rendered unsustainable. Closer, perhaps, are two composition studies, the 'Group of Horsemen' in Rotterdam (Benesch 0151; Rotterdam, 1988, no.4) and the 'Pilate and his Wife's Servant' in the F. Lugt Collection, Institut Néerlandais, Paris (Benesch 0139), which are, however, drawn with considerably greater precision.

The style, with its simplified, geometrical shorthand for the forms and facial features, depends on Rembrandt's in the mid-1630s as represented, for example, by the two last-named drawings and by his preliminary studies in Berlin (Benesch 0140-41) for the Berlin painting of 'St John the Baptist preaching' (Bredius 555, Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110). Indeed the painting, with its many groups of listening figures, may partly have inspired the present design. It therefore seems likely to have been drawn by a studio assistant or pupil of Rembrandt, active in his workshop in the mid- to later 1630s, during and immediately after the completion of the Berlin painting, now usually dated c.1633-34. Of the known possible students, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout made the drawings that provide the closest analogies with the present work. The comparisons are mitigated by the date in the 1640s – several years later than the British Museum's sheet – of the earliest drawings that can be securely attributed to Van den Eeckhout. Nevertheless the points of comparison provided by the latter's preparatory study in Braunschweig for his painting of 'Gideon's Sacrifice' in a private collection in Hamburg are significant (Sumowski 601).[3] They include the facial profiles of St Paul and Gideon, with the fish-like anatomy of their mouths; the somewhat loose delineation of their legs and feet; the characterisation of the angel which resembles several of the listeners in the present drawing, some of the faces being rendered in a similar shorthand; the lack of effective spatial recession; the unvaried tone of the wash applied in the background; and the unruly calligraphy of the subsidiary penwork. These characteristics are far removed from anything certainly by Rembrandt and lend support to the attribution to Van den Eeckhout, which if not watertight, seems highly likely. They also appear in other drawings that have been associated with the latter.[4]

This assessment has repercussions for the attribution of two other drawings that have usually been given to Rembrandt but which seem to be by the same hand. These are the 'Departure of Rebecca', now in Stuttgart (Benesch 0147) and the 'Young Solomon Riding on a Mule' in the Louvre (Benesch 0146).[5]

Condition: generally good; the lower left corner has been torn off and replaced, but the work in this area does not seem to be by a different hand (pace Benesch); to judge from a few lines at the edges the sheet has been slightly trimmed; two short vertical tears at top edge, left of centre; a smudge of dirt in the arch, upper right.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout.

Date: 1635-40?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. T,14.7 [formerly FAWK,5213.7])

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1899, no.A2 (c.1630; ‘St Paul at Athens?’); Lippmann, IV, no.80; Kleinmann, IV, no.19; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.876 (c.1630); Valentiner, 1907, p.162, n.1 (perhaps by Koninck, of 'Baptist preaching'); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; Hind, 1912, I, p.51 (colourless line); London, 1915, no.15 (c.1630-35; the basis of P. Koninck's style); Backer and Veth, 1916-17, pp.79-80, repr. fig.2 (influenced by Carpaccio; related to etching of 'Christ preaching', Bartsch 67, Hind 256); Hirschmann, 1918, p.22 (not Rembrandt); Stockholm, 1920, under nos II, 7 and IV, 18, repr. fig.72 (probably school work); Valentiner, I, 1925, p.XXVI, repr. p.XIX (P. Koninck); Hind, 1926, p.9 (paraphe not evidence of authorship); Falck, 1927, p.178 (Koninck after Rembrandt); Paris, 1933, p.4, under no.1116 (c.1630; stylistically related to Louvre 'Triumphal procession' [Benesch 146]); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.551, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1630); Benesch, 1935, p.24 (c.1636); Gerson, 1936, pp.74-5 and 174-5, no.Z.LXXI (c.1635); Exh. London, 1938, no. 1938, no.15 (c.1630-35); Benesch, 1947, p.25, under no.90 (mid-1630s); Beck, 1949, pp.114-17 (c.1630; reflects Raphael); Benesch, 1954/73, I, no.138, repr. fig.148/165 (c.1637); Sumowski, 1957/58, p.262 (early 1630s); Sumowski, 1963, p.199, repr. fig.114 (c.1630; notes other representations of St Paul by Rembrandt and school); Slive, 1965, II, no.529 (c.1637); Sumowski, III, 1980, under no.806xx; Amsterdam, 1981, p.154, under no.42, n.6 (quoting Valentiner, 1925); Starcky, 1985, p.259 (compares 'Solomon's Idolatry', Louvre, Benesch 136, placed c.1636-8); Exh. London, 1992, no.97, repr. in colour (as by van den Eeckhout); White, 1992, p.268 (not Rembrandt but Eeckhout not convincing either); Schatborn, 1994, p.24 (agrees with Exh. London, 1992); Giltaij, 1995, p.102 (inscribed 'Remb'); Berlin, 2006, p.195 (as Exh. London, 1992); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.14.2 (as Exh. London, 1992); Bevers, 2010, p.42, repr. fig.3 (as Exh. London, 1992); London, 2010 (online), no.1 (as Exh. London, 1992); The Present Catalogue Online, 2013; Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, under no.13, n.5 (belongs to core group of Eeckhout drawings); [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijtter-Seiffert, 2020, pp.290-93, repr. fig.18 (unaware of the present catalogue; believes Van den Eeckhout not a Rembrandt-pupil; that St Paul's "nose, the space between nose and upper lip, the mouth and chin" are all drawn in one stroke [incorrect]; not by Eeckhout).

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

[1] Comparable inscriptions may be found on other drawings by or formerly attributed to Rembrandt (see Hind, 1926, p.9), including Sumowski 237x (a drawing by Bol in Berlin); Leipzig inv. no.8301 (Corpus Gernsheim photo 139511); see further Exh. Paris-Antwerp-London-New York, 1979-80, pp.99-100, for a list of some others.

[2] Bartsch, XIV, p.50, no.44; see further Pigler, 1956, I, pp.390f. In general terms the composition is comparable to Rubens's drawing of a Sermon in a Village Barn, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv.2000.483; Exh. New York, Metropolitan, 2005, no. 107, repr.). The subject was first correctly identified by Colvin in Exh. London, 1899. Prior to this the drawing may for a time have been attributed to van Vliet, whose name appears in graphite in the handwritten register of acquisitions above its entry as by Rembrandt.

[3] The painting is Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, no.392, repr.

[4] Including the 'Mercury and Argus' in the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam, 1942, no.119, repr. pl.89, attributed to van den Eeckhout by Schatborn, 1985, p.98, fig.8), the copy after Van den Eeckhout in Rotterdam of the 'Departure of Rebecca' (see the literature in n.5) and the 'Christ and the Adulteress' in Copenhagen (Sumowski, III, 1980, no.642, repr.). See also Bevers, 2010 and also a drawing sold, London, Christie's, 4 December, 2018, lot 105, repr. In general terms the composition is comparable to Rubens's drawing of a Sermon in a Village Barn, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv.2000.483; Exh. New York, Metropolitan, 2005, no. 107, repr.).

[5] See Sumowski, III, 1980, no.806xx; Rotterdam, 1988, no.68 for the former, as well as for the copy mentioned in n.3 above. The Paris drawing does not appear to have been associated with van den Eeckhout before, but was omitted by Emmanuel Starcky in his account of all Rembrandt's drawings in the Louvre (Exh. Paris, Louvre, Cabinet des dessins, 1988-9).

First posted 14 April 2013.



Benesch 0139

Subject: Pilate and his Wife (Matthew, XXVII, 19)

Verso: Blank

Medium: Pen and dark brown ink, touched lower right with grey wash; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. The surface is pitted as if by a sharp point (this is especially clear on the verso, which is cleaner). Inscribed in pen and brown ink (the same as the drawing), lower right, by Rembrandt: "hebt u niet te doen medt deesen rechtveer/dijgen" (Have thou nothing to do with this just man). Verso, in pen and brown ink on a piece of paper pasted on, lower left: '1847. Dr Cranions [?] / sale, Oxford .L.'; in graphite: 'x / n' and lower right, also in graphite: '3/6'; centre, in graphite: 'K'.

148 x 168. Chain lines 24h; watermark: base of a Strasburg lily in a shield with 4 below; mat: 20th-century blue card only.

COMMENTS: The inscription appears to be in Rembrandt's own handwriting and is based on the text of Matthew, XXVII, 19 (in the 1611 King James version, 'Have thou nothing to do with that just man'). It has been stated that the word 'rechtveerdiigen', or variations of it, occur only from the time of the Statenbijbel translation, first printed in 1637.[1] This is not the case, as the following will I hope demonstrate (beginning with Rembrandt's version):

hebt u niet te doen medt deesen rechtveerdijgen (Rembrandt, Benesch 139)

En hebt ghi doch niet te doen metten rechtuaerdigen mensce (Liesveltbijbel, 1542)

En hebt doch niet te doene met dien rechtuerdighen (Leuvense bijbel, 1548)

En hebt niet te doen met desen Rechtuaerdighen (Biestkensbijbel, 1560)

Hebt doch niet te doen met dien rechtveerdigen (Statenbijbel, 1637)

En hebt niet te doen met desen Rechtveerdigen (Lutherse vertaling, 1648)

There is therefore no reason to think the drawing was made after the appearance of the Statenbijbel. The Biestkensbijbel of 1560 may well have been the one used by Rembrandt as he grew up, and in the use of 'desen' it is closer than the Statenbijbel to Rembrandt's inscription.

The style seems to conform best with works before 1635. There are even similarities with Benesch 0182 but closer still are the two drawings in Berlin (Benesch 0140-41) for the grisaille of St John the Baptist preaching of c.1633-34 (Bredius 555, Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110). A date c.1633-34 therefore seems warranted.

The subject is extremely unusual. The figure of Pilate, it has been suggested, resembles the actor Willem Ruyter (see Benesch 120),[2] prompting the idea that the image could be based on a performance of a Passion Play.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1633-34?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Fondation Custodia, collection F. Lugt (inv.1908)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner, 1934, no.459, repr. (c.1629); Benesch, 1935, p.28 (1637); Rotermund, 1951, pp.54-56 (1635-40); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.139, repr. (c.1637); Rotermund, 1957, pp.125-30; Rotermund, 1959, pp.199-200; Sumowski, 1963, p.213, under no.81 (c.1637); Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.596, no.4; Exh. London, 1992, p.202, under no.97; Royalton-Kisch, 1998, p.619 (c.1634); Tümpel in Vignau-Wilberg, 2003, p.163, n.12; Bevers, 2005, p.475 (before 1630); London, 2010 (online) under Eeckhout, no.1; Paris (Lugt), 2010, no.2, repr (mid-1630s); Schatborn and Dudok van Heel, 2011, p.347, no.II, repr. fig.152 (inscribed by Rembrandt); Schatborn, 2019, no. 20 , repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Charles Loeser, Florence, by whom presented on 7 February 1923 to Frits Lugt (L.1028).

[1] Rotermund, 1951 and 1957; see also Tümpel, 2003.

[2] Schatborn in Paris, 2010, p.27.

First posted 15 April 2013.



Benesch 0139A

Subject: St John the Baptist Preaching

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash.

193 x 276. Watermark: Basel Crozier with letters AV (similar to Heawood 1201, of 1616).

COMMENTS: In the context of its time, this drawing is an extraordinary image, executed with an exceptional breadth and sweep for the seventeenth-century that makes an attribution to Rembrandt alluring. The design roughs out the composition of the grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching, now in Berlin, of c.1633-34 (Bredius 555, Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110), but was surely made much later.

The free, not to say slack, style of the drawing cannot possibly date from c.1637, as Benesch proposed (he in fact owned the drawing), but has links with Rembrandt's sketches from c.1647-60. One of the key comparisons is with Benesch 0969, which shows the same composition but focuses on a design for the frame of the painting. Yet the details of the individual figures are there rendered with more precision and the motor movements of the artist’s hand seem entirely different. Nearer stylistic analogies are found in a documentary drawing of c.1653, the preliminary sketch for the etching of St Jerome in an Italian Landscape, Benesch 0886: here we encounter a comparable liquidity, the scrawling lines at the lower left of both drawings exhibiting particular analogies. Yet elsewhere the two drawings diverge - the wash mostly in the foreground of the St Jerome, but here in the background, and heavier; the varying pressures of the pen in the St Jerome compared with the even handling in the St John the Baptist Preaching. Also unsettling is the fact that the style of Benesch 0139A relates to Benesch 0071, Benesch 0073 (in the landscape) and Benesch 0076, drawings that seem definitely to be (and are widely regarded as being) the work of another hand, probably Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. Another drawing, now in Edinburgh, depicting the Presentation in the Temple has also been attributed to him (see Fig.a; inv. D.2842; Sumowski 762x), because of its links to paintings by him of this subject made in the 1660s.[1] But it also relates to a composition by Rembrandt, Benesch 0486. However, the style of the figure on the right resembles the elder on the right in the group of three below the obelisk in Benesch 0139A, while the landscape in the latter also has analogies with the much-doubted views of Windsor, St Albans and London (Benesch 0786-88), for which Van den Eeckhout does not come into contention.

Yet despite these counter-arguments to an attribution to Rembrandt, one has to accept that the magisterial breadth – almost a devil-may-care nonchalance - of the work is impressive; and above all, that it is difficult to imagine that any other artist would have made such a drawing. What copyist would omit so very many details, so that even the figure of the Baptist is unintelligible? Of what use would such a drawing be? Only as a rough-out of the composition for the design of the frame would such a drawing make any sense, unless Rembrandt was thinking of revising the composition of his painting – which he himself owned – in the 1650s.

So, the drawing stands at an attributional crossroads. I had thought to include it with three question marks. But taking its breadth and possible function into account, an attribution to Rembrandt, currently at least, seems more plausible than that. There are also some stylistic similarities with Benesch 0767, Benesch 1053 and Benesch 1175, all documentary or inscribed works, and with many other drawings that are usually accepted as by Rembrandt, including Benesch 1045, Benesch 1061, Benesch 1068, Benesch 1068A and Benesch 1210.[1]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt?

Date: 1655??

COLLECTION: USA, New York, Morgan Library, Thaw Collection (I, 26).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, VI, 1957, add no.10 (1636, for Berlin painting); Sumowski, 1958, no.30, repr. (c.1637); Rosenberg, 1959, p.118 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Benesch, 1960, no.24, repr.; Sumowski, 1961, p.21 (Bol after Rembrandt); Bredius-Gerson, 1969, p.606, under no.555 (quoting both Benesch and Rosenberg); Haak, 1969, repr. fig.78 (Rembrandt); Benesch, I, 1973, no.139A, repr. (c.1637); Exh. New York, 1975, no.26, repr.; Exh. New York, 1994-95, p.252, repr.; New York, 2006, no.227, repr. (after Rembrandt? Compares Sumowski 762x); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Otto Wertheimer (art dealer); Otto Benesch; T.P. Grange and Co., London, from whom purchased by Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York, by whom presented to the present repository.

[1] That Sumowski gave the drawings an “x”, given its relationship especially with the Dresden painting, suggests that he was not fully persuaded of the connection, and certainly the style seems anomalous for Van den Eeckhout. Other drawings, including Benesch 0483 and Benesch 0485, might also be brought into the discussion. [This note, and mention of the Edinburgh drawing, were added during the writing of the entries for Benesch 0483 and Benesch 0485 in June 2020, when Peter Schatborn drew my attention to it in the context of Benesch 0483.]

First posted 22 April 2013 (see n.1).


Benesch 0140

Subject: Listeners for St John the Baptist preaching

Verso: Laid down

Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched with brown wash; a touch of white on the nose of central figure and the eye of the topmost figure; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed: 'RH' [or 'Remb'?] 'fecit' [?]

189 x 125. Upper left made up with another piece of paper. Chain lines vertical, distance apart uncertain. No watermark visible.

COMMENTS: Like Benesch 0141-142A and 0336, a documentary drawing, being a sketch for the grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching, now in Berlin, of c.1633-34 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110). Only two of the figures reappear in the grisaille, the woman at the lower left and the man immediately next to her. They may be seen to the left of the central group of three Pharisees, the woman now with an elaborate headdress. The direction of the lighting is the same. The grisaille was originally smaller and expanded by inserting the central section into a larger canvas (see Corpus), but all the related drawings are connected with the central section of the canvas. The purpose of the grisaille may have been to prepare an etching that remained, however, unexecuted. The lack of pentimenti in the grisaille suggests that the drawings were all made at an initial, preparatory stage.

In Benesch 0140, Rembrandt drew the lower tier of figures first, as can be seen by the lack of overlap from the second tier of figures above. In fact it seems to have escaped notice that the second tier is a reprise of the three figures to the right in the lower row, albeit with some alterations: two figures with their heads in very close proximity (perhaps in a generalised way also prefiguring the two figures in the background under the Baptist's outstretched arm) and a third, nearer and crouching figure with the head resting in the hand.

Rembrandt's drawing was presumably made as part of a compilation of motifs that might be useful in the grisaille, and potentially in other works. While the other figures in the drawing do not reappear in individually recognisable form, there are several similar characterisations among the crowds of listeners in the grisaille. In addition, in Rembrandt's 1638 etching of Joseph Telling his Dreams (Bartsch 37), a similar pair of heads in close proximity appears to the extreme right, and it is not impossible that Rembrandt referred back to the drawings that he had made for the listeners in the grisaille as he was creating the listeners in the etching. [1] The crouching figure in the central tier of studies might also be an ancestor of the man at Christ's feet in the etching of Christ Preaching (La Petite Tombe) of c.1656-57 (Bartsch 67).[2]

Condition: generally good; a section upper left made up with a pale brown thin paper; some slight discolouration, especially at edges; small nicks in the edges.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1633-34

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ. 5243; stamped verso with L.1612/2504)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode, 1892, p.218; Michel, 1893, p.575; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.122; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.85 (c.1635-38); Lippmann, IV, 195; Berlin, 1910, no.275; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.75 (mid-1630s); Neumann, 1918, no.48, repr.; Neumann, 1918.I, p.118; Meder, 1923, p.25, repr. fig.9; Neumann, 1924, p.521; Valentiner, I, 1925, no.275, repr. (c.1636); Kauffmann, 1926, pp.159 and 169 (c.1635-36; connects with grisaille in Berlin); Weisbach, 1926, p.611, n.7; Van Dyke, 1927, p.77 (Flinck); Berlin, 1930, p.229 (perhaps for the Berlin grisaille); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.250 (c.1636); Lugt, 1931, p.59; Benesch, 1933-34, p.301 (c.1637); Benesch, 1935, p.27 (c.1637); Amsterdam, 1942, under no.19; Weski, 1942, p.17 (c.1635); Schinnerer, 1944, no.26 (c.1635); Benesch, 1947, no.91, repr. (c.1637); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.140, repr. (c.1637; compares Benesch 347-49); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.69 (c.1636); Rosenberg, 1959, p.118; Sumowski, 1958, under no.30; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, under no.14; London, 1961, under no.182; Benesch, 1963, under no.24; Slive, 1965, no.212 (c.1637); Exh. Berlin, 1968, no.16 (c.1634-36); Hamann, 1969, pp.156 and 442 (c.1636); Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.70 (c.1637); Sciolla, 1976, no.xii; Exh. Paris-Antwerp-London-New York, 1979-80, under no.66; Corpus, III, 1989, under no.A106, repr. p.86, fig.18; Haak, 1990, p.119; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, vol.ii, under no.7, repr. fig 7e; Exh. London, 1992, under nos.7-9, 11 and 97 (c.1635); Rosand, 2002, pp.226-27, repr. fig.212; Berlin, 2006, no.12, repr. (c.1634-35); Schwartz, 2006, p.106; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009–10, no. 14.1 (c.1634-35; only two of the figures used in the oil); Schatborn, 2011, p.306, repr. fig.28; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.22, repr. fig.28 (documentary drawing); The Present Catalogue, 2013; Verdi, 2014, p.96, repr. fig. 79; Exh. New York, 2016, pp.44 and 46 (made during work in progress on the related painting); Exh. Washington-Paris, 2016-17, no.64, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.21 and p.17, repr. (c.1635; example of a drawing made during the search for a final composition).

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

[1] The heads above in the etching also may have resulted from such a consultation. In the related but easrlier grisaille, the heads are in somewhat different positions (see under Benesch 20).

[2] For the date of the print, see Paris, 2008, no.53.

First posted 24 April 2013.


Benesch 0141

Subject: Studies for the Standing Scribes and Other Figures for St John the Baptist Preaching

Verso: Laid down.

Medium: Pen and brown ink; a spot of ink in the feet of the lower right-hand figure, perhaps a small spillage; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink; on verso some strokes (accidental?) of grey wash upper right, which show through on the recto upper left.

167 x 196; chain lines vertical, distance apart uncertain; no watermark visible.

COMMENTS: See the comments to Benesch 0140. Like Benesch 0140, 0142, 0142A and 0336, a documentary drawing, being a sketch for the grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching, now in Berlin, of c.1633-34 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110).

Benesch 0141, like Benesch 0142 which probably precedes it, focuses on the three central figures of the grisaille, representing the Pharisees and Saducees referred to by the Baptist as a 'brood of vipers' (Matthew, III, 1-12; in Luke, III, 1-20, the insult is directed at the whole congregation!). Rembrandt apparently began the drawing in the lower row, and specifically with the group of three interlocutors immediately to the right of centre. They were then repeated to the left but with a fourth, listening figure standing immediately to the right of them, who does not reappear in this form in the grisaille.[1] But indications to the right of his legs may describe one or two of the seated figures to the right of the trio of scribes in the grisaille.[2] The nearest of the trio, with his pronounced corpulence, resembles the actor Willem Ruyter (on whom see Benesch 0120); the other two figures in this group are rehearsed again on the right, where the full-length image of the man with the tall hat, who is elaborated in Benesch 0336, now resembles the quacksalver types seen, for example, in Benesch 0297 and 0416. Benesch interpreted the lines at his feet as steps, which is possible, as a step appears in the grisaille, though further to the right.

In the central horizontal tier or register of sketches, the two left figures of the trio are redrawn several times, bust length; their relationship is analysed further in Benesch 0142 recto and verso (the verso contains a comparable bearded figure to the one at the right of this row) and Benesch 0336. The bearded figure on the right here seems to be thumping one hand into another.

The third figure in the tall hat probably reappears, though sketched only bust-length, at the top right corner. Otherwise, in the upper tier, only the standing figure on the left reappears in the grisaille, placed slightly above and to the right of the group of three. Two other figures in the top register- the men with their faces in profile at upper left and right - do not reappear in the grisaille, but comparable types later appear at the left of the 100 Guilder Print of c.1648 (Bartsch 74). One of them, with his right arm raised, may have been inspired by a figure in Pieter Lastman's painting of the same subject, dated 1627 (now in the Art Institute of Chicago.[3]

It has been suggested that the drawing was made after the commencement of work on the grisaille.[4] But the style of the drawing suggests that these are preliminary ideas rather than developments from a prototype, showing Rembrandt working 'alla prima' and sketching out various possible ideas and characterisations. Furthermore, there are no pentimenti to be seen in the finished composition.

Condition: generally good; some discolouration, rubbed (mostly in blank areas) and dirty; a patch torn away lower left and minor nicks at or near the top edge.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1633-34.

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (KdZ. 3773 [formerly 2612]; stamped verso with L.1607)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte, v, 1884, col.xxix; Lippmann, I, 16; Bode, 1892, p.218; Michel, 1893, p.574; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.158; A. Stix in Wickhoff, 1906, p.28, no.29; Saxl, 1908, p.228 (mid-1630s); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.149; Neumann, 1918.I, p.81 and 84, repr. fig.21; Stockholm, 1920, p.63, under no.IV, 18 (probably by Rembrandt); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.274, repr. (c.1636); Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.1 (c.1634-35, earlier than Benesch 140); Weisbach, 1926, p.207; Van Dyke, 1927, p.82 (De Gelder); Berlin, 1930, p.235, (c.1635, for the Berlin grisaille); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.253 (c.1636); Lugt, 1931, p.60; Benesch, 1933-34, p.301 (c.1637); Benesch, 1935, p.27 (c.1637); Amsterdam, 1942, under no.19; Weski, 1942, pp.16-17 (c.1635); Benesch, 1947, no.93, repr. (c.1637); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.141, repr.and vol.VI, under Addenda no.11 (c.1637; compares style of Benesch 360 verso); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.70 (c.1636); Sumowski, 1958, p.193, under no.30; Rosenberg, 1959, p.118; Benesch, 1960, no.25; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, under no.14; London, 1961, under no.182; Slive, 1965, no.16 (c.1637); Exh. Berlin, 1968, no.17 (c.1634-36); Hamann, 1969, p.442 (c.1636); Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.71 (c.1637); Sciolla, 1976, under no.xii; Exh. Paris-Antwerp-London-New York, 1979-80, under no.66; Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.3; Corpus, III, 1989, under no.A106; Haak, 1990, p.119; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, vol.i, under no.20; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, vol.ii, no.7, repr.; Exh. London, 1992, under nos.7-11 and 97 (c.1635); Schatborn, 1993, p.170, detail repr. fig.6 (central figure based on Willem Ruyters); Schatborn, 1994, p.21 (central figure inspired pupil in Benesch 148); Schatborn and de Winkel, 1996, p.388; Sell, 1998, pp.69-70; Chatsworth, 2002, vol. iii, under no.1465; Van Straten, 2002, p.279; Kreutzer, 2003, pp.106-108 and 193; Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.44; Berlin, 2006, no.11, repr. (c.1634-35); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, p.75 (as Schatborn, 1993); Bevers, 2010, pp.44-45, repr. figs.6 and 7; Schatborn, 2011, p.306, repr. fig.27; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.23, repr. fig.27 (documentary drawing); The Present Catalogue, 2013; Verdi, 2014, p.96, repr. fig.81; Exh. New York, 2016, p.44-46, repr. fig.43 (made during work in progress on the related painting); Exh. Washington-Paris, 2016-17, no.63, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.22 and p.17, repr. (c.1635; example of a drawing made during the search for a final composition).

PROVENANCE: Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); presumably Samuel Woodburn, through whom Esdaile acquired the Lawrence Rembrandt drawings; William Esdaile (L.2617); his sale, London, Christie's, 17 June, 1840, lot 35 ('Studies of fourteen Jewish figures and heads; on one sheet'), bt Brondgeest, £2-2-0; Charles Sackville Bale; his sale, London, Christie's, 9 June, 1881, lot 2430?; Jacob de Vos, Amsterdam; his sale, Amsterdam, F. Muller & Co., et al., 22-24 May, 1883, lot 414; acquired by the present repository in 1884.

[1] This analysis is much indebted to Holm Bevers' text in Berlin, 2006, no.11.

[2] The indications suggest a figure comparable to Benesch 347.

[3] Repr. Seifert, 2011, p.202, fig.221. The painting is on loan from the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. Another version of the subject by Lastman, dated 1611, is known though an engraving T.P.C. Haag (repr. loc.cit., fig.220).

[4] Bevers, loc. cit., and again in Exh. New York, 2016 (see Literature).

First posted 24 April 2013.



Benesch 0142

Subject: Study for the Scribes in the St. John the Baptist Preaching, and a bust-length sketch of a woman

Verso: Sketches of Heads for the same painting

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with (recto only) greyish-brown wash; touched with white between the faces of the two main figures; inscribed verso in pen and brown ink, lower centre: 'Rembrandt';[1] and in graphite, lower right: 'H de G 833'.

127 x 126. Watermark: fragment: top of a crown; chain lines: 25v; laid lines: c.13/cm.

COMMENTS: See the comments to Benesch 0140. Like Benesch 0140, 0141, 0142A and 0336, a documentary drawing, being a sketch for the grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching, now in Berlin, of c.1633-34 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110). The present sheet focuses on the two outer figures in group of three scribes in the centre of the grisaille; they occupy the centre of the recto. The leftmost of these two, gesticulating, originally wore a tall hat, reduced to a flat turban by Rembrandt (apparently by being removed with water on the brush); he appears again several times in the lower register of Benesch 0141. His interlocutor, with a stick, also reappears but his posture and the stick are adjusted in Benesch 0141, where they are closer to the grisaille, and his frame there takes on the appearance of the actor, Willem Ruyter. The female figure on the right is omitted from the grisaille, while the man leaning on a plinth on the left is cast differently - he could be an ancestor of the figure at the top left of Benesch 0141, who appears below the Baptist's outstretched hand. In the present drawing, the figure was planned as an integral part of the central group. The third scribe in the grisaille, inserted between the main two figures on the recto of Benesch 0142, only appears in Benesch 0141, which further suggests that it was probably made after Benesch 0142.

The verso (which Benesch illustrated upside down, which in relation to the recto it is!) contains sketches of four figures: 1. on the left, an old man whom we see again on the right of Benesch 0141 (second figure from the top), but with his head now tilted the other way; 2. above him in the present sketch, a head, perhaps of a woman, that does not appear in the grisaille (comparable incipient heads occur in Benesch 0157, Benesch 0343 and in the usually rejected drawing, Benesch 0412); 3. a half-length study of a possibly veiled, standing figure, which may have formed the basis for one of the central scribes (but is the 'arm' in fact a repeat of the incipient head to the left?); 4. finally, the head and tall hat of a scribe, probably a version of the standing man at the lower right of Benesch 0141. The cancelled scribble at the lower left corner may have been another attempt at the same figure.

Condition: the verso suggests that the sheet has been cut; the drawing is faded and somewhat foxed.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1633-34.

COLLECTION: GB Chatsworth, Derbyshire (Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement; inv.1019)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.833; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.142, repr. (c.1637); Exh. Manchester, 1961, no.90; Schatborn, 1981, p.19, repr. fig.9; Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.13; Corpus, III, 1989, pp.83-84, repr. figs.156 and 160; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, ii, p.42, n.2, repr. figs 7b-c; Chatsworth, 2002, p.395, no. 1465; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.24, repr. figs.98-99 (documentary drawing); The Present Catalogue, 2013; Van de Wetering, 2016, p.230, repr. fig.209 (quoting Houbraken on Rembrandt's search for different solutions); Exh. Washington-Paris, 2016-17, p.166, repr. fig.6 (1634-35); Schatborn, 2019, nos.23 [recto] and 24 [verso], and p.17, repr. (c.1635; example of a drawing made during the search for a final composition).

PROVENANCE: N.A. Flinck (L.959); acquired 1723/24 by the 2nd Duke of Devonshire; by descent

[1] In the Chatsworth inventory it is suggested that this is the 4th Duke's hand, but it appears to be earlier and the idea is not repeated in Chatsworth, 2002.

First posted 25 April 2013.



Benesch 0142A

Subject: Two Studies for St.John the Baptist Preaching

Verso: Head of a Man (probably also St. John the Baptist)

Medium: Red chalk, the chalk rubbed with the finger; verso: some modern graphite annotations

176 x 188; watermark: Basel Staff in a crowned shield; chain lines: 24/26h; laid lines c.20/cm (more than usual).

COMMENTS: Like Benesch 0140-142A and 0336, a documentary drawing, being a sketch for the figure of St John the Baptist in the grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching, now in Berlin, of c.1633-34 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110). The version of the figure on the right may have been drawn first, as in the finished grisaille the pose is closer to that on the left. Nonetheless the figure was significantly recast, with the upper body leaning forward and the face seen in near profile, changes that characterise him with a greater sense of urgency; but the oratorical gesture of the hands remains the same. The figure is not unlike that in Lastman's painting of Susannah and the Elders, copied by Rembrandt in Benesch 0448.[1]

The version of the head on the verso is possibly for the same figure and may have been drawn before the recto, as it is turned slightly more towards the spectator. However, Rembrandt may have had another figure in mind.[2]

For style compare the red chalk drawing in New York after Leonardo's Last Supper (Benesch 0443). There are also analogies with Benesch 0152 (in the red chalk areas) and Benesch 0421-22, which some writers have loosely connected with the grisaille.[3]

Condition: vertical fold through leftmost arm; generally grubby and a little creased and rubbed.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1633-34.

COLLECTION: GB London, Courtauld (Seilern Collection; inv. D.1978.PG.182)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: London, 1961, no.182, repr. (and Seilern Addenda, 1971); Regteren Altena, 1964, pp.184-5; Benesch, 1964, pp.118-9, fig.16 (reprinted 1970, pp.54-5, fig.228); Van Regteren Altena, 1964, pp.184-86; Sumowski, 1964, p.246, n.; Bredius-Gerson, 1969, p.606, under no.555; Benesch, 1973, no.142A, recto repr. (c.1637); Exh. London, 1983, no.7; Corpus, III, 1989, p.83, repr. fig.13 (argue on the basis of the X-radiograph, that the red chalk study was executed before the oil, as the underpaint suggests that his pose was never altered); Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, p.278 (documentary drawing); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.I, p.42, repr. fig.7f; London, 2010 (online), under no.13; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.26, repr. figs.101-2 (documentary drawing); The Present Catalogue, 2013; Exh. New York, 2016, p.44, repr. fig.41; Exh. Washington-Paris, 2016-17, no.62, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, nos 26 [recto] and 27 [verso] and p.17, repr. (c.1635; examples of drawings made during the search for a final composition).

PROVENANCE: E.G. Spencer-Churchill; acquired in 1959 by Count Antoine Seilern, by whom bequeathed to the present repository.

[1] See Exh. London, 1983, no.7.

[2] Peter Schatborn informed me that he believes the verso head represents a girl (email of 20 October 2015).

[3] See further Corpus, III, 1989, p.83.

First posted 25 April 2013.



Benesch 0143

Subject: Standing Old Man, full-length, wearing a flat hat, his right arm extended

Verso: Blank, except for a greenish-brown fingerprint.

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared with brown wash; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.

181 x 102. Watermark: not decipherable; chain lines not clearly visible but perhaps horizontal.

COMMENTS: The drawing fits well in style with the iron-gall ink drawings of the period c.1637-39, including the documentary sheets, Benesch 0157, 0161 (perhaps especially), 0168, 0423 and 0442.

The figure resembles some of those in Rembrandt's biblical representations, including Abraham,[1] but its identification is uncertain. The flat hat was added by Rembrandt after he had drawn the man bareheaded.

Condition: generally good but repaired at corners, where the verso is stained and has the debris of old paper used to attach the drawing to previous mounts.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1637-39?

COLLECTION: USA Cambridge (Mass.) Fogg Art Museum (Meta and Paul. J. Sachs collection, inv.1965.213)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Cambridge (Fogg), 1936, no.44, repr. pl.xix; Cambridge, 1940, no.526, repr. fig.270 (Rembrandt or corrected pupil's drawing? Abraham or a prophet?); Exh. New York, 1947 (no catalogue); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.143, repr. (c.1637; compares Benesch 311 and 347; probably Abraham dismissing Hagar, possibly for etching Bartsch 30; rejects idea that it may represent Tobit); Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 1954, no.53; Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (a 'weak drtawing in the style of the early thirties'); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.264, repr. fig.58; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.19, repr. pl.15; Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 1965, p.206; Exh. New York, 1970, p.18, repr.; Slive, 1978, pp.453-54, repr. fig.2; Sumowski, Gem., III, 1983, under no.976; Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 1984 (no catalogue); Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 1989-90 (ex. catalogue); Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 2006 (no number); Exh. Wellesley, 2008 (no catalogue); Schatborn, 2019, no.329, repr. (c.1638).

PROVENANCE: Thomas Banks (L.2423); bequeathed by him to Mrs Lavinia Forster, London; bequeathed by her to Ambrose Poynter, London; bequeathed by him to Edward John Poynter, London; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 24-25 April, 1918, lot 280, bt Colnaghi for Duveen brothers, £31); Meta and Paul J. Sachs, by whom bequeathed to the present repository, 1965.

[1] Benesch thought of Abraham, extending his right arm to bless Ishmael. Rosenberg thought of Tobit as in the etching Bartsch 42.

First posted 27 April 2013.



Benesch 0144

Subject: The Calling of St. Matthew (Matthew, IX, 9)

Medium: Pen and brown ink; inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower right: '66' [crossed out] and '1815'.

129 x 176.

COMMENTS: In comparison with Rembrandt's own drawings, this is clearly a pupil's work and compares closely in style with the Amsterdam Raising of Jairus's Daughter (Benesch A1).[1] These drawings may date from the late 1630s, like the other versions of this subject catalogued here (Benesch 0061-62 and 0095a). The pose of Christ may be compared with Benesch 0068A-69, also from the same period. An attribution to Jan Victors has been suggested and there are also analogies with Gerbrand van den Eeckhout.[2]

Condition: some accidental brown wash in the centre and some other spots of brown and grey.

Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (Gerbrand van den Eeckhout or Jan Victors??)

Date: 1638-40??

COLLECTION: S Stockholm, Nationalmuseum (inv.2011/1863; stamped with L.2985)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 1565; Kruse, 1907, no.II.9 (Rembrandt school, c.1635; compares Benesch A1); Stockholm, 1920, no.II,9 (as Kruse, 1907); Benesch, 1970 (reprinting 1933-34), p.119; Benesch, 1935, p.28; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.144, repr.; ("attributed to" Rembrandt, c.1637-39); Sumwoski, 1956-57, p.255; Exh. Stockholm, 1992-93, no.133, repr. (Rembrandt); Starcky, 1993, pp.202 and 218, repr. fig.7 (not Rembrandt; compares Benesch A1 and Joseph Telling his Dreams now in Rennes, inv.854-4, Benesch C5, Sumowski 199* HdG 787, Benesch 182 et al.); Bevers, 2011, p.382, repr. fig.30 (by Victors; compares Benesch A1); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Roger de Piles? Pierre Crozat (Mariette p.101); his sale, Paris, 10-13 May, 1741 (lot number uncertain), bt Tessin; C.G. Tessin (L.2985; his inventory, 1739-42, f.46 verso; 1749 cat., vol. 15, no.60); Swedish Royal Library (Cat. 1790, no.1815); Royal Museum, Stockholm (L.1638).

[1] The comparison made by Kruse, 1907. Bevers, 2011, suggests ascribes both drawings to Jan Victors.

[2] Cf. the style and composition of the penwork (only) in Van den Eeckhout's Beheading of the Baptist, now in Darmstadt (Benesch A11) published as Eeckhout's work by Bevers, 2010, p.67, repr..

First posted 29 April 2013.



Benesch 0144A

Subject: The Good Samaritan (Luke, X, 30-35)

Medium: Pen and brown ink, the outlines indented.

135 x 132.

COMMENTS: The drawing belongs stylistically to the mid-1630s, but cannot be compared convincingly enough with any of the documentary or generally accepted drawings to sustain an attribution to Rembrandt. The closest analogies, in the compiler's view, are with Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, as the Samaritan and the horse resemble King Solomon and the mule in Benesch 0146.

The composition depends on a version of the subject painted by Pieter Lastman (1583-1633) and recorded among his possessions on 7 July 1632.[1] The figure of the fallen victim is especially close, but the Samaritan and especially the horse differ substantially. Indeed, it is in the lucid and free drawing of the horse that must have sustained the attribution to Rembrandt, and there are analogies with Benesch 0181, while the patch of shading to the right resembles that in Benesch 0110. In general, however, the style in the most crucial parts of the drawing - for example, the miniature cross-hatching around the head of the wounded man and the arcs describing his legs - seems far from Rembrandt himself. Presumably, hesitation about the attribution has been responsible for the drawing's largely being ignored in the recent literature.

Two comparable pupils' drawings of the same subject may date from the same period[2] and the Lastman-derived pose of the victim may relate to that of Samson in Rembrandt's 1636 painting of his capture, now in Frankfurt (Bredius 501, Corpus A116).

Condition: some unsightly brown stains to right of upper centre; also stained near upper corners.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??

Date: 1635-38?

COLLECTION: GB Buscot Park, Oxfordshire, The Faringdon Collection.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1960, no.28, repr.; Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, under no.123*; Benesch, I, 1973, no.144A, repr. (c.1637); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Unrecorded.

[1] I am grateful to Christian Tico Seifert for drawing my attention to the relationship with the picture, which surfaced in Vienna, Dorotheum, 17 October, 2012, lot 572, repr. [also online]. It is now in a private collection. He suggests a date for the painting of c.1612-15 (see Seifert, 2014).

[2] For one, see the comparative illustration to Benesch 129; the other, from the Abrams collection, is inventory no. 1984.835 (repr. Exh. Greenwich, 2011-12, p.177, Addendum no. A20, repr.).

First posted 2 May 2013.



Benesch 0145

Subject: A Russian Archer, Boyar and Two Disgraced Men

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash. Inscribed in pen and brown ink, upper right, by Rembrandt: "in ongenaeden sijnden/en werden niet/ geschooren" (being in disgrace and are not to be shorn); on old mount, lower right, in graphite: "Coninck"; on verso, numbered in pen and black ink: "A/22" and in graphite: "A/D" and "9/2"

143 x 200. No watermark.

COMMENTS: The drawing shows Russians, the nobleman wearing a long gown (shuba) and high hat (gorlatnaya) that was unique to Muscovite Boyars. The figure sketches were apparently inspired by an anonymous travel book, the 'Russia seu Moscovia itemque Tartaria commentario', published in Leiden in 1630,[1] describing a journey in Muscovy. The figures on the right illustrate the Russian decree that those in disgrace with the Tsar have to wear their hair long, while those favoured had their heads shaven. According to the text:

"The Russians dress in the style of the Greeks, but in such a way that different classes have a special kind of dress of their own. The nobles are accustomed to shave their hair right down to the skin (except when they have offended their prince, or fear his wrath, for then they grow their hair down to their shoulders, and for that reason cover their face in an ugly fashion)."

Rembrandt's visual source is unknown, but his painting, the so-called Polish Nobleman of 1637, now in Washington (Bredius 211, Corpus A122), shows a figure in comparable attire - that of a Russian, not a Pole. From the style the drawing is likely to date from the same period. As the inscription is in Rembrandt's handwriting and the style of the drawing is entirely characteristic, the attribution of the drawing is not in doubt.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1637?

COLLECTION: USA New York, Morgan Library and Museum (inv.I,211)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Fairfax Murray, 1904, no.211 (ascribed to P. Koninck); Exh. New York, 1919 (no catalogue; as Fairfax Murray, 1904); Benesch, 1933-34, p.300, repr. fig.250 (reprinted Benesch, 1970, pp.119-20, repr. fig.89); Benesch, 1935, p.27; Gerson, 1936, p.176, no.Z LXXX (probably not Koninck); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.145, repr. (c.1637; compares Benesch 141 and 351); Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, no.8 (inscribed by Rembrandt); De Winkel, 2006, pp.215-16, repr. fig 106 and p.320, n.119; New York, 2006, no.212, repr. (inscription paraphrases Tacitus's Germania); Schatborn and Dudok van Heel, 2011, p.347, no.V, repr. fig.156 (inscribed by Rembrandt); Schatborn, 2019, no.46, repr. (c.1636).

PROVENANCE: Charles Fairfax Murray.

[1] De Winkel, 2006, pp.215-16.

[2] Loc. cit.. The passage (for the original Latin, see De Winkel, pp.320-21, n.122) was based on an account by Giles Fletcher (1546-1611), which was, however, not widely known until its titled publication in 1643. Benesch thought that two unrelated biblical scenes were represented. He consulted Erwin Panofsky who suggested that the figure on the right could be a Nazarite wearing long hair in fulfilment of a vow (Numbers 6), while the figure next to him might be a Jewish priest about to cut his hair, to reinstate him in the community. But the inscription refers to 'ongenaeden' (disgrace), which is not the meaning of the biblical text. Margaret D. Carroll, in a College Art Association lecture (27 January 1978), referred to Tacitus' Histories and Germania where among the Chatti, those in disgrace were not permitted to cut their hair (as reported by De Winkel, p.320, n.119).

First posted 3 May 2013.



Benesch 0146

Subject: Young Solomon Proclaimed King, Riding King David's Mule (I Kings I, 38)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash (on three pieces of paper stuck together). Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower right: '138'

203 x 323. Laid down on an old mat framed in brown and gold.

COMMENTS: The drawing was until the twentieth century attributed to the Rembrandt school and identified as representing the Triumph of Mordechai.[1] The subject was identified correctly (by Valentiner, 1925) and the central section was attributed to a pupil but the periphery to Rembrandt (Hofstede de Groot, 1906).[2] Benesch (1954) thought the pupil's section reminiscent of Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, to whom the whole drawing is now generally attributed.[3] The analogies with Benesch 0138 are especially clear in the abbreviated rendering of the faces of the crowd and every other facet of the style and technique (the rust brown colour of the wash is also comparable), though the central section appears especially magisterial.

Three copies of the drawing are known.[4]

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv.22969; stamped with L.2207 and L.1886a)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.598 (central part by a pupil, c.1630-32, earlier than the periphery by Rembrandt, c.1635; Triumph of Mordechai); Hofstede de Groot, in Bredius, 1915, repr. pl.32; Amsterdam, 1917, pp.51-52 (as HdG); Valentiner, I, 1925, Anhang, no.436, repr. (copy after lost Rembrandt of c.1640; subject is the Triumph of Solomon); Paris, 1933, no.1116, repr. (as HdG, comparing Benesch 138); Benesch, 1935, p.24; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.146, repr. (as HdG and Paris 1933; compares Benesch 135, 136, 138, 139 141 and 148; central part recalls Eeckhout); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (all by Rembrandt, pace Benesch, 1954); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, p.131 (not Rembrandt; Koninck?); Exh. London, 1992, under no.97 (Eeckhout); Exh. Paris, 2000, no.92 (school of Rembrandt; E. Starcky thought of P. Koninck, the central section perhaps by Flinck); Bevers, 2005, p.468 (as Exh. London, 1992); Exh. Braunschweig, 2006, under no.A17 (discusses three known copies [see n.4 below]); Exh. Paris, 2007, no.182; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.16 (as Exh. London, 1992); Bevers, 2010, pp.47-48, repr. fig.11 (as Exh. London, 1992); London, 2010 (online), under Eeckhout, no.1 (as Exh. London, 1992); Paris, 2010, pp.168-69, under no.60 (as Exh. London, 1992); Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, under no.13, n.5 (belongs to core group of Eeckhout drawings); [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijter-Seiffert, 2020, p.292 (not Van den Eeckhout).

PROVENANCE: Conseilleur M. Nourri; his sale, Paris, 24 February, 1785, lot 766, bt Langier; Charles-Paul-Jean-Baptiste Bourgevin Vialart, comte de Saint-Morys; his collection seized by the French state in 1793 by the Revolutionary government, 1793; transferred to the present repository in 1796-1797.

[1] Recorded as such in the Morel d'Arleux MS inventory of 1812, and in that by F. Reiset in the mid-nineteenth century.

[2] Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.598.

[3] See Literature above - the present writer's notes show that he reached this conclusion in February 1987 before publishing it in 1992.

[4] Benesch recorded them, in Braunschweig (inv. Z.2189 - see Exh. Braunschweig, 2006, no.A17), Vienna (inv.8773; etched by A. Bartsch, 1783) and formerly in the Dupper Collection, Dordrecht (then New York art market, 1944; sold London, Christie's, 8 November, 2000, lot 29, 181 x 306). According to the Christie's catalogue it was laid onto an unidentified 18th-century French collector's mount. The copies may show the Paris drawing before the central section was added or completed, as they show a head beyond the neck of the horse and further spectators beyond its hind legs; but they do not include the more distant architrectural elements executed in wash in the Paris drawing.

First posted 8 May 2013.



Benesch 0147

Subject: Rebecca taking Leave of her Parents (Genesis, XXIV, 57-61)

Verso: Laid down on old mat with gold leaf band and brown wash strip (like Benesch 0069).

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with brown wash (in two tones), heightened with white (partly oxidised); ruled framing-line below in pen and brown ink; inscribed below the framing-line in the same ink as the drawing: 'dit behoorde vervoucht te weesen met veel gebueren die deesen hoge bruijt sien vertrekken' (this ought to be augmented with many neighbours who see this high-born bride depart); inscribed lower left, in pen and brown ink: ‘Rembrandt’ [apparently imitating Rembrandt's own signature]; inscribed on mat in graphite, lower left: ‘Rembrandt’ and below: ‘420’.

187 x 307 Watermark not visible; chain lines probably horizontal (distance apart uncertain).

COMMENTS: The drawing, clearly by the same hand as Benesch 0146, shows the caravan of Eliezar, the servant of Abraham, who is to accompany Rebecca from Mesopotamia to Canaan to join her future husband, Isaac.

The style and the geometrical heads compare well with Benesch 0138, as does the technique of wash in two tones. The horseman seen from behind in the distance, as Benesch observed, resembles that in Benesch 363 recto and verso, which may have inspired the figure, while the turbanned oriental at the back of the group on the right seems to reflect Benesch 0207.

The peripheral bust of a man at the top right corner, leaning out of a window, and his half-indicated companion, have always struck me as more securely drawn and characterised than any of the main protagonists, so that Rembrandt may have added them as a demonstration to his pupil in accordance with his inscription.

A copy is at Wellesley College (inv.1957:38) and a copy after another version of the subject by Eeckhout is in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.[1] A further version of the subject attributed to Ferdinand Bol was on the Munich Art market.[2]

Generally good, if a little faded and discoloured. An oil (?) stain below, left of centre. Corners at left side rubbed. An area between parasol and left tree abraded.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (corrected by Rembrandt??)

Date: 1637-40.

COLLECTION: D Stuttgart Staatsgalerie (inv.GL 936).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hind (Vasari Society series 1, ix), 1913-14, no.17, repr,; Hofstede de Groot, 1915.I, pp.88-89, repr. (pupil, c.1638-40); London, 1915, under no.142 (notes that HdG believes the work of a pupil); Amsterdam, 1917, pp.51-52 (pupil); Neumann, 1918, p.117 (workshop); Secker, 1920, p.43, repr. fig.4a (pupil); Van Dyke, 1927, p.95 (S. Koninck); Valentiner, 1933, p.247 (pupil, perhaps Flinck); Gerson, 1936, p.174 (S. Koninck group); Hind, 1938, p.28 (pupil); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.147, repr. (c.1637; compares numerous drawings [many now given to the school or to Eeckhout] Benesch 138, 146, 148, 149 and the oriental to right with Benesch 352; horseman from behind in centre to Benesch 363 recto and verso); Pigler, 1956, I, p.50; Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.257-8; Pont, 1958, p.44; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.30, repr. pl.25 (Rembrandt, c.1637-40); Exh. Stuttgart-Munich, 1963-64, no.116, repr. pl.91 c.1637); Foucart, 1966, p.44, n.3; Haak, 1969, p.146, repr. fig.227; Broos, 1975-76, p.213, repr.; Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.592, no.1; Sumowski under no.806** (Rembrandt, who produced the drawing to show a pupil how the composition should appear, critiquing the drawing known from a copy in Rotterdam [Rotterdam, 1988, no.68, repr.]); Exh. Stuttgart, 1984, no.118, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1987-88, no.46, repr. (perhaps by Eeckhout); Exh. London, 1992, under no.97 (Eeckhout, inscribed by Rembrandt; compares especially Benesch 138 and 146; henceforth usually as Eeckhout); Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2002, p.237 (Rembrandt); Exh. Dresden 2004, under no.29, repr. fig.b (Rembrandt; c.1635-40); Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.47, n.119; Bevers, 2005, p.468; Berlin, 2006, p.196; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, p.27, repr. fig.xiv (more figures may have been added in accordance with the inscription - the figures in the doorway and window); Bevers, 2010, p.47, repr. fig.9; London, 2010 (online), under Eeckhout, no.1; Schatborn, 2011, p.320, repr. fig.71; [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijter-Seiffert, 2020, pp.292-93, repr. fig.21 (not Van den Eeckhout)..

PROVENANCE: E.G. Spencer-Churchill; his (Lord Northwick) sale, London, Sotheby, 5-6 July, 1921, lot 93; Count de Robiano; his sale, Amsterdam, Muller-Mensing, 15-16 June, 1926, lot 420; Max Kade (see L.1561a), by whom presented to the present repository.

[1] The Rotterdam drawing is inv. MB 226; see Sumowski 806**; Rotterdam, 1988, no.68, repr..

[2] See Sumowski 130*, later with the dealers Arnoldi-Livie.

First posted 13 May 2013.



Benesch 0148

Subject: Mattathias and the Officers of Antiochus at Modin (I Maccabees II, 15-22)

Verso: A slight sketch with Figures in a Landscape.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash; the verso in red chalk; inscribed, verso, in graphite: ‘3’ [in a circle].

170 x 217. No watermark; chain lines: 24-25v.

COMMENTS: The identification of the subject (from the Apocrypha, I Maccabees 2, 15-22) is not entirely certain although no plausible alternative has emerged.[1] The priestly figure of Mattathias is addressed by an officer in a tall hat and by one of his sons, who points towards the altar.

It has been pointed out that in style the drawing resembles the figure studies (in particular Benesch 0141-42 in Berlin and at Chatsworth) for the painting of 'St John the Baptist preaching' in Berlin (Bredius 555, Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110), executed c.1633-34.[2] The analogies extend from the rendering of details such as the hair, sleeves, folds of drapery and shadows on the ground to the gestures and grouping of the figures. The foreground shading and the drapery also recall a drawing now in the J. Paul Getty Museum of an 'Artist in his Studio' (Benesch 0390), dated by Benesch to around 1632-33.

The chalk study on the verso, first published in 1992, was discovered when the sheet was lifted from its mount in 1958.[3] It seems to represent two figures, the one on the left carrying a basket, in a landscape setting. In style it resembles the 'Christ among the Disciples' of 1634 in Haarlem (Benesch 0089, especially the passage towards the upper right), the 'Entombment' (Benesch 17) and the sketch on the verso of the 'Sacrifice of Isaac' (Benesch 90), similarities that lend support to the dating c.1633-5 proposed here.[4]

The attribution of the recto has been questioned and Fedinand Bol's and Gerbrand van den Eeckhout’s names proposed (see Lit. below). In fact the attribution to Van den Eeckhout with which the drawing entered the British Museum in 1824 is worthy of consideration, particularly with regard to Benesch 0390, but at present the attribution to Rembrandt remains marginally more persuasive, and is supported by the drawing on the verso.[5]

Condition: generally good; a diagonal fold at lower right corner and a small repaired tear near the top left corner; the sheet perhaps slightly trimmed, the figures being cut at the left.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt? (recto Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??)

Date: 1633-1635?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (Oo,10.205)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1899, no.A61; Kleinmann, III, no.61; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.964; London, 1915, no.16 (see nn.1-2 above); Van Dyke, 1927, p.83 (de Gelder); Benesch, 1935, p.27 (c.1637); Exh. London, 1938, no.16 (c.1630-35); Benesch, 1947, under no.90 (mid-1630s); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.148, repr. fig.161/178 (A1637); Bauch, 1960, p.262, n.143; Munich, 1973, p.162, under no.1125 (compares Munich 'Man in Cap', Benesch 355); Exh. London, 1992, n.10, repr. (c.1633-35); Schatborn, 1994, p.21 (verso typical of Rembrandt but recto not – wash not integrated, motifs taken from Benesch 141 – the full-faced figure, but wearing a tall hat from another figure); Giltaij, 1995, p.96 (perhaps by Bol, c.1640); London, 2010, no.8, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1633-35); Bevers, 2013, p.103 (Van den Eeckhout? Compares Benesch 77); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Bequeathed by Richard Payne Knight to the present repository on 1824 (as by Van den Eeckhout).

[1] First suggested by Hind in London, 1915. He surmised 'that the story, as told of John and Nikanor in the Jewish Synagogue version, called the 'Scroll of Antiochus', may also have been thought of'. I know of no other representation of the subject.

[2] The first comparison by Hind, loc. cit., the second by Benesch, 1954. The scrawling loops towards the lower right of the verso also compare well with the passage in the same area of Benesch 0448. Schatborn, 1994, p.21, suggested that the recto was derived from Benesch 0141 by Van den Eeckhout.

[3] Note by C. White in Museum files.

[4] The figures might conceivably represent 'Ruth and Naomi' (Ruth I, 14-22).

[5] Among the more certainly attributed early works by Van den Eeckhout is the drawing of David's Promise to Bathsheba, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art , New York (Sumowski 602; inv.41.187.4). While there are analogies of style with Benesch 148 recto, they are not persuasively close.

First posted 15 May 2013.



Benesch 0149

Subject: The Daughters of Cecrops Opening the Chest Containing Erichthonius (Metamorphoses, II, 552-61 and 755-61)

Verso: Abraham with the Ram (Genesis, XXII, 13)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

98 x 96 (irregularly cut).

COMMENTS: The subject is unusual in western art, especially in the Low Countries, though was treated in Rembrandt’s circle a few times (see Benesch 0150 and 0622) and in a classicising style by Rubens.[1]

The vigorously drawn recto, with its exaggerated gestures and expressions, harks back to Rembrandt’s compositions of c.1630, including his first etching of the Raising of Lazarus (Bartsch 73). In the mid-1630s, the period to which the style of this drawing belongs, he still harked back to this histrionic mode in some comparable subjects – cf. especially Benesch 0178 and 0180, which also resemble the present drawing in style. For the penwork, compare also Benesch 0133 (especially the zigzag shading over the central figure, which resembles that in the lower right here) and Benesch 0144A (the figure of the Samaritan in the centre). Yet none of these drawings has documentary status; indeed, the distance in style from the documentary drawings is difficult to bridge, so that considerable doubts must remain concerning the attribution. Benesch 0093, a drawing of the same kind - an initial composition sketch in pen and brown ink – is also far removed in style. The analogies mentioned by Benesch with his no.0147 (see especially the figures on the right) suggest Gerbrand van den Eeckhout as the possible draughtsman.

The other drawings with comparable versos (see under Benesch 0129; the present one presumably represents Abraham with the Ram), which clearly have nothing to do with Rembrandt himself, further undermine the attribution of the present sheet to him. Various attributions have been suggested for these rather crudely drawn works, including Govert Flinck, Jan Victors and, in the present case, the name of C.D. van Renesse has been mentioned.[2] They are likely to be juvenilia or amateur work done in the circle of Rembrandt.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt?? Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??

Date: 1635-37?

COLLECTION: D Göttingen, University.

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner, II, 1934, under no.597; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.149, repr. (c.1637; compared Benesch 147); Exh. Duisburg-Stuttgart-Wolfsburg, 1965, no.81, repr. fig. 29; Exh. Kiel-Marburg-Göttingen, 1966, no. 82; Pigler, 1974, II, p. 81; Sumowski, 1979 etc., under no. 806**; Exh. Göttingen-Gandersheim-Brunshausen-Bevern, 1993, p. 8, repr. fig.5; Exh. Koblenz-Göttingen–Oldenburg-Den Bosch, 2000-2001, no.51, repr. (recto Rembrandt, later 1630s; compares Benesch 180 for style, Benesch 150 and 622 for subject and contrasts Rubens’s versions of it; verso later, compares van Renesse); Golahny, 2003, p.251, n.33 (possibly related to mythological scenes Rembrandt may have produced); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Museum Fodor (C.J. Fodor); acquired by exchange by the present repository in 1937.

[1] See Exh. Koblenz–Göttingen (etc.), 2000-2001, under no.51, which refers to Rubens’s oil-sketch of c.1615 (Held, 1980 no.231, repr. vol.II, pl.240) and another of c.1632-33 (op. cit., no.232, repr. pl.248), and to the painting in Vaduz (Exh. New York, 1985-86, no.205, repr. and the fragment in the Allen Memorial Art Museum (Stechow, 1967, pp.132-33, repr. fig.52).

[2] Exh. Koblenz–Göttingen (etc.), 2000-2001, no.51.

First posted 22 May 2013.



Benesch 0150

Subject: The Daughters of Cecrops Opening the Chest Containing Erichthonius

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

146 x 214

COMMENTS: For the subject, see Benesch 0149. In style the drawing resembles many that are now ascribed to Govert Flinck, including Benesch 0079, with its similar proliferation of hatching.[1] Benesch 0121 also exhibits a comparable touch. Although the high quality of the drawing is undeniable, the strongly calligraphic and decorative handling differs substantially from that in any securely attributed drawings by Rembrandt, perhaps the closest analogies being with the striations of near parallel lines in such drawings as Benesch 0393.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: USA, Scarsdale, New York, Private Collection (Manley).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.150, repr. (c.1637); Exh. New York Cambridge, 1960, no.12, repr. (c.1634-36); Golahny, 2003, p.251, n.33 (possibly related to mythological scenes Rembrandt may have produced); Bevers, 2007, p.58, n.30 (Flinck?; mid- to late-1630s); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Sale, Berlin, Amsler and Ruthardt, 25-27 May 1908, lot 418.

[1] Benesch 150 was tentatively ascribed to Flinck in print for the first time by Bevers, 2007. My own notes reveal that Flinck was considered a possibility by me in 1992 and by Peter Schatborn by 2004 (e-mail correspondence; but he was probably thinking of Flinck at least as early as I was).

First posted 27 May 2013.



Benesch 0151

Subject: Horsemen near a Slope

Verso: See inscriptions.

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

141 x 169. No watermark.

COMMENTS: The drawing has teased commentators with its iconographic analogies to a number of works, none of which, however, clarifies the subject-matter. A group of cavalry appears to be on the verge of descending a steep slope.

In c.1632 Rembrandt etched the small plate of a Turbanned Soldier on Horseback (Bartsch 139), which resembles the central figure here. The etching, and the present composition, are inspired by prints by Antonio Tempesta,[1]. Another comparable figure appears in the 1641 etching of the Baptism of the Eunuch (Bartsch 98; see also under Benesch 0013) and in a pupil’s pen sketch of the same subject, now in Munich, which Benesch believed to copy a lost drawing by Rembrandt.[2] Among Rembrandt’s own drawings, Benesch 0360 verso depicts, at the lower left, a similar motif, as does Benesch 0363 (recto and verso), the former in the same style, while the latter is probably later. In Rembrandt’s painting of the Concord of State of c.1638-42 (Bredius 476, Corpus A135), with which the latter drawing is connected, another rider appears, dismounting from a similarly posed horse, and there are also analogies with the rider in the much earlier painting, now in Basel, of David Presenting the Head of Goliath to Saul, of c.1627 (Bredius 488, Corpus A9). The archer at the lower left of the drawing also resembles those in Benesch 0004 and 0005, which are loosely connected with the same picture.

When, therefore, should the drawing be dated? The stippling penwork in the rump of the foreground horse is redolent of the Leiden period (cf. for example, the Two Studies of the Head of an Old Man of c.1626 in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles – not in Benesch), and the main figure group is reminiscent of Pieter Lastman.[3] But the drawing can hardly be so early, as the style is matched more closely by some of the drawings for the grisaille in Berlin of St John the Baptist Preaching of c.1633-34 (Bredius 555, Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110).[4] Any later drawings seem more liquidly handled and distant in style. Logically, therefore, the drawing is probably to be placed later than the Leiden period but before the sketches for the grisaille, and it seems reasonable to follow approximately the date of the etching of a Turbanned Soldier on Horseback of c.1632 (Bartsch 139).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1631-34?

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. MB 159)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Rotterdam, 1852, no.745; Vosmaer, 1868, p.512; Rotterdam, 1869, no.624; Vosmaer, 1877, pp.528 and 596; Dutuit, 1885, p.93; Michel, 1893, p.592; Kleinmann, V, no.62; Lippmann, III, 80A; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1355 (compares Benesch 360 verso and Bartsch 139); Saxl, 1908, p.348 (c.1636); Schmidt-Degener, 1912, p.6, repr.; Beets, 1915, p.7, n.3 (influence of Tempesta); Rotterdam, 1916, no.584; Stockholm, 1920, pp.63-64, repr. fig.75 (study for Concord of State, Bredius 476, Corpus A135); Rotterdam, 1921, no.584; Hind, 1923, under no.99; Benesch, 1925, p.174; Rotterdam, 1925, no.595; Rotterdam, 1927, no.595; Van Dyke, 1927, p.97, repr. fig.97; Rotterdam, 1928, no.595; Benesch, 1933-34, p.301; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.788, repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.27; Amsterdam, 1942, under no.7; Münz, 1952, II, p.113, under no.254, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.151, repr. (c.1636-37; compares etching of Turbanned Soldier on Horseback, Bartsch 139 and Landscape with Baptism of the Eunuch, Bredius 439, Corpus C116 and related drawing, Benesch C25); Biörklund and Barnard, 1955/68, under no.BB 32-6; Drost, 1957, p.182; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, pp.22-23; Sumowski, 1961, p.5; Slive, 1965, II, no.415; Hollstein, xvii, under no.B.139; Rotterdam, 1969, p.22, repr. fig.13; Benesch, 1970, p.550; Amsterdam, 1972, p.104, under no.B.139; Munich, 1973, I, under no.1157; Broos, 1975-76, p.209, n.18 (influence of Tempesta in foreground horse); Broos, 1977, p.102; Rotterdam, 1988, no.4, repr. (c.1632); Exh. Rotterdam, 2005-6, no.3, repr.; Exh. Istanbul 2006, no.3, repr.; Paris, 2008, under no.117 (discussed in relation to the etching, Bartsch 139); Schatborn, 2019, no. 463 and p.285, repr. (c.1636; figures, in contrast to the animal, drawn only cursorily, as in Benesch 0360 verso and Benesch 0461).

PROVENANCE: Bequeathed to the present repository by F.J.O. Boijmans, 1847.

[1] Beets, 1915, pp.1ff. The closest Tempesta prints are Bartsch, xvii, p.167, no.1144, which includes a similar horseman to the one in the centre of Rembrandt’s drawing, and Bartsch 552 for the general composition. Broos, 1975-76, p.209, n.18, reiterated the connection.

[2] The drawing in Munich seems likely to be by Govert Flinck, as do many other drawings catalogued by Benesch as early copies after lost Rembrandt drawings (e.g. Benesch C10a, C14, C15 (copied in C16?), C17-19, C20a, C21a, C22, C24, C26 [perhaps a copy after Flinck], C26aA (ditto) and C31).

[3] See Seifert, 2011, no.A10, repr.

[4] The lines trailing down from the bent-over rider to the left of the central horseman may be compared with those at the top of Benesch 142 verso.

First posted 28 May 2013.



Benesch 0152

Subject: Studies of the Magdalene and the Virgin in Sorrow

Verso: Blank except for collectors’ marks.

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with separate studies in red chalk. Three ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink and a framing-line on the left in graphite. Inscribed recto, above, in pen and brown ink, by Rembrandt: 'een dijvoot tghe[e]hoor [sic] dat in een/ sijn harte bewaert wert/ tot troost harer/ belevende siel' (see further below) and underlined.

201 x 143 Watermark: fragment showing a housemark with number ‘4’ and perhaps three balls or initials below, under a shield (see illustration; also repr. Amsterdam, 1985, p.241, no.7); chain lines: 24/25h.

COMMENTS: A documentary sheet by Rembrandt because of its connection with his painting of the Entombment of Christ of c.1635-39, commissioned for the stadholder, Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange, and now in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich (Bredius 560; Corpus A126, vol.VI, no.162). The sketches in red chalk may relate to the Virgin at the lower centre of the painting, where her pose resembles the mirror image of the sketch at the lower right more than that at the lower left of the sheet. However, the lower right sketch could also be for the same figure as the pen drawings, i.e. for the Magdalene, who appears further to the right in the painting, by Christ’s feet. There is also a relationship with the similar figure in the upper centre of Benesch 0154. In the upper, pen drawings, which were apparently inspired by Martin Schongauer's engraving of the Road to Calvary (Bartsch 21; Lehrs, Hollstein 9),[1] she appears to be standing (like the figure in Benesch 0154) but in the painting she is seated or crouched, and the sketch at the lower right could document this change. The larger study was made first, as the second sketch avoids impinging on its outlines. The smaller red chalk sketches at the upper right are not easy to decipher - they resemble Rembrandt's sketches of children - but could possibly relate to the woman leaning forwards in the lower left corner of the painting. (She in turn resembles the figure of Martha in the later states of the etching of the Raising of Lazarus of c.1632, Bartsch 73, for which Benesch 0083a is a study.)

According to Rembrandt’s letter of February 1636 to the stadholder’s secretary, Constantijn Huygens, the picture and the companion Resurrection (Bredius 561, Corpus A127, vol.VI, no.163, also now in Munich) were then ‘about half done’ (‘ruym half gedaen’),[2] so the drawing may date friom c.1635-36, the years also suggested by the style: the red chalk sketches are almost inseparable from the drawings after Leonardo's Last Supper, Benesch 0443 and especially 0444.

On 12 January 1639 Rembrandt wrote again to inform Huygens that ‘these same two pictures have now been finished through studious application, so that I am now also disposed to deliver the same and so to afford pleasure to His Highness, for in these two pictures the greatest and most natural emotion has been observed, which is also the main reason why they have been in hand so long’ (Dees selvij twe stuckens sijn door studijose vlijt nu meede afgedaen soodat ick nu oock geneegen ben om die selvijge te leeveren om sijn Hoochheijt daer meede te vermaeken want deesen twe sijnt daer die meeste ende die naetuereelste beweechgelickheijt in geopserveert is dat oock de grootste oorsaeck is dat die selvijge soo lang onder handen sij geweest).[3]

The word ‘beweechgelickheijt’ contains connotations both of emotion and movement, concepts that are partly related to the meaning of the inscription on the drawing. Like the letter, the inscription on the drawing at least suggests that Rembrandt was focussing on the emotional state of the figure, whether in her physical action or facial expression. Being written in pen the inscription probably refers to the study of the Magdalene, also in pen,[4] but its precise meaning unfortunately - as it is one of Rembrandt's few surviving statements concerning his art - remains problematic both for the transcriber and the translator. The words ’dijvoot’ and ‘belevende’ have been variously understood, and the third word, 'tghehoor', often mistranscribed as 'threesoor', giving rise to the translation 'treasure'. 'Dijvoot' appears in no dictionary but is usually considered to be related to the English ‘devout’, and thus translated. It may echo the Latin ‘devotus’, meaning devoted, also the origin of the English word devout. ‘Belevende’ has been rendered as ‘compassionate’ (Slive, 1952, p.261), ‘empathetic’ (Slive, 1953, p.24) and ‘troubled’, the English equivalent of the modern Dutch 'ontroerd' suggested by Schatborn (Amsterdam, 1985, no.7 and later). Caution is requires as an alternative reading, 'beleerende', has also been suggested.[5] The correct reading of the second word as 'tghehoor' opens up the possibility (or probability) that Rembrandt was referring not to a 'treasure' at all, but either to 'hearing' or giving 'attention' to something ('het gehoor' or 'gehoor geven', sometimes spelt 'ghehoor' in 16th-17th century usage); or that he was abbreviating the word for 'obedient' (gehoorzaam) or 'obedience' (gehoorzaamheid).[6] Also, the first word of the second line is now usually transcribed as 'fijn'; but the two previous words, 'in een', can also mean 'within' or inside, now usually spelt as one word, 'ineen'; this allows us to interpret the next word as it was until recently always transcribed, as 'sijn'.

Taking all the above into account we arrive at the following reading of the Dutch: 'een dijvoot tghe[e]hoor dat in een/ sijn harte bewaert wert/ tot troost harer/ belevende siel'. This might be translated as 'a devout obedience that is preserved within her heart to the comfort of her troubled soul'. Whatever the precise meaning, the psychological state of the figure seems to be Rembrandt’s concern.[7]

Condition: generally good; some light foxing and staining.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1635-1636?

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum (inv. RP-T-1947-213, stamped with L.2228)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Becker, 1923, no.18; Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.78; Exh. Amsterdam, 1930; Gerson, 1936, p.176, no.Z lxxx; Benesch, 1933-34, p.301 (Collected Writings, 1970, p.119, repr. fig.122); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.552 (c.1633); Benesch, 1935, p.28 (1637); Benesch, 1947, no.92, repr.; Benesch, 1947.I, pp.290-91, repr. fig.3 (Collected Writings, 1970, p.150, repr. fig.122; influence of Gothic); Van Gelder, 1949, p.207; Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, no.62 (c.1637); Slive, 1952, p.264, repr. fig.17; Münz, 1953, p.162; Slive, 1953, p.24, repr. fig.7 (c.1637); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.152, repr. (c.1637; compares Benesch 153, 154, 173 [for iconography] and 141, 145, 153 and 351 [for style]); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.43 (1635-37); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.72; Valentiner, 1956, p.404, n.14; Visser ‘t Hooft, 1956, p.33; Bruyn, 1959, p.24, n.27; Van Regteren Altena and Frerichs, 1965, no.56 (167); Exh. Berlin, 1970, under no.100; Tümpel, 1977, pp.59-60; Broos, 1979, p.102; Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.597, repr. fig.5; Amsterdam, 1981, under no.2, repr. fig. a, and under no.4, n.3; Schatborn, 1981.II, no.82, repr. fig.3; (c.1636); Schatborn, 1982, pp.252-23; Schatborn, 1983, pp.454-45, repr. fig.10 (c.1636); Schwartz, 1984, repr. fig.107; Amsterdam, 1985, no.7, repr. (c.1635-36); Exh. Amsterdam, 1987-88, no.45, repr. ('tgheehoor' correct transcription but a misspelling by Rembrandt; caption perhaps for benefit of pupils); I.H. van Eeghen, 1988, pp.21-22 (suggests alternative reading of 'beleerende'); Corpus, III, 1989, p. 276, repr. (uncertain if Schatborn correct in identifying figure below as the Virgin); Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, pp.278 and 280 (1635-36); Exh. The Hague, 1997-98, p.196, repr. fig.2; Exh. Washington, 2005, p.118, repr. fig.3 (c.1637); Exh. Amsterdam, 2006, p.77, repr. fig.71; Slive, 2009, p.50, repr. fig.4.8; Barker, 2010, p.59 (inscription echoes Luke, II, 18); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.33, repr. on front cover (documentary drawing); The Present Catalogue, 2013; Orenstein, 2013, p.5, repr. fig.15 (noting Schongauer quotation mentioned above); Exh. Budapest, 2014-15, p.54, repr. fig.20; Exh. Washington-Paris, 2016-17, no.65, repr. (1635-36); Schatborn, 2019, no.42 and p.18, repr. (c.1636).

PROVENANCE: A. D Schinkel; his sale, The Hague, Van Stockum, 21 November, 1864, lot 363, bt Van Doorn, f.181; J. Z Mazel (but not in his 28 January 1887 sale catalogue); J. Kneppelhout, Oosterbeek; his sale, The Hague, Van Stockum, 15-22 May, 1920, lot 2790; Cornelis Hofstede de Groot (L.561), The Hague; his sale, Leipzig, Boerner’s, 4 November, 1931, lot 178, bt R.W.P. de Vries, 2,500 marks; C.W.A Buma; his sale, The Hague, Venduhuis, 4-5 November, 1947, lot 158, where purchased by the present repository.

[1] See Orenstein, 2013. The same engraving inspired Benesch 97. Israhel van Meckenem's print of the same subject contains a comparable figure (Bartsch 17, Hollstein 149), also inspired by Schongauer, of whose engraving he also made a copy (Bartsch 23, Hollstein 9f).

[2] Gerson, 1961, p.18.

[3] Ibid., p.34.

[4] Benesch wrote that it 'apparently refers to St John and the Virgin'.

[5] By I.H. van Eeghen, 1988, pp.21-22.

[6] See, for example, the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal.

[7] The inscription is so difficult to read that it is unlikely to have been intended as an instruction to his pupils, as has been suggested (Exh. Amsterdam, 1987-88, no.45).

First posted 2 June 2013.



Benesch 0153

Subject: Bust of a Mourning Mary

Medium: Pen and brown ink on pale brown paper; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.

55 x 48.

COMMENTS: In style the drawing is reminiscent of other studies of heads – Benesch 0378, for example – which superficially resemble Rembrandt’s work closely but in which the touch is anaemic and fails to grasp the form. The meandering and slack lines are clear in the arms and hands of the present figure and even in the face, the most successful part of the drawing, where many outlines are redrawn several times to no improved effect and the shading is uncharacteristically stolid. The drawing seems likely to be a copy, perhaps after a lost sketch that was related to Benesch 0152 and/or Benesch 0154, the figure represented probably being either the Virgin or Mary Magdalene.

Summary attribution: After Rembrandt? Rembrandt??

Date: 1635-37?

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Amsterdam Museum (Fodor collection, inv. A 10272).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amsterdam, 1863, p.37, no.159; Gram, 1863, p.340; Vosmaer, 1868, p.511, no.b; Gower, 1875, p.126; Vosmaer, 1876, p.596, no.b; Dutuit, 1885, p.92; Kleinmann, III, 2; Michel, 1893, p.591; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1218; Wurzbach, 1910, p.415; Anon., 1934, no., repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.28 (1637); Benesch, 1944, p.289, repr. fig.4, and p.292 (c.1637; inspired by Gothic; [reprinted 1970, p.151, repr. fig.123]); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.153, repr. (as Benesch, 1944); Exh. Cologne-Bremen, 1955, no.72; Exh. Assen, 1956, no.28; Exh. Warsaw, 1956, no.27; Exh. Belgrade, 1960, no.60; Exh. Jerusalem, 1960, no.60; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.23; Exh. Budapest, 1962, no.60; Amsterdam, 1963, no.25f; Broos, 1977, p.102; Amsterdam, 1981, no.2, repr.; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Willem Baartz; his sale, Rotterdam, Lamme, 6-8th June 1860, lot 100 (Rembrandt van Rijn. Six têtes d’études. Crayon noir, sanguine et bistre [the other six drawings all in the same repository, Benesch 233, 346, 372, 726 and HdG no.1222 [not in Benesch]), bt Lamme, f.7; C.J. Fodor, by whom bequeathed to the present repository in 1860.

First posted 5 June 2013.


Benesch 0154

Subject: The Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross

Verso: Laid down.

Medium: Pen and brown ink and brown wash, with red and perhaps some black chalk, reworked in oils ‘en grisaille’; framing lines in thin black oil paint; the sheet made up of cut sections of paper (see further under Comments). Inscribed on a remnant of the old mat, in pen and brown ink, by Jonathan Richardson, jun.: ‘Rembrandt has labour’d this Study for the Lower part of his famous Des:/:cent from the Cross, grav’d by Picart, & had so often chang’d his mind in / the Disposition of the Clair-Obscur, which was his Point Here, that/ my Father & I counted, I think, Seventeen different Peices [sic] of Paper.’

216 x 254. No watermark or chain lines visible.

COMMENTS: The drawing is a documentary work as it is related to the more complete oil-sketch in the National Gallery in London (Fig.a; Bredius 565, Corpus A107, vol. VI, no.113), but opinions have differed as to whether it was drawn before, after, or during the execution of the more finished work (see Literature).

The British Museum's sheet began as a pen and ink sketch of the figures lamenting over the dead body of Christ, perhaps with some red chalk indications in the background. It may be that some oil paint was already used at this stage, particularly towards the upper right by the church tower, where the tone on the original part of the sheet appears darker than on the added strips at the edges. Rembrandt evidently decided to enlarge the composition. This was effected in various stages, probably as follows, as may be observed in the photograph taken in transmitted light (Fig.b): [1] Rembrandt extended the original sheet on all sides, using narrow strips of paper.[2] After this, a bolder reorganisation led him to cut through the whole sheet, including the first addition, in a more-or-less diagonal line from near the top left corner and to rearrange the two sections a little apart on another sheet of paper, with the left

segment, including the standing mourners and the Magdalene at Christ's feet, placed slightly lower. The top half of the split between the two cut sections is now occupied by the right-hand ladder and it seems that the artist's main concern was to provide room for this extra motif. Below this, the cut continues in a zigzag, first to the left, then back to the right, before ending in a near vertical line down to the bottom edge of the sheet. By splicing photographs and re-joining the two main sections, an image may be obtained of the drawing before this diagonal cut, but it is misleading in showing the subsequent work in oil paint (see Fig.c) .

The composition was then reworked, firstly with indications in red chalk and then in oils: the surface of the outer areas (i.e. all the added or extended parts) only contains work in these two media. The main parts of the underlying sheet that are exposed to view are the following: the top left corner, leading into the section occupied by the right-hand ladder; the small quadrangular patch at its base; and the strip running across the bottom from the lower right corner to the visible break below the sorrowing Magdalene at Christ's feet. Beyond this, the underlying sheet is visible only as a narrow strip running horizontally at the lower left edge of the bottom of the drawing and up the left side, until we return the top left corner section of it, as already noted. The tallest figures at the upper centre, beyond the body of Christ, are also apparently executed entirely in oil paint. The upper shaft of the cross on the left, the ladders, the temple of Jerusalem, parts of the sky, the foreground section and, to the right, the mourners and the winding-sheet were all painted at the secondary stage. Refinements were also made to some figures – for example, those on the left of the composition – that had been drawn with the pen before the sheet was cut. Finally, what appears to be a dog (or lamb?) drawn in red chalk at the lower left corner was also partially clarified in oil (in the legs and muzzle).

It seems likely that Rembrandt executed most of the work in oils on the British Museum sketch after he had started on the sheet of paper that now forms the central part of the National Gallery's painting, but that the initial sketch in pen and ink with red chalk in the British Museum's version would have been made first of all. The National Gallery's painting is executed entirely in oils and generally follows the foreground frieze of figures in the drawing. It also includes the ladders, a motif he had sketched out in Benesch 0100, although it could have been added at a subsequent stage (the X-radiograph of the National Gallery painting is inconclusive on this point). Some of the figures, only cursorily indicated in the British Museum's sketch, are worked up in considerable detail, and the most significant changes are as follows: the thief at the upper left corner was added, as were some figures at the extreme left; the figure below him was moved slightly forward, as also the weeping woman in front of him, to his left; the figure with his arms spread wide as he grabs an upper and lower rung of the more central ladder is clarified, while the woman whose head appears immediately above his own is omitted; the thief nearest the centre, whose legs and feet are visible in Benesch 0154, is considerably lowered; the tall woman realised in oil by his feet was cancelled and probably moved to become the woman in profile at the far right edge of the National Gallery composition, with her hands in prayer (this figure is cursorily begun in oil in Benesch 0154); the woman whose head is sketched to the left of the distant tower, as well as the woman in a broad-brimmed hat below her, were left out and the space occupied by a new figure that is barely adumbrated; the tower itself was initially included in the National Gallery sketch, but painted over, and two slim towers were added in the centre of the background (the former tower now shows through the upper layer to a small degree);[3] details of the view of Jerusalem were elaborated and the town appears further away; a group of figures enters the middle-distance from the right, including a horseman (probably St Joseph of Arimathaea); and the figure of Christ and those grouped to encircle him, including the Virgin Mary and the Magdalene at his feet, were arranged more compactly and this whole section was shifted a little to the right and considerably clarified or worked up; finally, a bone (to symbolize Golgotha) was added or clarified at the lower right.

The X-radiograph of the National Gallery version shows almost no signs of these changes, which suggests that Rembrandt revised the composition again in his mind (and perhaps again on paper in sketches now lost), abandoning, at an early stage, certain solutions that he had considered in the British Museum's sketch. In addition, the National Gallery's sketch was destined to undergo as many revisions as the British Museum drawing: two parts of the central, paper section were also cut out, one now occupied by the legs of the central thief (perhaps in order to excise the figure of the sorrowing woman who appears at this point in the British Museum's study) and the area at the lower right corner, where a minor adjustment was made to the pose of the Virgin Mary. Having been cut, the sheet was fixed to a larger support, this time of canvas, and finally mounted on a wooden panel.[4] The overlay of the drawing and painting in Fig.d gives an idea of the changes that the composition finally underwent, including the lowering of the thief nearest the centre. We also include an infra-red image, which clarifies the extent of the work in oil paint (Fig.e).

In spite of the changes he had wrought, Rembrandt seems to have remained dissatisfied with the result. The National Gallery's painting was only completed by the addition of further strips of canvas at the top and below at a later date, when the whole picture was mounted on a panel.[5]

Some of the motifs in the British Museum's drawing reappear in other works by Rembrandt of the mid-1630s. The rapid pen and ink sketch of the same subject in Berlin (Benesch 0100), mentioned above, in which the style is analogous to those parts of the present sheet that are executed with the pen, was probably a first idea for the composition.[6] In style both resemble the signed and dated documentary drawing in Berlin of 1635 after Leonardo da Vinci's 'Last Supper' (Benesch 0445). The dense grouping of the heads and some of the poses of the figures in the two 'Lamentation' sketches suggest that Rembrandt already had a knowledge of Leonardo's composition.[7] The tall, sorrowing woman standing behind the main group near the centre of the British Museum's sketch resembles the figure in Benesch 0152, that was used for the Munich 'Entombment', painted for the stadholder in the mid-to-later 1630s.[8] A drawing of the head of this or a similar figure, Benesch 0153, may be a copy.[9] Finally, the etched 'Crucifixion: small plate' of c.1635 (Bartsch 80; NH 143), resembles the present composition in the disposition of the cross and figures. The date of c.1634-5 here proposed for the British Museum's drawing is suggested on the basis of these several analogies.[10] Other works sketched by Rembrandt 'en grisaille' date from approximately the same period, including the 'Joseph telling his Dreams' in the Rijksmuseum of c.1633 (Bredius 504, Corpus A66, vol. VI, no.108), the 'Christ before Pilate' of 1634 in the National Gallery in London (Bredius 546, Corpus A89, vol. VI, no.112), the 'Entombment' at Glasgow (Bredius 554, Corpus A105, vol. VI, no.114) and the 'St John the Baptist preaching' in Berlin of c.1633-34 (Bredius 555, Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110). At no other time did Rembrandt repeatedly employ the 'grisaille' medium. It has often been plausibly suggested that, like the 1634 'Christ before Pilate', they were all made as preparatory studies for etchings, many of which were not executed.[11] This might explain why the first sketch in Berlin (Benesch 0100) shows elements of the composition in reverse.

The iconography of the 'Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross' does not depend on a biblical text and was treated in different ways by artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.[12] The subject combines motifs from the 'Deposition', 'Lamentation' and 'Entombment'. Rembrandt's version is more crowded than most as he includes several bystanders who had witnessed the crucifixion. Characteristically, he exploits the opportunity to illustrate through gesture and expression the emotional states of the figures depicted, in line with his desire, expressed in 1639 in a letter to Constantijn Huygens, to imbue his works with 'the greatest and most natural emotion'.[13]

A drawing attributed to Ferdinand Bol that is based on the National Gallery's sketch is in a private collection (Sumowski 146x). Another, in the Louvre and perhaps by another follower of Rembrandt, shows the 'Deposition' in a composition that is reminiscent of the present sheet and the National Gallery's sketch. A drawing in Dresden (Benesch 0063) also reflects these compositions.[14]

The engraving to which Richardson jun. refers in the inscription on the back of the drawing was made by Bernard Picart in 1730 after the National Gallery's painting.[15]

Condition: the work in brown ink and wash is much faded, and the sheet is discoloured to a pale brown tone; the oil pigment threatens to flake at the extreme edges of the various sections of the paper. There may have been some shrinkage of the pigment, for example creating the near-vertical white ‘line’ at the extreme upper right edge, impinging on the framing line; two small patches may be repairs or corrections by Rembrandt, one immediately to the left of the top of the tower, the other below Christ's head.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1634-35?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.Oo,9.103)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Northcote, 1819, I, pp.261 ff. (see note 14); Bürger, 1858, p.398 (same composition as National Gallery 'grisaille'); Vosmaer, 1868, p.431, n.1 (for National Gallery painting); Vosmaer, 1877, p.545; Dutuit, IV, 1885, p.85; Michel, 1893, II, p.581 (as Vosmaer); Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Seidlitz, 1895, p.76n., under no.81 (relates to National Gallery painting and to another in Christiania); Michel, 1898, p.303 (17 pieces of paper); Exh. London, 1899, no.A33 (1642; at least 16 pieces of paper); Lippmann, I, no.103; Kleinmann, IV, no.1; Bode and Hofstede de Groot, IV, 1900, p.80, under no.245 (related to National Gallery painting and Frankfurt drawing, Benesch 586); Neumann, 1902, pp.330-31 (at least 16 pieces of paper; related to National Gallery painting); Bell, c.1905, p.15, repr. pl.XVIII (for National Gallery 'grisaille' of c.1642; 16 pieces); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.890 (study for National Gallery painting, 1642; at least 16 pieces); Wickhoff (text by Kurt Rathe), 1906, p.28, no.30; Baldwin Brown, 1907, pp.118 and 218; Rosenberg, 1908 ed., under no.226 (relates to Bartsch 82); Saxl, 1908, p.233 (rejects relationship suggested by Rosenberg, 1908); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; Hind, 1912, I, p.52 (16 or more pieces of paper); London, 1915, no.60 (c.1642); Hofstede de Groot, 1916/15, p.105, under no.136 (with National Gallery painting a study for etching Bartsch 82, of 1642; Frankfurt drawing, Benesch 586, related); Neumann, 1918, p.105 (quotes HdG); Bredt, 1921/28, II, repr. p.31/136 (17 pieces of paper); Byam Shaw, 1928, p.31, n.2 (c.1642); Stechow, 1929, p.226-9 (early 1640s; relationship with National Gallery's painting impossible fully to clarify; sees an iconographic progression towards stressing Virgin's mourning in Rembrandt's versions but some of the arguments rest on works now doubted; see n.12); Hell, 1930, p. 14, n.3 (16 pieces); Hind, 1932, p.68 (refers also to school 'Pietá' in Ringling Museum, Bredius 582); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.495, repr. (c.1640; possibly a workshop repetition based on the National Gallery's painting); Benesch, 1935, p.28 (c.1637); Bredius, 1937/35, under no.565; Exh. London, 1938, no.60 (c.1642); Benesch, 1947, p.12 and no.94, repr. (c.1637-8); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.154, repr. fig.172/184 (as Benesch, 1947); van Gelder, 1955, p.396 (conceived as a gift); Exh. London, 1956, p.22, no.1 bis; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.49, under no.28; Sumowski, 1957-58, p.260 (school work based on National Gallery's painting and reworked by Rembrandt); London, 1960, pp.304-8 (for National Gallery painting; refutes connection with Benesch 586; much less than 17 pieces of paper); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.23 (c.1642; with National Gallery painting perhaps for an etching); Slive, 1965, I, no.104, repr. (c.1642); Bauch, 1966, p.5, under no.69; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1967 (1964), p.110 (related to etchings); Gerson, 1968, p.492, under no.89; Bredius-Gerson, 1969, under no.565; Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.53 (c.1640, for National Gallery painting); Harris, 1969, pp.158-64, repr. pl.35 (reconstructs progress of work on various pieces of paper); Waals, 1969, p.104 (demonstrates that Rembrandt fought to achieve compositions); Campbell, 1971, p.261 (associates Rijksmuseum sketches, Benesch 152, with 'Lamentation' composition); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1971, p.69 (probably for an etching); van Gelder, 1973, pp.193-94 (as Harris, 1969); Broos, 1975-6, p.223, n.38 (1640s; Mary in arms of consolers based on Altdorfer and Cranach); Sciolla, 1976, p.6, repr. pl.xxiii (c.1637-40; notes use of several pieces of paper in 'Montelbaanstoren', Rembrandthuis, Benesch 1309, and 'Deposition', Dresden, Benesch 63); Exh. London, 1978, no.282; Sumowski, I, 1979, under no.146x; Amsterdam, 1981, under no.2; Exh. Manchester, 1982, no.157; Exh. London, 1984, no.9; Tümpel, 1986, under no.62 (the National Gallery sketch c.1635-42); Exh. London, 1988-9, pp.66 ff. and 160; Corpus, III, 1989, pp.94-6, repr. figs.4-7 (c.1634-5; the drawing based on the National Gallery painting as a trial for the division of the latter into two [but the latter is not so divided]); Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), pp.135-7, repr. fig.1; (National Gallery painting essentially follows the drawing, which must have preceded it); Exh. London, 1992, no.12 (as Royalton-Kisch, 1990; relates to Benesch 100); Van de Wetering, 1997, p.17, n.20, p.110 and p.287, repr. p.112, fig.138 (c.1634; for an abandoned print; changes prompted by narrative construction and need for unity of time); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-4, no.43; Exh. Dresden, 2004, p.160, under no.85 (see n.12 above; as Exh. London, 1992); Berlin, 2006, p.46, under no.7 and p.53, under no.9, repr. (as Exh. London, 1992; sees analogies with Berlin 'Last Supper', Benesch 445; emphasizes that the Berlin sketch, Benesch 100, is a first idea for the composition of the London drawing; both works have touches of red chalk); Exh. Amsterdam-Berlin, 2006, p.180 (Exh. Amsterdam only); Exh. Braunschweig, 2006, pp.85-6, under nos.30-32 (influenced P. Koninck's versions of subject in Braunschweig, inv.375-7, Sumowski 1353-5); Exh. London, 2006[1], pp.100-102, under no.7, repr. fig.80; Schwartz, 2006, p.79, repr. fig.131; London, 2010 (online), no.9,repr.; Corpus, V, 2011, p.183, repr. fig.86 (c1637-38); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.27, repr. fig.103 (documentary drawing); Exh. Glasgow, 2012, p.59, repr. fig.25, and no.24 (c.1634-35); Exh. New York, 2016, p.34, repr. fig.30; Bracken, 2018, passim.. (see notes 2 and 6; Bracken makes numerous novel arguments and assertions with which the present author disagrees; the photograph of the drawing in transmitted light, which was not available to Bracken, also refutes them: e.g., Bracken believes there was a missing second stage in the development of the composition; believes that the side strips were taken from the four sides of the original sheet and then stuck back onto it; that the Magdalene is an altered version of the first sketch of the Virgin; that Christ’s head was originally depicted with the Virgin on the left of the sheet, reversing the composition; that a head of Christ is sketched higher up than now, on the Virgin’s chest; and that the extended right arm and hand of the Virgin was originally Christ’s. He sees the influence of Annibale Carracci’s print of the same subject, here discussed under Benesch 100 [in Benesch 0154 it has dissipated]); Schatborn, 2019, no.18, repr. (c.1635).

PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2184); Jonathan Richardson, jun. (L.2170); Sir Joshua Reynolds (L.2364);[16] William Young Ottley; his sale, London, Mr Scott Jr under the direction of T. Philipe, 21 April, 1803, lot 824 as Rembrandt ('One - Christ taken down); bequeathed by Richard Payne Knight, 1824.

[1] See also under Literature above. The main breakthrough in understanding the make-up of the drawing was made by Harris, 1969. The photograph in transmitted light was prepared in 2019 by Jenny Bescoby and Rebecca Snow of the British Museum - my warmest thanks to them.

[2] The extreme edges of the sheet on the other sides, mostly covered by the framing line, appear to be on a still larger sheet, but are not (as seen in Fig.b). The (as it turned out, erroneous) idea of the extra strips was proposed by Bracken, 2018, but this was before the photograph in transmitted light (Fig.b) had been prepared.

[3] The 'ghost' of this motif is visible on the surface of the National Gallery's sketch although it is not clear in the X-radiograph.

[4] The canvas is believed to have come from the same bolt as the following paintings: the 'Holy Family' in Munich of 1634 (Corpus A88, Bredius 544), the 'Cupid blowing Bubbles' of 1634 in a private collection (Corpus A91, Bredius 470), the 'Samson threatening his Father-in-Law' in Berlin of 1635 (Bredius 499, Corpus A109), the Vienna 'St Paul' (Bredius 603), and certainly from the same bolt as a patch used for the first enlargement of the Berlin 'St John the Baptist preaching' (Bredius 555, Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110), as noted in Corpus, II, 1986, p.479, and III, 1989, p.107.

[5] Opinions differ as to whether the work was completed by Rembrandt himself: see Exh. London, 1988-9, p.68, and Corpus, III, 1989, no.A107.

[6] Bracken, 2018, prefers to see Benesch 0100 as an intermediary work, made after Benesch 0154 had been begun and rehearsing the split with the addition of the ladder; but in my opinion, the style of Benesch 0100 is typical of Rembrandt’s priimi pensieri, while his intermediary drawings, such as Benesch 0292 and 0423, are stylistically different and exhibit their purpose clearly.

[7] The group of the Virgin and those supporting her torso is like that of the figures to Christ's left (spectator's right) in Benesch 0445, while those above Christ's body are like the two to his right, especially in the case of the National Gallery's sketch.

[8] For the drawing, see further Amsterdam, 1985, no.7. The resemblance to a figure in a woodcut by Lucas Cranach (Hollstein 25), first noticed by Colin Campbell, is there reported (p.19, n.4). The connection with the British Museum's sketch was first made by Benesch.

[9] See Amsterdam, 1981, no.2.

[10] A speculation: some of the studies Rembrandt made of Saskia in bed in the mid-1630s could have been made with the motif of the swooning Virgin Mary or a similar subject in mind; none resembles the figure here or in the National Gallery oil sketch closely enough to be certain, and they are generally thought to be of later date, but there could nonetheless have been an iconographic connection.

[11] Van de Wetering (as first reported in Exh. London, 1988-9, p.70 and stated in Corpus, III, 1989, pp.96-7) suggested that the National Gallery's 'Lamentation' may have been intended as a sketch in reverse for a print because the good thief is to the left of Christ's cross. This may well be the case, but Rembrandt's disregard of such iconographic conventions in his etchings undermines such an argument (for example, in the etching of the 'Raising of Lazarus' of c.1632, Bartsch 73, Christ raises his left hand, and in the 'Crucifixion', Bartsch 79, of c.1641, the thieves are not clearly differentiated; see further Boeck, 1953). In Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.36-63, and again in Corpus, V, 2011, pp.182-86, van de Wetering developed more arguments to support the idea that Rembrandt's 'grisaille' sketches relate to a largely unexecuted plan for a series of prints on subjects from Christ's Passion.

[12] See Réau, II, 1957, pp.519-21.

[13] Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, pp.160-61, no.1639/2. As noted by Schatborn (loc. cit., n.8), Rembrandt used similar words in an inscription on the Rijksmuseum's sketches of the 'Magdalen and the Virgin in Sorrow' (Benesch 0152).

[14] The Paris drawing is repr. Paris, 1933, no.1277, pl.LXXXVII. The Dresden sheet, regarded by Stechow, 1929, as a preliminary stage ('Vorstufe') of the composition, seems more likely to be a reflection of it by a contemporary pupil (and is catalogued as such in Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.85).

[15] Repr. Exh. London, 1988-9, p.68, fig.52; it shows the composition in reverse. Richardson's inscription was copied by Sir Joshua Reynolds onto the back of the National Gallery's painting, which he owned as well as the present sheet.

[16] Reynolds’ pupil, James Northcote, remembered bidding for the drawing at Richardson’s sale (‘The Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds’, 2nd edn. London, 1819, I, pp.261 f): ‘I purchased for Sir Joshua those lots which he had marked …One drawing in particular I remember, a descent from the cross by Rembrandt, in which were to be discovered sixteen alterations, or pentimenti, as the Italians term it, made by Rembrandt, on bits of paper stuck upon the different parts of the drawing, and finished according to his second thoughts’.

First posted 6 June 2013; slightly revised 20 July 2018. Figs.c-e added 25 June 2019 (see note 1 above).


Benesch 0155

Subject: Two Sketches of an Old Man in a Turban

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

124 x 121 (?82 x 78)[1] Lower left corner made up.

COMMENTS: The drawing has been related to Rembrandt's painting of Susannah and the Elders, now in the Mauritshuis, The Hague, of 1636, and dated accordingly (Bredius 505, Corpus A117). Yet the relationship is closer to the later version of the subject now in Berlin, thought to have been begun in the late 1630s but completed and dated 1647 (Bredius 516). The same figure is studied in Benesch 0157, which because it is in iron-gall ink as well as from the style may be dated c.1637-39, but the figure in Benesch 0155 is less close to the Berlin painting. In addition, the style is considerably more liquid than in the head studies in the documentary drawing, Benesch 0336, of c.1633-35 and an attribution to Rembrandt can only be entertained via comparisons with later works such as Benesch 0340 and Benesch A10 of the later 1630s, Benesch 0500a of 1641, and even Benesch 0189-90 of the mid-to-late-1640s. Particularly close to Rembrandt is the realisation of the nearer head with bold lines drawn over a more tentative initial sketch.

Yet despite the analogies with these drawings and with the figure in the Berlin painting (where he wears a tall hat rather than a turban, which is now donned by his companion in sin), the drawing almost entirely lacks the expressive force of characterisation seen there, or in Benesch 0157, which seems to be earlier. The structure of the hand is also poorly conveyed: the loop nearest the mouth denotes the thumb, which is entirely clear in the painting, while in the drawing the anatomy is unconvincing and the draughtsman loses his grip on the form. These weaknesses are so compounded in the secondary sketch of the head at the top left of the sheet, in which the lines barely become more descriptive than merely decorative, that the attribution to Rembrandt becomes almost completely untenable. Only the comparisons with Benesch 189-90 give cause for hesitation, and for including the drawing here as 'attributed to' Rembrandt. It seems more probably to have been derived from Rembrandt's work on the Berlin painting.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt??

Date: 1645-47?

COLLECTION: formerly D Berlin, Private Collection (Paul von Schwabach, 1867-1938); with Christie’s, 1982.[1]

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.7; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1021; Heseltine, 1907, no.5; Valentiner 264; Benesch, 1935, p.6; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.155, repr. (c.1637; related to Mauritshuis Susannah of 1637); Exh. Melbourne, 1988, p.56, n.36; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: unrecorded before Schwabach collection.

[1] According to UK Export licence B1/2906/82 (copy in Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum).

First posted 13 June 2013.



Benesch 0156

Subject: Head of an Oriental in a Turban

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

80 x 70.

COMMENTS: Recent commentators have ignored this drawing and in style it seems far removed from any of Rembrandt's documentary drawings. Sketches now attributed to Govert Flinck, such as Benesch 2 and 48, seem to provide the closest comparisons and thus a tentative attribution to him is proposed here. The figure's superficial resemblance to the Elder on the right of the painting of Susannah and the Elders completed in 1647, now in Berlin (Bredius 516), gave rise to the idea that these works were in some way connected, but this is not sufficiently persuasive, as any number of depictions of orientals in various situations provide similar analogies.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1637-40?

COLLECTION: formerly F Paris, Private Collection (Otto Wertheimer)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Paris, 1933, III, no.1184; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.156, repr. (perhaps made in connection with paintings of Susannah and the Elders, Bredius 505 [Corpus A117] and 516);[1] [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Marquis de Valori (L.2500); his sale, Paris, Drouot, 25-26 November, 1907, lot 197; Kleinberger.

[1] Benesch notes that the drawing was discussed in Valentiner's unpublished 3rd volume, no.1340.

First posted 14 June 2013.



Benesch 0157

Subject: Study of an Elder (for Susannah and the Elders)

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared with pale brown wash; ruled framing lines in graphite, at top only, remnant at bottom; inscribed in graphite, top left corner, in a nineteenth or twentieth century hand: 'Rembrandt f. 1656'

173 x 135 WM: none visible; chain lines: 26?h, with fine laid lines; verso laid down; modern mat only.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, as it is a study for one of the lustful elders in the painting of Susanna and the Elders, now in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin (Bredius 516). The painting is signed and dated 1647, but was begun in c. 1638, when the drawing was probably also made - Rembrandt's other iron-gall ink drawings all appear to date from this period.[1] The acidic ink has eaten into the paper with time, exaggerating the breadth of the lines, but the boldness and verve of the drawing remains clear.

The figure in the painting is little changed: both his left arm and right leg are retracted and his almost caricatural facial expression in the drawing is toned down. The nearer arm was initially repeated in the Berlin painting unchanged, so that the figure seems to attempt to fondle Susannah’s left breast, as is revealed by a pupil’s drawn copy after the picture made at an early stage in its genesis.[2] His hat, as so often with Rembrandt, is also adjusted in the final painting. In Rembrandt's first, 1636 painting of the subject, now in The Hague (Bredius 505, Corpus A117),[3] an elder is again shown in profile to left and with a comparable facial expression, and this figure may have formed the starting-point for the present drawing.

Whether the secondary study, apparently of the top of a head, was in any way related to the same painting seems impossible to say. Benesch 0590 is also related to the picture, though it is a later drawing executed in black chalk, and Benesch 0155, 0156, 0158, 0159, 0536 and 0591 have been associated with the same design. Benesch 0448 is based on Pieter Lastman's painting of the same subject, which may have prompted Rembrandt’s interest in it, but did not directly influence the present figure. Rembrandt may have turned to Raphael's characterisation of Elymas in his tapestry cartoon for the Blinding of Elymas, which he would probably have known through an engraving.[4] Benesch 0592 and 0609 are later versions of the subject, as also Benesch 0928 (probably by Willem Drost) and Benesch 0977. Benesch already rejected his nos.C26aA (perhaps after Govert Flinck), A8 and A60, but cumulatively the drawings reveal that the subject was treated many times by Rembrandt and his pupils.

Condition: iron-gall acidic damage and bleeding of the lines; a vertical crack down centre of hat and head; an abrasion above head and to right of head; scrape to left of figure.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1638?

COLLECTION: AUS Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria (inv.357/4)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1835 (Lawrence Gallery), p.26, no.93 (as from Benjamin West's collection); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.986; Heseltine, 1907, no.16; Exh. London, 1929, no.581 (Commemorative Catalogue, p.199); Valentiner 266; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.157, repr. (c.1637; sketch for The Hague picture but then used for Berlin painting); Exh. Amsterdam, 1956, no.86; Exh. Melbourne, 1969, p.4, repr.; Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.13; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.36, n.5; Dean, 1986, p.68; Exh. Melbourne, 1988, pp.48-54 and 117, repr. (c.1647); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.92, repr. fig.24d; Exh. London, 1992, under nos.30 and 31, repr. fig.31a; Exh. Melbourne, 1997, no.80, repr. (c.1638); Exh. Paris, 2006-7, under no.23, repr. fig.39 (1636, for Susannah and the Elders painting in The Hague, Bredius 505, Corpus A117); London, 2010 (online) under nos.27 and 28; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.38, repr. fig.112 (documentary drawing); Schatborn, 2019, no.54 and pp.17-18, repr. (c.1638; unusual preparatory study made in 1647 although painting begun late 1630s).

PROVENANCE: Benjamin West (according to Exh. London, 1835 and Esdaile sale catalogue); Thomas Lawrence (L.2445; in the MS inventory of his collection, under section 51, case 1, drawer 2, 95, 97: 'Study of a Jew Figure in the Act of speaking, fine pen'); Samuel Woodburn (see Exh. London, 1835 under Literature above); William Esdaile (L.2617); his sale, London, Christie's, 17 June, 1840, lot 88, bt Bale, £3-5s; C.S. Bale; J.P.Heseltine (L.1507); Henry Oppenheimer; his sale, London, Christie's, 10-14 July, 1936, lot 292, where acquired by the present repository with funds from the Felton Bequest.

[1] See the other datable and documentary drawings in this medium: Benesch 0161 recto (c.1638), Benesch 0168 (c.1638), Benesch 0423 (c.1639) and Benesch 0442 (c.1639).

[2] Sumowski 823*, where attributed to Barend Fabritius.

[3] See The Rembrandt Database, Rembrandt, Susanna, 1636, Mauritshuis, The Hague, inv. no. 147,, accessed 12 June 2013.

[4] There is an engraving by Agostino Veneziano (Bartsch, XIV, p.48, no.43).

First posted 18 July 2013.



Benesch 0158

Subject: Head of an Oriental in a Turban and a Dead Bird of Paradise

Medium: Pen and brown, iron-gall ink with brown wash, heightened with white on paper prepared with pale brown wash. Inscribed top right in pen and brown ink: ‘45’.

178 x 169

COMMENTS: The drawing has sometimes been associated with the Berlin painting of Susannah and the Elders of 1647, which was begun in c.1638 (Bredius 516). The assumption is not wholly unreasonable given the figure's resemblance to Benesch 0157, but while the present drawing cannot be regarded as a preliminary study in the orthodox sense, it may have helped to inspire the figure. The drawing can also be regarded as evolving from Rembrandt's 1635 etching after Jan Lievens known as the Third Oriental Head (Bartsch 288).

The presence of the dead bird of paradise - cf. Benesch 0456, which presumably dates from the same time - is puzzling; yet the otherwise empty lower left corner would have made an unusual mise-en-page for Rembrandt. Was Rembrandt perhaps making an analogy between the splendour of the bird and the elaborate, almost 'peacock' attire and headdress of the figure, and/or adding a note of mortality as a memento mori?

The technique of iron-gall ink is typical of the period c.1637-39 (see under Benesch 0157). The application of the wash with the tip of the brush in the figure's supporting arm is reminiscent of a number of sheets of the period, including Benesch 0440.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1638-39?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv. RF 4688; L.1886)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1877-78, no.1189 (lent by W. Russell); Valentiner, I, no.265 (relates to 1647 Susannah and the Elders painting in Berlin though style of drawing seems earlier) ; Kauffmann, 1926, p.159 (not related to Susannah painting in Berlin); Van Dyke, 1927, p.78 (Govert Flinck); Paris, 1933, no.1184 (between the The Hague and Berlin paintings of Susannah); Benesch, 1935, p.24; Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.83; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.158, repr. (c.1637); Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.13 (connected with Berlin painting); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.27, repr.; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, under no.15, repr. fig.150; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.23, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.306 and p.285, repr. (c.1638; the bird shown dead, unlike Benesch 0456).

PROVENANCE: Samuel Woodburn ; his sale, London, Christie’s, 12-14 June, 1860, lot 1504, bt Colnaghi; William Russell (L.2648); Léon Bonnat, by whom acquired before 1885 (L.1714 and with his number from his album top right ‘45’) and by whom presented to the present repository in 1919.

First posted 19 July 2013.


Benesch 0159

Subject: Susannah and the Elders (Apocrypha, Susannah, I, 16-23)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

149 x 177. Watermark: coat-of-arms with a posthorn (comparable to Cambridge (Mass.), 2016, p.380, no.69).

COMMENTS: The style and the facial expressions are comparable to Benesch 0160 (as Benesch himself noted). Both drawings seem far removed from Rembrandt himself and the draughtsman in both instances is likely to be Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (see further under Benesch 0160). In the case of the present drawing, the lame quality of certain parts, including the hands (perhaps especially the pointing hand) and the subsidiary flourishes, which lack spontaneity, suggest that the design may be based on a lost prototype. Overall the even pressure of the pen throughout seems divorced from Rembrandt’s temperament, even in a copy. At all events the drawing may have been made at the time that Rembrandt was formulating the composition of his painted version of the subject in Berlin, c.1638-40, although the picture was only completed in 1647 (see under Benesch 0157). In the case of the present drawing, the artist drew some inspiration from the version of the subject by Pieter Lastman copied by Rembrandt in Benesch 0448.[1]

A version of the subject in Budapest (Benesch A8) appears to be by the same hand but is drawn with more freedom. It could be that in the present work, Van den Eeckhout was himself closely following a prototype by Rembrandt, while in Benesch A8 he was producing an original version of his own. This suggestion is given some support by some of the details of Benesch 0159, such as the eye of the elder on the right: its formulation with a low, heavy circle under the nearer eye apes Rembrandt’s own in sketches especially in the late 1630s, such as the central figure in Benesch 0087, Benesch 0203 verso, Benesch 0219, Benesch 0237, Benesch 0260 and Benesch 0272.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: 1638-40??

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ. 5218)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.574; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no. 44 (early); Bode in Amtliche Berichte, 1908, cols 58 and 63-64 (c.1635); Bode, 1908, pp.108-9, repr.(late 1640s or c.1650); Valentiner, 1908, pp.34-35 (c.1635); Berlin, 1910, II, no.272, repr.; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.30, repr. (compares Benesch 180); Valentiner, 1914, p.166; Bode, 1915, col. 216; Kauffmann, 1924, pp.73 and 80 (c.1635); Kauffmann, 1926, p.168; Van Dyke, 1927, p.82 (De Gelder); Berlin, 1930, p.224, Inv.5218 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1930, p.45, no.231; Lugt, 1931, p.57; Benesch, 1935, p.29; Valentiner, II, no. 259, repr; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.159, repr. (c.1637-38; compares Benesch 160); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.36; Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (c.1635); Sumowski, 1956/57, p.262 (c.1636-38); Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.36 (c.1635; perhaps based on, or the first design for, the Berlin painting of the subject in its first ‘state’ [Bredius 516; Corpus V, 1, vol.VI, no.213]); Haak, 1974, no.22 (c.1637-38); Bernhard, 1976, p.234 (c.1637-38); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.36 (c.1635); Melbourne, 1988, p.56, n.36; Exh. London, 1992, no.4, n.1; Exh. London-Paris-Cambridge (Mass.), 2002-3, under no.44, n.2 (c.1635); Berlin, 2006, under no.18, n.14 (not Rembrandt); London, 2010 (online), under no.4; The Present Catalogue online, 2013 (Van den Eeckhout? 1638-40); Bevers, 2015, p.463, repr. fig.3 (Eeckhout, as the present catalogue online, 2013); Exh. Berlin, 2015, pp.40-41 (as the present catalogue, 2013); Berlin, 2018, no.59, repr. (Eeckhout, c.1635-36; relates to Benesch 0448; compares to Benesch 0086); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Lord Egmont (according to Berlin, 1930); R.P. Roupell (L.2234); his sale, London, Christie’s, 12-14 July, 1887, lot 1060; Adolf von Beckerath, from whom acquired in 1902 by the present repository with his collection in return for a lifetime annuity.

[1] As noted by Bevers in Berlin, 2018, no.59.

First posted 24 July 2013.


Benesch 0160

Subject: The Adoration of the Magi (Matthew, II, 11)

Verso: Laid down.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash.

173 x 228 (top corners rounded)

COMMENTS: The drawing has only occasionally been published as by Rembrandt since Benesch's catalogue, and my own notes pointed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout as long ago as 1985.[1] Benesch 0077, 0138, 0146-7 and 0159 provide general stylistic similarities.

To the compiler it appears that the darker and more liquid lines at the upper right, at the lower right corner, the energetic description of the canopy to the upper left and the shading at the lower left corner are probably corrections and additions by Rembrandt made, as it were, over his pupil's shoulder- compare here for style Benesch 0363 recto.[2] The idea seems plausible on the basis of this comparison. Further dark accents, for example in the exotically-dressed magus seen in profile towards the right of the composition, could belong to the same hand. All seem more liquid and confident than the original work.

The subject is rare among Rembrandt's drawings (cf. Benesch 0115) but a sheet attributed to Nicolaes Maes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, has some formal elements in common with the present design.[3] The composition echoes to a small degree that by Rubens in a painting now in Lyon, but known through an engraving of 1621 by Lucas Vorsterman.[4] A school of Rembrandt drawing in Turin also has similarities to the design of the present work (Benesch 0522).[5]

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout? Retouched by Rembrandt?

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (KdZ. 5252)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.575; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.48 (doubtful); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.34, repr. (uncertain if by Rembrandt); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.299, repr. and under no.584 (c.1632); Kauffmann, 1926, p.166; Van Dyke, 1927, p.95, repr. pl.xxiii, fig.90 (S. Koninck); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.234 (c.1635); Berlin, 1930, p.224 (c.1635); Benesch, 1935, p.28; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.160, repr. (returns in c.1638 to style of 1632-33; compares Benesch 0159, 0161, 0162 and 0416; similar oriental warriors also found in other works); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.44 (c.1635); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (c.1632, pace Benesch, 1954); Sumowski, 1956/57, p.255 (c.1632); Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.47, repr. (c.1637); Exh. Milan, 1970, under no. 9 (c.1635-40); Schatborn, 1972, pp.97-106, repr. (c.1635-40; compares school drawing in Turin [see n.4]); Sumowski, 1979 etc., under no.817xx; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.9, repr. fig.9b (late 1630s); Exh. Berlin, 1989, p.742, under no.8/6; Kreutzer, 2003, pp.90-91 (c.1638); Dittrich, 2003, p.68, repr. fig.5 (Rembrandt, c.1632 or 1638; the warrior on the right resembles Benesch 0003-4); Bevers, 2005, p.469 (Eeckhout); Berlin, 2006, pp.193-95, repr. (attributed to Van den Eeckhout); Exh. Turin, 2006-7, under no.12 (near Van den Eeckhout; perhaps with corrections by Rembrandt); Exh. Amsterdam, 2007, pp.118-19 (Van den Eeckhout); Exh. Paris, 2007, p.123 (Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, p.46, repr. fig.8 (Eeckhout); Paris, 2010, under no.12 (Eeckhout); The Present Catalogue, 2013; Berlin, 2018, no.58 (Eeckhout, c.1637-40); [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijter-Seiffert, 2020, p.292, (unaware of the present catalogue; not Van den Eeckhout).

PROVENANCE: Samuel Graf von Festetics (L.926); J.C. Klinkosch (according to Berlin, 1930); Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.

[1] Earlier still, Frits Lugt thought of Van den Eeckhout in his series of index cards now in the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie in The Hague, as reported by Bevers, 2010, p.46. The attribution was finally published by Bevers in Berlin, 2006, pp.193-95.

[2] The compiler suggested that the drawing was corrected by Rembrandt in Exh. Turin, 2006-7, under no.12.

[3] Inv. 2005.418.13. The drawing belongs to a group now ascribed more probably to Justus de Gelder (see Krempel, 2000, and London, 2010 [online], under Maes, no.10).

[4] Hollstein 9 (noted by Bevers in Berlin, 2018, no.58).

[5] Exh. Turin, 2006-7, no.12, repr..

First posted 26 July 2013.


Benesch 0161

Subject: Ruth and Naomi (Ruth, I, 19)

Verso: Joseph Telling his Dreams (Genesis, XXXVII, 1-11)

Medium: Recto: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared pale brown; framing lines in pen and brown ink. Verso: Red chalk.

180 x 125 WM: none. chain lines: horizontal.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, as the verso is a preliminary study, in reverse, for the etching, Joseph Telling his Dreams, of 1638 (Bartsch 37). Few more cursory sketches by Rembrandt are known (cf., for example, Benesch 0090v and 0148 verso), yet it includes lines to indicate the edge of the composition. The composition in turn is derived from Rembrandt's much larger grisaille oil-sketch of the subject of c.1633 (Bredius 504, Corpus A66, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), but with considerable differences: the young Joseph is turned to a frontal position and a seated woman is included in the lower left corner of the drawing (lower right in the etching). There is also a sketch of a turban towards the upper right of the sheet which was used for one of Joseph's brothers, standing at the upper left of the etching, and also visible in the drawing. A scrawl below Jacob's feet denotes the dog in both the other versions of the composition, yet most of the background figures are not indicated at all. This makes the precise function of the drawing somewhat unclear: while it could simply be a preliminary design for the etching, there is little sense of impromptu invention - the pressure of the chalk is surprisingly unvaried - and the 'newly designed' figures (compared with the grisaille) are in no way differentiated in style from those derived from the earlier oil sketch. Could it be that the drawing was derived from an earlier and more detailed preparation for the etching, and was made only to rehearse one or two details? Was he perhaps lining up the three heads across the centre of the design? We can only speculate.

Benesch 0020 and 0168 (qqv) are also studies made towards the same composition, the latter also specifically for the 1638 etching, drawn in iron-gall ink, and from the same period as Benesch 0161, the recto of which is in the same medium.

The sketch on the recto is unrelated to any other work. Naomi is the figure with the veil, while Ruth points forward. Other representations of Ruth depict her with a wide hat of a comparable type.[2]

The medium of iron-gall ink is common at this period (documented further by Benesch 168, 423, 442 and 451) and confirms the date suggested by the verso.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1638

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. MB 1958/T32)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner, I, 1925, no.145, repr. (compares Christ in Noli me Tangere in Royal Collection, Bredius 559, Corpus A124); Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.3; Van Dyke, 1927, p.83; Bauch, 1952-53, p.227, n.11; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.161, repr. (c.1636; revival of interest in Callot); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (prefers earlier date than Benesch, 1954); Sumowski, 1956/57, p.258; Rembrandt Bijbel, 1962, repr. opp. p.244; Giltay (Giltaij), 1977, pp.1-9 (publishes verso for first time);Amsterdam, 1985, under no.10; Starcky, 1985, pp.255, 259 and 261-62, repr. fig.8; Corpus, II, 1986, p.295; Rotterdam, 1988, no.13, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), p.145; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000–2001, under no. 31, repr. figs.b and c; Rosand, 2002, pp.230-32, repr.fig.229; Exh. Rotterdam 2006, no. 8, repr.; Exh. Istanbul, 2006, no. 8; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009–10, no. 19.1, repr. (verso repr. fig.19a; c.1638-39 [recto]; c.1638 [verso]; compared/contrasted with Benesch 129); Paris, 2010, p.36, n.9; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.40, repr. figs.115-16 (documentary drawing); Royalton-Kisch, 2011, p.98; The Present Catalogue, 2013; Exh. New York, 2016, p.29, repr. fig.25; Exh. Washington-Paris, 2016-17, p.160, repr. fig.2 (the verso only); Exh. Rotterdam, 2017-18 (verso only; no catalogue); Schatborn, 2019, nos 50-51 and p.18, repr. (c.1638).

PROVENANCE: M. Marignane (L.1872);[1] C. Hofstede de Groot; D.G. van Beuningen; officially acquired by the current repository in 1973 (listed in Benesch, 1954/73, as formerly belonging to Van Beuningen).

[1] Marignane's collector's mark, visible at the lower right of the sheet in Valentiner, 1925, has since been removed.

[2] As pointed out by Giltaij in Rotterdam, 1988. He points to Hendrick Goltzius' series of engravings of the story of Ruth (Hollstein 3-6).

First posted 11 August 2013.


Benesch 0162

Subject: Ruth and Boaz (Ruth, II, 8-9)

Verso: Laid down.

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with brown wash in light and dark tones.

178 x 169.

COMMENTS: Derived from Rembrandt's version of the subject, Benesch 0133, and a comparison of these drawings is sufficient to reveal that they are unlikely to be by the same hand. My notes show that I had doubted the drawing was by Rembrandt in 1988 and that in 2004, I had thought of Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, the attribution that was published by Bevers in Berlin, 2006. For style, compare the drawing of a Prisoner Led by Soldiers and an Alderman, in the Rijksmuseum.[1] The ragged lines interpolated into the profile of the cave, tree or rock behind (one flourish at the top, one just above the boy’s head and another below Boaz’s outstretched hand) seem uncharacteristic of Rembrandt, as does the quality of the parallel shading in the lower parts of Ruth’s skirt and Boaz’s mantel (for which contrast the more painterly effect in the left figure in the documentary drawing, Benesch 500a). Even the similar shading in the drawing of an Actor (Benesch 0120, Chatsworth), especially in the mitre and robe hanging on the wall, tends to run across the folds, whereas here each fold is shaded separately in a more mundane fashion. But this judgment should not detract from the high quality of the drawing, particularly in the figure of Ruth. It was probably made by Van den Eeckhout in the same period that Rembrandt drew the Chatsworth study.

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?

Date: c.1638-40?

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ. 1144).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.32; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.16 (doubtful); Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.3 (c.1635-36); Van Dyke, 1927, p.64 (Van den Eeckhout); Müller, 1929, p.25, n.4 (influenced by Lastman); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.229 (c.1633-35); Berlin, 1930, I, p.222 (c.1635; Lastmanesque; some weaknesses; compares Benesch 70); Lugt, 1931, p.57 (c.1640); Valentiner, II, 1934, no. 147, repr. (c.1637; authentic despite hesitancies); Benesch, 1935, p.28; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.162, repr. (c.1638); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.43 (c.1635); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (prefers earlier date than Benesch, 1954); Rotermund, 1963, pp.94 and 128, no.90; Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.23, repr. (c,1638; depends on Benesch 0133); Bernhard, 1976, p.244 (c.1638); Kreutzer, 2003, pp.62-63; Berlin, 2006, pp.195-197, repr. (Eeckhout; influenced by Lastman; compares Boaz to king in centre of Benesch 160; 'fishmouth' of Ruth to Benesch 138); (NB not mentioned in Bevers, 2010.); The Present Catalogue online, 2013 (Van den Eeckhout?; based on Benesch 0113); Berlin, 2018, no.64, repr. (attributed to Van den Eeckhout, c.1637-40; compares central king in Benesch 0160 with Boaz, and the Amsterdam Prisoner drawing, RP-T-1930-25; notes Eeckhout’s paintings of the subject); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: acquired by the present repository before 1878.

[1] As suggested by Bevers in Berlin, 2018, no.64. The drawing (Amsterdam, 1942, no.96; Schatborn, 1985, p.96, repr. as Van den Eeckhout) is inv. No. RP-T-1930-25, viewable at:

First posted 14 August 2013.


Benesch 0163

Subject: Eve Offering the Apple to Adam (Genesis, III, 6)

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink; inscribed lower right 'R' [?]

119 x 114

COMMENTS: The drawing was only ever discussed in depth by Benesch, who connected it with the etching of Adam and Eve of 1638 (Bartsch 28), and by White, who noted that the figures seem much younger - as was the norm - than in the etching (see under Benesch 0164), and that Eve is here the dominant figure.

A stylistic comparison with Benesch 0164, which is undoubtedly an early sketch in pen related to the etching, makes the attribution of the present drawing to Rembrandt problematic: they have little in common in style and here the expressions seem caricatural and superficial beside those by Rembrandt. The use of iron-gall ink suggests that the drawing was made at around the same time as the etching, and some stylistic analogies with Benesch 0423 (recto and verso) prevent me from discounting the attribution to Rembrandt entirely.[1] Compare also the verso of the double-sided Sketch of a Woman at the Fogg Museum (inv.1970.23).

Of the alternatives, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout seems the most likely candidate - compare the modelling and hatching to Benesch 0328 and 0390, which we believe to be by him.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt??

Date: 1638?

COLLECTION: USA Private Collection (?)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p.28; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.163, repr. (c.1638, for the etching, Bartsch 28; compares for style Benesch 165-66); White, 1969, pp.42-3 and 178, repr. fig.36 (first idea for the etching); White, 1999, pp.38-39, repr. fig.44 (c.1638); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: "Richter's Cabinet" (verso inscription recorded by Benesch, 1954); sale, Berlin, Hollstein and Puppel, 31 Oct. etc., 1929, lot 107. David H. Felix, Pennsylvania; his sale, New York, Christie's, 12 January, 1988, lot 84

[1] In an email of 3 February 2004, Peter Schatborn informed me that he then believed in the attribution to Rembrandt.

First posted 16 August 2013.



Benesch 0164

Subject: Two Studies of Adam and Eve (Genesis, III,6)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash.

115 x 115.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, being a preparatory sketch for Rembrandt's etching of Adam and Eve of 1638 (Bartsch 28). The drawing is a key document of Rembrandt's sketching style in the late 1630s.

Rembrandt seems first to have contemplated a more melodramatic interaction between the figures on the left of the sheet, with Adam recoiling in horror from the proffered fruit. They were then drawn again with a more subtle portrayal of the psychology of the moment, in much the same way as they appear, in reverse, in the etching. The empty oval at the upper centre was a false start for Adam's head in the first sketch. The etching was to elaborate the characterisation of the figures and the cast of the shadows on their bodies, refracted from the Tree of Life, as well as all the other subsidiary details of the scene - the Tree, the 'serpent', the landscape and an elephant in the Garden of Eden.[1]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1638?

COLLECTION: NL Leiden, Prentenkabinet van de Universiteit Leiden (inv.PK-T-AW-1097)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner 806 (Joseph and Potiphar's Wife); Benesch, 1935, p.28 (Adam and Eve); Benesch, 1947, no.97, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.164, repr.; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-22, no.72, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000–2001, under no. 30, repr. fig.a; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.72, repr. (c.1638); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.39, repr. fig.113 (documentary drawing); Exh. Denver, 2018-19, no.45, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.55 and p.19, repr. (c.1638).

PROVENANCE: Comte de Robiano; his sale, Amsterdam, Frederik Muller, 15-16 June, 1926, lot 422; sale, Amsterdam, F. Muller, 25 October, 1932, lot 35; A.W. Mensing; sale, Amsterdam, Mensing, 27-29 April, 1937, no.553; Albertus Welcker, from whom acquired with his collection by the present repository.

[1] For the etching see further the present writer in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, no.30.

First posted 19 August 2013.



Benesch 0165

Subject: Vertumnus and Pomona (Ovid, Metamorphoses, xiv, 609-770)

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

170 x 152 (rounded top corners) Watermark: Crowned shield with Strasburg lily (cut off below).[1]

COMMENTS: The drawing was already doubted as a Rembrandt in the 1970s and is rather clearly by the same hand as Ferdinand Bol's sketch of Hagar and the Angel now in the Rijksmuseum (inv. RP-T-1930-27; Sumowski 89). Bol produced two paintings representing Vertumnus and Pomona in the earlier, Rembrandtesque phase of his career, one of c.1635, representing Vertumnus alone, from the Cevat collection,[2] and another dated 1644, now in the Cincinnati Art Museum.[3]. The gesture of the elderly Vertumnus in the drawing resembles that in a painting of 1617 of tghe same subject by Jan Tengnagel, now in the Rijksmuseum (inv. SK-A-4699).[4]

The drawing is a characteristic example of Ferdinand Bol's capacity to ape his master's style, betraying himself mainly through his looser grasp of form and less subtle use of wash.

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol.

Date: 1640?

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv.R 44).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner 614 (c.1645; identifies subject); Benesch, 1935, p.28; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.165, repr. (c.1638); Rembrandt Bijbel, 1954, repr. fig.57; Van Gelder, 1955, p.396; Valentiner, 1957.I, p.53, n.1; Rotterdam, 1969, pp.24-25, repr. fig.23; Sumowski, 1971, p.126; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1971, p.88 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Miller, 1985, p.25, repr. fig.10 (c.1638; attributed to Rembrandt or Ferdinand Bol); Rotterdam, 1988, no.43, repr. (Ferdinand Bol, as suggested by Schatborn in conversation in 1978); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, no.42, repr. (Bol, second half of 1630s); Blankert, 1993, pp.86-90, repr. fig.9 (prefers attribution to Rembrandt; if by Bol, made under Rembrandt's direct supervision); Exh. Rotterdam, 2005-6, no.42, repr.; Exh. Istanbul, 2006, no.42, repr.; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Earl of Dalhousie (L.717a); P.& D.Colnaghi (see under L.717a); Paul Cassirer (see under L.717a); Franz Koenigs (L.1023a), 1923; D.G. van Beuningen, by whom presented to the present repository in 1940.

[1] Illustrated in Rotterdam, 1988, p.351, cat.43.

[2] Blankert, 1982, no.35, repr.; sold Amsterdam, Christie's, 7 November 2001, lot 54.

[3] Op. cit., no.36; Sumowski, Gem., I, no.84, repr..

[4] Exh. Amsterdam, 1993-94.I, no.253, repr.

First posted 25 August 2013.


Benesch 0166

Subject: Amnon and Tamar (2 Samuel, XIII, 1-22)

Verso: see inscriptions

Medium: Pen and brown ink; inscribed in pen and brown ink, verso: '39'

167 x 199; watermark: foolscap.[1]

COMMENTS: The drawing was listed as a copy after Rembrandt when in the Koenigs collection and Benesch alone stood steadfastly by an attribution to Rembrandt himself, but his comparisons were with drawings that are all now attributed to Ferdinand Bol.[2] Of the documentary drawings by Rembrandt, the closest analogies are with the Entombment of c.1640 in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 0482), which provides an approximate date but the meandering, at times somewhat incoherent and evenly-pressured lines are typical of Bol rather than Rembrandt himself.

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol.

Date: 1640?

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R 45).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Paris, 1933, under no.1242 (Bol or Flinck); Benesch, 1935, pp.28-29 (Rembrandt c.1639); Benesch, 1, 1954/73, no.166, repr. (c.1638; compares Benesch 163, 165 and 169.); Van Gelder, 1955, p.396 (Bol); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257 (Rembrandt); Rotterdam, 1969, p.42, repr. fig.7 (Bol); Sumowski, 1971, p.126 (according to Van Gelder, by Bol); Sumowski, 1, 1979, no.178*, repr. (Bol); Rotterdam, 1988, no.44, repr. (Bol); Exh. Rotterdam, 2005-6, no.43, repr.; Exh. Istanbul, 2006, no.43, repr.; The Present Catalogue online, 2013; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Earl of Dalhousie (L.717a); P.& D. Colnaghi (see under L.717a); Paul Cassirer (see under L.717a); L. Böhler, Lucerne (their no.3359); Franz Koenigs (L.1023a); D.G. van Beuningen, by whom presented to the present repository (Boijmans Museum Foundation) in 1940.

[1] Repr. Rotterdam, 1988, p.351, no.44.

[2] He compared Benesch 163, 165 and 169.

First posted 4 September 2013.


Benesch 0167

Subject: Elijah Dreaming Beneath a Tree (I Kings XIX, 4-8)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

85 x 115; watermark: countermark LR (cf. Heawood 1790 [not dated]) and Laurentius 662-663 (1645-46); chain lines: c.23v.

COMMENTS: A documentary work by Ferdinand Bol, related to his painting depicting The Angel Appearing to Elijah.[1] The painting is not signed but is wholly characteristic of Bol's work of the early 1640s, though the watermark on the drawing might suggest that it is from a few years later, c.1645-46. A related etching, with a very similar reclining figure (in reverse) is perhaps also an early work by Bol, but is a genre subject of a Beggar Couple with a Dog.[2] Before the emergence of the painting, the drawing was thought possibly to represent Tobit Sleeping Beneath a Tree.

Two other drawings of these or similar subjects and made around the same time are in Cambridge (Mass.)[3] and Berlin (Benesch 0125). The sketch of a left hand near the lower left corner does not appear to relate to the same figure - at least, not in the same pose - but does resemble, in reverse, the right hand of Jacob in a third drawing of the subject, also by Bol (Benesch 0285a [qv]), so that the two drawings may date from the same period (see the detail in Fig.a).

Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol*

Date: 1640-42?

COLLECTION: F Paris, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection (inv.2526)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lees, 1910, p.218, repr. p.213; Lees, 1913, p.118, repr. fig.133; Benesch, 1935, p.29; Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.149 (c.1635); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.167, repr. (c.1638; compares Benesch 165 and 380); Held, 1969, p.128, n.43; Sumowski, I, 1979, under no.162x; Exh. London, 1992, under no.90, n.2 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Royalton-Kisch, 1998, p.619 (omitted from Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1998; now grouped with drawings that are variously attributed, usually to Bol); Sumowski in sale cat., London, Sotheby's, 5 December, 2007, under no.27, repr. (Bol); London, 2010 (online), under no.117, n.2; Paris, 2010, no.33, repr. (Bol); Exh. New York, 2011, p.94, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, no.1, repr. (Bol, 3rd quarter of 1630s); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Émile Wauters (1846-1933), Paris (L.911 and Suppl.); his sale, Amsterdam, F. Muller,15-16 June, 1926, lot 148, bt Lugt, Dfl.1760; Frits Lugt (L.1028).

[1] Sotheby's, London, 5 Dec 2007, lot 27, repr., where identified by Sumowski and dated c.1642. The painting is now in the so-called Leiden Collection New York (for an online catalogue description of the painting by Peter Schatborn, see: (consulted 5 April 2017).

[2] See Bartsch 185 as Rembrandt (in White and Boon as a school work, p.178; Sumowski related the print to the drawing. See further Paris, 2010, where the attribution of the etching to Bol is ventured). The style of the print, with the stringy lines in the background, is decidedly like Jan Lievens (to whom it has been attributed in the past), but the way the reclining figure is drawn appears more like Bol.

[3] Included by Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, no.162* as by Bol, but recently published as by Jan Victors (Bevers, 2007, pp.54-55, repr. figs.15 and 16 [recto and verso]).

First posted 11 September 2013.



Benesch 0168

Subject: A Seated Woman Reading and an Oriental: studies for Joseph Telling his Dreams (Genesis, XXXVII, 1-11)

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink with brown wash, heightened with white on paper prepared pale brown (has mostly discoloured to a darker brown than usual). Some extra touches in bistre now look darker.

139 x 125.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, being a preliminary study, in reverse, for Rembrandt's etching of Joseph Telling his Dreams of 1638 (Bartsch 37). In the etching she leans a little forward in her chair.[1]

The drawing is among the key works for dating drawings in iron-gall ink to the years c.1637-39 (see under Benesch 0161).

Benesch 0020 and 0161 verso (qqv) are also related to the same etching, which is derived from Rembrandt's earlier grisaille of the same subject of c.1633, now in the Rijksmuseum (Bredius 504, Corpus A66). The use of iron-gall ink suggests that Rembrandt only worked on finalising the design of the etching soon before it was printed, as the seated woman does not appear in the grisaille.

According to Benesch, Ludwig Münz owned an anonymous etching after the seated woman only, in reverse, which Münz believed was by I.J. de Claussin.

Condition: light struck; acidity has darkened the overall effect; the upper central head is bleached or highlighted with white; there are brown stains down the left side; some creases at the lower left corner. The iron-gall ink has produced its usual problems of eating into the paper.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1638?

COLLECTION: USA New York, Private Collection (Kramarsky)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. The Hague, 1930, II, no.68; Benesch, 1947, no.98, repr.; Münz, 1952, II, under no.175; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.168, repr.; Exh. Rotterdam, 1956, no.87; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.29, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam-Groningen, 1983, p.114, no.12; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.10, n.7; Corpus, II, 1986, under no.A66, p.295; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000–2001, no. 31, repr. fig. d; Exh. Boston, 2003, no.53 (young woman represents Dinah, Jacob's only daughter; as Corpus, regards silhouette at extreme left of Rijksmuseum oil-sketch as the same figure [unconvincing]); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.41, repr. (documentary drawing); Schatborn, 2019, no.52, repr. (c.1638).

PROVENANCE: Thomas Dimsdale (1758-1823, London; L.2426); Hamian; Rev. Stopford Augustus Brooke (1832-1916, London); his sale, London, Sotheby's 28 May, 1924, lot 75, bt Parsons; C. Hofstede de Groot (1863-1930, The Hague; L.561); his sale, Leipzig, Boerner, 4 November, 1931, lot 163; S. Kramarsky, and by descent.

[2] Two female figures appear in the etching but none are mentioned in the biblical text (Genesis, XXXVII). Attempts have been made to identify the seated figure as Dinah, Jacob's only daughter (see Corpus, II, 1986, p.296).

First posted 12 September 2013.



Benesch 0169

Subject: Saskia (?) Lying in Bed

Verso: Partly stuck down, but see inscriptions.

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with brown wash; inscribed verso in pen and brown ink: "Samuel de..../No 1851"

147 x 178 (rounded top corners); no watermark visible; chain lines: 22/23v.

COMMENTS: The figure resembles Rembrandt's wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, an alluring identification, although the cursory nature of the sketch renders it uncertain. Were it certainly correct, an attribution to Rembrandt might be promoted on the basis that no other artist could have encountered her in bed in a dishevelled state. But the style of the other drawings of Saskia in bed that were certainly (or very probably) made by Rembrandt (see Benesch 0255, 0281, 0281A, 0282, 0286 and 0289), as well as the documentary drawings of the period (eg. Benesch 0164), suggest that Benesch 0169 is more probably either a copy or a pupil's imitation. Benesch 380 is a further example of the same subject being treated by a pupil.[1] The slack draughtsmanship, a consistent characteristic of the present drawing, provides grounds for concern, although there are links with the style, perhaps especially of Benesch 282 and 289, for which reason the drawing is retained in the 'attibuted to Rembrandt' section of this catalogue.

As Benesch pointed out, there is a relationship between the drawing and the figure in the background of Rembrandt's 1638 etching of Joseph Telling his Dreams (Bartsch 37), although the figure there is old.[2] Pupils typically brought together ideas and motifs inspired by Rembrandt's own work (as in the so-called 'satellite paintings' discussed in Corpus, V, 2010, chapter II); and given the proximity of style to Benesch 166, an attribution to Ferdinand Bol, loosely based on Rembrandt, becomes tenable.

Condition: somewhat foxed and with a few creases and brown stains.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt??; (more probably Ferdinand Bol? after Rembrandt? )

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: USA Washington DC, National Gallery of Art (inv. B.24, 230)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Schönbrunner and Meder, 1893-1908, no.418; HdG 1508; Valentiner 689; Benesch, 1935, p.13; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.69, repr. (c.1638; used for etching of Joseph Telling his Dreams, Bartsch 37; compares Benesch 380); Exh. Washington, 1969, no.27; Exh. Washington, 2006 (Strokes of Genius); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Princes of Liechtenstein; acquired with the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, 1966.

[1] Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.169, compared Benesch 380 for style, which has long been rejected as by Rembrandt.

[2] Two female figures appear in the etching but none are mentioned in the biblical text (Genesis, XXXVII). Attempts have been made to identify the figure in bed as Rachel, Joseph's mother, or Leah, Jacob's first wife (for a summary, see Corpus, II, 1986, p.296).

First posted 15 September 2013.



Benesch 0170

Subject: The Liberation of St Peter (Acts, XII, 6-8)

Verso: blank (see inscriptions)

Medium: Pen and brown ink (probably including some iron-gall ink as well as bistre) on pale brown paper; framing-lines in pen and darker brown ink. Inscribed verso, in graphite, upper centre, an illegible name followed by '41' with near this '6270 [in a circle]'; top left: '10' and 'xx'; at top: '2'; upper right (repeated to right): '1 [in a circle]'; left, and again lower left: '223 [the lot number in the 1934 sale]'; lower right corner: '13'.

143 x 126; watermark: letters 'HB' [the 'H' a little uncertain]. chain lines: 22v.

COMMENTS: The style and technique resemble Rembrandt's drawings executed in iron-gall ink on light brown paper in around 1638-9 (compare for example Benesch 0423 verso and Benesch 0659). However, the graphic style is noticeably different and the forms throughout lack Rembrandt's sense of structure. In addition, the draughtsman has made a direct quotation, in the figure of the angel, from the leading mother in Benesch 0421 (in reverse) - a typical feature of pupils' creations.

The most likely identity of the pupil is the young Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, despite analogies with the work of Govert Flinck, to whom the drawing has been attributed in the past (including by myself). Van den Eeckhout's 'Centurion of Capernaum before Christ', now in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (Benesch 0076)[1] and here somewhat tentatively attributed to him rather than to Flinck, appears to be by the same artist.

A comparable composition by Jan Pynas, in reverse and highly finished in chalk, is in Frankfurt.[3] The figure of the saint, seen in profile seated on the floor, may reflect the celebrated fresco of the subject by Raphael in the Vatican.

Condition: generally good; minor foxing (most of which seems to have appeared since the photograph used by Benesch).

Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?? Govert Flinck???

Date: 1639?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.2006,0930.1)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1933-34, pp.299-300, repr. fig.249 (Rembrandt); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.170, repr. (c.1638-39); Rosenberg, 1956, p.68 (after a Rembrandt of mid-1630s); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, pp.12 and 23 (not Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1961, p.262 (after Rembrandt); Benesch, 1970, I, pp.118-19, repr. fig.87 (repeat of Benesch 1933-34); Ember, 1979, p.115, repr. fig.26 (perhaps by B.G. Cuyp and influenced his painting of 'Joseph interpreting the Dreams of the Butler and Baker' in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam in which the figures echoed in reverse); S. Flescher and G. Wilmers, 'American Owners restitute Nazi-looted drawing to Feldmann family', in IFAR Journal 7.2 (2004), pp.12-17, repr.figs 1 and 4 (formerly Rembrandt); Exh. London, British Museum, 2006, ‘Drawings from the Collection of Arthur Feldmann’ (no cat.); London, 2010 (online), no.8, repr. (as attributed to Govert Flinck); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Sale, Amsterdam, De Vries (property of M.-O. Brenner and others, the owner of each lot unspecified), 14 December, 1911, lot 1444, repr. (as Rembrandt); Arthur Feldmann; his sale, Lucerne, Gilhofer and Ranschburg, 28 June 1934, lot 223 repr. pl.22 (bought in at CHF 950; according to a letter from the auctioneer, 24 February 1999 - in British Museum files); Nazi confiscation, 1939; sale, London, Sotheby's (consigned for sale by solicitors Bennett and Bennett, for client unknown), 16 October, 1946, lot 64 (as "attributed to Rembrandt"), bt Stenman with one other (Benesch 181), £62; Einar Perman? (according to Sumowski, 1961 (see Literature above); Bernard Houthakker Gallery, where acquired in early 1970s by private collector, the Netherlands (acquired early 1970s); by descent to his daughter in USA; by her voluntarily returned to Feldmann's heirs, November 2004; their sale, London, Sotheby's, 6 July, 2005, lot 58, repr. (bought in); presented by Uri-Arthur Peled-Feldmann in memory of his grandfather, Arthur Feldmann.[3]

[1] In Rotterdam, 1988, no.6, the drawing's attribution to Rembrandt is defended and the suggestion of Sumowski dismissed.

[2] Städelsches Kunstinstitut, inv.900.

[3] The drawing was returned to the heirs of Arthur Feldmann by an American private collector in November 2004, as a spontaneous gesture of good will after the details of the Feldmann case were made public. It was then offered at Sotheby's (London), 6 July 2005, lot 58 (bought in). In 2006 it was presented to the British Museum by Uri-Arthur Peled-Feldmann in memory of his grandfather, Arthur Feldmann, and as an expression of thanks to the private collector who wishes to remain anonymous.

First posted 15 September 2013.


Benesch 0171

Subject: Dārāb Sheltered by the Ruined Vault [?]

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink with brown wash on paper prepared with brown wash.

227 x 187.

COMMENTS: The subject is uncertain. Kauffman's suggestion that it represents Euglottus and Misandre from Jacob Cats's 'Trou-Ringh' (1637) depends on identifying the figure on the right as a woman, Misandre, which seems uncertain. Hofstede de Groot suggested Samuel at Eli's (I Samuel, III, 1ff.),[1] but Samuel is not shown as the young boy he should be; nor does the text support Valentiner's proposal that the drawing represents 'The Angel Appearing to Samuel by Night' (and there are no wings on the supposed angel on the right). Benesch was reminded of our drawing when he saw a Persian miniature of c.1330-40 representing 'Darab Sheltered by the Ruined Vault', an illustration a Shahnama (Book of Kings) by Firdawsi (d.1020) in the Freer Gallery, Washington (inv. F1930.78). This identification has generally stuck,[2] but there must be some doubts as to whether Rembrandt would have illustrated this text.

The use of iron-gall ink places the drawing firmly in the years c.1638-39 (see under Benesch 0143) and the style echoes Rembrandt's own works in the same medium during these years. But some qualities – the rather stiff reclining figure, the somewhat vacuous facial expressions and the harsh, starkly unmitigated wash where Rembrandt usually uses subtler gradations – have prompted comparisons with drawings by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout.[3] Yet the connections with his work are plausible only to a degree (cf. Benesch 0074, for example, and in particular the Christ between two Soldiers in the Rijksmuseum).[4] From the point of view of style, including the bold sweeps of brown wash for the shadows (cf. Benesch 0423 recto) and analogies in the figures with Rembrandt's sketch of Joseph in Prison (Benesch 0423 verso), an attribution to Rembrandt cannot be entirely discounted. Compare also both the figure and the wash in Benesch 0255, and the profile of the standing figure with its pointed chin with the woman in Benesch 0246 verso. Overall, the connections with Rembrandt’s own work seem closer than with those certainly by Van den Eeckhout, and the drawing is therefore here retained as by Rembrandt.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: 1639?

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ. 5292)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, IV, 40; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.139 (claims provenance included Bouverie); Berlin, 1914, no.128 (doubtful as Rembrandt; shows Liberation of St Peter?); Kauffmann, 1920, pp.77-79, repr. (identifies as illustration to Trou-Ringh by Jacob Cats, with Euglottus and Misandra); Hofstede de Groot, 1923-24, p.58 (identifies subject as Samuel at Eli's); Baudissin, 1925, p.163; Berlin, 1930, I, p.234 (c.1635; probably Samuel with Eli) ; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.240 (as Berlin, 1930); Valentiner, II, 1934, no. 809, repr. (c.1636; the Angel Appearing to Samuel at Night); Benesch, 1947, p.27, under no.101; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.171, repr. (c.1639; identifies subject as Darab Sheltered in the Ruined Vault; under Benesch 423 compares this drawing); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.41 (as Berlin, 1930); Sumowski, 1956/57, p.263 (Samuel and Eli); Rotermund, 1959, pp.182-84 (Samuel and Eli); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.23 (Darab, not Samuel and Eli); Rotermund, 1963, pp.95, 131 and 312, no.94, repr. (Samuel and Eli); Slive, 1965, no.485 (c.1635-40; Samuel and Eli); Bernhard, 1976, no.171 (c.1639; Samuel and Eli); Berlin, 2006, pp.194 and 197, repr. (by Van den Eeckhout; represents Samuel and Eli); Exh. Amsterdam-Paris, 2007, pp.119-20 (Van den Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, p.54, repr. fig.18 (Eeckhout); The Present Catalogue, 2013 (Eeckhout?/Rembrandt?, now revised); Berlin, 2018, no.60 (Eeckhout; c.1638-40; Samuel and Eli); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson jun. (L.2170); Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.[5]

[1] See above under Further Literature.

[2] Bevers, in Berlin, 2006 and Bevers, 2010 (see Literature above), entitles the drawing Samuel and Eli.

[3] By Bevers in Berlin, 2006 and again in 2010 (see Further Literature above). In fact he followed a suggestion made by Peter Schatborn in an email to me of 3rd February 2004.

[4] As noted by Bevers, 2010, with the Rijksmuseum drawing repr. p.52, fig.16.

[5] HdG in 1906 included the name of Bouverie in the provenance but there is no sign of his collector's mark.

First posted 9 October 2013 (as Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?; Rembrandt??); revised after studying the original again to prefer Rembrandt over Van den Eeckhout, 25 November 2018.


Benesch 0172

Subject: Two Priests with Two Kneeling Worshippers

Verso: Some elliptical lines in graphite (later than Rembrandt).

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash (verso in graphite); ruled framing-lines in pen and darker brown ink; two accidental spots at top centre and top right; inscribed lower right in pen and brown ink: '4961' (1802-1805 inventory number); inscribed verso: 'HdG 478'; 'Inv. no.1700' and 'IXO'.

167 x 183; watermark: double-headed eagle.

COMMENTS: The subject of the drawing is uncertain, although there may be a connection with Benesch 122, which also shows two submissive figures before a bishop. Hence the present sketch may conceivably be part of the group of drawings depicting the actor Willem Ruyter in the role of Bishop Gozewijn (see also under Benesch 0120), made at a dress rehearsal or performance of Joost van den Vondel's play, Gijsbreght van Amstel.

From a comparison of the documentary drawings of the period, an attribution to Rembrandt may be discounted.[1] The penwork is exceptionally liquid, not to say loose, which though impressive on a certain level is never found in Rembrandt's drawings until the later 1640s (cf. Benesch 0590 and 0767). A possibility is that the drawing is by Govert Flinck (cf. Benesch 0129), which might mean that pupils had joined Rembrandt in drawing Willem Ruyter's performances; but the possibility that the drawing is by yet another pupil cannot be discounted. The kneeling worshippers may have been inspired by the figures at the lower left of Benesch 92.

Condition: probably trimmed on all sides; a spot of (iron-gall?) corrosion in front of the left hand of the nearer figure has been supported with a backing.

Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (Govert Flinck??)

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: D Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung (inv.1700)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 478 (early); Munich, 1884-93, no.6b, repr.; Saxl, 1908, p.534; Benesch, 1935, p.29; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.172, repr. (c.1638-39; compares Benesch 174); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.12; Munich, 1973, no.1130, repr. pl.317 (pupil); Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.75 (pupil); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Probably Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich (in inventories as depicting 'Der König Mardochaeus und noch ein Jude' (1802-1805 inventory) and 'Der König Mardochaeus in Begleitung eines jüdischen Priesters'.[2]

[1] Information from Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.75.

[2] My notes reveal that I first doubted the drawing (and thought of Govert Flinck) in 1989, though later Peter Schatborn informed me that he thought the drawing was by Rembrandt (e-mail to author of 3 February 2004).

First posted 11 October 2013.


Benesch 0173

Subject: The Agony in the Garden (Matthew, XXVI, 39-43; Luke, XXII, 39-45)

Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed in red chalk, verso: '13 met om'; and in pen: 'Rembrandt fec. dieses Blättgen ist aus Richters Cabinet vide Catalog no.286'

130 x 150.

COMMENTS: Christ is shown in prayer while the apostles Peter, John and James sleep below. The stylistic analogies between this drawing and Benesch 0145, whether in the figures or the shading, makes an attribution to Rembrandt plausible but not convincing: the lines here are less varied in pressure and there are some unusual passages, including the abbreviation of the feet in the foreground into slim rectangles. Compare also Benesch 0182, which might suggest that the drawing dates from the Leiden period. Drawings by Govert Flinck seem marginally closer (cf. Benesch 0127 recto), although the overall structure as well as the modelling of the figures is here firmer, and the characterisation of the apostle sleeping on the left (St. Peter, already armed with the weapon to sever Malchus's ear) is of high quality. For these reasons the drawing is retained here as 'attributed to Rembrandt', as an attribution to him cannot be excluded.

Condition: faded.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck? Rembrandt??

Date: 1630-36

COLLECTION: USA, New York, Queen's College

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner 445 (c.1635); Becker, 1923, NF no.35; Exh. The Hague, 1930, II, no.77; Exh. Amsterdam, 1930; Benesch, 1935, p.29; Benesch, 1944, p.296, repr. fig.11 (reprinted 1971, p.153, repr. fig.132); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.173, repr. (c.1638-39; compares Benesch 172 and 174, apostles influenced by Dürer [Bartsch 4], Christ by a fifteenth-century Netherlandish model); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Richter; his sale, Leipzig, 1810; C. Hofstede de Groot; his sale, Leipzig, Boerner, November 1931, lot 166; sale, Berne, Klipstein and Kornfeld, 7 June, 1961, lot 177; Christoph Bernoulli, Berne; Norbert Schimmel, New York.

First posted 12 October 2013.



Benesch 0174

Subject: Lot and his Daughters (Genesis, XIX, 30-38)

Medium: Pen and brown ink.

158 x 195.

COMMENTS: The drawing has been missing since World War II but seems clearly to be a pupil's work, to judge from photographs. Govert Flinck is the most likely draughtsman (cf. Benesch 0111, 0112 and 0134) although the attribution can only be tentative.[1] It could be that the drawing is a copy.

Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (Govert Flinck??)

Date: 1638-40?

COLLECTION: D Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett (missing since 1945)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 289; Freise, Lileinfeld and Wichmann, iii, 1925, no.96; Valentiner 43 (c.1634); Benesch, 1935, p.29; Kauffmann, 1926, p.165, repr. fig.3; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.174, repr. (c.1638-39; compares Benesch 172, 175, 177, 179 and 180); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (prefers date c.1634-35); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Friedrich August II (1797-1854), King of Saxony (L.971) and thence to the present repository.

[1] My notes show that I first thought this drawing was 'near Flinck' on 1 February 1989.

First posted 13 October 2013.



Benesch 0175

Subject: Boaz and Ruth (Ruth, II, 8-9)

Medium: Etching

111 x 136

COMMENTS: An etching by Bernard Picart (1673 - 1733) after a now lost drawing, produced for his 'Impostures Innocentes', published posthumously in Amsterdam in 1735. Benesch mentions another etching made after the same drawing - and in the same direction as the original - by David Herrliberger (1697 - 1777) and a drawn copy in Berlin.[1]

The etching suggests that the style of the original conformed with Benesch 150, so that an attribution of the missing original to Govert Flinck, rather than to Rembrandt, becomes possible. It would be unusual for Rembrandt to work up a drawing to this degree of detail and with such copious and careful hatching. The facial characterisations are also unusually inexpressive. On the other hand the overall structure seems more coherent than usual for Flinck.

Summary attribution: Etched copy after Govert Flinck? or Rembrandt??

Date: c.1638-40?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (this impression, inv.1861,1109.811)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: De Claussin, 1928, p.156, no.54; Bartsch, Appendix, no.53; Benesch, 1935, p.29, footnote; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.175, repr. (c.1638-39 etching after lost drawing; compares Benesch 174 for style); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].


[1] KdZ.1584; Berlin, 1930, p.246.

First posted 14 October 2013.



Benesch 0176

Subject: The Beheading of Holofernes with Judith and her Servant

(Judith, XIII, 1-10)

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed lower right in pen and brown ink: ‘52’ [Crozat number written by P.J. Mariette].

178 x 211

COMMENTS: The drawing was traditionally designated as a school work and only attributed to Rembrandt in the 20th century. The comparisons employed by writers to support the attribution (see under Literature below) were sometimes with drawings that have since been reattributed, such as Benesch 0162 and 0179, the latter being especially similar.

The alluring delicacy of the handling perhaps masks the even-tempered quality of line and the lack of energy and emphasis in crucial details, so characteristic of Rembrandt himself (cf. Benesch 0097, where the shading and other mannerisms are superficially comparable). The distance between the style here and in the ‘documentary’ drawings of c.1635-40 (cf. Benesch 0152, 0154, 0164, 0168, 0423 verso; 0482 recto) is unbridgeable.

The pupil or follower responsible for the drawing remains elusive: the kneeling servant in profile bears some resemblance to the similarly posed figures in Benesch 0077 and 0146; and the delicate penwork seems compatible with Benesch 0123 verso (after ‘thinking away’ the wash), raising the possibility that the draughtsman was Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, but the attribution can only be tentative.

Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??)

Date: 1636-40

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv.22991 [formerly NIII28455 and MA12634; stamped with L. 1886).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, III, 14; HdG 599 (school of Rembrandt); Saxl, 1908, p.343 (c.1634; compares style of 1634 etching, Christ and Woman of Samaria, Bartsch 71, NH 127); Valentiner 215 (execution unsure); Kauffmann, 1926, p.23 (compares Benesch 180); Paris, 1933, no.1124 (1632-34); Benesch, 1935, p.28; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.176, repr. (c.1638-39; compares Benesch 162 and 178-80); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (prefers earlier dating c.1632-34 of Lugt in Paris, 1933, to Benesch's dating [in Benesch, 1954]); Brown, 1983, p.59, repr. fig.5 (Rembrandt); Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.15 (Rembrandt, relates to etching of Adam and Eve, B.28); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Pierre Crozat (inscribed with his no. 52 by Mariette); Charles-Paul-Jean-Baptiste Bourgevin Vialart, comte de Saint-Morys; his collection seized by the French state at the Revolution, 1793, and transferred to the Louvre in 1796-1797; listed in the inventaire du Museé Napoléon. Dessins. Vol.9, p.1698, chap.: Ecoles diverses, Dessins en paquets. (...) Numéro : 12634.Idem [[ Maîtres divers /&. Numéro d'ordre dans l'oeuvre du maître : 10. Désignation des sujets : Cent cartons et feuilles, dont quatre cartons à deux dessins, deux à trois, un à quatre, un à cinq, et deux à six. 125 [[nombre de dessins qui sont dans chaque paquet]] Origine : Idem & Collection nouvelle /&. Emplacement actuel : Idem & Calcographie du Musée Napoléon ]]. Signe de recollement : [Vu] [[au crayon]]. Cote : 1DD41. [1]

[1] Information from Louvre website, consulted 22/10/2013: <>.

First posted 15 October 2013.



Benesch 0177

Subject: A Man Haranguing a Woman seated at the left

Verso: Laid down

Medium: Pen and brown ink

100 x 100 Mat: modern only

COMMENTS: The subject is uncertain. One conjecture is that it shows the Old Testament story of the prophet Samuel's future mother, Hannah: when she moved her lips while silently praying to God to provide her with children, the high priest Eli reproached her, thinking she was drunk (I Samuel I; 14-15).[1] Certainly the idea that the drawing shows the man admonishing the woman seems on the mark.

The style of the drawing is comparable to the documentary sketches in pen and brown ink related to the St John the Baptist Preaching grisaille of c.1633-34 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110 – see Benesch 0140, 0141, 0142 and 0336). Indeed, although the man may be on a step, the motif would not be out of place there. But the style seems closer to slightly later drawings, including the penwork in the Lamentation of c.1634-35 in the British Museum (Benesch 0154), the signed and dated copy after Leonardo’s Last Supper of 1635 (Benesch 0445) and the study of the same period or slightly later, c.1635-36, in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 0152) related to the Entombment in Munich, in which the pose of lower left figure resembles the woman here.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1635-36

COLLECTION: USA, Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum (inv.87.GA.21)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p.27 and p.108, n.3; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.177, repr. (c.1638-39); Rotermund, 1959, pp.179-80; Rotermund, 1963, pp.95 and 130, no.92; Nieuwstraten, 1965, p.61; Malibu, 1992, no.104, repr. (following opinion in De Rothschild 1985 catalogue [see under Provenance]); Schatborn, 2019, no.38 and pp.18 and 25, repr. (c.1635; among first drawings of biblical scenes).

PROVENANCE: Jacob de Vos, Amsterdam (L.1450); Ehlers collection, Göttingen; their sale, Leipzig, Boerner’s, 9-10 May, 1930, lot 342; private collection; art market, London (Kate de Rothschild: Exhibition of Old Master Drawings, Alan Jacobs Gallery, June-July,1985, no.35 [P. Schatborn and M. Royalton-Kisch suggest date c.1635-36]), whence acquired by the present repository.

[1] Suggested by Rotermund, 1959, pp.179-80.

First posted 17 October 2013.



Benesch 0178

Subject: The Conversion of Saint Paul

Verso: Laid down.

Medium: Pen and brown ink; traces of a ruled framing-line in pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite: “H.d.G. 137, R.v.R, KdZ 5258, 14, 3” and in pen and brown ink with a small circle (centre right) and with the collectors’ marks of William Esdaile (with date 1635) and R. P. Roupell (see under Provenance).

108 x 112. Watermark: fragment of a Basel staff in a shield.

COMMENTS: The subject depicted was long debated by scholars but a comparison with Nicolas Beatrizet’s engraving after Michelangelo’s fresco of the Conversion of St Paul in the Cappella Paolina in the Vatican leaves little doubt that this was also Rembrandt’s theme - and his inspiration.[1] The style compares well with many drawings of the period c.1635, including the penwork in the centre of the documentary sheet, Benesch 154.

Condition: somewhat faded; a damage at centre left, in the leg of the figure running behind.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1635

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ.5258)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.576; Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.84 (represents Dying Goliath [saw the central circle not as a hand but a flying stone); HdG 137; Berlin, 1914, no.126; Baudissin, 1925, p.193; Valentiner, 1925/34, no.154, repr. (as in 1906; dates c.1636); Kauffmann, 1926, pp.159, 168, 173 and 175 (c.1634-35; subject unidentified); Van Dyke, 1927, p.96 (by S. Koninck); Berlin, 1930, p.233, repr. pl.168 (c.1637, Death of Goliath?); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.252 (c.1636); Benesch, 1933-34, p.301 (1638-39; wounded soldier); Benesch, 1935, p.29 (c.1639); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.178, repr. (c.1639; dying soldier); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.72 (c.1636); Rotermund, 1963, p.97, no.98,repr. (dying warrior, Goliath); Van de Waal, 1969, pp.148-49, repr. fig.15 (might represent a scene from a dumb show related to Vondel’s “Gijsbreght van Aemstel”: Arend Swooning in the Arms of Gijsbrecht and/or Gijsbrecht Struck by a Stone)[2]; Tümpel, 1969, pp.133-34 (Conversion of St Paul); Schatborn, 1970, pp.31-32; Broos, 1977, p.103; Strauss and Van der Meulen, 1979, p.149 (as van de Waal, 1969); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.10; Van Straten, 2002, p.280 (as Van de Waal, 1969); Berlin, 2006, no.16, repr. (c.1635-38; Conversion of St Paul; compares Benesch 180-81 and 423); Schatborn, 2019, no.37 and pp.18 and 25, repr. (c.1635; among first drawings of biblical scenes).

PROVENANCE: William Esdaile (L.2617); Robert Prioleau Roupell (L.2234); his sale, London, Christie’s, 12-14 July, 1887, lot 1103, bt A.W. Thibaudeau; Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.

[1] As first suggested by Tümpel, 1969, pp.133-34. See Acts, IX, 3-7. The print is Bartsch 33 (Beatrizet). Bevers, in Berlin, 2006, emphasises the role of the print.

[2] This interpretation is generally discarded; it depends on reading the circular shorthand for the hand of the figure behind as a stone in flight.

First posted 19 October 2013.



Benesch 0179

Subject: The Angel Departing from Manoah and his Wife (Judges, xiii, 20)

Verso: laid down.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash (probably added later).

Inscriptions: on the mount, in pen and brown ink: ‘Rembrandt’ followed by a word (‘Baroche’?, i.e. Barocci) crossed out.

145 x 156. Watermark: none visible.

COMMENTS: Although described in the early Louvre inventories as a Rembrandt school work, since Hofstede de Groot's catalogue of 1906, the drawing’s autograph status became accepted. Doubts have emerged since the 1980s and there appear to be strong connections in style with drawings by Govert Flinck (see, for example, Benesch 0080 and 00129, and the sketch of Joseph in Prison, Sumowski 948bx [in 2010 on the Swiss art market]). Flinck painted the same subject in 1640 (Kingston, Ontario),[1] and a drawing related to that picture is in Dijon (Benesch 0127 verso), which again seems stylistically compatible with the present sheet, which must date from around that time.

Rembrandt himself probably drew the Manoah’s Offering now in Berlin (Benesch 0180, qv) and painted the comparable subject of the Angel Leaving Tobias and his Family in 1637 (Louvre; Corpus A121;, no.150), works which may have inspired the known pupils’ versions of the Angel Departing from Manoah and his Wife made in the following few years.[2] The wash, which doesn't look like Rembrandt or Flinck, is probably a later addition.[3]

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: c.1639-40.

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (Inv.22993; formerly NIII28551 and MA12635)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Morel d'Arleux MS inventory of 1812, no.12635/76; Inventaire du Musée Napoleon. Dessins. Vol.9, p.1698, chap.: Ecoles diverses, Dessins en paquets. (...) Numéro : 12635.Idem [[ Maîtres divers /&. Numéro d'ordre dans l'oeuvre du maître : 11. Désignation des sujets : Cent cartons et feuilles, dont deux cartons à deux dessins, et un à trois. 104 [[nombre de dessins qui sont dans chaque paquet]] Origine: Idem & Collection nouvelle /&. Emplacement actuel: Idem & Calcographie du Musée Napoléon ]]. Signe de recollement: [Vu] [[au crayon]]. Cote: 1DD41; HdG, 1906, no.594 (probably autograph; c.1635); Paris, 1933, no.1113, repr. pl.3 (c.1635; compares Dresden Ganymede, Benesch 92, and Berlin Sacrifice of Manoah, Benesch 180); Benesch, 1935, p.29; Exh. Paris, 1937, no.114; Saxl, 1939, p.7, repr. fig.5; Benesch, 1954/73, I, no.179, repr. (c.1639; compares dramatic movement of Berlin Manoah, Benesch 180 [as Paris, 1933], Berlin Conversion of St Paul, Benesch 178; and Paris Judith, Benesch 176); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (prefers date c.1635, pace Benesch, 1954); Clark, 1966, pp.156 and 217, n.14; Sumowski, iv, 1981, under no.909x (compares Flinck drawing of same subject in Courtauld Institute, S.909x); Arquié, Labbé, and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.455; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.10, repr. (probably Rembrandt; brown wash perhaps added posthumously); [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 (in 1793). Transferred to the Louvre in 1796-97 (mark of the Louvre lower left [L.1886]).

[1] Queen’s University, Agnes Etherington Art Center, Bader Collection, Sumowski, Gem., ii, no.617, repr., signed and dated lower centre: ‘G. flinck f.1640’.

[2] For example, see Paris, 1988, no.284 (inv. REC 76); and also in the Louvre, inv. 22944, probably also by Flinck (it only depicts Manoah and his Wife, not the angel, probably because it has been cut). Again in the Louvre, HdG 593, inv.22978, seems to be later (c.1650?), near Willem Drost in style, although it has been claimed for the earlier period, as also another Flinck drawing of the subject in the Courtauld Institute (see Sumowski, 1979, etc., I, under no.244x and no.244x itself). Cf. also the school painting in Dresden (Bredius 509). See further under Benesch 180.

[3] As suggested by Starcky in Exh. Paris, 1988-89.

First posted 20 October 2013.



Benesch 0180

Subject: Manoah’s Offering (Judges, xiii, 19-20)

Verso: Bust of a Man in a Cap and a half-length Study of a Standing, Corpulent Man; traces of an offset of a drawing of Seated Man and a Standing Figure, in black chalk.

Medium: Pen and brown ink; ruled framing-lines in darker ink. Inscribed verso in pen and brown ink: ‘a 52’ [?42]

174 x 190. Top left corner repaired; unevenly trimmed upper right side to incorporate some original penwork. Watermark: Basel staff in crowned shield with cross below and letters E [?] HM (cf. Hinterding, 2006, pp.60-61, A.aa – A.a.b, datable c.1634-35).

COMMENTS: The strong, almost exaggerated contrapposto of the figures of Manoah and his wife, as they shrink back in surprise at the sight of the angel rising to heaven amidst the smoke and flames of their offering, marries with Rembrandt’s compositional style at certain junctures of his earlier career: the Leiden period and the mid-1630s, with a final flourish detectable in his 1641 etching of the comparable subject of the Angel Departing from Tobit and his Family (Bartsch 43, NH 189).

In 1637, Rembrandt completed his celebrated painting of the latter subject, now in the Louvre (Corpus A121 and VI, no.150; Bredius 503). The present drawing was probably made within a year or two of the painting, in which the angel depends surprisingly exactly on the archangel Raphael in a woodcut of the same subject of c.1550 designed by Maerten van Heemskerck (1498-1574; NH 188). The balanced pose of the archangel in the 1637 painting and the Heemskerck woodcut, where the wings are horizontal and symmetrical, is here partly repeated but in reverse and with a more inventive suggestion of movement, conveyed in an astonishing, sweeping shorthand, with the wings now slanted and a twist added to the body.

The drawing presents the cataloguer with various difficulties: 1) finding truly comparable drawings in style (concerns about its autograph status have occasionally been raised in the past).[1] 2) discerning whether the drawing is directly related to other works by Rembrandt and his pupils and 3) deciding whether the drawing might be a pupil’s work that was derived from one by Rembrandt.

To take these in order, it has to be said that Rembrandt’s ‘documentary’ drawings in pen and ink fail to provide sufficiently convincing analogies. The closest (in chronological order) are perhaps Benesch 0140-42, 0336, 0154, 0092, 0152 and 0164, but even the last-named, which represents the interaction between Adam and Eve on a comparable scale and thus might be thought likely to provide stylistic similarities, is surprisingly different. The same may be said for the Dresden Ganymede (Benesch 92), where the wings of the ascending Jupiter/Eagle are realised in somewhat more detail, with shading in parallel pen-lines as well as with the brush and brown wash. Only by comparing non-documentary sheets, such as the Besançon Annunciation (Benesch 99), the Berlin Boaz and Ruth (Benesch 133) and the Berlin Conversion of St Paul (Benesch 178), do we find sufficient stylistic connections to rescue the drawing from possible rejection. They suggest a date around 1634-36, which coincides with the watermark evidence (on which see above). However, comparisons with Benesch 149 (perhaps especially) and with the group on the right of Benesch 147 reveal how close the drawing comes in style to works ascribed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. This conclusion is reinforced by the verso, which may be by another hand, but perhaps not: there is a diminutive figure in pen and ink that resembles nothing more than the background figures in Benesch 0148;[2] and of the ghostly, possibly offset figures in black chalk, the seated man in a hat on the left could almost be taken for a copy after the figure of St Jerome in Rembrandt’s etching of St Jerome in a Dark Chamber of 1642 (NH 212; Bartsch 105).[3]

While the sheer quality of the drawing may speak for itself, its formal relationship with Rembrandt’s other works (the no.2 of the paragraph before last) also produces some surprises. For example, it would be strange if the angel’s animated pose had been created in the Berlin drawing in c.1635, before the 1637 Louvre painting, because Rembrandt there reverts to copying Van Heemskerck’s angel more closely – an unusual step that might be described as retrograde. Furthermore, the pose of Manoah is repeated, more or less, in the figure of Mary Magdalene in Rembrandt’s 1638 painting of Christ Appearing to the Magdalene, now in the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace (Corpus A124 and vol.VI, no.158; Bredius 442).[4] Again, this is not entirely impossible, but cumulatively these relationships join with the stylistic concerns enunciated above to undermine confidence in the traditional attribution to Rembrandt.

Finally, there is the relationship between the drawing and the painting of the same subject by Rembrandt’s pupil Govert Flinck (1615-60), painted in 1640 and now in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. It shows the angel in the same direction as the drawing, though with the wings balanced more horizontally, as in Rembrandt’s 1637 painting and in its Heemskerck model. The figures of Manoah and his wife, though in equally strong contrapposto, are differently posed. This leads to the possibility that Flinck is the draughtsman, but a comparison with his known drawings is inconclusive. A study of Manoah’s wife now in Dijon (Benesch 0127 verso) relates to the painting, but is more deliberate and detailed than the present sheet; but some analogies of style are found on the recto sketch of Samson and Delilah (Benesch 0127 recto). However, in general Flinck’s touch produces a more staid and even-tempered line, and nothing to compete with the energy and shorthand of the angel.

In summary, the style of the drawing points somewhat more to Rembrandt than to his pupils as their work is currently defined; this conclusion is joined by the fluency and originality of the execution and conception to provide reasons for retaining Rembrandt’s authorship. But as the comments of some earlier writers have suggested, the case for attributing the drawing to Rembrandt is less straightforward than it has usually been considered to be.

The subject of Manoah's Sacrifice, an event often regarded as a precursor to the Annunciation, inspired several other works from the Rembrandt circle, including Benesch 78, Benesch 179, Benesch 895, Benesch 974, Benesch 975, Benesch 976, Benesch 980, Benesch C8, Benesch C34 and Benesch C11a, as well as a number of paintings, including a later picture by Flinck, now in the Szepmüveszeti Muzeum in Budapest, the painting in Berlin formerly given to Rembrandt (Bredius 509) and a version attributed to Gerrit Willemsz. Horst (1612-52) now in a private collection.[5]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt?

Date: c.1635-36?

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ 3774).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS (as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated): Vosmaer, 1868, p.504 (in de Vos collection); Amtliche Berichte, 1885, col.66 (Berlin acquisition report); Lippmann, I, 22; Michel, 1890, pp.89-90; Michel, 1893, p.574; Von Seidlitz, 1894, p.122 (middle period); HdG, 1906, no.31 (c.1635-40); Saxl, 1908, p.229 (c.1635-40); Berlin, 1914, no.15 (c.1637); Bode, 1915, col.218; Neumann, 1928, p.95; Stockholm, 1920, p.7, under no.1,5 (c.1635-40); Valentiner, 1925/34, I, no.134, repr. (c.1637); Kauffmann, 1926, pp.167-68, 175 and 177 (c.1634-35; compares Benesch 176); Weisbach, 1926, pp.191-92 (mid-11630s); Bredt, 1927, p.80; Van Dyke, 1927, p.48 (by F. Bol); Berlin, 1930, p.222, repr. ii, pl.144 (c.1637-40); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.254 (c.1638); Lugt, 1931.I, p.57; Rijckevorsel, 1932, pp.140 and 142 (influence of Heemskerck); Paris, 1933, under no.1113 (c.1637); Schindler, 1933, pp.xli-xlii; Benesch, 1933-34, p.301 (c.1638-39); Graul, 1934, no.16 (end of 1630s); Benesch, 1935, p.29 (c.1639); Saxl, 1939, pp.8 and 10; Weski, 1942, pp.38-40, 47, 49 and 151 (c.1637); Benesch, 1947, I, no.110, repr. (c.1639); Benesch, 1954/73, I, no.180, repr (c.1639; compares Benesch 178-79; 174; 188; verso not Rembrandt); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (1637-40); Sumowski, 1956, p.109; Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.37 (c.1634-40); Sumowski, 1956/57, p.256 (compares Benesch 174); Sumowski, 1957/58, p.228 (c.1635-39) Sumowski, 1961, p.5 (influenced Flinck; verso also by Rembrandt); Scheidig, 1962, p.45, no.51 (c.1639) Benesch, 1963, under no.79; Rotermund, 1963, p.92, no.84; Moltke, 1965, under no.19 (influenced Flinck); Slive, 1965, no.22 (c.1637-40); Clark, 1966, p.156, repr. fig.148 (before 1640); Hamann, 1969, p.274; Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.21, repr. (c.1639); Haak, 1974, no.27 (c.1639); Sciolla, 1976, no.xix; Broos, 1975-76, p.217, n.33 (recurring motif of rising angel seen from behind in Rembrandt's work); Broos, 1977, p.103; Sumowski, Gem., ii, 1983, under no.617 (influenced Flinck); Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-86, p.53, no.43, repr. (c.1635-40); Corpus, III, 1989, p.239, under no.A121; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.10; Pächt, 1991, pp.149-50 (c.1639); Bruyn, 1992, pp.19-21 (by Flinck, c.1639-40, for his painting); Rosand, 2002, p.241, repr. fig.229; Kreutzer, 2003, pp.60-61 and 190 (c.1639); Winterthur, 2003, under no.34 (c.1635-40); Exh. Dresden, 2004, under no.69 (school work); Berlin, 2006, no.15, repr. (c.1635-38); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.18.1, repr. (c.1635-38); Schatborn, 2019, no.34 and pp.18 and 25, repr. (c.1635; among first drawings of biblical scenes; Heemskerck influence).

PROVENANCE: Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); William Esdaile (L.2617); Jacob de Vos, jr.,; his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, Frederik Muller, Van Pappelendam and Schouten, C.M. van Gogh, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 375; acquired by the present repository in 1885.

[1] See Literature above (Van Dyke, 1927; Bruyn, 1992 and Exh. Dresden, 2004).

[2] The Berlin collection owns what appears to be an offset of this figure on a separate sheet. Sometimes the verso is taken to be an offset from this (for a summary, see Berlin, 2006, p.74). Benesch, 1954/73, believed the verso was not by Rembrandt.

[3] Noted by Bevers in Berlin, 2006.

[4] Ibid., loc. cit..

[5] Sold at Sotheby's, New York, 28 January, 1999, lot 378. Sumowski, Gem., V, pp.3404-5, lists no less than 17 paintings of subject. See further under Benesch 179.

First posted 21 October 2013.


Benesch 0181

Subject: Joseph Lifted from the Well by his Brothers (Genesis XXXVII, 28)

Verso: See inscriptions.

Medium: Pen and brown ink; ruled framing-lines in pen and grey ink; inscribed verso in graphite with various modern annotations, incl. “6280” (in a circle); “225” (the 1934 sale no.); “MR A277” (?); lower centre, in graphite, 19th cent: "G. van den Eeck [...]” [i.e. Gerbrand van den Eeckhout].

166 x 135. No watermark.

COMMENTS: The drawing is a fluent and effective composition study, with all eight figures arranged in a semi-circle around the hapless Joseph as he is hauled from the well to be sold as a slave by his own brothers.

Generally dated in the later 1630s, the attribution to Rembrandt has much to commend it on grounds of sheer quality. Yet its stylistic distance from any of the documentary drawings of the same decade complicates the issue, as does its resemblance to drawings, such as Benesch 424 (a comparison made by Benesch himself), which are now generally rejected from Rembrandt’s oeuvre.

Further objections might be that we here find, in a work of this date, reflections of Jan Lievens’s “Raising of Lazarus” etching of 1630/31 and of Rembrandt’s variation of it in Benesch 0017 of c.1635: not only is the general arrangement comparable, but the spectator to the right, leaning on the sill of the well, is a quotation of the figure to the upper left of Rembrandt’s version.[1] Comparable, too, are this kind of figure and the general arrangement in Rembrandt’s grisaille of 1634 of “Christ before Pilate” now in the National Gallery in London (Corpus, II, A89; VI, 112). The standing figure on the left adopts a pose, with legs crossed, that Rembrandt had already employed in Benesch 0095 and Benesch 0182 (there on the right) and that frames the composition in a comparable way to the figure on the left of Rembrandt’s own painting of the “Raising of Lazarus” of 1630-32, now in Los Angeles (Corpus, I, A30; VI, 48). Such overt reflections or assemblages of motifs by Rembrandt are generally encountered in productions by his pupils rather than their master.

Compounding these objections is the even-tempered quality of the lines, which remain of the same strength regardless of distance: the foreground figures are outlined with the same emphasis as those in the background; the effect of shading the foreground man seen from behind as fully or more than the figures in the background also negates any sense of distance in the composition, a quality that Rembrandt, on the other hand, generally succeeds in conveying, even in such slight drawings as Benesch 0133 and Benesch 0178.

Finally, close comparisons with Rembrandt's 'documentary' drawings, such as Benesch 0092 (Ganymede), Benesch 0154 (Lamentation) and Benesch 0164 (Adam and Eve) seem only to point up disparities of style. Perhaps nearer is the Entombment (Benesch 0482 recto), where the lines are, however, much less trentative. More closely connected is the Berlin drawing of a “Quack” (Benesch 0416), though this is not a documentary sheet and the different planes in which the figures stand in perspective are clearly differentiated by varying pressures and intensities of line – one of the characteristics found to be lacking here. The landscape elements also seem untypical of Rembrandt.

In summary, for the above reasons the attribution to Rembrandt can only be regarded as somewhat tentative, although our methodology allows for the attribution to Rembrandt of drawings that are difficult to compare with his other works. If by him, it would date to c.1636-38. As an alternative, the name of Gerbrand van den Eeckhout might be cautiously advanced as among the more likely alternatives. Drawings such as Benesch 0147, and even Benesch A1 (not previously associated with Van den Eeckhout)[2] and Benesch 0144 (where Christ’s halo resembles the foliage to the lower right here) exhibit many of the qualities we have detected here, including the evenness of line and the flatness of the recession. These remarks were not influenced by the fact that the drawing is inscribed with Van den Eeckhout’s name on the verso.[3]

Summary attribution: Rembrandt? (or Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??)

Date: c.1636-38.

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Private Collection (PR)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p. 29; Benesch, 1933-34, p. 301, repr. fig. 251 (reprinted Benesch, 1970, pp. 120-21, reproduced fig. 88); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.181, repr. (c.1639; compares for style Benesch 174, 182 and 424); Exh. Laren, 1966, no. 191, repr. fig. 44; Exh. London, 1992, under no.4, p. 32, n. 1 (quoting Benesch, 1954/73); Exh. Paris, 2014-15, no.81, repr. (c.1637-38); Schatborn, 2019, no.58, repr. (c.1638).

PROVENANCE: August Artaria, Vienna (L.33); Dr Alfred Ritter von Wurzburg-Tannenberg (L.2587, with his initials, L.203, and inscription, probably indicating date of purchase: “E/AW/ 6/1897”); Dr Arthur Feldmann, Brno, Czechoslovakia; his sale, Lucerne, Gilhofer and Ranschburg, 28 June, 1934, lot 225, repr. (unsold); looted by the Germans from Brno and the owners murdered; anon. sale, London, Sotheby’s, 16 October, 1946, lot 64 (as attributed to Rembrandt, and with Benesch 170); sold to Gusta Stenman, Stockholm; E. Perman, Stockholm; P and N. de Boer Foundation, Amsterdam (inv. no.B476); sale, London, Sotheby’s, 4 July, 2007, lot 12, repr., where acquired by the present owner.

[1] See also the figure in the Berlin Last Supper, Benesch 445.

[2] See Amsterdam, 1985, no.84, repr.; this drawing, along with Benesch 144, are attributed to Jan Victors by Bevers, 2011, pp.382-83.

[3] I saw the inscription in 2007, prior to the Sotheby’s sale, but after I had first thought the drawing could be by Van den Eeckhout (correspondence with Gregory Rubinstein, May 2007).

First posted 11 November 2014.


Benesch 0182

Subject: Christ Washing the Feet of his Disciples

Verso: see Inscriptions.

Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched with brown wash; unruled framing lines to left and below only.

Inscriptions: verso, in graphite: ‘4\205 [?]’ and ‘[…]E [erased]’.

140 x 186. Watermark: none; chain lines: 27h. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: The drawing has in the past often been dated either to c.1635 or c.1639, but stylistically the comparisons invoked to support the dating are superficial.[1]

Of the datable, ‘documentary’ drawings by Rembrandt, the closest analogies are with the Rijksmuseum's study (Benesch 0009 recto) for the 'Judas returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver'. Although lacking the wash used extensively in that drawing, the variety of movement in the lines and the formulation of the figures exhibit enough similarities to allow the attribution to stand and to place the study in Rembrandt's Leiden period. The composition also has elements in common with the 'Judas' painting, including the semi-circular group of men, the table to the left and a figure kneeling in profile to the right of centre. Stylistic comparisons with pupils' drawings are less productive (Benesch 0144 is amongst the closest), yet there are further analogies with other sheets generally accepted as Rembrandt's own work from the Leiden period. These include the 'Sketch of a Man leaning over a Table' (Benesch 0035) and the 'Sketch of a Rabbi' (Benesch 0028) both in the British Museum's collection. The physiognomy and expression of the latter mirror that of the (somewhat disconnected) head leaning over the table near the centre of the present drawing. The roughly contemporary 'Seated Man in a tall Hat' in Rotterdam (Benesch 0029)[2] is also executed with similarly angular and harsh lines. A date c.1628-9, around the time of the 'Judas' painting, is suggested by these comparisons.

The subject of 'Christ washing the Feet of his Disciples' was treated by Rembrandt on other occasions. No paintings are now known, but inventories of 1660 and 1680 list such pictures as by him, in the latter case as a grisaille.[3] A drawing, probably made c.1650 and now in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 0931), repeats some elements from the present design (the table to the left and the pose of the seated figure seen in profile, there used for St Peter).[4]

Condition: faded; dirt discolours the corners; a small loss made up at upper left edge and the sheet trimmed slightly irregularly; a spot (perhaps ink) disfigures the head of the disciple on the extreme left.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1628-29?

COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.1961,0708.2)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Waagen, IV, 1857, p.215 (mentions Rembrandt drawing of this subject in Andrew James collection, not necessarily this sheet and could for example be Benesch 931); Brunet, 1866, p.260 (as Waagen, 1857); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.442 (c.1635); Benesch, 1935, p.29 (c.1639); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.182, repr. fig.203/218 (c.1639); Sumowski, 1958, p.198 (c.1632); Exh. London, 1964, no.21; 'British Museum Report of the Trustees', 1966, p.73, repr. pl.LI; Exh. London, 1984, p.3 (too faded to exhibit); Amsterdam, 1985, pp.57-8, under no.25, repr. fig.25a (early 1630s; see n.4 above; influenced van Hoogstraten drawing in Berlin, KdZ 5670, Sumowski 1213x, and possible connection to lost paintings by Rembrandt); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2[I], p.118, repr. fig.34a (just prior to end of Leiden period; compares 'Judas' painting); Exh. London, 1992, no.4, repr. (c.1628-29); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.464 (agrees with Sumowski's date proposed in 1958); Starcky, 1993, p.218, n.13 (groups with 'Calling of St Matthew', Benesch 144, Stockholm, and other drawings; not Rembrandt); Schatborn, 1994, p.20 (agrees with earlier date proposed in Exh. London, 1992); Giltaij, 1995, p.94 (1630s); London, 2010 (online), no. 4 (c.1629-30); Schatborn, 2019, no. 8, repr. (c.1629).

PROVENANCE: Possibly Andrew James sale, London, Christie’s, 28 April, 1873, lot 72, bt Palgrave, 9s-0d (see Waagen, 1857, in Lit. under Comment); Victor Koch, London; Henry van den Bergh, by whom bequeathed with a life interest to his son Robert (d.1959); acquired 1961.

[1] Valentiner compared the 'Susannah and the Elders' in Berlin (Benesch 159), while Benesch compared the 'Joseph lifted from the Pit' from the P. de Boer collection and the 'Pastoral' at Wroclaw (Benesch 181 and Benesch 424).

[2] See further Rotterdam, 1988, no.1, where dated to c.1627-8.

[3] Inventories of Abraham Jacobsz. Graeven of Amsterdam (Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.455: 'Een schilderijtje, daer Christus de Voeten wast, van Rembrandt'; 'a small painting of Christ washing the Feet, by Rembrandt') and Harmen Becker (Bredius 1910, p.198, see further Postma, 1988, p.16, under fol.285r: 'Een graeutie van Rembrant daer Cristus de voete wast'; 'A grisaille by Rembrandt of Christ washing the feet'). It is of course possible that both inventories describe the same painting. Valentiner's attempt (1936, pp.73-81) to identify the lost work with an oil sketch in Chicago (repr. Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, no.81) has not met with general acceptance.

[4] See Amsterdam, 1985, no.25 (where dated to the 1640s; earlier writers had placed it in the 1650s; W. W. Robinson, 1988, pp.584-5, suggests c.1650). An unrelated school drawing of the subject is in the Louvre (repr. Paris, 1933, no.1271, pl.LXXXIII, with mention of another in the Marsden J. Perry collection, Providence).

First posted 12 November 2014.


Benesch 0183

Subject: Studies for the Sick Woman in the “Hundred Guilder Print”

Verso: Slight sketch of the Head of the Sick Woman

Medium: Pen and brown ink, on the recto with brown wash, heightened with white; ruled framing-lines in dark brown ink. Inscriptions: The inventory number in graphite on the verso.

101 x 122. Watermark: part of a monogram with the letter M, as found on paper with a Basel Staff watermark; chain lines: 25h. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, being a sketch for the sick woman seated on the ground below Christ in Rembrandt’s celebrated etching of “Christ Healing the Sick: the Hundred Guilder Print” (B.74; NH.239).

The print is now usually dated c.1648 (in both the first and second states),[1] although work on the copper plate may have begun earlier: the style of the figures in the left section is close to Rembrandt in c.1640. This complicates the dating of the preparatory drawings, which employ a liquid sketching style found in other documentary drawings from c.1640-1646 (cf. Benesch 0482, Benesch 0736 and Benesch 0763) and, as well as here, in Rembrandt’s other sketches for the same composition (Benesch 0184, Benesch 0185, Benesch 0188, Benesch 0388 and Benesch 0543).[2] For a general discussion of these drawings, their inter-relationships and their chronology, see under Benesch 0188.

Benesch 0183, which shows the same woman twice, was in all probability made before she reappears in two drawings, one in Berlin (Benesch 0188), the other in a private collection (Benesch 0388), in which her pose is closer to that adopted in the etching - the former (Benesch 0188) repeats the pose of the right leg from the latter (Benesch 0388).

Rembrandt may have begun in the present sheet with the verso sketch, which is smudged, perhaps in rejection. He then turned it over and drew the figure on the left, in which she sits up. Subsidiary details of the leg and hand are studied again in the lower left corner, and the hand yet again - for a fourth time - just below the feet. It seems that he wanted the figure to hold her lower leg as if this was the seat of her pain. In the larger study on the right of the sheet, her face becomes more visible, as it is also in Benesch 0388 and Benesch 0188, and her left hand is raised, but a residue of its first position remains as a pentimento across her stomach. The brown wash was then applied to and near the figure on the left in order to throw the nearer figure into relief and make the other recede – a commonplace optical effect that improves the composition of the page. This sense of ‘finishing’ the drawing off is of interest, in that it suggests that Rembrandt could view such drawings as complete works of art in themselves.

In the final pose as etched, having toyed with the idea of a gesture of prayer in Benesch 388, the arm seems to be raised slightly as she struggles to gesture, a compromise solution that resembles the Berlin drawing, Benesch 0188; the gesture of prayer is assigned instead to the figures immediately above and beside her. As a group, Rembrandt’s studies of the woman, and the etching, gradually increase the apparent gravity of her enfeebled condition.

Rembrandt's etching of a "Sick Woman with a Large Headdress (Saskia)" (Bartsch 359; NH 228), formerly usually placed c.1641-42, is now dated c.1645[3] and therefore could have been made in the context of Rembrandt's studies for the "Hundred Guilder Print" (see illustration); it is close to the figure as etched; and if, as has long been surmised, it represents Rembrandt's wife, Saskia (who died in 1642), it must be a posthumous portrait - yet it seems likely to have been made from life, in which case either the redating is wrong, or the identification with Saskia falls aside. In my view, the earlier date is more convincing.[4] This could bolster the argument that Rembrandt began work on the "Hundred Guilder Print" in the earlier 1640s, as has often been proposed in the past (as noted above). In which case, some or all of the related drawings could date from somewhat earlier than proposed here. Indeed, if Saskia was the inspiration for the sick woman in the centre, perhaps the etching was originally inspired by Rembrandt's desire that she be cured, praying for a miraculous intervention; and her death in 1642 might explain why work on the plate was interrupted. See also under Benesch 0184, one of the drawings related to the etching, but which bears a watermark that suggests it was made in c.1640.

Until 1964, Benesch 0183 was known to scholars only through Charles Le Blanc's etching, published in his catalogue of 1859-61, which only reproduced the right-hand figure (see under Further Literature below, and the comparative illustration).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1645-48.

COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv.RP-T-1964-127)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS (always as a study for the 100 Guilder Print): Le Blanc, 1859-61, repr. opp. p.176 (repr. through an etching by the author of the nearer figure only, inscribed in the plate: “La femme malade de la pièce aux / cent florins / fac-simile d’un croquis à la plume de Rembrandt / (Cabinet P. DESCHAMPS”); Exh. Paris, 1908, under no.70 (referring to Le Blanc’s etching); Münz, 1952, II, pl.viii, repr. fig.8 (referring to Le Blanc’s etching); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.183, repr. (c.1639-40; compares Benesch 423 verso; in the 1st ed. the drawing was still only known, and illustrated by, Le Blanc’s etching); Benesch, 1964, p.121. repr. fig.18 (reprinted 1970, pp.255-56, repr. fig.225); Boon 1964, p.87, repr. fig.2 (1640s); Exh. London, 1969, p.59, repr. fig.68 (c.1639); Hamann, 1969, p.444; White, 1969, p.59, repr. fig.68 (c.1639); Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, under no.186 (before 1649); Amsterdam, 1972, p.67, under B.74 (c.1643-49); White, 1973, p.137; Exh. Boston-St Louis, 1980-81, under no.98 (before 1649); Schatborn, 1983, p.453, repr. fig.11 (c.1643); Amsterdam, 1985, no.21, repr. (c.1647); Schatborn, 1986, p.27, repr. fig.2; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.244, repr. fig27a; Royalton-Kisch, 1993.I, pp.180-81; White, 1999, p.59, repr. fig.72 (c.1639); Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.77-78, repr. fig.20 and under no.61, repr. p.256, fig.d (style of mid-1640s, for etching of c.1648; relates to all preparatory drawings for the print); Berlin, 2006 under n.40, recto repr. p.142 (c.1647-48); Exh. Amsterdam, 2006, figs 75 and 77; Exh. New York, 2006, under no.31, repr. figs 2-3; Schatborn, 2011, ppp.314-15 and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.341, no.60, repr. p.316, figs 35-36 (documentary sheet); Exh. New York, 2012, under no.31, repr. figs 2-3; Exh. New York, 2016, p.50; Schatborn, 2019, nos 86 [recto] and 88 [verso] and p.17, repr.(c.1648; example of drawings made during the search for the composition).

PROVENANCE: F. van den Zande; his sale, Paris, 30 April, 1855, after no.3042; P. Deschamps, Paris; his sale, Paris, Palais Galiera, 23 June, 1964, lot 12; acquired by the present repository in 1964 with funds provided by the Commissie voor Fotoverkoop (Stichting tot Bevordering van de Belangen van het Rijksmuseum) and the F. G. Wallerfonds.

[1] See NH 239: the watermarks on all early impressions of both states date from c.1648. See further Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, no.61.

[2] The latter attribution is rejected by Schatborn (in Amsterdam, 1985, p.49, n.6).

[3] See NH 228.

[4] In an email of 13 January 2015, Erik Hinterding kindly informed me that he might reconsider the date, seeing analogies with the "Sheet of Sketches" (Bartsch 369; NH 177) published in New Hollstein as c.1639

First posted 12 January 2015.


Benesch 0184

Subject: Standing Man with a Cap in his Outstretched Hand: study for the “Hundred Guilder Print”

Verso: blank

Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed or marked verso in graphite: ‘T’ (or a symbol resembling this).

127 x 62. Watermark: fragment: top of a crown, probably c.1640.[1] chain lines: 25/29h (20 laid lines/cm). Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, being a study related to the etching of “Christ Healing the Sick: the Hundred Guilder Print” of c.1648 (Bartsch 74; NH.239). For a general discussion of the drawings related to the etching, including their inter-relationships and chronology, see under Benesch 0188.

The connection with the figure near the centre of the etching – in which he is naturally reversed - only becomes entirely clear if the drawing is compared with his counterpart in the Berlin sketch for the central part of the same print, Benesch 0188. In the etching he seems to have aged and lost something of the vigour displayed in the drawings. This new characterisation harmonises better with the subject of the etching, which shows Christ healing the sick. In the Berlin drawing the figure does not hold a cap, nor does he in the print, which suggests that the present sketch came first. It may well have been inspired by the standing apostle towards the right (St Matthew) in Leonardo's "Last Supper" as adapted by Rembrandt in Benesch 0443.[2]

At first glance the style seems closer to the later 1630s than to the date of the etching in the later 1640s. Even documentary drawings such as Benesch 0142 recto, Benesch 0154, Benesch 0164 and Benesch 0477 might be commandeered to provide support for an earlier dating.[3] Yet on close inspection, the manner in which the forms seem to emerge from a combination of rather tentative indications rather than precisely delineated outlines, as for example in the arms, comes somewhat closer to what we encounter in the other drawings related to the etching. Further support for a date in the 1640s is given by the close resemblance between the head here and that on the upper left of Benesch 0185: both feature a loop to describe the jaw in the same way. Yet a date c.1640-42 is importantly argued by the watermark, somewhat earlier than might be expected for a drawing related to the etching. In this case Rembrandt would have referred back to an earlier drawing while composing the etching. As a counter-argument one might note that the legs are only cursorily drawn, as though Rembrandt already knew that they would be hidden in the final composition of the print. See further under Benesch 0183 for arguments that revive the idea that Rembrandt could have begun work on the etching in c.1640/41 but only completed it later, in c.1647.

Condition: the ink has faded; two glue (?) spots may be modern, as they do not appear in Benesch's illustration.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1640 or c.1640-42.

COLLECTION: GB London, Courtauld Gallery (Seilern Collection, inv. D.1978.PG.188)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1947, no.105, repr.; Münz, 1952, II, p.101 (not closely connected with 100 Guilder Print); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.184, repr. (c.1639-40; related to “Hundred Guilder Print”); London, 1961, III, no.188, repr. pl.xiii (c.1640; for the print); White, 1969, p.61, n.; Exh. London, 1983, no.13 (like St Matthew in Leonardo's Last Supper); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.21, n.4; Schatborn, 1986, pp.27-28, repr. fig.6; White, 1999, p.265, n.63; Royalton-Kisch in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, p.79, repr. fig.22 and under no.61, repr. fig.c; Exh. New York, 2006, under no.31; Schatborn, 2011, p.317, repr. fig.59; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.63, repr. (documentary drawing); Exh. New York, 2016, p.50; Schatborn, 2019, no.91 and p.17, repr. (c.1648; example of a drawing made during the search for a composition).

PROVENANCE: Lord Northwick; his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 1-4 November, 1920, lot 175 and 5-6 July, 1921, lot 97; H.S. Reitlinger; his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 22-23rd June, 1954; Antoine Seilern, by whom bequeathed in 1978 to the present repository.

[1] The watermark resembles those found above shields on a number of different marks, including the Basel staff or crozier, Strasburg lily, Strasburg bend and the Arms of Württemberg. Yet it is almost identical to that seen in the British Museum's impression of the first state of the Sleeping Dog, inv. 1842,0806.144 (Basel crozier, Hinterding variant F.a., datable c.1640). It is also very close to the mark in Benesch 0479 in the British Museum, also usually dated c.1640 - see, with an illustration of the mark:!!%2fOR%2f!!%2f5806%2f!%2f%2f!%2fCatalogue+of+Drawings+by+Rembrandt+and+his+School+in+the+British+Museum%2f!%2f%2f!!%2f%2f!!!%2f&sortBy=catNumber&orig=%2fresearch%2fpublications%2fonline_research_catalogues%2frussian_icons%2fcatalogue_of_russian_icons.aspx&catalogueOnly=True&catparentPageId=27094&catalogueName=Catalogue of Drawings by Rembrandt and his School in the British Museum&displayEssayResults=True&currentPage=1

I have discussed the watermark with Erik Hinterding, who agreed with the above comparison and kindly suggested a date c.1640-42, pointing to Laurentius, 2007, nos.299-302 (299 is dated 1612, the others 1640-42). He also notes that Heawood, 1950, illustrates three that are similar, his nos.1193, 1195 and 1199, dated 1631, 1642 and 1616 respectively (e-mail to the compiler, 16 June 2015).

[2] See Weisbach, 1926, p.364 (in relation to the etching); Münz, 1952, II, p.101; Clark, 1966, pp.57-59.

[3] Benesch dated the drawing c.1639-40.

First posted 14 June 2015.



Benesch 0185

Subject: A Blind Old Man Guided by a Woman: study for the “Hundred Guilder Print”

Verso: Laid down on an 18th-century mat, but some pen scribbles are visible through the paper.

Medium: Pen and brown ink; a touch of white behind the central figure’s right foot.

Inscriptions: on the mat, recto, below, in pen and brown ink: “Rembrandt”; on verso of mat in pen and brown ink: “12˚ 88 / JB N˚:977 / 5 by 4/ 8164” and some pencil inscriptions of no value.

122 x 97. Watermark: none visible; chain lines: not visible. Mat: an 18th-century mat with a brown border within ruled lines in pen and brown ink.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, being a sketch for the old man led by a woman towards Christ in Rembrandt’s celebrated etching of “Christ Healing the Sick: the Hundred Guilder Print” of c.1648 (B.74; NH.239). For a general discussion of all the drawings related to the etching, see under Benesch 0188. The old man in Benesch 0185 is generally described as blind, because of his stick, but in the context of Christ healing the sick it is perhaps more significant that he is ill and frail, qualities that seem to be enhanced in the subsequent etching. There he undergoes a number of refinements: more stooped and with his further arm lowered, his satchel is reduced in size and moved more to the front and he walks more haltingly; warm gloves dangle from a string before him. The woman is also changed and she appears less alert; her face is represented in profile, looking towards Christ.

The drawing is one of a number of documentary sheets of the 1640s that inform us of the increased liquidity of Rembrandt’s style during these years, compared with his earlier works with the pen. The initial indications of the main figures here were made in finer lines than the finishing touches, but nonetheless with less precision than most of his drawings of the previous decade, as is most evident in the main figure. Yet the characterisations, both on an individual level and in the way they interact, have lost none of their force. The concern in the glance of the woman towards her enfeebled companion seems palpable. Yet as we have seen, Rembrandt was to reject this motif in the etching. The more detailed study of the man’s head on the left, probably a second attempt at the central figure (although in the etching he wears a hat that resembles the one in the central study more closely), shows that Rembrandt could revert at will to a more miniaturistic and exact style of delineation which has more in common with his draughtsmanship from c.1635-40 (cf., for example, the head in Benesch 477).

It is worth remarking (a) that Rembrandt seems to have begun another version of the woman’s head next to the head on the extreme left, thus in a similar relationship, but the lines are so slight that they are hard to interpret (or to see in reproduction); and (b) that the male figure may be based on a chalk drawing that was probably made from life (Benesch 0724).[1]

The broad lines at the lower left may belong to another sketch, now cut away, or could be a cursory indication of the wheelbarrow that appears in approximately the same position in the etching.

Condition: slightly trimmed, cutting away the extremities of the drawing left and right; some discolouration.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: c.1645-48

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (Inv. 22891 [formerly NIII8647 and MA8164).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Morel d’Arleux (MS), VI, no.8164; Seidlitz, 1894, p.122; Lippmann, I, no.154a; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.641; Kleinmann, 1913, V, no.23; Paris, 1933, no.1185, repr. pl.49 (c.1632-35); Benesch, 1935, p.24; Rosenberg, 1935, p.77 (relates to “Hundred Guilder Print”); Benesch, 1947, no.106, repr.; Rosenberg, 1948, p.126; Münz, 1952, II, p.101, repr. fig.20; Benesch, 1954/73, I, no.185, repr. (c.1639-40); Boon, 1964, p.89, repr. fig.3; Slive, 1965, I, no.161; Rosenberg, 1969, p.106; White, 1969, pp.60 and 62, repr. fig.64; Exh. Paris, 1970, no.159; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.21, n.3; Schatborn, 1986, pp.27-28, repr. fig.5; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.39, repr.; Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.451; Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.134; Royalton-Kisch, 1993.1, p.?; White, 1999, p.59; Royalton-Kisch in Exh. London, 2000-2001, pp.79-80, repr. fig.23 and pp.257-8, under no.61, repr. fig.f; Exh. New York, 2006, under no.31; Exh. Paris, 2006-7, no.36, repr.; Schatborn, 2011, p.315, repr. fig.60 and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.64, repr. fig.60 (documentary drawing); Exh. New York, 2016, p.50; Schatborn, 2019, no.92 and p.17, repr. (c.1648; examples of a drawing made during the search for a composition); (In compiling this entry I consulted the website of the Musée du Louvre.)[2]

PROVENANCE: John Barnard (L.1420); his sale, London, 16 February, 1787 and following days; John Bertheels; his sale, Paris, 3 February, 1789, lot 283-2; Charles Paul Jean-Baptiste de Bourgevin Vialart, Comte de Saint-Morys (1743-1795), Paris; his collection seized by the French state at the Revolution; entered the present repository in 1796-97 (listed in the Inventaire du Musée Napoléon. Dessins. Vol.6, p.1040, chap.: Ecole hollandaise, Carton 83. [...] Numéro: 8164. Nom du maître: Idem [Rembrandt] /&. Numéro d'ordre dans l'oeuvre du maître: 28. Désignation des sujets: Des vieillards. Dessin à la plume. Dimensions: H. 12,5 x L. 10cm. Origine : Idem & Collection nouvelle /&. Emplacement actuel : Idem & Calcographie du Musée Napoléon /&. Observations: Idem & [Remis au Musée pour être relié] [[à l'encre]] ]]. Signe de recollement: [Vu] [[au crayon]] [[trait oblique / au crayon / sur le n° d'ordre]]. Cote: 1DD38).

[1] See Berlin, 2006, p.142, n.9.

[2] (last accessed 10 April 2015).

First posted 21 April 2015.



Benesch 0186

Subject: A Woman Standing with a Baby in her Arms

Verso: some indecipherable lines and hatching (see illustration)

Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscriptions: lower right in pen and brown ink: “Rt”[?]; verso, in graphite: “L21” [?£21]

116 x 78. Watermark: none.

COMMENTS: The drawing is at best a copy after a lost Rembrandt, but equally probably a pupil’s work based on Rembrandt’s own sketches of the later 1630s or earlier 1640s. The verso is clearly not by the master and resembles Benesch 0002, and therefore could be by Govert Flinck; and there is no reason to believe that the recto is by another hand: the lines are hesitant throughout and the repetitive parallel hatching is also uncharacteristic of Rembrandt. There is a relationship with the very differently posed mother and child, seen from behind, in the “Hundred Guilder Print” (Bartsch 74; NH 239).

The drawing was etched by Johann Daniel Laurentz in 1756.

Condition: some surface dirt, and lines show through from the verso

Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (Govert Flinck?)

Date: 1637-45??

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R47).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1947, p.27, under no.103; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.186, repr. (c.1638-40; suggests connection with the “Hundred Guilder Print” ); Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.42; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257; Exh. Ingelheim, 1964, no,63, repr. fig.XI; Rotterdam, 1969, p.25, repr. figs 24, 25 (doubtful as Rembrandt); White, 1969, p.61, n.35; Vogel-Köhn, 1974, p.4, no.57; Exh. Paris-Antwerp-London-New York, 1979-80, under no.68; Sumowski, 1979 etc., V, 1981, under no.1131*; Rotterdam, 1988, no.170, repr. (school of Rembrandt); White, 1999, p.265, n.63 (probably not by Rembrandt); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: F. Koenigs (L.1023a); D.G. van Beuningen, by whom given to the present repository in 1940.

First posted 15 April 2015.



Benesch 0187

Subject: A Woman with a Child in her Arms

Verso: not seen or photographed.

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall?) ink.

Inscriptions: none recorded.

121 x 74. Watermark: none recorded.

COMMENTS: To judge for the thick, ‘bleeding’ lines the drawing is in iron-gall ink, which Rembrandt employed from c.1637-39. This differentiates the drawing from Benesch 0186 and in general the lines are here more fluent and bold. Without being able to check the original (which was stolen in 1937), the comparison with the documentary drawing Benesch 0157 seems close enough to admit the possibility that the drawing is by Rembrandt, despite the figure's unusually gangling proportions. The shading, though somewhat less coherent in parts, marries well in style, as does the separate study of a headdress in Benesch 157.

The drawing was connected by Benesch with the “Hundred Guilder Print” of c.1648 (Bartsch 74; NH 239), but the related figures there are too distant to view the drawing as a preparatory study; it also seems to be too early, further undermining the connection.

Condition: Iron-gall ink 'bleeding' (see main text).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt??

Date: 1637-39?

COLLECTION: Formerly USA, Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum (stolen in 1937 and since missing)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Cambridge (Mass.), 1940, I, no.523; Benesch, 1947, no.103; Rosenberg, 1948, p.149; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.187, repr. (c.1638-40); Slive, 1978, p.454, repr. fig.3 (c.1638-40); Sumowski, 1979 etc., V, 1981, under no.1131; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.21 (not Rembrandt); White, 1999, p.265, n.63 (probably not by Rembrandt); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Horace Walpole, 1842; Lord St Helens; anonymous collector M.J.P.; Samuel Woodburn? (according to Benesch, but Woodburn's name not mentioned on Duveen's sale note to Sachs); Anonymous collector (L.2697); Joseph Duveen, by whom sold 8 February, 1924, to Paul J. Sachs, by whom placed on long-term loan to the present repository in 1927.[1]

[1] I am grateful to Susan Anderson for details of the provenance (correcting Benesch) held at the Fogg Art Museum (e-mail 23 April 2015).

First posted 15 April 2015.



Benesch 0188

Subject: Study for a Group of Figures in the “Hundred Guilder Print”

Verso: Inscriptions only.

Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, with some white bodycolour; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink (not exactly the same ink as the drawing)

Inscriptions: lower right, in pen and brown ink: “A. Posonyi” (L.2040); verso, in graphite: “2695”, “95-1885” “Inv.95/1885” and “KdZ 2695”.

139 x 185 (the tip of the top left corner made up). Watermark: none visible; chain lines: vertical, distance apart uncertain. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, being a sketch for the figures grouped below Christ’s raised left hand in the etching of “Christ Healing the Sick: The Hundred Guilder Print” of c.1648 (B.74; NH.239). The surviving studies for the print were probably made in the following order and are: Benesch 0543 (the attribution of which is curiously controversial),[1]; Benesch 0183, Benesch 0388, Benesch 0184, the present sheet (Benesch 0188) and Benesch 0185. Given the complexity of the composition it should come as no surprise that six preparatory studies are known, although the survival rate of Rembrandt’s drawings is haphazard (no drawings are known, for example, for the “Night Watch” and many other equally complex images). To follow Rembrandt’s progress through the series of drawings, they are all discussed together here as well as individually under their own numbers.[2]

In the first known drawing, Benesch 0543, the light enters from the left, as can most clearly be observed in the figure of the kneeling woman. It was therefore probably a sketch for the group of figures to the spectator’s left in the etching. This accords with the position of Christ and with the fact that the other drawings for the print are also in reverse to the etching. Rembrandt reworked the composition, moving the kneeling woman to the other side of Christ (or making her pick up her child and walk towards Christ) and changing most of the other figures entirely.

The next two studies were made specifically for the reclining woman near the centre of the print, Benesch 0183 and Benesch 0388. The first sketches her twice, with her feet directed towards the spectator in a manner that lacks decorum. Her head was also outlined on the verso in a position that anticipates the Berlin study, Benesch 0188, marginally more closely. Yet Benesch 0183 is still far from the final result, revealing that Rembrandt reworked individual details as much as the composition as a whole. This impression is reinforced by the second, slighter sketch for the same figure (Benesch 0388). Here the artist moves towards the final position adopted in the print, where she is turned to one side, but her gesture with her hands raised in prayer was to be assigned to the figure immediately above her.

This last alteration is first visible in the present drawing (Benesch 0188), which shows the reclining sick woman in the pose much as finally adopted, with the praying figure above her. The design is close to the print and includes the gesticulating man behind her, the kneeling woman at the front (whose headdress was to be revised), and, schematically indicated to the left of her, the man between them supporting himself on crutches. The plinth on which Christ supports his arm is now present and the shadows cast by the raised hands, which in the print strike Christ’s robe, here seem to fall on the plinth. But it would seem that the main features of the whole composition must have been fixed before the drawing was made. The figures immediately behind the gesturing man in the centre were left out of the etching and changes were also made to the group on the extreme left of the drawing (replaced by the group to the right of the pointing man in the print). Rembrandt's focus here and in Benesch 0543 was on grouping the figures and uniting them within the composition; they reveal his concern to bind the figures into dynamic units in a manner akin to those created by Raphael and other Renaissance masters. That the celebrated etching has the poise of a “School of Athens” is a direct result of this labour.

The standing, pointing man was rehearsed in Benesch 0184. Here he holds a cap, later abandoned, and the drawing therefore probably preceded the present sheet (Benesch 0188). Stylistically, too, he appears somewhat earlier (as also suggested by the watermark of c.1640) and it could be that Rembrandt here referred back to an already existing drawing. However, the cursory indications of his legs, which were to be hidden behind other figures in the etching, suggest that the drawing was more probably made specifically for the print. In style his head resembles that on the upper left of another related drawing, the “Blind Old Man Led by a Woman” (Benesch 0185) - the loop under the ear, marking the start of the jawbone, is almost identical. The two figures in this second drawing appear in reverse towards the right in the print, with adjustments to their postures, so that the old man shuffles along more weakly, his head sunk and further arm lowered, as is anticipated in a pentimento in the drawing. The woman’s head is turned to profile, so that she looks towards Christ, an alteration that helps to link the groups of figures entering from the right with the central area of the composition. The adjustment may seem subtle, but is in fact crucial to the dynamics of the design. Together with the other five drawings for the print, it gives an indication of the extent of Rembrandt’s mental deliberations as he produced the “Hundred Guilder Print”, and the plate itself shows signs of revisions, for example near Christ’s feet and among the figures at the upper left. Although impressions from Rembrandt’s lifetime survive only in two states, with minor differences between them, it seems likely that earlier trials were made, in states that no longer survive.

A drawn copy after the praying woman in the foreground, surrounded by five other figures, is in a private collection.[3]

Condition: top left corner made up; a few fox marks and stains.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt*

Date: 1645-48?

COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ 2695).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte aus den königlichen Kunstsammlungen, 1886, col.V (report of acquisition by the present repository); Michel, 1893, p.345; Seidlitz, 1894, p.122 Lippmann, I, 3; Graul, 1906, no.26; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.56 (c.1645); Saxl, 1908, p.228 (mid-1640s); Berlin, 1914, no.45 (c.1648); Bode, 1915, cols 217-8; Kauffmann, 1918, pp.40-41, repr. fig.6; Neumann, 1918.I, pp.88-94, repr. fig.27 (second half of 1630s; figures from c.1648-49); Stockholm, 1920, p.22 under no.II, 2; Kauffmann, 1922, p.98 (c.1640); Neumann, 1924, pp.400-401 (late 1630s); Valentiner, 1925/34, no.409, repr. (c.1648); Weisbach, 1926, p.364; Van Dyke, 1927, p.76 (Flinck); Berlin, 1930, p.225 (c.1647-50); Exh. Berlin, 1930, under no.290 (as Berlin, 1930); Hind, 1932, p.78; Lugt, 1931, p.58 (on provenance); Paris, 1933, under no.1132; Benesch, 1933-34, p.302 (c.1640); Graul, 1934,no.34 (second half of 1640s); Benesch, 1935, p.29 (c.1639-40); Weski, 1942, pp.154, 157 and 161-62 (later 1640s); Benesch, 1947, no.104, repr. and under no.130 (as in 1935); Möhle, 1949, pp.37-40; Winkler, 1951, pp.119-20; Münz, 1952, II, under no.217; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.188, repr. (as Benesch, 1935); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.110 (c.1640-50); Benesch, 1960, pp.23 and 149, no.34, repr. (as Benesch); Haverkamp Begemann, 1961, p.24 (rejects Benesch’s early dating); Rotermund, 1963, p.182, no.185, repr.; Boon, 1964, pp.87-88; Slive, 1965, no.3 (c.1640); Clark, 1966, pp.57-59, repr. fig.49 (influence of Leonardo – see under Benesch 184); Exh. Berlin, 1968, no.18 (1640); Hamann, 1969, pp.167 and 444 (end of 1630s); White, 1969, pp.59-60 and 62; Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.87, repr. (as Benesch, 1954); Schatborn, 1975-76, p.36; Broos, 1977, p.103; Sumowski, I, 1979, pp.86 and 196 (c.1639); Bruijn, 1983, p.54 and n.15; Exh. London, 1983, under no.13; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.21, n.5 (c.1647); Schatborn, 1986, pp.27-28, repr. fig.3; Haak, 1990, p.215 (as Benesch, 1954); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.134; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92.I, p.244, under no.27, repr. fig.27b; Exh. London, 1992, under nos.52, 91, 93 and 96 (mid-1640s or a little later); Royalton-Kisch, 1993, p.191, n.12; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, p.414, under no.208 (as Benesch, 1954); Exh. Paris, 2000, under nos.95 and 99; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.78-79, repr. fig.21, and under no.61, repr. fig.b; Kreutzer, 2003, pp.134-36 (c.1648); Rosand, 2003, pp.229-30, repr. fig.213 (compares Benesch 140); Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.44; Berlin, 2006, no.40, repr. (c.1647-48); Exh. New York, 2006, under no.31, repr. fig.4; Exh. Paris, 2006-7, under no.35, repr. fig.51; Schatborn, 2011,p.315, repr. fig.58 and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.341, no.61, repr. fig.58 (documentary drawing); Exh. New York, 2016, pp.46-49, repr. fig.46 (made after the copper plate begun); Schatborn, 2019, no.87 and p.17, repr. (c.1648; examples of a drawing made during the search for a composition).

PROVENANCE: Unknown collector, “E. D.” (L.841); Theodore Rousseau (according to Benesch, 1954);[4] Alexander Emil Posonyi (L.2040); Julius Guttentag, by whom presented to the present repository in 1885.

[1] For a summary of opinions, see Berlin, 2006, under no.40 and n.12. The drawing is there condemned because of some similarities with the etching, but are these not to be expected in a preparatory drawing? The idea that they are derived from the print could always be made, but there is no sense of a copy. Stylistically the drawing compares well with another documentary work, Benesch 736, as pointed out by the present writer in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.76-78, figs 18-19. The comparison made in Berlin 2006, p.143 between Benesch 188 and Benesch 736 is also apposite, but less close.

[2] Other drawings that are sometimes viewed as studies for the print are Benesch 724 (for which see under Benesch 185) and Benesch 1071 (which in my opinion is probably later than the print - see the present writer in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, p.258, n.6, and Bevers in Berlin, 2006, p.142, n.10, who supports the connection).

[3] The compiler saw this drawing in 1991 when in a private collection and again subsequently (see Berlin, 2006, under no.40, n.2). It bears a Hermitage mark (L.2061) and may have been deaccessioned from that museum. It was later with the art dealers Dino and Chiara Veronese in Italy. The foreground figure is copied closely but little else depends on the Berlin drawing, except the head behind the hands raised in prayer near the top, which is converted into a more complete figure.

[4] Not included in Berlin, 2006.

First posted 21 April 2015.



Benesch 0189

Subject: An Old Man led by a Boy (study for Jacob with Benjamin?)

Verso: Blank

Medium: Pen and brown ink, with some smudging and perhaps some brown wash.

Inscriptions: lower right, in pen and brown ink: “192” [written by Mariette but crossed out] and “1836” [former inventory number from 1790 – see under Provenance]

130 x 84. Watermark: none; chain lines: 26h (visible in raking light). Mat: a strip of blue paper from an older mat (probably Mariette’s) remains.

COMMENTS: The drawing relates closely to Benesch 0190 (qv) and they are discussed together. The old man here first wore a tall hat, then a broad-brimmed hat, and in Benesch 190, another flat hat or turban and at upper left (if it is the same figure) a cap. Typically for Rembrandt, the changes transform the figure seamlessly from genre to a biblical or historical one, from a character drawn from everyday life to an oriental potentate or biblical patriarch, with scarcely a change to rest of his clothing.

The attribution is confirmed by a comparison with the documentary drawing of a Blind Old Man Guided by a Woman, now in the Louvre, of c.1645-48 (Benesch 0185), in which the diagonal shading and the detail in the face at the upper left have close counterparts here.

Condition: good, though cut at left; a slight tear half way up the right edge.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1646-49?

COLLECTION: S Stockholm, Nationalmuseum (inv. 2035/1663)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1601; Stockholm, 1920, no.IV:24; Romdahl, 1921, pp.106-7; Benesch, 1935, pp.38 and 41; Exh. Amsterdam, 1935, no.53; Benesch, 1947, no.107, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.189, repr.; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.93; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.45; Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.113; Tümpel, 1972, pp.69ff; Exh. Washington-Fort Worth-San Francisco, 1986, no.87; Rotterdam, 1988, under no.16, repr. fig.a; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.66, repr. fig.16c (mid-1640s); Exh. Stockholm, 1992-93, no.143, repr. (c.1640); Schatborn, 2019, no.93, repr. (c.1648).

PROVENANCE: Roger de Piles?; Pierre Crozat (Mariette, p.101); C.G. Tessin (List of 1739-42, f.46v; 1749 catalogue, livre 15, no.44); Swedish Royal Library (1790 cat., no.1836); Royal Museum, Stockholm, from which transferred to the present repository.

First posted 23 April 2015.



Benesch 0190

Subject: An Old Man Led by a Boy and another Figure, with a study of a head (Jacob with Benjamin and another son?)

Verso: see Inscriptions.

Medium: Pen and reed pen and brown ink, touched with white.

Inscriptions: verso, in graphite: “6 / Rembrandt van Rijn / 3-113 / 3000 / 40 / 1 5248”.

149 x 164. Watermark: Shield with Basel Staff (see n.1 below).

COMMENTS: Benesch 0189 and Benesch 0190 and here discussed together, as they are so inextricably related. In the first, the figure to the left has been cut away, but from the two surviving figures of the old man and the boy it is clear that it was made in preparation for the latter. That the sequence was not the other way around is suggested by the change of the main figure from an everyday life character into a beturbanned ‘patriarch’ type; and as noted under Benesch 0189, the change is indicated largely by the alteration in headgear.

Rembrandt’s subject-matter is often open to debate, partly because of the close relationship between his figures sketched from life and those that populate his more finished works, and the present case demonstrates this well (see further under Benesch 0189). The figure on the left of Benesch 0190 has sometimes been viewed as female, leading to the identification (from left to right) of Hagar, Abraham and Ishmael. The same figure was cut away from Benesch 0189 but the hand and wrist can still be seen. However, as the sex of the figure on the left of Benesch 0190 is uncertain, the indentification of the scene is yet more problematic. It has been suggested that the drawings show servants leading Zacharias, or else one of Benjamin’s elder brothers, seen with Jacob and Benjamin himself, as Jacob sends the older brothers to Egypt (see Literature below). This last identification is perhaps the most plausible, based in part on a comparison with Benesch 0541 and Benesch 0542. The scene here would be earlier.

The drawings have been dated variously (see Literature below). While the attribution of the Rotterdam sheet, Benesch 0190, is secured by a comparison with the documentary drawing, the Star of the Kings of c.1645-47 (Benesch 0736), though it could be earlier,[1] Benesch 0189 seems closer to another documentary work, the Blind Old Man Guided by a Woman in the Louvre of c.1645-48 (Benesch 0185), especially in the diagonal shading and the detail of the old man’s face. It seems clear that Benesch 0189 and Benesch 0190 were created at the same time, and the broad handling of the pen – apparently a reed pen – in the lower parts of most of the figures suggests a date somewhere between the drawing of Jan Cornelisz. Sylvius in the British Museum of c.1646 (Benesch 0763) and the studies for the “Hundred Guilder Print” of c.1648 (see under Benesch 0188). Thus an approximate date c.1646-49 is suggested here. If the drawings were made by 1648, they might also have formed part of, or at least been made in the context of, Rembrandt’s preparatory material for his celebrated etching, but as yet such a connection remains speculative.

Benesch 0190 was etched by J.J. de Claussin (1795-1844), but the head at the upper left appears in a separate print in which he otherwise accumulated motifs from Benesch 0340.

Condition: some foxing (treated) and a scuff to right edge.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt.

Date: c.1646-49.

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (inv. MB 1988/T6)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hamann, 1936, pp.42-43, repr. the De Claussin print fig.63 (Hagar, Abraham and Ishmael, comparing works by Elsheimer and Flinck); Benesch, 1, 1954/73, no.l190, repr. (c.1639-40; ?Zacharias led by servants; not a woman on the left); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257 (as Benesch); Exh. London-Birmingham-Leeds (Arts Council of Great Britain; Old Master Drawings from the Collection of Mr C. R. Rudolf), 1962, no.122, repr. pl.19; Sumowski, 1961, under no.189 (the head upper left appears in a second etching by de Claussin); Die Weltkunst, 1 May, 1963, p.5, repr.; Tümpel, 1972, pp.68ff., repr. fig.2; Rotterdam, 1988, no.16, repr. (c.1642-43? Hagar, Abraham and Ishmael; Hagar holds a jug); Luijten and Meij, 1990, no.35, repr. (‘Biblical representation’); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, pp.132 and 134, repr. fig.71 (compares to Benesch 543); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92.II, p.64, repr. fig.16b (shows Jacob, Benjamin and an older son); Ter Molen, 1993, pp.108-109 and no.146, repr.; Exh. Florence, 2000, no.58, repr.; Exh. Rotterdam, 2005-6, no.14, repr.; Exh. Istanbul 2006,

no. 14, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 2008, no. ??; Exh. Rotterdam, 2010 (coll 2 kw 6); Exh. Paris, 2014, no.12; Exh. New York, 2017, p.169, repr. fig. 1; Schatborn, 2019, no.94, repr. (c.1648).

PROVENANCE: A.P.E. Gasc (L.1131); possibly sale, Paris, Drouot, 11-12 January, 1861, lot 210 (“Episode de l’histoire de Joseph – Dessin à la plume lavé de bistre, largement traité”); Jacques Mathey, 1937; F. Lugt, 1937; C.R. Rudolf, from 1938; his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 21 May 1963, lot 39, repr. in colour (£33,600 to A. Pringuer); with N. Stogdon, Inc, 1988 (catalogue no.9), from whom purchased with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt by the present repository, 1988.

[1] The watermark is difficult to read but resembles Hinterding, 2006, Basel crozier F-a, datable c.1640 as it is found in the impression of the first state of Rembrandt's etching of a Sleeping Dog (inv.1842,0806.144) cf. also Laurentius 299-302, all datable c.1640-42.

First posted 23 April 2015.






Benesch 0191

Subject: Two Studies of a Nude Woman, Resting

Verso: Inscription and collector’s mark only.

Medium: Black chalk, heightened with white, on paper tinted light brown; ruled framing-lines in pen and black ink.

Inscription: verso, in graphite, lower right: ‘c’

178 x 247. No watermark.

COMMENTS: The drawing, though long given to Rembrandt, is usually ascribed to Jacob Adriaensz. Backer, although the evidence for this is somewhat flimsy.[1]

The drawing has some Rembrandtesque qualities: the peripheral indications have features in common with Benesch 0021, for example; the shading below the figure in Benesch 0032 is not far removed from that around the left knee of the nude woman here. Yet the attribution to Rembrandt is undermined by a comparison with his ‘documentary’ studies of the figure in black or red chalk, ranging from such Leiden period drawings as Benesch 0007, Benesch 0009 verso, Benesch 0012 and Benesch 0021 through to Benesch 0590 of c.1647. In these and almost all Rembrandt’s comparable chalk drawings, he creates a sense of the figure emerging from the light, conjured up in tone, while in the present study the figure is more classically delineated, with clear, robust and rarely interrupted outlines combined with pockets of often parallel shading. The rather even pressure applied to the chalk in most areas also lacks Rembrandt’s own customary variety of touch.

In the subsidiary study of the figure to the left of the sheet there are points in common with the cursory study on Benesch 0030 verso, but even in such a slight study, the sense of light within in the outlines themselves as well as around them is more palpable and the movements of the chalk are more varied and animated.

It is no accident that Benesch grouped the drawing alongside four other chalk figure studies (Benesch 0192, Benesch 0193, Benesch 0193A and Benesch 0196), two of which have now been associated with Govert Flinck (Benesch 0192 and Benesch 0193A).[2] However, Benesch’s emphasis on comparing it with Benesch 0196 seems wide of the mark, as that drawing is characterised by Rembrandt’s more ethereal approach to the figure. But the relationship with the two works associated with Flinck (Benesch 0192 and Benesch 0193A) is insufficient on its own to make any but the most tentative connection of the present drawing with Flinck, not least because of its stylistic distance from two signed Flinck studies of figures in (red) chalk, in Berlin and in the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.[3] But in general terms the Rembrandtesque qualities of the drawing noted above appear yet further removed from the work of Jacob Backer, making Flinck the preferable designation.

Condition: Good.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??

Date: c.1637-40?

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (inv. R 19 [PK]).

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.808; Exh. Paris, 1908, no.446; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.245; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Exh. Rotterdam, 1938, no.313; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.191, repr. (c.1632; compares Benesch 196); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.20; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.6; Gerson, 1957, p.148; White, 1969, p.175, repr. fig.263; Rotterdam, 1969, p.20, repr. fig.5; Rotterdam, 1988, no.37, repr. (Backer - see n.1 below);; Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.135 (Flinck?); Exh. Rotterdam, 2005; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: E. Desperet (L.721); his sale, Paris, Clément, 1-13 June, 1865, lot 280; A. Firmin-Didot (L.119); his sale, Paris, Drouot, 16 April-12 May, 1877, lot 67; Freiherr M. von Heyl zu Herrnsheim; his sale, Stuttgart, Gutekunst, 25-26 May, 1903, lot 250; Paul Mathey; his sale, Paris, Delteil, 28 November, 1924, lot 74, repr.; Franz Koenigs (L.1023a); D.G. van Beuningen, by whom given to the present repository, 1940.

[1] The attribution was made first by Giltaij in Rotterdam, 1988, no.37, comparing Backer’s “Self-Portrait” drawing in the Albertina, Vienna (inv.9038; Sumowski, Drawings, no.4).

[2] Benesch 192 was given to Flinck by Hoetink (Rotterdam, 1969, p. 50; see further under Rotterdam, 1988, no.187, where described as anonymous); Benesch 193A by von Moltke, 1965, no.D215.

[3] The former is KdZ 5431, Sumowski 896; the latter Inv.390, Sumowski 895. Both are reproduced and discussed by Schatborn, 2010, pp6-7, figs.2-3 respectively.

First posted 9 June 2015.



Benesch 0192

Subject: Study of a Seated Female Nude, seen from behind

Verso: Slight Sketch of the same Figure

Medium: Black chalk, the recto touched with white heightening.

Inscriptions: verso, in graphite: Rembrandt / B f [?] / aw 1900 / Coll Schougen [?]

162 x 123. Watermark: none.

COMMENTS: The drawing was probably made during a life class in Rembrandt’s studio, when Benesch 0193 was also made, but from a slightly different angle. Compared with Benesch 0193, the draughtsman of the present sheet seems to have been seated further to the right, as can be seen, for example, from the placement of the model’s spine. However, this assumption is somewhat undermined by the differences in the headdress and the alternative treatment of the shadows. Thus despite the identical pose, with drapery near the elbow, the possibility that the model was turned cannot be excluded. But it does seem clear that the two drawings are (a) by two different hands and (b) that neither drawing is a copy of the other, so that it is likely they were made at more or less the same time.

The style of the drawing is close to Govert Flinck, as has been observed several times in the past.[1] A comparison with his signed drawings from the model reveal a number of analogies: those in Paris (École des Beaux-Arts) and Berlin (Kupferstichkabinett)[2] exhibit the same rather dense hatching outside the edges of the figure and similar accentuations in the outlines. Nevertheless these drawings are more fully and confidently worked up and differ in their modelling so that the attribution must remain somewhat tentative. If the attribution and date c.1635 suggested here are correct, the drawiing would have been made soon after Flinck entered Rembrandt's studio - perhaps somewhat earlier than the two red chalk studies mentioned above.

A copy of the present sheet has been recorded (whereabouts unknown).[3]

Condition: generally good; some minor discolouration at edges and corners.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1635?

COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R 18)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.319; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Van Gelder, 1940, repr. on the cover; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.192, repr. (emphasises outlines, while Benesch 0193 emphasises light); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.264, repr. fig.61; Sumowski, 1961, p.5; Von Moltke, 1965, pp.45 and 212, under no. D 196; Rotterdam, 1969, p.50, repr. figs.99-100 (recto by or after Flinck); Sumowski, under no.895; Rotterdam, 1988, no.182, repr. (anonymous school of Rembrandt; somewhat like Flinck); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.135, left column (Flinck? The same probable for Benesch 191 and Benesch 0193a); Exh. Sidney, 1999, no.??; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: A. Ritter von Wurzbach-Tannenberg (L.203 and L.2587); Franz Koenigs (L.1023a); D.G. van Beuningen, by whom given to the present repository in 1940.

[1] See Hoetink in Rotterdam, 1969, p.50, and Giltaij in Rotterdam, 1988, no.182 (where, however, the drawing is described as anonymous).

[2] Paris, inv.390, Sumowski 895 and Berlin KdZ.5431, Sumowski 896 (both repr. Schatborn, 2010, pp.6-7, repectively fig.3 and 2).

[3] Repr. von Moltke, 1965, no. D 196. At the lower left the copy has a monogram "F" that resembles the collector's mark of Nicolaes Anthonie Flinck (L.959) - so perhaps the drawing is by him (Govert Flinck's son).

First posted 3 August 2015.



Benesch 0193

Subject: Study of a Seated Female Nude, seen from behind

Medium: black chalk. Inscribed verso in graphite: "No.1" and with other more recent figures.

158 x 118.

COMMENTS: The drawing was probably made during a life class in Rembrandt’s studio, when Benesch 0192 was also made, but from a slightly different angle. Compared with Benesch 0192, the draughtsman of the present sheet seems to have been seated further to the left, as can be seen, for example, from the placement of the model’s spine. However, this assumption is undermined somewhat by the differences in the headdress and the alternative treatment of the shadows. Thus despite the identical pose, with drapery near the elbow, the possibility that the model was turned cannot be excluded. But it does seem clear that the two drawings are (a) by different hands and (b) that neither drawing is a copy of the other, and that they were therefore probably made on the same day.

In style the drawing is reminiscent of some drawings from the Leiden period (compare the head to Benesch 0021, the general style to Benesch 0033) which, along with Benesch’s comparison of the etched Naked Woman Seated on a Mound (Bartsch 198; NH 88), may have suggested the date c.1632 to him; but as with Benesch 0009 verso, a date in the mid-1630s seems, on balance, more likely, comparing drawings such as the Cleopatra in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (Benesch 0137). Also typical of this period is Rembrandt’s interest in refracted light in the shadows, clearly visible here towards the lower left of the figure, an interest which in his graphic works perhaps reaches a peak in the figure of Eve in his etching of Adam and Eve of 1638 (Bartsch 28; NH 168). Although the attribution has been doubted, the sheer quality of this sketch argues for its acceptance as by Rembrandt and it has many stylistic features in common with the drawings mentioned above. The foxmarks do, however, undermine its optical power.

Condition: foxed; trimmed, especially on the right;otherwise good.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1635?

COLLECTION: GB London, Courtauld Institute (Seilern Collection, inv. D.1978.PG.404)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bauch, 1933, p.192, repr. fig.42; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.193, repr. (c.1632; compares Benesch 0192 and the etching, Seated Woman on a Mound, Bartsch 198); Seilern, 1971, p.404; Exh. London, 1983, no.2 (very early 1630s); Sumowski, under no.895; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.14 (c.1630-34); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: J.D. Böhm; R. Peltzer; his sale, Stuttgart, Gutekunst, 13-14 May, 1914, lot 308; Dr H. Wendland, Lugano; his sale, Bern, Kornfeld and Klipstein, 14 June, 1967, lot 254; Count Antoine Seilern (Princes Gate Collection), by whom bequeathed to the present repository, 1978.

First posted 13 August 2015.



Benesch 0193A

Subject: A Nude Woman reclining near a Tree, seen from behind

Verso: Inscriptions only

Medium: Black chalk, heightened with white (partly oxidised to brown) on paper washed pale brown. Inscribed verso, lower right by Tessin in pen and brown ink: “Rhimbrandt” and by a later hand “difficilement”, and numbered (also by Tessin?): “3.f.”; also numbered in red chalk: “899” and in graphite: “C./ 236”.

195 x 234. Watermark: Posthorn in shield with letters ABL in monogram;[1] chain lines: 23h.

COMMENTS: Although long accepted as a work by Rembrandt, this fine drawing bears a number of characteristics which point to his pupil, Govert Flinck, as has often been recognised (see Literature below). The high degree of finish, whether in the outlines or hatching, give the impression of an academic work, with a concentration on minutiae that seems at odds with Rembrandt’s light-driven descriptions of the nude in chalk (cf. Benesch 0021, Benesch 0137, Benesch 0376) or in other chalk figure sketches (cf. Benesch 0057, Benesch 0310, Benesch 0369). The delicacy of the outlines is also more comparable to Flinck’s Standing Man in Oriental Costume of 1638 in the Abrams Album in the Fogg Art Museum.[2]. The ‘mannerist’ treatment of the old tree also seems more characteristic of Flinck, who used a comparable motif in several works and in 1642 made three independent tree studies after a similar manner.[3]

The iconography may be linked with Rembrandt’s painting of Diana, Actaeon and Callisto of 1634 at Anholt (Bredius 472, Corpus A92, vol. VI, 130), for which the drawing has in the past been regarded as a study. There is a second figure, crossed out, beyond the nude, and it seems likely that the main figure was intended as one of a group of nymphs. The poses of two of those in the painting, in front of and behind Diana, resemble that in the drawing very approximately.

Condition: generally good; some creases, brown stains and flecks.

Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?

Date: 1637-40?

COLLECTION: S Stockholm, Nationalmuseum (L.1981; inv. NMH 33/1956)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Stockholm, 1953, no.166, repr. pl.28 (related to painting of Diana, Actaeon and Callisto, Bredius 472, Corpus A92, vol. VI, 130); Benesch, IV, 1955, Add.6, repr. fig.1712 (c.1635; compares Benesch 0191-0193; follows Exh. Stockholm, 1953); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.68; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.69a (compares Benesch 0021); Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.16; Muller Hofstede, 1956, p.94; Sumowski, 1957-58, p.234; von Moltke, 1965, no.D215, repr. (quotes and follows Lugt's attribution to Flinck); Exh. Stockholm, 1967, no.268; Exh. New York-Boston-Chicago, 1969, no.63; Benesch, II, 1973, no.193A, repr. fig.222; Exh. Stockholm, 1992-93, no.132, repr. (Rembrandt; compares Benesch 21); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.3, repr. fig.3b (attributed to Flinck, c.1639); Schatborn, 2010, pp.7-8, repr. fig.4 (Flinck); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Roger de Piles (?); Pierre Crozat; Carl Gustav Tessin (his 1739-41 list and 1789 Catalogue, no.236; see also verso inscriptions); Otto Wrede (1766-04); Martin Carlsson.

[1] The description of the mark is from Exh. Stockholm, 1992-93 (see Literature), but when I have studied the drawing I could not make out the letters below.

[2] The drawing by Flinck is dated 1638 (Fogg Art Museum, 1999.123.46r), repr. Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, p.63, fig.3a and Robinson, 2015, pp. 46-49, repr. fig. 43, as well as on the Harvard website, with further literature.

[3] Compare the foliage in the drawing by Flinck mentioned in n.2. A comparable, gnarled and bent tree, with foliage around the base of the trunk was invented by Rembrandt in his Concord of State of c.1636-41 (Corpus A135 and vol.VI, no.153) and (as noticed by Schatborn, 2010, p.8) in the Sacrifice of Isaac, in the Hermitage (Corpus A108 and Vol.VI, no.136) and used by Flinck in his Portrait of Jonas Jacob Leeuwen Dircksz. of 1636 (Sumowski, Gem., no.685, repr.) and his Landscape with an Obelisk of 1638 in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Sumowski, Gem., no.719 and Corpus C117 repr.). For the drawings, in Rotterdam, Paris (Fondation Custodia) and London, see Sumowski 902-904 (and Rotterdam, 1988, no.74; Paris, 2010, no.79; London, 2010 [online], Flinck no.4). See also the tree in Flinck's drawing of Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well, formerly on the New York art market (repr. Schatborn, 2010, p.34, fig.36).

First posted 14 August 2015.



Benesch 0194

Subject: A Woman Standing Holding a Child and Two Studies of a Seated Woman

Verso: Profile Bust of a Man in a Turban; Sketch of a Woman Sleeping (Saskia?)

Medium: Pen and iron-gall ink on paper washed pale brown; framing lines in pen and brown ink (though not on left side).

Inscriptions: verso, in graphite: “Rembrand f / 58d/66d” [similar hand to Ploos van Amstel]; verso, lower left in graphite: “u”.

209 x 137. Watermark: none; chain lines: 26h. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: A characteristic sketch-sheet by Rembrandt, executed in iron-gall ink, a medium which he employed in the years around 1637-39. Within this time frame, the brief, three-week life of the artist’s daughter, Cornelia (baptised 22 July 1638) might have given rise the recto, with its depiction of a mother and child and what may be two studies of a seated nurse.[1] On the verso, the sketch of a sleeping woman, perhaps again Rembrandt’s wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, has been compared with the same motif in the etching, Sheet of Studies, with a woman lying ill in bed (Bartsch 369, NH 38), which dates from around 2-3 years later.[2] Among the documentary drawings, perhaps the closest analogies are with the Ruth and Naomi in Rotterdam (Benesch 0161) of c.1638. Benesch 0249, though not a documentary drawing, appears closer still and for the motifs on the sheet, compare also Benesch 0226 and 0228.

This is the kind of drawing that belonged to the artist Jan van de Cappelle, whose posthumous inventory of 1680 includes a portfolio of 135 drawings by Rembrandt that depicted the life of women and children.[3]

Condition: good; some iron-gall “burn”, especially in the standing figure.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1637-39.

COLLECTION: AUS Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria (inv.356-4)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1899, no.140; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1022; Heseltine, 1907, no.7 (K.T. Parker suggested a comparison with etching Bartsch 369;NH 177); Exh. London, 1929, no.582 (Commemorative Catalogue, 1930, p.199); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.194, repr. (c.1632; compares Benesch 0249 and Benesch 0195 and the oriental in Benesch 0048); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.24 (same period as Benesch 0249, which appears to show the same woman); Exh. Melbourne, 1969, p.4, repr.; Exh. Leningrad, 1978-79, no.43; Dean, 1986, p.66; Melbourne, 1988, pp.46-48 and 116-117, repr. (c.1636-39; vitality of technique); Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997, no.75, repr. (c.1635); Exh. Brussels, 2005, under no.9, n.8 (pupil's work derived from Benesch 0249); Schatborn, 2019, nos.263 [recto] and 264 [verso], repr. (c.1636).

PROVENANCE: C. Ploos van Amstel (see verso inscription); W.W. Knighton; J.P. Heseltine (L.1507); Henry Oppenheimer; his sale, London, Christie’s, 10-14 July, 1936, no.289, when purchased by the present repository.

[1] See Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, document 1638/8 and 1638/9 (a-c).

[2] New Hollstein dates the etching to c.1641-42. Benesch saw the resemblance between the verso sketch of an oriental and Benesch 0048 as an echo of the Leiden period, and dated the present drawing to c.1632.

[3] The portfolio was listed in Van de Cappelle’s estate on 4 January 1680 (see Hofstede de Groot, 1906.I, p.412, no.350: “Een dito [portfolio] daerin sijn 135 tekeningen sijnde het vrouwenleven met kinderen van Rembrant.”).

First posted 15 August 2015.



Benesch 0195

Subject: Seated Woman with Clasped Hands

Verso: Studies of Heads and Busts

Medium: Pen and dark, brown-black ink. A slight study, verso, in black chalk.

Inscriptions: none.

170 x 139. Watermark: top of a crown visible, with 5 round ‘jewels’ in the rim of the crown;[1] chain lines: 24/25h. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: In style the drawing resembles works of the Leiden period, including the Self-Portrait sketches in London and Amsterdam, Benesch 0053-54. Intriguingly, Benesch 0054 has a similar watermark. The verso heads also resemble works of the late 1620s more than anything in the 1630s, when the drawing is usually dated (cf., for example, Benesch 008 verso, Benesch 0029, Benesch 0035,[2] and Benesch 0182). For this reason a date c.1628-29 should be preferred.

The main study on the recto evokes the composition of Rembrandt’s etching, The Artist's Mother Seated, half-length in profile to right, in an oriental headdress, of 1631 (Bartsch 348; NH 86), but it is not a preliminary study. While the etching shows the artist’s mother, the drawing may depict a domestic. The remaining studies on both the recto and verso of the sheet are less fluent or successful, but there is insufficient reason to doubt their authenticity, apart from a very slight study of a head in black chalk on the verso, invisible in reproduction, which may be a later imitation. The ink studies in the central register have some affinities with those in the background of Benesch 0006 recto.

Condition: generally good, if a little discoloured and faded.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1628-29?

COLLECTION: A Vienna, Albertina (inv.8852)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Schönbrunner and Meder, 1893-1908, no.1027, repr.; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1448; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.195, repr. (c.1632-33; reminiscent of Leiden period – cf. Benesch 0035); Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.7; Exh. Vienna, 1969-70, no.1, repr. (as Benesch, 1954); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.22 (c.1632-33); Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.33, repr. (follows Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001; c.1632-34); Schatborn, 2019, nos 261 [recto] and 262 [verso], repr. (c.1636).

PROVENANCE: Albert von Sachsen-Teschen (Lugt 174)

[1] Comparable to that on Benesch 54.

[2] A comparison made by Benesch (see Literature).

First posted 17 August 2015.



Benesch 0196

Subject: A Seated Woman, in profile, full-length

Medium: Black chalk.

253 x 201 (the top right section made up, 93 x 110).

COMMENTS: In composition the drawing resembles two etchings by Rembrandt of 1631, The Artist's Mother Seated, half-length in profile to right, in an oriental headdress (Bartsch 348; NH 86) and The Artist's Mother, wearing a fur-trimmed coat and a black headscarf (Bartsch 343; NH 14). Yet the drawing seems to date from about two years earlier, the broad, firm, yet light-admitting hatching resembling such drawings as Benesch 0012 and Benesch 0030-32, all of which seem to be on similar paper (though there is no watermark visible in the present example). Similar qualities are encountered in Benesch 0043-46, and, perhaps especially to the tentatively drawn motif in the background (a figure whose head has been torn away in the missing upper right section), in Benesch 0006 recto.

Whether the artist’s mother was the model in this case is impossible to say as the facial features are insufficiently characterised, though the indications do not obviously resemble her. The drawing seems chiefly to be a study of the tonalities of the light falling on the dark clothes and casting its shadows onto the wall behind and the floor below, and how at times the darks meld together. The way strong lines cross over underlying hatching is typical - see further under Beesch 0428. Scheidig, 1962, observed that the alternative lines or pentimenti in the torso seem to suggest that the figure is breathing. The vigour with which the chalk is applied seems to anticipate Vincent Van Gogh’s studies of peasants of the mid-1880s – 250 years later.

The drawing was first recognised as by Rembrandt by Woldemar von Seidlitz in c.1890.[1]

Condition: good, apart from missing section upper right; some stains and discolouration, mostly near the edges.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: 1629?

COLLECTION: D Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett (inv.C 1966-67)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Heucher, 1738, p.116(?); Hofstede de Groot, 1890, p.13, no.69; Michel, 1893, p.377; Woermann, 1896-98, no.286, repr. pl.1; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.243 (1628-30; perhaps depicts Rembrandt’s mother); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, III, 1925, no.49; Bauch, 1933, p.207, repr. fig.16; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.196, repr. (c.1632-33; same model as Benesch 0195; compares for style Benesch 0082 and Benesch 0428-29); Exh. Dresden, 1960, no.6; Scheidig, 1962, p.35, repr. pl.7 (figure seems to breathe - movement in the torso); Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.2-4, n.5 (similar, Italian paper in other Leiden period drawings); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.6, repr. (c.1629-30); Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.98, repr. (c.1630); Exh. Paris, 2006, no.61, repr. (c.1630); Schatborn, 2019, no.186, repr. (c.1629).

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

[1] According to Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.98.

First posted 18 August 2015.



Benesch 0197

Subject: Two Studies of a Seated Beggar-Woman with Two Children

Verso: Laid down on eighteenth-century mat.

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared with brown wash.

Inscriptions: none.

175 x 140. Mat: blue with green stripe and gold strip, eighteenth-century.

COMMENTS: Long ago ascribed to the school of Rembrandt, the drawing was recognised as by the artist only in 1933[1] but has not been questioned since. Drawn in iron-gall ink on paper prepared with brown wash, a technique used by Rembrandt in documentary drawings of c.1638-39,[2] in style the drawing conforms especially with Benesch 0157 of c.1638.

Many other drawings from life of the same kind and style, and in the same technique, exist. The minor sketch, Benesch 0198, must have been made at the same time and depicts the same woman.[3] Her gesture in the lower study suggests that she is a beggar.

Condition: Good; some iron-gall ink ‘burn’ and a brown spot towards the lower right.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1638-39.

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (L.1886; inv.22965 [formerly NIII8642 and MA8161])

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, III, 5; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.647 (school of Rembrandt, c.1635); Kleinmann, VI, no.1; Alinari, 1920(?), repr., pl.331b; Paris, 1933, no.1186 (Rembrandt, c.1635-40); Benesch, 1935, p.16 (relates to ‘later’ Berlin grisaille of the Baptist Preaching and to Benesch 0198); Exh. Paris, 1937, no.116; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.197, repr. (c.1632-33; as Benesch, 1935); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.82; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.64; Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (agrees with Paris, 1933); Drost, 1957, p.171; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, pp.21, 24-5 and 54; Boon, 1964, p.89, repr. fig.2; Slive, 1965, II, no.337; Gerson, 1968, p.469, repr. fig.d; Exh. Paris, 1970, no.154; Vogel-Köhn, 1974, no.48, pp.37-8, 45 and 204; Sumowski, 1979 etc., III, 1980, p.1646, under no.763x and viii, under no.1970x; Vogel-Köhn, 1981, pp.52, 54 and 59, no.48, repr. (c.1639-40); Sumowski, 1979 etc., viii, 1984, p.4400; Starcky, 1985, pp.258-60, repr. fig.12 (c.1638); Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.453; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.23, repr. (c.1638); Exh. Paris, 1994, no.82; Starcky, 1999, p.66, repr. p.67; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.59, repr. (c.1638); Exh. Paris, 2006-7, no.21, repr. (c.1635-40; compares Benesch 0198, 0199 and 0391); Exh. Paris, 2017, no.11, repr. (c.1638); Schatborn, 2019, no.343, repr. (c.1639).

PROVENANCE: Charles-Paul-Jean-Baptiste de Bourgevin Vialart, comte de Saint-Morys; confiscated by the Revolutionary government (Saisie des biens des Emigrés), 1793; entered the present repository in 1796-1797; Inventaire du Musée Napoléon. Dessins. Vol.6, p.1040, chap.: Ecole hollandaise, Carton 83. (...) Numéro: 8161. Nom du maître: Idem [[ Rembrandt /&. Numéro d'ordre dans l'oeuvre du maître: 25. Désignation des sujets: Des femmes assises. Dessin à la plume. Dimensions: H. 17,5 x L. 14cm. Origine: Idem & Collection nouvelle /&. Emplacement actuel: Idem & Calcographie du Musée Napoléon /&. Observations: Idem & [Remis au Musée pour être relié] [[à l'encre]] ]]. Signe de recollement: [Vu] [[au crayon]] [[trait oblique / au crayon / sur le n° d'ordre]]. Cote: 1DD38.

[1] Reclaimed for Rembrandt himself by Frits Lugt in Paris, 1933, no.1186.

[2] See Benesch 0157; 0161, 0168, 0423 and 0442.

[3] Benesch associated the drawing with the grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching of c.1633-34 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106, vol.VI, no.110) and dated the drawing accordingly, but the connection with the women depicted in the painting is vague.

First posted 24 Auguast 2015.



Benesch 0198

Subject: A Woman Seated on the Ground with Two Children

Verso: Blank

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink with brown wash (rubbed with the finger?) on paper prepared with brown wash.

Inscriptions: none.

91 x 104. Watermark: none; chain lines: horizontal, distance apart uncertain. Mat: modern only.

COMMENTS: See Benesch 0197. The present drawing is in poor condition (see below) but must have been made at the same time.

Condition: much faded and spotted, and perhaps was washed; a few lines, especially down the woman’s back, have been strengthened by a later hand. (An errant line also in the cap).

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1638-39

COLLECTION: USA Washington, National Gallery of Art (1943.3.7046 [formerly B9407])

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.198, repr. (c.1632-33; relates to Benesch 0197); Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.26, repr. pl.22 (c.1635-40); Exh. Washington, 1969, no.25; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, p.140, under no.59; Exh. Washington, 2006; Schatborn, 2019, no. 342, repr. (c.1639).

PROVENANCE: Gustav Delbanco (dealer); sale, Bern, Gutekunst and Klipstein, 4 June, 1939, lot 222, repr. pl.1; Alverthorpe Gallery (Jenkintown, Penn.); Lessing Julius Rosenwald (Lugt Supp.1932d), by whom given to the present repository, 1943.

First posted 24 August 2015.



Benesch 0199

Subject: Studies of Two Men and Two Children

Verso: An Oriental Holding a Tilted Parasol

Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared with brown wash.

153 x 115.

COMMENTS: A characteristic example of Rembrandt’s iron-gall ink studies of c.1638-39, the drawing belongs with the group of surviving sketches of family life. For the style, compare especially the documentary drawings Benesch 0168 and 0423 verso.

The verso, unrecorded by Benesch,[1] might possibly relate to Rembrandt’s ideas for a Baptism of the Eunuch, though the closest in date is his etching of 1641 (Bartsch 98; NH 186) which, despite showing a parasol at a similarly tilted angle, is not directly related. A light yet spirited drawing, it may be compared for style, among the documentary drawings, with Benesch 0482 verso of c.1640; otherwise, perhaps with Benesch 0355 verso.

Condition: generally good, apart from some customary iron-gall ink ‘burn’.

Summary attribution: Rembrandt

Date: c.1638-39.

COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (L.1886; inv. RF 29042)

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1899, no.1224; Lippmann, III, 60a; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.784 (c.1635); Exh. Paris, 1908, no.416; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.199, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 0197 and 0391); Rosenberg, 1956.I, pp.68 and 122 (late 1630s); Slive, 1965, II, no.393; Foucart, 1966, p.44, repr. pl.1; Vogel-Köhn, 1971, pp.38 and 205, no.50, repr.; Sumowski, 1979 etc., iii, under no.763x and viii, under no.1970x; Vogel-Köhn, 1981, p.221 (c.1639-40); Starcky, 1985, pp.258-60 (c.1637-39); Paris, 1988, n° 273; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.24, repr. (c.1638); Exh. Paris, 2006-7, no.22, repr. (c.1635-40); Schatborn, 2019, nos 345 [recto] and 346 [verso], repr. (c.1639).

PROVENANCE: Walter Gay, by whom presented to the present repository, 1938.

[1] Published by Foucart, 1966, but not included in Benesch’s 1973 edition.

First posted 26 August 2015.



Benesch 0200

Subject: Studies of Two Men and a Woman Teaching a Child to Walk

Medium: Pen and brown ink; framing line in pen and brown ink (trimmed off below).

160 x 129.

COMMENTS: The drawing is generally regarded as by or at least 'attributed to' Nicolaes Maes, whose work it resembles significantly.[1] In style the drawing reflects certain studies made by Rembrandt, both from the point of view of the motif as well as from the use of a rather thick nib – Benesch 300 providing perhaps the best analogies on both counts. Compare also Benesch 280b verso, which comes close in style and technique, as does Benesch 0732a. Yet as well as iron-gall ink drawings of the end of the 1630s, the penwork echoes Rembrandt’s more liquid sketching style of the 1640s: cf. the documentary Star of the Kings (Benesch 0736) which was made at around the time Maes was Rembrandt's pupil.

Condition: trimmed below (see framing line).

Summary attribution: Nicolaes Maes?

Date: c.1647-50.

COLLECTION: USA New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art (inv.1975.131.154).[2]

FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner, 1924, pp. 59-60, repr. p.64 (by Maes); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.200, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 0197 and 0391); Rosenberg, 1956, pp.122-23 (Maes); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p. 68 (Maes); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.24 (Maes); Sumowski, 1965, p.5 (Maes); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1974, p.37 (Maes); Vogel-Köhn, 1974/81, no.53 (late 1630s, if by Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1979 etc., viii, no.1970x, repr. (by Maes, c.1648); Exh. New York, 1985 (no catalogue); Exh. New York, 1995, ii, no.76, repr. (school of Rembrandt; lines to undiferentiated for Maes or other candidates; same hand as Benesch 0732a and probably also Benesch 0483, 0531, 0661, 0662, 0732 and Munich, 1973, no.1285, pl.250; influenced by drawings like Benesch 0190); Plomp, 2006.I, p.48, repr. fig.58; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].

PROVENANCE: Earl of Dalhousie (Lugt 717a); private collection, Berlin; sale, Lucerne, Fischer, 2 June, 1945, lot 224 (Maes); Harry G. Sperling, by whom bequeathed to the present repository in 1971.

[1] See Valentiner, 1924, pp.59-60 and Sumowski, 1979 etc., no.1970x.

[2] The number is taken from the museum's website; however, 1975 is later than the Sperling bequest and Sumowski gives the number as "L.1970.57.216".

First posted 27 August 2015.

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