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CATALOGUE

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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.

For an explanation of the use of question marks in the Summary Attributions, please see under the 'About' tab.

Benesch 00001A (Add.1)
Subject: The Roman Women before Coriolanus
Medium: Pen and brown ink and brown wash, heightened with white.
267 x 244. Mat: blue card with gold stripe, similar to a 'Mariette mount'.
COMMENTS: Coriolanus was a Roman general who was banished from Rome. He planned an assault on the city but his wife, mother and children pleaded with him not to attack, which is the scene depicted here. The tale was related by Livy, Plutarch and other early sources.
This and the following drawing (Benesch 01B, q.v.) seem to be by the same hand and are highly problematic. If by Rembrandt, which for various reasons seems unlikely, they must have been made much earlier than anything else we know, as Benesch surmised, dating them to 1624-25. As well as with Jan Lievens,[1] there are analogies with Govert Flinck and Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (to whom Benesch 01B was formerly attributed). There are also comparable qualities in paintings by Paulus Lesire of 1632-33 (see Sumowski, Gemälde, nos.1137-9), but he is unknown as a draughtsman and the characterful expressions of some of the figures in these two drawings - especially the present one - seem to be the work of a sharper artist. Bevers has suggested Jan Victors (without, however, including no.0001B). Certainly it seems close to some other drawings that Sumowski and he have assigned to Victors, although these drawings could perhaps be the work of an earlier pupil or associate. The pose of the kneeling figure may be inspired by Rembrandt's representation of 'Judas returning the thirty pieces of silver' of 1629, now in an English private collection (Bredius 539A, Corpus A15; see further under no.8).
Summary attribution: Anonymous
Date: 1625-35
COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv.22949)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Paris, 1933, no.1240, repr. pl.72 (early Rembrandt school, c.1630); Van Regteren Altena, 1956, p.59, repr. fig.3 (early Rembrandt, 1624-26); Rosenberg, 1959, p.118; Bauch, 1960, p.232, repr. fig.193b; Benesch, I, 1973, no.01A, Addenda 1 (Rembrandt c.1624-25); Broos, 1975-76, p.209; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.3 and n.10 (no longer considered to be by Rembrandt; composition inspired by Rembrandt's painting of David before Saul now in Basel, Bredius 488, Corpus A9); Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.453; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.V (as Paris, 1933); Bevers, 2011, p.382, fig.28 (by Jan Victors).
PROVENANCE: Charles Paul Jean-Baptiste de Bourgevin Vialart, Comte de Saint-Morys (1743-1795), Paris; his collection seized by the French state at the Revolution; listed in the NOTICE DU MUSÉE NAPOLÉON : DESSINS , vol. 6, p. 1036, chap. : Ecole hollandaise, Carton 83 (…) Numéro : 8130, as by Leonard Bramer and with the subject identified as "Abigail before David".
[1] The analogies with Lievens were correctly pointed out by Starcky in Exh. Paris, 1988-89 (see literature); the technique, facial expressions and handling of drapery compares with Lievens's Presentation of Christ in the Temple, now also in the Louvre (Sumowski 1627*; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.VI).
First posted 4 June 2012 (all nos up to 135 were posted together)

Benesch 00001B (Add. 2)
Subject: The Meeting of David and Abigail
Verso: Unrecognisable sketch (in black chalk)
Medium: Black chalk, with brown and grey wash and white bodycolour; the outlines indented; framing lines in black chalk, on light brown paper.
Inscriptions: verso, centre, in red chalk: 'f 160'; lower right, the mark of the Rijksprentenkabinet (L.2228); lower left, in pen and brown ink: 'B. No 99'; upper left, in PB: 'No 19'; on the old backing: '324, 193 (on a label), 228, N 15, GLX'; in graphite: 'S 107'; in blue pen: ' Reinbrandt Harmensz van Rhein'; in pen and brown ink:' la dessin Provenant de la Collection/ m'a été donné par A.Constantin/ en Octobre 1865'.
339 x 288. No watermark; chain lines 25v.
COMMENTS: See Benesch 01A. Formerly the drawing was attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout and, as Benesch pointed out, so was the painting of David before Saul now in Basel when it was sold in 1909 (Bredius 488, Corpus A9), with which he compared the drawing.
Condition: a fold right of centre.
Summary attribution: Anonymous
Date: 1625-35
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijksmuseum (Rijksprentenkabinet; inv.1956:4)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.2 (Rembrandt, 1626-28); Van Regteren Altena, 1956, pp.55-59, repr. fig.1 (Rembrandt, c.1625-29; compares painting of Adoration of the Magi, formerly Heldring Collection; also Lastman's painting of 'Coriolanus' in Dublin); Rosenberg, 1956III, p.351 (not Rembrandt); White, 1956.I, p.323, repr. fig.47 (Rembrandt); Van Gelder, 1957, p.120; Sumowski, 1957-58, pp.224 and 242-43 (Rembrandt?); Exh. Washington, 1958-59, no.57 (Rembrandt, 1625); Rosenberg, 1959, p.118 (not Rembrandt); Bauch, 1960, p.231, repr. fig.193c (not Rembrandt; after 1630); Sumowski, 1967, p.27 (Horst?); Sumowski, 1962.I, p.203, n.5, and p.210 (Horst, 1634-36?); Sumowski, 1972, pp.281-83, n.4 (not Rembrandt; c.1630); Benesch, I, 1973, no.01B, Addenda 2 (Rembrandt, c.1625; influence of Lastman as Regteren Altena, 1956); Broos, 1975-76, pp.208-9 (Rembrandt); Broos, 1977, p.99 (Rembrandt); Amsterdam, 1985, no.77, repr. (not Rembrandt; perhaps a pupil of the Leiden period).
PROVENANCE: August Constantin, Paris; Maurice Marignane, Paris; Hubert Marignane, Paris; art market, London (Leo Franklyn).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0001
Subject: The Triumph of Mordechai
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash.
210 x 264.
COMMENTS: Reminiscent of Van den Eeckhout's painting of the subject of 1664 (Sumowski, Gemälde, 447) and an attribution to him is plausible, though not watertight (see the opinion of Rosenberg, 1956, below). The composition is inspired by Pieter Lastman's painting of the same subject, dated 1627, now in the Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam, and by Rembrandt's etching (Bartsch 40). Benesch and others before him had seen this, for Rembrandt, uncharacteristic drawing as exhibiting qualities of youthful incompetence. In fact the style - perhaps especially in the scribble at the lower right - relates to Eeckhout, as first recognised by Sumowski.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1664?
COLLECTION: D Bremen, Kunsthalle (inv.1876), formerly (currently R St Petersburg, Hermitage)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Pauli, 1911, p.122; Exh. Bremen, 1912, no.1394 (Rembrandt); Bremen (Pauli), 1914, p.6, no.12; ibid., 1916, III, no.27; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.1, repr. (c.1625-26); Rosenberg, 1956.I, pp.65-66 (not Rembrandt - 18th century?); Sumowski 1956/57, p.259, repr. fig.21 (by Eeckhout, after Lastman); Sumowski, 1957-58, p.235, repr. fig.85 (Eeckhout); Muller, 1958, p.83 (Lastman influence); Bauch, 1960, p.102; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20 (copied from Lastman's painting); Forssman, 1976, pp.301-2; Broos, 1977, p.99; Exh. St Petersburg-Moscow, 1992, no.125 (copy of Lastman's painting in Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam); Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001, no.A17, repr. (with further literature, as Rembrandt, c.1625-26; currently kept in St Petersburg, Hermitage); Bevers, 2010, p.71, n.64 (Eeckhout, late 1630s)
PROVENANCE: one of the drawings discovered by Viktor Baldin during World War II and now kept in Russia (see Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0002
Subject: Oriental Ruler on Horseback (The Triumph of Mordechai?)
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
160 x 136
COMMENTS: In Sumowski (S.772*) as by Van den Eeckhout, dating from c.1665-70, and with the plausible suggestion that the image represents Mordechai. The turban and cloak echo Pieter Lastman's 1624 painting of the subject in the Rembrandthuis.[1] However, an attribution to Govert Flinck appears more likely for this and many other drawings that Benesch ascribed to the young Rembrandt (see Schatborn, 2010).[2] Compare the embryonic heads below to that in the centre of Benesch 454, and the style in general to Benesch 80 and 84, for example. Both the style and the subject, treated by Rembrandt in his etching of c.1641 (Bartsch 40), suggest a date c.1640.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1640??
COLLECTION: Private Collection (Sheldon and Leena Peck, Boston)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 1361; Österreichische Kunsttopographie, II, 1908, p.354, repr. fig.439; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.2 (Rembrandt, c.1625-26); van Gelder, 1955, p.395, n.2 (later date than Benesch); Regteren Altena, 1955, p.120 (early work by Lievens); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.66 (18th century imitation of Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.259 and 272, repr. fig.23 (Eeckhout); Muller, 1958, p.83 (Lastman influence); Bauch, 1960, p.256, n.79 (Eeckhout); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20 (Eeckhout); Rotermund, 1963, p.105 (Rembrandt); Campbell, 1971, p.17 (Rembrandt, c.1624, perhaps based on Lastman); Broos, 1972, p.102, n.6 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1972, p.483, n.4 (Eeckhout); Broos, 1977, p.99; Sumowski 772* (Eeckhout, c.1665-70); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.10 (no longer considered to be by Rembrandt); Exh. Boston (Peck Collection at the St Botolph Club, handlist no.11 (Eeckhout, c.1665-70).
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2996); H. Teixeira de Mattos; Dr J. Winter, Vienna; art market (W.H. Schab); sale (A. de Rothschild and others), London, Sotheby's, 6 July 1967, lot 9; art market (Schaeffer Galleries); art market (Brod Gallery, Exhibition of Old Master Drawings, July 1972, no.42, repr. as Rembrandt); P. Brandt; his sale, Amsterdam, 25 May 1976, lot 2075, repr. (Rembrandt c.1625-26, but Bauch and Sumowski attribute to Eeckhout); sale, New York, Sotheby's, 18 January 1984, lot 206, repr. (Eeckhout).
[1] Exh. Amsterdam, 1991, no.17, repr..
[2] I first annotated my marked copy of Benesch with Flinck's name in February 1989; in 2004 I suggested this attribution to P. Schatborn, who concurred in an email of 3 February of that year; but it does not feature in Schatborn, 2010. In an email of 6 July 2012 he states that 'Flinck would not be a too bad attribution'.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0003
Subject: Study of an Oriental Archer
Verso: See inscriptions
Medium: Red and white chalk (the latter only around the nearer hand and in the sheath of the sword; the red chalk is darker than in the related two drawings in Munich, Benesch 4 and 5); two sets of ruled framing lines, one in pen and brown ink, the other in graphite. Inscribed lower right, in pen and brown ink, by Heucher: "Van Segen" [referring to Ludwig van/von Siegen; Dittrich, 2003, p.66 suggests this could refer to Lastman's father, Pieter Zeegersz.]; inscribed verso in red chalk: "No.2" and "Van Segen or Egl" and in graphite: "1". [1]
306 x 164. Chain lines not clear, ?vertical. Watermark: none.[1] Paper is pale cream, not especially smooth, with some lumps.
Mount: modern only.
COMMENTS: By Rembrandt, but in a highly Lastmanesque mode. See also Benesch 0004-5, which together with the present sheet form a homogeneous group. As Benesch pointed out, an archer with a comparable headdress and with a bow in his right hand appears in Rembrandt's early painting, David Presenting the Head of Goliath to Saul of c.1627, now in Basel (Bredius 488; Corpus A9).
A sketch was made after the drawing by C.W.E. Dietrich in c.1732.[2] In the Dresden inventory of 1865 it was regarded as an anonymous Dutch drawing and was first connected with Rembramdt by Luippmann.Condition: Generally excellent; hole towards lower left (poorly repaired); a graze in shadows of nearer arm.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1627?
COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv. C.1496; stamped with L.1647)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Heucher, 1738, p.16 (as by Von Segen); Franke, 1865 (MS), port. vii, no.17/1 (anonymous); Lippmann, IV, 15 (Rembrandt); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.56 (anon. copy based on Benesch 4); Bauch, 1933, pp.48-9, repr. fig.37 (copy by Rembrandt after Lastman); Valentiner 795A (Lievens; Lastman influence); Benesch, 1947, no.1, repr. (Rembrandt); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.3, repr.(Rembrandt, c.1627, for Basel painting); Sumowski, 1956-57, I, pp.256-57; Exh. Munich, 1957, under no.1; Exh. Dresden, 1960, p.8, no.1; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20; Scheidig, 1962, p.34, repr. pl.3; Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, p.114, no.26; Dittrich, 1970, p.284, repr. pl.1; Munich, 1973, under no.1100; Broos, 1977, p.99; Exh. Washington-New York-San Francisco, 1978-79, no.591; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, under no.1, repr. fig.1a; Broos, Dictionary of Art, 1996, vol.26, p.154 (Rembrandt's earliest datable drawing); Exh. Amsterdam, 1999, p.96, repr. pl.59; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.70, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1627; possibly copied from a painting, eg. by Lastman); Dittrich, 2003, pp.63-73, repr.fig.1; Exh. Vienna, 2004, under no.23, repr.; Exh. Dresden 2004, no.96; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.59, repr. NB Not in HdG.
PROVENANCE: Gottfried Wagner (d.1725), Leipzig; from whose collection acquired by the present repository in 1728.
[1] According to Exh. Munich 2001-2.
[2] Noted by Dittrich, 2003, p.66.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0004
Subject: Study of an Archer
Verso: some illegible offsetting from another drawing.
Medium: Red chalk (licked, erased, rubbed and reworked by Rembrandt); almost the whole sheet bears traces of particles of red chalk on both recto and verso; freehand framing-line in red chalk; inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower left: "5005" (former inventory number).
279 x 179; watermark: none; chain lines 25-26v; laid lines fine, c.20 per cm.
COMMENTS: By Rembrandt - compare Benesch 3 (qv), from the same model. Condition: a vertical paper fold in centre of upper half of the sheet; slight damage caused by removal from an old backing or mount; some stains, mostly behind the figure; the freehand framing-line in red chalk at least partly but probably entirely a later addition.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1627?
COLLECTION: D Munich, Graphische Sammlung (inv.1740; stamped with L.620 and L.2723; on verso L.2674; first attributed to Rembrandt in the 1802/1805 Inventory, no.5005)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 424; Schmidt, 1888-93, no.171a; Bauch, 1933, pp.48-49 and 191-92, repr. fig.37 (Lastman influence); Valentiner 795B (Lievens; Lastman influence); Benesch, 1947, under no.1; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.4, repr. (c.1627); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, no.4; Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.62; Sumowski, 1956-57, I, pp.256-57; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.1 (influence of Lastman); Bauch, 1960, p.108; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.8; Exh. Munich, 1966-67, no.10; Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, under no.26; Munich, 1973, no.1100, repr. pl.305; Broos, 1977, p.99; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.12; Exh. Leiden, 1991, p.64; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.I, p.25, n.2 (c.1627); Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.69, repr. (perhaps by Lievens; possibly copied from a painting, eg. by Lastman); Dittrich, 2003, pp.63-73, repr. fig.2 (Lievens?); Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.23, repr. (c.1627); Exh. Paris, 2006, under no.59, repr. fig.1.
PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich.
First posted 4 June 2012

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Benesch 0005
Subject: Man Pulling a Net (?) behind him
Verso: Some rubbed-off red chalk, perhaps offset from Benesch 3; see further under inscriptions.
Medium: Red chalk, probably licked here and there to produce a darker tone; some areas erased, producing an effect similar to white heightening; the paper looks as if it may have been given a light tone or dusting in red chalk; a freehand, probably later framing-line in red chalk (seemingly of a different tone to the drawing). Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower left: "5004" (former inventory number, see below); verso inscribed in graphite: "HdG 389" and "Inv. No.1739".
273 x 176; watermark: double-headed eagle in crowned shield with Basel staff below and letter G (cf. Heawood 3208-9); chain lines: 25v.
COMMENTS: By Rembrandt; compare Benesch 3-4 (qq.v.). Benesch rightly felt, like Wegner (Munich, 1973), that the link with the style of Rembrandt's teacher, Pieter Lastman, is here particularly marked, and Wegner (Exh. Munich, 1957) compared figures in Lastman's Triumph of Sesostris of 1631 (San Francisco, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum) which Rembrandt may have seen before it was completed, as the drawing seems to be earlier than this (though the connection is only generic). Hofstede de Groot thought of a St Simon of Cyrene in a Christ carrying the cross. The earliest inventories of the Munich collections describe the figure plausibly as a fisherman hauling a net.
Condition: good, though with some stains by the feet and from previous attachments to a backing.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1627?
COLLECTION: D Munich Graphische Sammlung (Inv.1739; stamped with L.620 and L.2723 and on verso L.2674; in earliest inventories as by Rembrandt, in 1802/05, no.5004, as 'Rembrandt, Ein Fischer zieht das Netz')
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Schmidt, 1884-93, no.171b; HdG 389 (represents St. Simon of Cyrene?); Lippmann, IV, 13; Bauch, 1933, p.49, repr. fig.39, p.191; Valentiner 796 (Lastman influence); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.5, repr. (c.1627; as HdG); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.256-57; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.4 (figure resembles Lastman's slave pulling a chariot in his Triumph of a Roman Emperor of 1631 [San Francisco, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, Exh.Raleigh, 1956, no.62]); Bauch, 1960, p.257, n.82 (as Exh. Munich, 1957, and Lastman's painting may already have been begun in later 1620s); Sumowski, 1961, p.3; Exh. Munich, 1966-67, no.12; Trautscholdt, 1967, p.125; Munich, 1973, no.1095, repr. pl.308; Broos, 1977, p.99; Baudiquey and Huyghe, 1984, p.35; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.12; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, pp.12-14, repr. fig.3, and p.25, n.3 (style freer than Lastman); Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.68, repr. (c.1627; study from the model, perhaps based on Lastman or another late Mannerist artist; figure may be pulling a net as suggested in early inventories).
PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich (Inv. 1802-5, no.5004).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0006
Subject: The Raising of the Cross
Verso: Two figures seated
Medium: Black chalk, on the recto heightened with white; ruled framing-lines in graphite (recto); inscribed by a later hand in pen and brown ink, lower left: "Rembrant", and with the collector's the mark of J.C. Robinson: "JCR" (L.1433); inscribed verso in graphite, top right: "28" and in pen and brown ink: "301" and "11"; in graphite, lower right: "d".
193 x 148 Watermark: none.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, as the verso is connected with the painting of 'Judas returning the thirty pieces of silver', now in an English private collection, of 1629 (Bredius 539A, Corpus A15). Two other related drawings are known, Benesch 8 and Benesch 9 recto (qqv; Benesch called the verso of Benesch 9 the recto and vice versa). Benesch 9 recto also shows a third figure with a tall hat, visible embryonically in the present drawing, which was probably made later but before Benesch 8 (qv for a fuller discussion of the drawings related to the painting).
The recto of Benesch 6 has some links to Rembrandt's somewhat later painting of the same subject, the Raising of the cross, now in Munich, of c.1633 (Bredius 548; Corpus, A69). For the design, Rembrandt may have been inspired by various sources, including a woodcut Albrecht Altdorfer (Bartsch 29; New Hollstein w.29)[1] and an etching by Jacques Callot (Lieure 547),[2] though this is less close. Rubens's celebrated altarpiece of 1611 in the Cathedral at Antwerp might have been known to Rembrandt through copies.[3] Another, school drawing, a variation of the same composition, is in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (inv.48.1110) and may reflect a later stage of the development of Rembrandt's painting.[4] Compare also Benesch 83, another variant that depends closely on the painting as completed.
The style of both the recto and verso is instructive for understanding Rembrandt at this early stage of his career. The variety of touch, often somewhat scratchy, and the eccentric, almost jerky outlines, are a feature of many drawings of the Leiden years.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1628-29?
COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv.R 89)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1899, no.208; Lippmann, III, 88; HdG 1362; Saxl, 1908, p.348; Fraenger, 1920, p.86, repr. fig.64; Benesch, 1925I, pp.26-27; van Regteren Altena, 1925, p.143, repr. fig.2; Rosenberg, 1925-26, p.77, repr. fig.3; Kauffmann, 1926, p.177, note; Weisbach, 1926, p.131; Schneider, 1926-27, p.11; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.321; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.222; Van Rijckevorsel, 1932, p.103, repr. fig.108 (influence of Rubens); Bauch, 1933, pp.38-40, 186 and 195, repr. figs 20 and 24 (c.1628); Exh. Rotterdam, 1934, no.74, repr. fig.xxiv; Koomen, 1934, p.307, repr.; Valentiner 483; Benesch, 1935, p.9 (early date); Bredius, 1935, p.24, under no.548; Exh. Rotterdam, 1938, no.311; Knipping, 1939-40, II, p.227; Benesch, 1940, p.6, repr. fig.3; Verslag Stichting Museum Boymans, 1939-41, p.7; Von Alten, 1947, no.9; Benesch, 1947, no.2, repr. (influence of Callot); Exh. Braunschweig, 1948, no.30; Benesch, I, 1954/73, I, no.6, repr.; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.11, repr. fig.4 and under no.21; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.2; Drost, 1957, p.158; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.2, repr. fig.1 (infuence of Callot); Wegner, 1957, np.152; Benesch, 1960, pp.8 and 13, no.1, repr.; Roger Marx, 1960, pp.110, 133 and 145, repr. fig.12; Haverkamp Begemann, 1961, pp.19-20; Sumowski, 1961, p.3; Gantner, 1964, p.15, n.3; Sumowski, 1964.I, pp.234-45; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.111, repr. fig.13 (influence of Callot); Bauch, 1966, p.4, and under nos 47 and 57; Brochhagen, 1967, p.61, under no.394; Bredius-Gerson, 1969, p.604, under no.539A; Rotterdam, 1969, p.19, repr. pls.1-2; Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.25, repr.; Benesch, 1970, pp.83, 84 and 136, repr. fig.101; Broos, 1970, p.100; Exh. Milan, 1970, no.2, repr.; Tümpel, 1970, under no.99 (influence of Callot and Rubens); Sass, 1971, pp.14ff., repr. p.21; Haak, 1973, p.157, n.11; Guratzsch, 1975, p.247, n.7; Broos, 1977, p.99; Corpus, I, 1982, pp.186ff., under no.A15, repr. fig.9; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.5, n.7, repr. fig.c, and under no.77, n.8; Corpus, II, 1986, under no.A69, repr. fig.5; Rotterdam, 1988, no.2, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), pp.132-33, and n.6, repr. fig.9; Royalton-Kisch, 1991I, p.272, repr. p.274, figs.8-9; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, pp.72-73 and 123, repr. figs.28 and 74 (recto exceptional in representing a complete 'story'); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.4, repr. figs.79 and 22 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Chambers Hall (L.551); J.C. Robinson (L.1433); his sale, London, Christie's, 12-14 May, 1902, no.367; Teixeira de Mattos (according to HdG); F. Güterbock, 1927 (according to Koenigs inventory), from whom purchased by F. Koenigs (L.1023a; this mark erroneously thought to be L.1023, the mark of Frederick Keppel, by Benesch); D,G, van Beuningen, by whom given to the present repository in 1940.
[1] As suggested by Benesch, 1960, p.8.
[2] Suggested by Benesch, 1947, no.2.
[3] The connection with Rubens was first noted by Saxl, 1908, p.348, and later by Van Rijckevorsel, 1932, p.103, Valentiner, no.483 and Benesch, 1960, p.8. See further Rotterdam, 1988, p.39, where it is pointed out that Rembrandt may not yet have known the Rubens composition as it was first engraved in 1638 by Hans Wittdoeck (Van de Wijngaert, 1940, no.760). There is an oil-sketch for this picture by Rubens in the Louvre (inv. MNR411).
[4] Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.19, repr. fig.4, and Sumowski, 1964.I, pp.234-35, repr. fig.2.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0007
Subject: Old Man with a Book, seated (study for St Peter)
Verso: Traces of red chalk in the centre
Medium: Red chalk with black chalk, heightened with white on rough yellowish paper (less yellow than Benesch 41); ruled framing-line in pen and brown ink; a strip added to the right side by the artist. Inscribed verso, in graphite, with the inventory no. "KdZ 5284" and upper right with the numbers "3" and "4".
296 x 211, including a c.10mm wide vertical strip added to right, apparently by Rembrandt himself (the addition is joined to the deckle edges of the original sheet, and Rembrandt appears to have run out of space, leading him to expand the paper) . Watermark: crowned coat-of-arms (comparable to Churchill 289 [arms of Neuchâtel, 1626]).
COMMENTS: By Rembrandt. Although Lastmanesque and Lievensesque in style and technique, with red and black chalks combined on yellowish paper, the sheet has documentary status because of its connection with the Melbourne painting dated 1628, thought to represent Sts Peter and Paul in discussion (Bredius 423; Corpus A13). Primarily a drapery study, only minor alterations exist between the figures in the drawing and painting: chiefly the painted figure is turned slightly more to the left so that, for example, his nose is no longer visible. His beard is also shorter and the pentimento in the right knee of the drawing is decided in favour of the lower variant. The folds in nearest parts of the drapery are simplified in the painting, although X-radiographs of the latter reveal that it originally followed the drawing somewhat more closely.[1] No other drawings related to the same painting are known.
See Benesch 56 for a drawing with the same watermark.[2]
Condition: some stains near top edge, especially two at top left.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1628?
COLLECTION: D Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ.5284; stamped with L.1612 and L.2504)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1890, p.45 (early); Michel, 1893, p.576; HdG 112 (c.1630-31); Zeichnungen alter Meister im Kupferstichkabinett der K. Museen zu Berlin, 1910, no.265; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.101 (just after 1630); Valentiner, 1921, p.xxv, under no.2, p.101 verso, repr. II. Auflage, p.xxx, pl.110; Van Dyke, 1927, p.105 (by Jan Lievens); Paris, 1929, p.59; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.221; Berlin, 1930, p.231, no.5284, repr. pl.164 (c.1628); Lugt, 1931, p.59; Bauch, 1933, pp.78-81, 108-109 and 195-96, repr. fig.73 (c.1629; study for the painting then known only through a print by Pietro Monaco [1707-72]); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Wichmann, 1939, no.6; Benesch, 1947, no.3, repr. (1628); Van Gelder, 1953, p.15 (c.1628); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.7, repr. (relates to Melbourne painting of 1628 - see further above); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.27 (c.1628); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.7; Rosenberg, 1956, p.127; Scheidig, 1962, p.34; Benesch, 1960/63, p.7, no.2, repr. (c.1628); Bauch, 1966, under no.5; Gerson, 1968, pp.26 and 178; Hamann, 1969, p.446; Sciolla, 1976, no.1; Tümpel, 1977, pp.26 and 28 (c.1628); Corpus, I, 1982, under no.A13; Tümpel, 1986, pp.32-34; Malibu, 1988, under no.113; Exh. Melbourne, 1988, pp.21-24; Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-89, pp.5, 11 and 16, repr. pl.III; ; Royalton-Kisch, 1989, pp.130-31, repr. fig.4; Schatborn, 1989, p.119; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.III, pp.410-12, repr. fig.3; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.64; Schatborn, 1993, pp.159-60; Melbourne, 1995, p.231; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, no.73 and under no.3 (c.1628); Starcky, 1999, pp.22-23 (c.1627-28); Van Straten, 2002, p.277; Exh. Berlin, 2002-3, no.75 (1627-28); Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.44 (1628); Van Straten, 2006, pp.72-73 (1628); Berlin, 2006, no.1, repr. (c.1627-28); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.1.1, repr. (c.1627-28); Schatborn, 2011, p.302, repr. fig. 17; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.2, repr. fig.17 (documentary drawing); Rubinstein, 2011, p.357, repr. figs.6 and 11 (detail).
PROVENANCE: Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.
[1] This undermines the theory proposed by Schatborn, 1993, that the drawing might have been made after work on the painting had begun.
[2] As reported in Berlin, 2006, p.26, n.3.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0008
Subject: Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver
Verso: Kneeling Man and Standing Figure (Judas and the High Priest)
Medium: Pen and brown ink with black chalk and grey wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown-black ink on all sides. Verso: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite, lower left: '36'.
112 x 146. Watermark: none; chain lines 22v. Mat: modern only.
COMMENTS: A documentary sheet because of its connection with the painting of Judas returning the 30 pieces of silver, of 1629 (private collection; Bredius 539A; Corpus A15). The drawing is unusual as it is one of the very few complete composition studies from Rembrandt's Leiden period that has come down to us (the others being Benesch 6 recto and, at a stretch, Benesch 21 and 57a). Benesch 6 verso and 9 verso are also related to details of the same painting, but appear to have been made earlier than Benesch 8: X-radiographs of the painting suggest that Rembrandt initially planned to include the high priest towards the left of the composition, closer to the arrangement in Benesch 6 verso and 9 verso, whereas here he is moved to the more central position that he occupies in the final picture. In Benesch 9 verso the figure was covered in white bodycolour but has become visible again with time.
Because of the position of the high priest, Benesch 8 was possibly drawn after the painting was begun (as argued by Corpus), between the two 'states' of the painting, the first revealed by X-radiographs, the second by the final surface. The drawing, like the first version of the painting, includes a prominent standing figure seen from behind and a central pool of light, whereas in the second version, the figure is omitted and the source of the brightest light is moved to near to the left edge of the painting, from the open Bible. This allowed Rembrandt to show the light ebbing away all across the canvas in an extraordinary compositional tour-de-force which is not anticipated here - the main light source appears to emanate from the other side of the above-mentioned standing figure. The latter also resembles the one to the left of centre in the painting of the Tribute Money in Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada (Bredius 536; Corpus C7), for which see under Benesch 10, a drawing that seems to rework the same idea, though in reverse. The genesis of these two contemporary paintings may have been intertwined.
The seated figure seen in profile towards the left was sketchily rehearsed in Benesch 6 verso, but his companion to the right is here obliterated or changed into the standing figure. Benesch 9 verso again shows the two seated figures and therefore seems also to have been sketched before the present sheet, and probably also before Benesch 6 verso.[1]
However, the evolution of Rembrandt's picture was complicated and cannot be readily reconstructed in detail; the sketchy style of the present drawing differs from those studies that Rembrandt clearly made after he had started work on other projects - drawings in which he was, effectively, making copies after his own prototypes while trying out possible improvements (see, for example, Benesch 292, 423 and 442). The combination of the loosely handled chalk with the pen and brush gives the overall impression of an initial design rather than a developmental sketch. Given its roughed-out qualities, Benesch 8 could have been made at the outset of his work on the design, like most preparatory drawings in the history of art.
The slight sketch on the verso, only revealed soon before the 2011 auction of the drawing, presumably relates to the same design, although the figures are juxtaposed in a way that reminds one of the subject of Christ giving the keys to St Peter. The 'Judas' figure is comparable, but the standing figure by him, perhaps the high priest, seems to stretch out his arms in blessing.[2] The drawing was abandoned by Rembrandt immediately after the first outlines were sketched in, giving us a rare glimpse of his habit of setting down the thinnest of outlines as an initial armature, which he then usually elaborated with the heavier strokes of a more highly-charged pen.
A copy after the recto, with minor differences including a 'clarification' of the figure of Judas, is in Munich.[3]
Condition: Good, though lightly foxed, and where there is wash over the light ink to the right, the ink appears drained.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1628-29
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Meder, 1922, p.11, repr. pl.39; Bauch, 1933, p.194, repr. fig.62; Valentiner 461 (wrongly listed as HdG 1421); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1947, no.6, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.8, repr. (c.1629); Sumowski, 1956-57, under no.8 (pupil's work); Sumowski, 1961, p.3, under no.8 (Rembrandt); Corpus, I, 1982, under no.A15, repr. fig.7; Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.14; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.5, repr. fig.5d; Rotterdam, 1988, pp.38-39, under no.2, repr. fig.e; Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), pp.131-32, repr. fig.7; Exh. London, 1992, under no.26, n.6; van de Wetering, 1997, pp.75-6, repr. fig.104; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, under no.33, repr. fig.33a; Exh. Amsterdam-Berlin, 2006, p.83, repr. fig.85; Royalton-Kisch, 2010 (online), under no.23, n.5; Corpus, V, 2011, p.159, repr. fig.31 (made to prepare second state of the painting); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.9 (recto), repr. (c.1628-29); Exh. Tokyo-Nagoya, 2011, pp.292 and 307, n.19 (the drawing not necessarily made after work on the painting begun); Schatborn, 2011, p.302, repr. fig.20; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.6, repr, figs. 20 and 81 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Sir John St. Aubyn, 5th Bart. (L.1534); possibly Archduke Karl of Saxony; Archduke Albrecht of Saxony;
Albertina, Vienna, from which acquired in 1918 by Archduke Friedrich Habsburg-Lothringen; E.J. Goeritz, London; by descent until sale, New York, Sotheby's, 26 January 2011, lot 602 (recto and verso repr.).
[1] As argued by Schatborn in Amsterdam, 1985.
[2] Compare also the figures of St Peter and the lame man in the etching of around the same year as the painting, 1629 (Bartsch 95).
[3] Inv. 1651; Munich, 1973, no.1179, repr. pl.326; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.47, repr. in colour.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0009
Recto: Study of the Draped Legs of a Seated Woman
Verso: Three priests or doctors at a table below a curtain
Medium: Recto: red chalk, sometimes made wet, heightened with white; verso: pen and brown ink with brown wash and some white bodycolour. Inscribed recto in blue crayon, lower right: '1300' and lower left, in black chalk: '9' (both now removed but visible in Benesch's illustration).
227 x 176. Chain lines 27-30v. No watermark. Mat: modern only, but two small pieces of paper remain from an old backing.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, as the verso is connected with the painting of 'Judas returning the thirty pieces of silver', now in an English private collection, of 1629 (Bredius 539A, Corpus A15). For a further discussion of its place in the genesis of the painting, see Benesch 8.
The extraordinarily thin pen lines found, for example, in the curtain, are characteristic of Rembrandt's Leiden-period drawings (see for example, Benesch 10 and the drawings there compared with it).
The recto, in red chalk, is usually dated to the same period (and related to) Rembrandt's painting of Samson and Delilah (Bredius 489, Corpus A24). While this may be the case, the relationship is not close and from the style it is tempting to date the study of legs somewhat later, as the handling is comparable to some drawings that Rembrandt made in this medium as late as c.1635-37 (e.g. Benesch 17, 137 and 142A - the shading and configuration of feet and toes are especially close to Benesch 137). In addition, the relationship between the recto and the Samson and Delilah is also arguably less close than with the central figure in the Rape of Europa of 1632 (now Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, Bredius 464, Corpus A47). So a tentative redating of the recto (Benesch's verso) to c.1635 is suggested here.
Unlike Benesch, writers now generally refer to the Study of legs as the recto.
Condition: some dirt and on the recto some stains from an older mount
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: verso: 1628-29; recto 1635??
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv.RP-T-1930-54; the stamp L.2228 has been removed from the recto).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. The Hague, 1902, no.75; Exh. Leiden, 1906, no.80 (recto);HdG 1300; Exh. Amsterdam, 1913, no.65 (recto); Exh. Leiden, 1916, no.4 (recto; c.1633); Hirschmann, 1917, p.8 (c.1630); Seidlitz, 1917, p.253 (c.1633); Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.47 (recto; c.1647); Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.221 (verso; c.1627); Bauch, 1933, pp.70-71 and 195, repr. figs.59-60 (1629; relates to Judas painting); Valentiner 460 (c.1629; relates to Judas painting); Benesch, 1935, p.9 (1628); Amsterdam, 1942, nos.5-6, repr. pl.4 (c.1629); Poortenaar, 1943, pp.19 and 47, no.91, repr. (c.1630); Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, no.53 (verso; c.1629); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.9, repr. and under no.57a (c.1629); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.12 (recto, c.1629); Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.4 (verso; c.1629); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257 (1629); Gantner, 1964, p.15, n.3; Bauch, 1966, p.4, under no.47 (1629); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.1 (1629); Bauch, 1967, p.166; Bredius/Gerson, under no.539A (1629); Hamann, 1969, p.428 (1629); Haak, 1973, pp.156-57; Exh. London, 1976, under no.58 (1629); Corpus, I, 1982, p.22, verso repr. fig.12 and under no.A15, verso repr. fig.8 (1628-29) and recto under no.A14 (1629-30); Schatborn, 1983, p.453, repr. figs 5 and 7 (1628-29); Amsterdam, 1985, no.5, repr. (1628-29); Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), p.131, verso repr. fig.8; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.106, recto repr. fig.58 and p.123, verso repr. fig.73; Exh. London, 1992, under nos. 2-4 and 15 n.11, repr. p.220, pl.1; Schatborn, 1993, p.160 (recto drawn from life; composition based on Ph. Galle print [New Hollstein no.16]); Exh. Amsterdam, 2002, no.34 (c.1629; verso made after work on the Judas painting had begun); Sluijter, 2006, p.319, recto repr. fig.303; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.5, repr. figs.80 and 21 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Remy van Haanen (d.1894), Vienna; H. Lang Larisch (1900), Munich; C. Hofstede de Groot, by whom presented to the present repository, with a life interest (d.1930).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0010
Subject: Oriental Leaning on a Stick, turned to left
Medium: Pen and dark, olive-brown ink; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Verso inscribed with various graphite annotations: 'Inv.111/185'; 'KdZ 3100'; '21', '6', '20'.
151 x 83. Watermark: fragment of the Arms of Württemberg.
COMMENTS: Probably by Rembrandt, although the stylistic connection with any documentary sheets is weak. If by him, then the much doubted painting of the Tribute Money in Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada (Bredius 536; Corpus C7), signed and dated 1629, in which a comparable figure appears, in reverse, is probably also by him, as I believe (though, it must be said, highly controversially).[1] Again in reverse, the figure also resembles the one to the left of centre in Benesch 8 (qv).
The style of the drawing relates it to a distinct group of pen sketches, often of vagrants, that exhibit the influence of Jacques Callot, also in iconography (see, for example, Benesch 14, 22, 23a and 24-28). The same applies to certain etchings that Rembrandt made in the Leiden period, from around 1628-31. For instance, the hatching in the shadows on the ground here resembles that in the etched Standing beggar of c.1628-30 (Bartsch 162).[2]
The variety of touch here, from the heavier outlines in shadow to the left, to the hair's-breadth delicacy of the delineation of the figure's back (cf. the lines in the curtain in Benesch 9 verso), reveal an exceptional skill and care in the rendering of light, a hallmark of Rembrandt. Thus despite their somewhat distinct qualities, the traditional attribution of the drawings in the group to Rembrandt himself remains highly plausible.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1628-29?
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ. 3100, formerly 111-1885; stamped with L.1610).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte aus den königlichen Kunstsammlungen, 1886, col.VI (report of acquisition by the present repository); Michel, 1893, p.574; Lippmann, II, 57b; HdG 105; Saxl, 1908, p.339 (c.1633); Berlin, 1914, no.94; (early 1630s); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, II, 1921, no.94, repr.; Weisbach, 1926, p.610, n.6 (related to painting, the Tribute Money, 1629 [now Ottawa, see above]); Berlin, 1930, p.231, no.3100, repr. pl.164 (c.1630); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.222 (c.1630); Van Dyke, 1927, p.130 (unknown pupil, 'Group E'); Bauch, 1933, pp.76-77 and 191, repr. fig.64 (c.1629; study for the Tribute Money); Benesch, 1935, p.10 (shortly before 1630); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.29 (c.1630); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.10, repr. (c.1629); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.258 (c.1629); Benesch, 1964, p.107 (c.1628-29); Hamann, 1969, p.447; Benesch, 1970, p.248; Corpus, I, 1982, p.495, repr. fig.6 (used by a pupil for Tribute Money painting); Sumowski, under no.2507 (as Corpus, 1982); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.2; Exh. London, 1992, under no.2, n.1; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, pp.236-37, under no.34/1 (c.1631; related to pupil's Tribute Money painting); Van Straten, 2006, pp.134-35 (1629); Berlin, 2006, no.3, repr. (c.1629).
PROVENANCE: Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy, Vienna (L.1966); Pulszky and von Rath collections (according to Berlin Inventory); A.E. Posonyi, Vienna (L.2040); Julius Guttentag, by whom presented to the present repository in 1885.
[1] See Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.341, where, more-or-less following Corpus C7, it is suggested that the painting is by a pupil and was completed only in c.1631. The main obsacle to accepting the picture as from 1629, as the signature and date ascertain, is the dendrochronological examination of the panel, which has produced a felling date of '1630 at the earliest'. But such scientific analyses have sometimes been demonstrated to be faulty in the past. I am grateful to Dr Christopher Etheridge, Associate Curator at the National Gallery of Canada for providing the photograph (December 2016), taken after the painting was cleaned at the Gallery by Stephen Gritt. Together they are planning to write about the painting, concerning which, as Dr Etheridge kindly informs me, the attribution to Rembrandt has never been doubted at the Gallery. The dendrochronological evidence is apparently less of an obstacle than was once thought.
[2] See Berlin, 2006.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0011
Subject: The Supper at Emmaus
Medium: Pen and brown ink, over traces of black chalk; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. The paper seems a brighter, chalkier white than the verso and may have been prepared. No inscriptions. Mat: modern only.
100 x 109. Watermark near top of the sheet: countermark with the letters 'IB' or 'IT'; chain lines 23h.
COMMENTS: The apostle on the right (especially the nearer leg) suggests a copy and the traces of a black chalk underdrawing widely present (not noticed by Benesch) confirm the assessment. The style, especially in the Christ, resembles works by Flinck (not least the halo - cf. Benesch 70 in particular), but as a copy it is hard to know whether it might be by Flinck himself, or a copy or variation, perhaps by or after Flinck. At all events unlikely to be by Rembrandt himself, Bode (1906), who owned the drawing, saw a connection with Rembrandt's painting of the subject in the Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris of c.1628-29 (Bredius 539, Corpus A16) and the design was indeed probably inspired by the picture.
Condition: somewhat uneven at the edges; some minor stains near top left corner.
Summary attribution: Anonymous (by or after Govert Flinck?)
Date: 1636?
COLLECTION: USA Cambridge Fogg Art Museum (inv.1968.18).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode, 1906, p.98 (first idea, in reverse, for painting in Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris [Bredius 539, Corpus A16]); HdG 189; Stechow, 1934, pp.334-35, repr. fig.2; Valentiner 525; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Van Regteren Altena, 1948-49, p.7, repr. fig.3; Rotermund, 1952, p.103, repr. pl.19d; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.11, repr. (c.1629); Sumowski, 1957-58, p.263, repr. fig.54; Bauch, 1960, p.284; Sumowski, 1961, p.3; Rotermund, 1963, p.266, repr. fig.243; Gantner, 1964, pp.102 and 109; Exh. Cambridge (MA), 1968; Gerson, 1968, p.28; Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, no.99, repr.; Slive, 1978, pp.454 and 457, repr. fig.8; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.87, n.3 and under no.89, n.4 (copy or imitation); Sutton, 1986, p.42; Fendrich, 1990, pp.30-31; Exh. Paris-Philadelphia-Detroit, 2011-12, no.7, repr. fig.1.4 (school copy after Rembrandt, c.1630-33).
PROVENANCE: Wilhelm von Bode (1845-1929); Lucien Goldschmidt, New Yok; purchased by the present repository, 1968.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0012
Subject: Standing Man with Arms Extended
Medium: Black chalk (resembling charcoal); ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink. No inscriptions visible. Mat: modern mount only.
257 x 193. Watermark: a circle (55mm in diameter) probably with a ?bird (similar to Benesch 22, and 30-32; Benesch 45, 46 and 196 appear to be on the same type of paper).[1] chain lines vertical, distance apart uncertain; approx. 11-12 laid lines per cm. The paper is pale cream, slightly discoloured and fairly smooth. The laid lines are clearly visible. The paper has some impurities but the surface texture is consistent, with few lumps.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing by virtue of its connection with Rembrandt's etching of Sts Peter and John healing the lame man of c.1629 (Bartsch 95). Three comparable black chalk studies of single figures in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 30-32) have similar, Italian watermarks (and Benesch 45-46 and 196 appear to be on the same type of paper) and it seems likely that they were made from life at the same period, focusing on the concentration of light and shadow rather than other details, such as the drapery - the contrast with Benesch 7, for example, is clear in this respect. Perhaps the drawing was not made specifically for the print but was later employed for it. The figure in his etched form may have been referred to for the bearded man behind Christ in Rembrandt's painting of the Raising of Lazarus of c.1630-31, now in Los Angeles (Bredius 538, Corpus A30).
Condition: Generally good but discoloured, especially in the upper left section.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1629?
COLLECTION: D Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv.C 1971-26; stamped L.1647)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Heucher, 1738, p.116 (Bureau xv); Dresden (Woermann), 1886-98, vol.viii, p.89, no.287, repr. pl.I; Lippmann, II, 50; Graul, 1906, no.4; HdG 233; Hind, 1912/23, under no.5, repr. pl.1 (connected with etching, Bartsch 95); Neumann, 1918, no.3; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, p.14, no.39; Bauch, 1933, p.192, repr. fig.41; Valentiner 530; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1947, no.11, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.12 (c.1629; compares especially Benesch 31-34); Benesch, 1960, no.3, repr.; Scheidig, 1962,, p.34 and 73, no.4, repr. pl.4; Haak, 1974, no.3; Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.2-4, n.5; Schatborn, 1993, p.161 (probably drawn from life; the low viewpoint influenced the appearance of the related etching); Exh. Dresden-Vienna, 1997-98, pp.176ff., no.80, repr.; White, 1999, p.23, repr. fig.5; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, p.91, under no.5, repr. fig.b; Rosand, 2002, p.234, repr. fig.221 (rapidly drawn, not a drapery study); Exh. Dresden 2004, no.97, repr.; Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.44, repr. pl.9 and p.106, n.2; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.60 (c.1628-29); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.7, repr. fig.82 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Gottfried Wagner (d.1725), Leipzig; acquired by the present repository in 1728.
[1] As noted in Amsterdam, 1985, p.10. See also under Benesch 30 below.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0013
Subject: The Baptism of the Eunuch by St Philip (Acts VIII, xxvi-xxxviii)
Verso: Blackened with chalk (but the recto not indented for transfer)
Medium: Black chalk, recto also touched with white (the black chalk has taken unevenly, quite apart from the artist's variations of pressure). Ruled framing-lines in black chalk and (top and below only) in pen and black ink. Inscribed, recto, with the former inventory number in pen and brown ink: '4946'; inscribed verso in violet ink with the present inventory number: 'Inv. No 1453' and in graphite: '206'; inscribed in graphite in German on a strip of paper attached to the bottom of the verso: 'Skizze für die Taufe des Eunuchen gestochen von Vliet 1631'.
192 x 212. No watermark. Chain lines 24h. Mat: modern only.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, because of its connection with the etching of the subject by Rembrandt of 1641 (Bartsch 98). This is closer than the composition etched after Rembrandt by Van Vliet in 1631 on the basis of a design of c.1629 (Bartsch/Hollstein 12), mentioned by Benesch and others.[1] The blackening of the back of the sheet, usually undertaken to help transfer the design, reveals that, rather than being derived from Rembrandt, the drawing played a part in his working process. However, perhaps because the details remained in such a cursory state, the outlines were apparently not indented for transfer, whether to the copper plate for the etching or to another surface, such as a sheet of paper (the latter practice has not yet been documented in Rembrandt's work). One might speculate that it was after the completion of this drawing that Rembrandt decided to move the horseman to one side of the composition to improve the balance of the design.
The drawing is extraordinarily free and vigorous, matching the more liquid handling Rembrandt also employed in his pen drawings during the 1640s rather than the chalk drawings of the Leiden years (cf., for example, Benesch 3-7, 15, 17-21, 30-34 and 43-45). On the basis of its style we also have to accept as by Rembrandt the drawing in Munich of Isaac blessing Jacob (Inv.1424; Sumowski 1753xx as Lievens).[2] This is illustrated in the 'Not in Benesch' section. Also illustrated there is a 1641 signed and dated drawing of the subject, which may represent a first idea for the same composition. Indeed, it seems that the abraded lines above the wheeled carriage to the right in Benesch may have represented the elephant and rider shown there.
The subject became popular in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century and was treated by Rembrandt's teacher, Pieter Lastman, four times, as well as by Jacob Pijnas and others before Rembrandt first tackled it in his painting of 1626 (See note 1), and again in the lost version of around c.1629 mentioned above, in the present drawing and in the related etching. It has been suggested that the subject's popularity resulted from the Protestant recognition of only two of the traditional Roman Catholic Seven Sacraments, Baptism and Communion.[3]
Condition: Somewhat rubbed; the whites partly oxidised; paper cockled; minor nicks and repairs; old creases.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1641?
COLLECTION: D Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung (Inv.1453; stamped with L.2673 and L.2723).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Saxl, 1908, p.536; Benesch, 1925, pp.26-27, repr.; Kauffmann, 1926, p.244; Valentiner, 1934, p.404; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1947, no.13, repr.; Valentiner, 1951, p.347, n.7 (an 18th-century imitation); Van Gelder, 1953, p.17; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.13, repr. (c.1629, for lost painting etched in 1631); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, no.13; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.40; Munich, 1973, no,1110, repr, pl.305; Guratzsch, 1975, p.250; Giltaij, 1977, pp.5-6, repr.; Schatborn, 1978, p.134; Sumowski, under nos.534* and no. 1753**, repr. (Lievens); Schatborn, 1986, p.14, repr. fig.1; Giltaij, 1989, p.112, repr. fig.8; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.49 (c.1635); O. Bonebakker, 'Rembrandt's drawing of the Baptism of the Eunuch in Munich', in Vignau-Wilberg (ed), 2003, pp.29-43; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.50, repr. fig.124 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich.
[1] For the painting and print, see Corpus, I, pp.37-8. For an earlier version of the subject of 1626, see Corpus A5, which reveals the influence of Lastman and Pijnas.
[2] As Rembrandt in Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.54, repr. (as c.1640). See also Schatborn, 1978, p.134. A catalogue entry on the drawing will eventually appear here.
[3] Defoer, 1977, pp.21-24.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0014
Subject: Man in a High Cap (walking to left)
Verso: Laid down
Medium: Pen and greyish-brown ink with grey wash. Remnants of a ruled framing-line in pen and brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink, upper right: '29'.
106 x 54 (top corners rounded).
COMMENTS: The analogies required to substantiate the attribution of the present drawing are chiefly with Rembrandt's etchings of vagrants and with the figure of Joseph in two early etchings of the Flight into Egypt (Bartsch 52 and 54). The odd configuration of the trousers, which contain some idiosyncratic motor movements of the hand, is quite typical - cf. Benesch 36, for example. Yet that comparison is unflattering to the present sheet, in which the penmanship is unusually liquid for a drawing of the Leiden period; and despite the delicacy of many details, there are some other concerns: for example, where exactly is the nearer arm? The balance of the wash and outlines is also unsatisfactory, with a stronger forward outline to the advancing leg which is lit than to the shadowed back of the receding one - the reverse of Rembrandt's usual custom. Overall, there is a slightly decorative quality, a lack of Rembrandt's habitual sense of structure and authority, which is troubling. Extremely tall, soft hats like this in Rembrandt tend to kink, or be less wide at the top.
On balance, however, this liquidly handled drawing seems to be by Rembrandt. The more delicate lines and the forthright characterisation are among its more persuasive characteristics, even if the style is difficult to relate to Rembrandt's documentary drawings in pen and ink of the Leiden period, such as Benesch 0008 or Benesch 0009 verso.
The inspiration, as has often been said of Rembrandt's early depictions of vagrants, is derived from etchings by Jacques Callot.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629?
COLLECTION: F Paris Louvre (inv. RF 4668; stamped with L.1886).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.588; Paris, 1933, no.1159, repr. pl.XLII; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.14, repr. (c.1629-30); Bauch, 1960, pp.164-65; White, 1969, pp.26-7, repr. pl.6; Sciolla, 1976, under no.1; Schatborn, 1985, p.13; Starcky, 1985, p.256, repr. fig.4 (c.1629-30); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.2, repr. (c.1627-29); White, 1999, p.22, repr, fig.21; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.42, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.2, repr. (text by H. Grollemund; dates c.1627-29).
PROVENANCE: Léon Bonnat (L.1714), by whom acquired between 1885 and 1893 and presented to the present repository in 1919.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0015
Subject: St Paul
Verso: Laid down
Medium: Red chalk with brush and grey wash, heightened with white; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink (not the same medium as the drawing); outlines indented for transfer to the copper plate; some graphite [?] scribbles in the grey area which are probably, but not certainly autograph. Inscribed lower right in pen and brown ink (number of Crozat inventory written by P.-J. Mariette): "276"; further insignificant graphite inscriptions and numbers on the mat.
236 x 202. No watermark visible; chain lines vertical, distance apart uncertain. Paper is smooth pale cream with some lumps. Laid down on an old mat with a pale green stripe and lines in pen and black and brown ink and in gold.
COMMENTS: A documentary sheet through its connection with Rembrandt's etching of St Paul, Bartsch 149, for which the outlines are partly indented to transfer the design to the copper plate. In the print, which is in reverse, the saint's emblem, the sword, is omitted while the pen he holds (in what becomes his right hand) is clarified, as are also the books by his elbow and other details. In the drawing, the sense of light entering from the left and reflected from the surface of the open volume is almost palpable. However, as Benesch pointed out, the drawing was less obviously done from life, unlike Rembrandt's many other red chalk drawings of elderly figures made during the Leiden period (such as Benesch 20 and 37-42). Compare also Benesch 90 for the same combination of red chalk and grey wash, in a not dissimilar style.
Condition: Generally good. Some staining upper left; a spot of glue (?) by the spine of the book; a vertical fold to the right; some abrasions in the grey wash, especially below the saint's nearer hand (and perhaps partly intentional, to add illumination in this area).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1628?
COLLECTION: F Paris Louvre (inv.22985; Lugt 1145; stamped with L.1886 and on verso with numéro d'ordre stamp, not in Lugt)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, repr. opp. p.40; Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; Dessins du Musée du Louvre, Alinari, 7e série, École Hollandaise, pl.329; Lippmann, I, no.158; HdG 613 (identifies as a study for the etching, c.1629); Bruel, 1908, p.462; Saxl, 1908, pp.237-38; Kleinmann, V, no.30; Weisbach, 1926, repr. fig.13; Van Dyke, 1927, p.106 (Lievens); Valentiner 550; Fierens, 1929, repr. pl.1; Van Rijckevorsel, 1932, pp.73-74; Bauch, 1933, pp.101-2 and 197-98, repr. fig.89; Paris, 1933, no.1145 (c.1627; related to painting of St Paul in Stuttgart, Bredius 601, Corpus A11); Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Paris, 1937, no.102; Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.65, repr. pl.43; Graul, 1941, p.46, repr. pl.74; Benesch, 1947, no.12, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.15 (c.1629; related to etching, Bartsch 149; a summary preparation rather than a study from life); Sumowski, 1957-58, p.237; Bauch, 1960, p.259; Benesch, 1964, p.108; Gerson, 1968, p.188, repr.; White and Boon, 1969, p.75; Exh. Paris, 1970, no.135; Haak, 1975, p.30, repr. fig.5; Sciolla, 1976, under no.1; Broos, 1977, p.100; Giltaij, 1977, pp.6 and 9, n.17; Corpus, I, 1982, pp.167, 270 and 271; Starcky, 1985, p.256; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.6; Schatborn, 1986, pp.4-5; Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.454; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.3, repr.; Exh. New York-Chicago, 1989, under no.67; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.71, repr. fig.27; Exh. London, 1992, under nos.5 and 15; Starcky, 1993, p.212 and p.221, n.35; Gutbrod, 1996, pp.220-234; Haarlem, 1997, under no.321; White, 1999, p.7; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, p.67, repr. fig.5; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.85 and under no.32; Schatborn, 2006, pp.8, 10 and 13 and no.2, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.3, repr.; Schatborn, 2011, p.313, repr. fig.43; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.3, repr. fig.43 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Probably Pierre Crozat, with his number lower right, '276'; probably his sale, Paris, 10 April-13 May, 1741, part of lot 875 (?); Nourri sale, Paris, 24 February 1785, part of lot 769 or 775, where acquired by Charles-Paul-Jean-Baptiste Bourgevin de Vialart, comte de Saint-Morys; seized by the Revolutionary government 1793; entered the Louvre, 1796-1797.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0016
Subject: Bust of an Old Man
Medium: Red chalk
168 x 135.
COMMENTS: A typical work by Lievens and catalogued as such by Sumowski (1643*). It may have been made at the same period as the Rembrandt drawings that Benesch referred to for comparison, Benesch 37-39 (in no.38 the model also looks similar). The stringy lines, which combine to give an impression of a figure made of straw, while characteristic of Lievens (cf. the drawing in the British Museum, 1836,0811.341),[1] are wholly distinct from the style of Rembrandt, whose grasp of form is considerably firmer (eg. Benesch 42, which most commentators now assign to Lievens, wrongly in my view, as well as the drawings already mentioned). Only in Benesch 39 does Rembrandt toy with a comparable manner in the beard and nearer shoulder, but even there the underlying structure is more secure.
Summary attribution: Jan Lievens
Date: c.1630?
COLLECTION: D Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Freund, 1917 etc., repr. pl.212 (Rembrandt, Van Vliet or Lievens); Bauch 1933, p.228 (J. des Rousseaux); Benesch, 1935, p.10 (Rembrandt, c.1630); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.16, repr. (c.1630); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.66 (probably Lievens); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.259, repr. fig.25 (S. Koninck); Bauch, 1960, p.265, n.184, and p.284 (Lievens); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20 (Rembrandt; retouched by a later hand in darker chalk); Sumowski, 1972, p.483, n.4 (Lievens); Ekkart, 1973, p.384, SZ.413 (Lievens attribution uncertain); Sumowski 1643* (Lievens).
[1] Sumowski 1589; London, 2010 (online), no.2, repr..
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0017
Subject: The Entombment of Christ (over the Raising of Lazarus)
Verso: Laid down on paper; see Inscriptions.
Medium: Red chalk, corrected with white. Inscribed by the artist, lower right centre, in the same red chalk used for the drawing: ‘1630’. The verso inscribed in pen and dark (brown?) ink: ‘Rembrand’ (visible through backing paper only; eighteenth century?); inscribed on the backing paper, in graphite (probably 19th century): ‘9' [in a circle].
282 x 204. Chain lines: 22/24v. Watermark: the backing has a watermark with the arms of Amsterdam; there may be a watermark on the original sheet, but it is indecipherable through the backing.
COMMENTS: Clearly by Rembrandt, the only surprise being that the date on the drawing, 1630, must refer to the date of Lievens' composition of the "Raising of Lazarus" (see below). In style the drawing is characteristic of Rembrandt in c.1635 and its authenticity has rarely been doubted, but its genesis is somewhat complex: it began as a rough sketch of the 'Raising of Lazarus', with Lazarus seen at the lower right in two or more positions, raising his head, and with Christ standing above the tomb and a crowd of spectators to the left. It was subsequently reworked as an 'Entombment of Christ',[1] in which the body of Christ is lowered towards the tomb; some of the earlier figures, including the standing Christ, were adjusted, erased or cancelled out in red chalk or else covered with white bodycolour, which has since become more transparent.
It has generally been thought that Rembrandt based the underlying composition of the 'Raising of Lazarus' on an etching by Jan Lievens (Hollstein 7).[2] There are numerous differences between them: Rembrandt did not silhouette the woman holding the winding-sheet as in the print; the figures behind her are rearranged; between her and the central figures there is a head, partly obscured by the white bodycolour, that does not appear in the print; the interior rather than the roof of the arch is shaded; and there are many other alterations. The etching reproduces, in reverse, Lievens' painting of this subject now in Brighton, which is dated 1631 and which Rembrandt may have owned.[3] Some of these differences reveal that Rembrandt in fact based himself on another print after the painting made by Jacob Louijs, which was published by Pieter Soutman, probably in Haarlem, where they were both active from 1628 (Hollstein 1). This engraving, which is most unlikely to have been made before the completion in 1631 of the painting by Lievens it reproduces, exhibits the 'reversed' shading in the vault. It also includes a section of rock on the left that juts out into the space occupied by the arch, a motif seen in the drawing, but not in Lievens' etching; and the same applies to other features: for example, the diagonal shading on the wall above Lazarus's head follows Louijs' print, and the reserve of white across the lower edge reflects the space occupied by the inscription in Louijs' engraving. Yet the placing of Rembrandt's date follows that of Lievens' signature, suggesting that he probably had Lievens' print, as well as Louijs' engraving, before him as he worked.[4] The details of the 'Lazarus' composition in the drawing are difficult to decipher without knowledge of the prints; equally it is hard to see how Lievens could have created his figures, whether in paint or on copper, on the basis of Rembrandt's cursory indications in the drawing, including the wall of shaded rock that descends in a curve to Christ's feet, as has also sometimes been suggested.
Neither Lievens' etching nor Louijs' engraving are likely to have been made before the completion of the painting, yet the drawing is in the same direction as the prints and in reverse to the painting. This would probably not have been the case had the drawing predated the prints. In sum, the drawing seems clearly to have been primarily based on Louijs' print, a discovery that wholly undermines the traditional view that Rembrandt's drawing, ostensibly dated 1630, inspired Lievens' painting of 1631.[5] To bolster this theory, it has recently come to light that Louijs’ print was already published in its first state by Pieter Soutman with his privilege, a privilege that he was first granted in 1636.[6] Thus the drawing may have been made in that year and is very unlikely to have been made much earlier.
Rembrandt's subsequent reworking of the sheet into an 'Entombment of Christ', although in a more searching style, was probably not executed substantially later, as has sometimes been thought. The handling differs only marginally and the colour of the chalk remains the same. The discovery that Louijs' print was Rembrandt's starting-point also negates the traditional notion that the drawing served as a preparatory study for Rembrandt's painting of the 'Raising of Lazarus' of c.1630-31 (Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, Bredius 538, Corpus A30). The theory is further weakened by the major differences between the two works, which are based on different parts of the text of St John.[7] Rembrandt returned to the Lazarus subject in an etching of c.1632 (Bartsch 73, Hind 96; see cat. no.6a; 1848,0911.35) which again has only a few isolated elements of the drawing's design in common, as does his much later etching of 1642 (Bartsch 72, Hind 198).[8]
With these traditional connections with works of around 1630-32 severed, it becomes possible to redate the drawing on purely stylistic grounds. Because of the connection with Louijs' print it cannot be from 1630, despite Rembrandt's annotation. The inscription seems to be autograph, but must refer not to the time of the drawing's execution but to the period of the composition's invention by Lievens for his painting completed in 1631.[9] Stylistically the drawing has much in common with Rembrandt's red chalk studies of around 1635, in particular with the British Museum's sketch based on Leonardo's 'Last Supper' (Benesch 444; inv.1900,0611.7). The latter, which is drawn in chalk of the same hue, includes a few heads that are described in a similar geometrical shorthand. In addition, the group of figures at the upper left of the 'Lazarus', with a man leaning on a parapet, seems to reflect Rembrandt's study of Leonardo's composition.[10] Stylistic analogies are also present in the chalk sections of a drawing in the Rijksmuseum of c.1635-6 (Benesch 152), which is related to Rembrandt's painting of the 'Entombment', now in Munich (Bredius 560, Corpus A126).[11] Such comparisons are closer than with Rembrandt's compositional drawings in chalk of the Leiden period, in which the figures and style are significantly different.[12] In this context it is worth remarking that Benesch believed that the drawing showed Rembrandt breaking free of the influence of Lastman, Pijnas and Callot.
In 2009 the compiler was able to study in a private collection another related painting of the 'Raising of Lazarus', largely in the style of Lievens. Perhaps based on Louijs's print, the picture however incorporates the group of figures on the right from Rembrandt's etching (Bartsch 73, Hind 96). Scientific investigation by X-radiography and infra-red reflectography reveals various pentimenti in the canvas, including changes that are similar to some of those in the present drawing: the variant positions for the head of Lazarus and the adjustment to the line of the balustrade from a straight horizontal line to a curve being the clearest. Most of the painting, which survives only in rubbed condition and in a mutilated form, having been severely cut down to a circle from a rectangle, appears Lievensesque in style, although the passage incorporating the figures from Rembrandt's etching appears more Rembrandtesque. Perhaps the most convincing hypothesis is that both the drawing and this painting were made or completed in the context of revisiting the composition in c.1635, in the case of the former by Rembrandt, and of the latter by a pupil of Lievens or conceivably of Rembrandt.[13]
Redating the drawing to c.1635 not only brings it closer in time to the Munich painting, for which it could have been a preliminary idea, but also to the four etched 'Oriental Heads', again based on Lievens, that Rembrandt produced at this time (Bartsch 286-9).[14] Four other drawn copies based on Pieter Lastman were also made by Rembrandt in the mid-1630s and are likewise in chalk (Benesch 446-9, the two former in black, the latter in red chalk). Furthermore, although the subject of the 'Entombment' was not etched by Rembrandt until much later ('Christ carried to the Tomb', c.1645, Bartsch 84, Hind 215; the 'Entombment', c.1654, Bartsch 86, Hind 281), Rembrandt produced a second version in oil during the mid- or late-1630s, the sketch at Glasgow (Bredius 554, Corpus A105 as datable 1633-35; Exh. Glasgow, 2012 suggests a later date, perhaps with subsequent reworking). The two paintings have few details that are directly related to the drawing (the Munich picture is the nearest), yet they could have been made at approximately the same date, when the artist was wrestling with this subject.
A similar retrospective dating to the one added by Rembrandt here appears to have taken place when Rembrandt completed in chalk two proofs of his etched 'Self-Portrait in a soft Hat', and has caused equal confusion (see British Museum, inv.1842,0806.134; Benesch 0057; London, 2010 (online), no.7a, repr.).
Condition: Generally good; perhaps a little trimmed; a stain (oil?) towards lower left; some foxing towards upper right.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1635-36?
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.T,14.6; formerly FAWK 5213.6)
FURTHER LITERATURE/remarks (always as Rembrandt, 1630 unless otherwise stated; Rembrandt's painting = Bredius 538, Corpus A30, 'Lazarus' or Bredius 560, Corpus A126, 'Entombment'; etching = Bartsch 73): Bürger, 1858, p.399 ('Entombment' only); Vosmaer, 1877, pp.89 and 487; Bode, 1881, p.66 (with colour repr.; 'Entombment', but related to Rembrandt's 'Lazarus' etching); Bode, 1883, p.390 (as Bode, 1881); Dutuit, IV, 1885, p.85 ('Entombment of Lazarus'); Michel, 1893, II, p.581 (as Dutuit, 1885); Seidlitz, 1895/1992, p.63/125, under no.73; Hofstede de Groot, 1896, p.380 (a 'Raising of Lazarus', preceding Rembrandt's painting and related to Lievens, and an 'Entombment'); Exh. London, 1899, no. A3 (first a ‘Lazarus’ related to the etchings by Lievens and Rembrandt, then reworked as an ‘Entombment’); Lippmann, I, no.102; Neumann, 1902, p.195n. (agrees subject changed); Kleinmann, III, no.42; Bell, c.1905, p.15, repr. pl.VI; Wickhoff, [text by Kurt Rathe], 1906, p.28, no.31; HdG 891 (first a 'Raising of Lazarus', reworked as an 'Entombment'); Valentiner, 1907, p.162 (Elsheimer influence); Exh. Paris, 1908, p.36, under no.66 (closer to Rembrandt's painting of 'Lazarus' than to his etching); Saxl, 1908, p.233 (relates to 'Lazarus' painting and etching); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; Holmes, 1911, pp.30f., repr. pl.III; Hind, I, 1912/24, under no.96 and repr. pl.IX/II, in 1912 ed. also p.51, in 1924 ed. also p.29 (the drawing and painting of 'Lazarus' later developed in Rembrandt's etching; 1924 ed.: also related to Munich 'Entombment'); London, 1915, no.2, repr. pl.II (probably for Rembrandt's etching, the drawing also inspiring Lievens' etching); Graul, 1920, p.14; Stockholm, 1920, p.28 (influenced 'Massacre of Innocents'?, Benesch 351 verso, Stockholm, viewed as a school drawing); Coppier, 1922, pp.25 and 102 (by Lievens, 1630); Saxl, 1923-4, pp.146-151 (places Lievens' etching first; the drawing used for Rembrandt's painting and then for his etching; the composition inspired by Guido Reni); Benesch, 1925, reprinted 1970, pp.83, 84; Kauffmann, 1926, p.174; Weisbach, 1926, p.138 (related to 'Lazarus' painting; quotes Saxl, 1923-4); Van Dyke, 1927, p.58, p.105 and p. 107, repr. pl.XXVIII, fig.110 (by Lievens, for his etching; compares 'Susannah' in Dresden, Benesch 536; also gives Rotterdam 'Lazarus', Benesch 518, to Lievens); Exh. London, 1929, p.86, under no.170, and p.224 [1929[I], p.196], under no.573 (related to Brighton painting and Lievens' etching); Hind, 1932, p.52 (study for Rembrandt's etching); Köhne, 1932, pp.52 and 66-7 (compares Lievens; quotes Saxl, 1923-4); van Rijckevorsel, 1932, p.87, repr. fig.84 (Lievens' etching first; influence of Reni and of Marcantonio's 'Lamentation' after Raphael); Schneider, 1932/73, p.39 (after Lievens' etching); Paris, 1933, p.5, under no.1117 (compares 'Solomon adoring the Idols', Louvre, Benesch 136); Bauch, 1933, pp.93-4, repr. fig.83, and pp.201-2 (similar to 'Lazarus' painting of same year); Valentiner 499 (first a 'Lazarus', 1630, reworked c.1633 as an 'Entombment' for Munich painting); Exh. Madrid, 1934, p.41, under no.23; Benesch, 1935, p.10 (drawing influenced Lievens); Benesch, 1935[I], p.262; Gerson, 1936, p.75; Exh. London, 1938, no.2; Bauch, 1939, pp.261-4 (influenced Lievens or conceivably by him but reworked by Rembrandt); Popham, 1939, pp.67-8 (echoes of earlier mannerists); Amsterdam, 1942, p.103, under no.1 (ultimately influenced Rijksmuseum's drawing of the subject by Jacob de Wet the Younger); von Alten, 1947, no.5, repr.; Benesch, 1947, no.15, repr. (based on Lievens' print; style fuses Callot and Pynas); Schuurman, 1947, p.20, repr. p.23 (follows Saxl, 1923-4); Beck, 1949, pp. 184-99 (based on Lievens with knowledge of Marcantonio 'Pietà', Bartsch 35); Münz, 1952, II, p.93, under no.192, p.110, under no.241, and p.113 under no.252 (drawing influenced Lievens, or both inspired by common prototype such as Rubens' 'Assumption of the Virgin'; perhaps related to Munich 'Entombment'; traces development of subject from Benesch 17 to etching, 'c.1658/59', Bartsch 86, Hind 281; notes consistency of style between early and late rough sketches); van Gelder, 1953, p.299 (a study for Rembrandt's etching of 'Lazarus'; influence of Pynas and Lastman); Benesch I, 1954/73, no.17, repr. (drawing influenced Lievens); Exh. Leiden, 1956, pp.40-41 (influenced Lievens; later reworked as an 'Entombment'); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.42, under no.18 (as Paris, 1933); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956[I], p.23, under no.11 (for Los Angeles painting); Exh. London, 1956, p.22, no.6; Knuttel, 1956, pp.69-70; Sumowski, 1956-7, p.263; Sumowski 1957-8, p.237 (drawing influenced Lievens); Benesch, 1960, p.14 and no.4, repr. (influence of Lastman and Pynas); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20 (drawing based on Lievens' print, which preceded Lievens' painting); White, 1962, repr. pl.1; Brighton, 1964, p.33 (drawing based on Lievens); Gantner, 1964, pp.15 and 18, repr. fig.2; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-5, p.124, under no.106, and p.129, under no.111(quotes Saxl, 1923-4; Rotterdam version, Benesch 518, dated c.1635-40; compares 'Raising of Cross', also Rotterdam, Benesch 6); Slive, 1965, no.103 (based on Lievens' etching); Bauch, 1966, p.4, under no.51 (relates to Los Angeles painting); Bauch, 1967, pp. 166-7 (places Rembrandt's painting of 'Lazarus' first, then the drawing, then Lievens' painting and etching); Munich, 1967, p.66 (relates to Munich 'Entombment'); Gerson, 1968, p.26 and p.182, repr. fig.a and p.489, under no.16 (doubts Bauch's sequence but gives no alternative); Bredius-Gerson, 1969, under no.538 (as Gerson, 1968); Haak, 1969/68, pp.62-3, repr. fig.88 (drawing influenced Lievens); Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, under no.79 (influenced Lievens); White, 1969, I, pp.29-30 and 50, repr. fig.15 (after Lievens' etching); Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.38, under no.51, p.89, under no.148 (compares 1642 etching of 'Lazarus', Bartsch 72, Hind 198); Sumowski, 1971, p.130 (drawing influenced Lievens); Fuchs, 1973, p.79, repr. fig.26 (contrasting Raphael); Slatkes, 1973, p.251 (drawing developed from Rembrandt's 'Lazarus' painting but before Lievens' etching); Stechow, 1973, pp.7-8 and 11, repr. fig.1 (drawing influenced Los Angeles painting; joint inspiration with Lievens); Haak, 1976/74, no.6; Guratzsch, 1975, pp.252-3, repr. fig.6, and n.14 (follows Haak, 1969/68); Exh. London, 1976, p.60 (some earlier opinions summarised); Sciolla, 1976, p.5, repr. no.111 (compares 'Baptism of Eunuch', Munich, Benesch 13, and 'Raising of Cross', Rotterdam, Benesch 6); Exh. Braunschweig, 1979, p.20, n.19 and under no.26 (Rembrandt inspired by Lievens; rework later); Campbell, 1980, p.27, repr. fig.27; Guratzsch, 1980, I, pp.144, 149-51, repr. figs.28-29 (underdrawing reflects Lievens' invention; iconography discussed – see n.6 above); Harvey, 1980, p.32, repr. fig.38 (based on Lievens; iconography); Sumowski, 1980, p.11 (as in 1957-8); Exh. Boston-St Louis, 1980-81, p.131, under no.82; Brown, 1981, pp.26-7, repr. fig.20 (some earlier opinions summarised); Corpus, I, 1982, p.5, n.1, p.24, and pp.300, 301, 305 and 308 under no.A30, repr. fig.6 (based on Lievens' etching; the date, if written by Rembrandt, unreliable and perhaps added to the drawing later, in error; not closely related to Rembrandt's painting of 'Lazarus'); Ozaki, 1982, pp.60-61, repr. figs.2, 6, 12 and 21 (based on Lievens, who was influenced by Rembrandt's painting); Exh. Amsterdam-Groningen, 1983, p.194, under no.51 (as Corpus, 1982); Sumowski, 'Gemälde', III, 1983, pp.1781f., under no.1193 (with summary of earlier opinions; drawing based on Lievens' etching); Exh. London, 1984, no.8; Schwartz, 1985/84, p.86, repr. fig.74 (Rembrandt predates his drawing based on Lievens' invention; the drawing reworked as an 'Entombment' only later); Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.77 and 95 (drawing based on Lievens' print; border lines drawn first); Starcky, 1985, p.257 (compares and contrasts Louvre 'Solomon's Idolatry', Benesch 136); Sumowski, IX, 1985, p.4928; Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-86, no.8 (based on Lievens’ etching, then reworked into an ‘Entombment’); Exh. Paris, 1986, p.67, under no.30 (before the painting and the etching); Tümpel, 1986, repr. p.40 in colour (date suspect); Rotterdam, 1988, p.284, under no.155; Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-9, pp.42-5, under nos.17 and 18 (based on Lievens' etching; the Lievens etching completed before his painting); Exh. Braunschweig-Utrecht-Cologne-Munich, 1988-90, p.36; Schatborn, 1990 (1989), p.124, repr. fig.17 (as Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-9); Royalton-Kisch, 1991[I], pp.263-83, repr. figs.1 and 3 (c.1635; arguments summarised above, but without knowledge of Louijs' engraving); Exh. Leiden, 1991-2, p.113, repr. fig.66; Exh. Los Angeles, 1991-2, pp.14-17, repr. fig.8 (quotes Royalton-Kisch, 1991[I]; copied after Lievens either immediately or several years later); Exh. London, 1992, no.15, repr. (based on Louijs print); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, pp.465-6 (not based on Louijs' print; follows Schatborn, 1990); Royalton-Kisch, 1992[I] (publishes in full the idea that Louijs' print was the model for the drawing); White, 1992, p.268 (as Exh. London, 1992, 'if you are prepared to argue that the date of 1630 […] does not mean what it says'); Griffiths, 1994, pp.531-2, repr. fig.54 (see note under Acquisition Comment); Schatborn, 1994, p.21 (agrees with Exh. London, 1992); Giltaij, 1995, p.98 (as Schatborn, 1994); Slive, 1995, p.101 (as Exh. London, 1992); Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-8, p.226, repr. fig.37c; Exh. Dresden, 2004, p.65, under no.2 (influenced P. Koninck drawing in Dresden, Inv. C1370); Exh. Leiden, 2005, p.182, repr. ('dated 1630'); Berlin, 2006, p.84, under no.18 (as Exh. London, 1992); Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-9, p.142, under no.31, fig.2; London, 2010 (online), no.12, repr; Exh. Glasgow, 2012, pp.87-93, repr. fig.51 and no.12 (c.1635; perhaps Rembrandt's earliest version of the Entombment, arguing that the Glasgow sketch, Bredius 554, Corpus A105, is probably later).
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2183; possibly his sale, Cock, 8th night, 30 January, 1747, lot 67: ‘One, “Rembrandt”, Christ carrying to the Sepulchre’, £11-5-0); either given by John Christmas, 1761 or bequeathed by William Fawkener, 1769. In the British Museum Trustees’ Committee papers of 9 Oct. 1761, it is recorded that Mr John Christmas presented ‘a fine drawing of the ‘Raising of Lazarus’ after the manner of Rembrandt’. This was the first drawing ever presented to the British Museum after its foundation (i.e. since the original bequest of Hans Sloane in 1753), and could possibly be the present sheet – it may have been placed in Fawkener’s albums after their arrival in 1769 (see Griffiths, 1994, pp.531-32).
[1] As first recognised by Hofstede de Groot, 1896, p. 380. The text of the present entry summarises Royalton-Kisch, 1991[I] and 1992[I].
[2] As first argued by Saxl, 1923-4, pp.146-7. Impressions are in the British Museum and viewable online (inv. nos.D,8-69 [1st state], S.29 and D,8.70 [3rd state]).
[3] 1656 inventory of Rembrandt's possessions includes 'Een opweckinge Laseri van Jan Lievensz' (Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.353, no.42). The painting is repr. in Sumowski, 'Gemälde', III, 1983, no.1193, and Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-9, no.31.
[4] As first noticed by Schatborn (see Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-9, pp.44-5, no.18); in Exh. Braunschweig, 1979, under no.102, the Lievens etching is said to have been done after the painting.
[5] A summary of views appears below. The print was illustrated in Exh. Los Angeles, 1991-2, p.19, fig.12, and the author, Richard Rand, was the first to note the connection with Louijs' print.
[6] Jaco Rutgers, researching Pieter Soutman for the New Hollstein volume devoted to Rubens, noted that Soutman first obtained the privilege in 1636 (he kindly e-mailed the compiler with this information, 12 January 2017).
[7] Guratzsch, 1980 (see Lit. below) contrasts Lievens' invention, based on John, XI, 41, with Rembrandt's painting inspired by John, XI, 43. For the iconography, see also Harvey, 1980.
[8] The drawing of the 'Raising of Lazarus' in Rotterdam, Benesch 518 recto, has been rejected by Giltaij (see Rotterdam, 1988, no.155), rightly in my view. He quotes the earlier doubts expressed by Sumowski, 1958, p.179 and Guratzsch, 1975, p.253, n.15.
[9] Corpus, I, 1982, under no.A30, suggest that the date may have been added to the drawing later, in error. The ingenious sequence proposed by Schatborn (e.g. in 1988-9, see n.4 above) that Lievens' etching was proofed in 1630 before the painting was finished and dated in 1631 runs counter to the evidence adduced here.
[10] The figure mentioned resembles the third from the left in Rembrandt's study after Leonardo in Berlin (Benesch 445) more than his prototype in Louijs' engraving.
[11] Amsterdam, 1985, no.7.
[12] E.g. the double-sided drawing in Rotterdam for the 'Raising of the Cross' and the 'Judas returning the Silver' (Benesch 6) of c.1628-9; other chalk drawings of this period are the 'Study of Legs' in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 9 verso); the 'Studies of seated old Men' in a private collection, in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, and the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin (Benesch 20, 37, 40 and 41), and the 'St Paul' and the 'Kneeling Man' both in the Louvre (Benesch 15 and 18).
[13] The painting is privately owned and I am grateful to the owners for allowing me access to it. Originally rectangular, it as been cut down to a tondo with a diameter of 172 cm. A photograph is in the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie in The Hague. The painting's condition makes its status difficult to judge.
[14] See Broos in Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-6, pp.22-3, nos.6-7. Hind, 1924, Valentiner, 1934, II, and Münz, 1952 have previously suggested some relationship to the Munich 'Entombment' (see Lit. below).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0018
Subject: Drapery Study for St Jerome in Prayer
Verso: Laid down
Medium: Red and black chalk on paper prepared with brown wash (the red chalk perhaps moistened occasionally to achieve a darker tone); ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed lower right, in pen and dark brown ink: '8' and on the mat, recto, by P.J. Mariette: 'REIMBRANDT VAN RHYN/Ex Collectione D. Petri Crozat, nunc P.J. Mariette. 1741.'; inscribed in pen and brown ink on the verso of the mat: 'Lanasin [?]71 Laranon [?Lanasin] Rembrands 19/8155/13'.
206 x 161. Watermark and chain lines not visible. The paper is smooth and has 'taken on' the laid lines from the mat. The mat is Mariette's, but the blue colour has faded to greyish-green.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing as it is a study for a lost painting by Rembrandt of c.1630-31, known through an engraving of 1631, in reverse, by Jan van Vliet (Bartsch 13; there is also an early copy, in reverse, after the print that presumably shows the composition in the same direction as the lost painting). The differences between the two are minor, but the more cursory depiction of the folds and other details in the drawing secures the drawing's status as a preparatory sketch. To judge from the engravings, the painting was more detailed in the burgeoning tradition of Leiden 'fijnschilderij' and the drawing is considerably bolder and more rough-hewn in approach. The technique of red and black chalk combined is not unusual in the early works of Rembrandt, though sometimes combined with white (cf. Benesch 7, 40-42 and 56, as well as the Study of an old man in a private collection in The Hague (not in Benesch).[1]
Rembrandt's design is exceptional in depicting St Jerome in lost profile rather than in regular profile or turned, at least partly, towards the spectator.
Condition: rubbed, especially by the knees an top left; the paper discoloured, as if (as the mat also suggests) the drawing has been much exposed to light. Some other blotches of white-ish and green-ish discolouration.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1630?
COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv. 22887; stamped with marks of the Commission of the Museum, lower right, L.2207, and of the Conservatoire, lower left, L.1899; identified wrongly as St Francis in the inventory of the Musée Napoleon)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1877, pp.87 and 486 (1629; identifies subject and related print); Michel, 1893, pp.51 and 587, repr. pl.43; Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; Dessins du Musée du Louvre, Alinari, 7e série, École Hollandaise, pl.331; Lippmann, I, 152; Kleinmann, V, 41; HdG 615; Saxl, 1908, p.236; Van Dyke, 1927, p. 106 (by Lievens); Fierens, 1929, repr. pl.2; Hell, 1930, p.19; Bauch, 1933, p.213, repr. fig.100; Paris, 1933, no.1146, repr. pl.xxxi (c.1630); Valentiner 534; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.18, repr.(c.1630; style perhaps influenced by Venetian 16th-century masters); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.262; Exh. Milan, 1970, no.4; Sciolla, 1976, under no.1; Corpus, I, 1982, p.38; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.10, n.6; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.4, repr.; London, 1992, under no.15, n.11; Starcky, 1993, pp.198 and 208 (the number "8" on the drawing probably written by Mariette although the drawing purchased by Bernard at Crozat sale; bought by Le Noir at Mariette sale for 180 livres, together with Benesch 557, 987, HdG 608 and 649, as well as a landscape by Lievens, Paris, 1933, no.420); Exh. Amsterdam, 1996, under no.3; Gutbrod, 1996, pp.233-34; Schatborn, 2006, pp.8, 9, 13 and no.5, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2006-7, no.8, repr.; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.13, repr. fig.87 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Possibly Roger de Piles; Pierre Crozat, with number "8" ; his sale, Paris, 10 April-13 May, 1741, probably part of lot 867, bt Bernard; P.J. Mariette (L.1852 and with his inscription, see above); his sale, Paris, 15ff. November 1775, lot 979, bt Le Noir for the King of France (Cabinet du roi).
[1] Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.1.2, repr. (as Rembrandt, but in fact arguing the case for its attribution to Jan Lievens).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0019
Subject: St Jerome Resting his Hands on a Skull
Medium: Black chalk, touched with wash. Inscribed lower right, by a later hand: "Rembrand", and with the Bremen inventory number '176'.
104 x 91 (arched top; according to Benesch, an extra strip of paper, 7mm wide, has been added at the left margin but it is not visible in the photographs I have seen).
COMMENTS: Although not straightforwardly related to any of the documentary drawings of the Leiden period, there seems no reason to doubt Rembrandt's authorship of this drawing. The profound characterisation of the figure seems typical; and in style, the exceptionally thin outlines, perhaps especially in the loops in the further arm, can be related to drawings such as Benesch 0031 (albeit on a larger scale) or even Benesch 0014. The head retains some affinity with Benesch 0007.
The drawing was possibly retouched by another hand in the nearer shoulder, as suggested by Benesch, but has not been seen by the present compiler. In sentiment and posture the figure relates more closely to the Judas in Rembrandt's painting of 1629 (private collection; Bredius 539A, Corpus A15; see Benesch 6, 8 and 9) than to his Leiden period depictions of St Jerome, although this may be exaggerated by the sheet's having been significantly trimmed. The study seems to have been made from life and shows the saint as a penitent rather than as a scholar and translator of the original Greek text of the Bible into Latin. Of Rembrandt's many depictions of the saint perhaps the closest are his etchings of 1632 and 1635 (Bartsch 101 and 102).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1631-33?
COLLECTION: D Bremen, Kunsthalle (Inv.176; stamped with L.295), formerly.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Bremen, 1912, no.125, repr.; HdG 191; Pauli, 1907-8, no.4, repr.; Pauli, 1911, p.121, fig.3; Bremen, 1915 (Pauli), II, 24; Valentiner 555; Bauch, 1933, p.204, repr. fig.92; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Amsterdam, 1935, no.33; Von Alten, 1947, p.14, fig.4; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.19, repr. (c.1630); Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001, no.A18, repr.
PROVENANCE: J. H. Albers.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0020
Subject: Bearded Old Man Seated in an Armchair, full-length, to left (Study for Jacob)
Medium: Red chalk, with some black chalk in the chair, on paper prepared pale brownish yellow (the brown tone perhaps through condition problems as the verso is not yellowed); ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink. Signed in monogram and dated lower centre in the same chalk as the drawing: 'RHL 1631'. [1]
233 x 160. Chain-lines 26v. The chain-lines are pronounced enough to have caused a 'white line' effect where the chalk did not enter them, although otherwise the paper seems smooth, with c.15-16 laid lines per cm. Mat: modern only.
COMMENTS: The monogram and date grant the drawing documentary status, as would also its connection with the Rijksmuseum's grisaille of Joseph telling his dreams (Genesis XXXVII) of c.1633 (Bredius 504, Corpus A66) and the related etching of the subject of 1638 (Bartsch 37).
The drawing forms part of an extraordinary series of red-chalk-dominated studies of old men made in c.1630-31 (see Benesch 38-42). Many of them are signed and most appear to have been drawn as independent works of art, rather than as direct preparatory studies. In the present case, however, Rembrandt referred to the sheet some two years later for the figure of Jacob in the Amsterdam grisaille, which repeats the drawing with only minor adjustments: the impression is given of a higher viewpoint, the feet are rendered in more detail, the right leg is shown in the lower position of the two depicted in the drawing (the right arm being adjusted down accordingly; the upper knee is left hanging in the air like a shadow while the lower has no outline) and is depicted in the painting in a shadow cast by the figure of Joseph. The left foot's higher position is maintained by placing it on a brazier. The fact that the facial expression in Benesch 20 is already entirely appropriate to the subject-matter of the grisaille, in which it is retained, suggests that Rembrandt may already have been planning to use the figure as Jacob in this context when he made the drawing, and therefore that the origins of the grisaille's design are earlier than usually thought.
The grisaille of c.1633 may have been intended as the model for a reproductive engraving that was never executed;[2] but it formed the basis of Rembrandt's much smaller etching of the same subject, which is signed and dated 1638 (Bartsch 37). Although many details of the design are there adjusted, the figure of Jacob is reused in a similar way. Interestingly, the further arm reverts to the higher position seen in the drawing, so that Rembrandt must have referred to it again at that time. Also, a pale shawl is introduced in the etching that falls over the nearer thigh, a headdress is added and the folds of drapery undergo some minor modifications, chiefly around the further knee.
Two other drawings are known that relate to the etching only: Benesch 161 verso (qv), in which the final reconfiguration of the foreground of the composition is rehearsed and in which the present figure reappears in outline, but based on the grisaille; and Benesch 168, which is a sketch for two of the new figures added in the 1638 etching. In the latter, the key figure of Joseph is turned from a profile position to one facing the spectator. It has been argued that the present drawing may have been reworked in 1633 and/or in 1638, but the style and medium seem too consistent make this likely.[3]
Finally, some echoes of the pose occur in the figure of Christ in Rembrandt's elaborate drawing of Christ and the Apostles on the Mount of Olives, of 1634 (Benesch 0089, Haarlem, Teyler Museum): the figure there leans forward but he is also depicted seated in profile to the left and with his legs similarly arranged. The head and characterisation of the figure on the extreme right is also comparable, though partly obscured behind his raised left arm. One might also add that the figure in Benesch 20 echoes those in the centre of two small etchings from the year before it was made, the Circumcision: the small plate (Bartsch 48) and Simeon's hymn of praise (Bartsch 51), which is dated 1630.
Condition: Paper somewhat yellowed on the recto, perhaps light-staining rather than a preparation.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1631
COLLECTION: Private Collection USA NYC (LB)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, p.xii; Österreichische Kunsttopographie, II, 1908, p.225, repr. fig.243; Lugt, 1921, under no.2638; Bauch, 1933, p.213, repr. fig.101; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.20, repr.; Giltaij, 1977, pp.1-9; Corpus, under A66; Bruyn, 1983, p.56 and n.26; Corpus, II, 1986, under no.A66; Giltaij, 1989, pp.111-17; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, vol.2, no.2, repr.; Schatborn, 1993, pp.161-2, repr. fig.1; White, 1999, p.263, n.47; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.47-48 and under no.31, repr. fig.11 and p.160, fig.a; Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, no.50, repr. p.119; Berlin, 2006, under no.4; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009–10, no. 2.3; Corpus, V, 2011, p.211, repr. fig.146; Schatborn, 2011, p.294, repr. fig.4; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.10, repr. fig.4 (documentary drawing); Rubinstein, 2011, p.357, repr. fig.8.
PROVENANCE: J.H. Hawkins (c.1800- between 1870 and 1880), London and Bignor Park; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 29 April, 1850, lot 1027; William Mitchell (1821/22-1908), London; his sale, Frankfurt, Prestel, 7 May, 1890, lot 84, 960 Marks; Moritz von Kuffner (1854-1939), Vienna and Zurich; Stephan von Kuffner, Vienna; his descendants, Zurich; their sale, London, Sotheby's, 26 November, 1970, lot 16; Alain Delon (Exh. '20 ans de passion', Paris, Didier Imbert Fine Art, 1990, no.23) from whom acquired by the present owner via the New York art market.
[1] Benesch regarded the inscription as reworked but this does not seem to be the case.
[2] See Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.47-48 and under cat. no.31.
[3] See Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1992-92, no.2.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0021
Subject: Diana at the Bath
Verso: largely blackened with chalk.
Medium: Black chalk with some light brown wash, the outlines indented for transfer; ruled framing lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed verso, top left, in graphite: ‘794’; lower left, in pen and brown ink: ‘13/09’ and in graphite (?): ‘28’.
181 x 164. Chain lines 27/30v. No watermark.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, being the indented preparatory study or 'cartoon' for the etching, in reverse, of Diana at the bath of c.1631 (Bartsch 201). There are numerous small differences in the print: the quiver of arrows is placed in front of, rather than behind, the figure, and the forms of the drapery and the tree trunk and shrubbery behind are elaborated. The second, raised version of the left arm in the drawing, originally shown in a lowered position, was retained in the print.
The etching is signed but not dated. Like the drawing it is generally placed at the end of the Leiden period. Among Rembrandt's dated drawings, the closest stylistic comparison is with the Seated old man in red chalk in Washington, of 1630 (Benesch 37). Thus the date of c.1630-31 that is usually proposed for the present sheet is acceptable. The repetition of the same profiles by the indented lines, here seen for example around the figure's knees, seems unusual, but is also found in the study of a Seated old man in Berlin (Benesch 41), used for the etched Bust of an old man with a flowing beard of the same period (Bartsch 291, Hind 26). The harshness of some of the outlines may be due to the drawing's having been partly indented for transfer to the copper plate not with a stylus but with the sharp point of the black chalk.[1]
It has been noted that studies of the nude are not common in Dutch art of the time of Rembrandt's etching, least of all when the figure remains as unidealised as here.[2] The drawing was presumably made from life[3] and is the earliest set-piece study of the nude by Rembrandt to have survived. A comparable figure appears in the master's contemporaneous etching of a Naked Woman seated on a Mound (Bartsch 198). Mythological subjects are also rare in Rembrandt's work of the Leiden period.
An etched copy after the head in the related print, but in reverse, was attributed by Rovinski to Lievens (Rov.83); a painted copy based on the print is in a private collection in Amsterdam (formerly Warneck collection).[4] Jan van Neck (1636-1716) produced a painting of 'Susannah', now in Copenhagen, in which he used the present figure, in the same direction as the drawing.[5]
Condition: Generally good; the brown wash much faded; a little rubbed in places, especially behind the nearer knee; a small repair at top left edge; a few traces of graphite, e.g. at top left side, perhaps added by a later hand.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1630-31?
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. 1895,0915.1266).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, pp.21 and 423 (c.1631; notes brown wash); Robinson, 1869/76, no.773/794 (states that the sheet is heightened with white chalk); Vosmaer, 1877, pp.106 and 490 (as in 1868); Middleton, 1878, p.250, under no.256 (erroneously as study for Bartsch 198); Seidlitz, 1895/1922, under no.201 (c.1631); Exh. London, 1899, no.A4 (1631, for the etching and the Warneck picture [see COMMENTS]; retouched in places with hard graphite); Lippmann, IV, no.75; Kleinmann, II, no.49; Voss, 1905, p.157 (based on a nymph in 'Diana and Actaeon' by Titian); HdG 893 (c.1630-31; notes indentations); Baldwin Brown, 1907, pp.113 and 138 (accepts painting); Exh. Paris, 1908, under no.112; Six, 1908, p.58 (c.1631, quotes a letter from Hind: 'The traced lines are not nearly so evident here as in the Anslo [Benesch 758]. It is possible that some attempt was made to slightly cover in chalk or press the paper.'); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; Hind, I, 1912/24, pp.52 and 61 and under no.42 [the page refs. for 1912 ed. only] (as HdG, but doubts painting); London, 1915, no.9 (as Hind, 1912); Eisler, 1918, pp.44-5 and p.124 (c.1630); Graul, 1920, pp.12-13; Kauffmann, 1920, p.65 (interest in mythology begins in early Amsterdam period); Weisbach, 1926, p.240-41 and fig.62 (c.1630-31; poor relationship of the head to the neck); Van Dyke, 1927, p.90 (by Horst, as also the etching); Byam Shaw, 1928, p.31, n.1; Hind, 1932, p.77-8 (as 'red' chalk [!]); Bauch, 1933, pp.213 and 216 (c.1651; agrees with rejection of Warneck painting); Valentiner 598 (c.1631); Benesch, 1935, p.10 (c.1630-31; more hesitant than nudes of early Amsterdam period); Bredius, 1937/35, p.19, under no.461 (the painting also for the etching); Exh. London, 1938, no.9; Kieser, 1941-2, p.151, n.2 and p.153, n.5 (characterisation of model divorced from subject; compares drawing of Diana formerly T. Christ coll. [now Krugier], Benesch 116); Hamann, 1948, pp.30, 214, 218, and 386, repr. fig.150 (c.1631; unusual early interest in the antique); Rosenberg, 1948/64, I, p.153/259 and 11, repr. fig.221 (early preference for chalk in nude studies); Münz, 1952, 1, p.79, under no.134 and II, p.13 (the etching c.1631; blackened on the verso; Rembrandt's etching ground likely to have been white); Boeck, 1953, pp.210-12, repr. fig.187 (the drawing more like a study from nature than the print); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.21, repr. fig.34/25 (as HdG.; the drawing indented partly with the stylus, partly with the hard black chalk); Biörklund and Barnard, 1955, p.40 (c.1630-31); Exh. London, 1956, p.10, no.11a (as Hind, 1912); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.72, under no.69a (c.1630-32; compares 'Female Nude reclining' in Stockholm, Benesch 193a); Exh. Warsaw, 1956, under no.70; White, 1956, p.124 and fig.33 (confirms blackening of verso; only lightly indented, thus the copper plate perhaps prepared with a white ground as suggested for the etchings by Münz in 1952); Gerson, 1957[I], p.148; Sumowski, 1957-8, pp.237 and 243 (as Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956); White, 1962, pl.23 (c.1631); von Moltke, 1965, p.217, under no.D.210 (believes Flinck used same model in late 1630s for cat. no.D.210 in P. Brandt coll., Amsterdam; compares his no.D.213 of same period also in Brandt coll.); Slive, 1965, II, no.524, repr. (c.1630-31); Clark, 1966, repr. p.11, fig.10 (see note 2); Morse, 1966, p.100 (as Münz, 1952); Haak, 1969/68, p.58, fig.82 (c.1630-31; chalk verso); White, 1969, I, pp.13n, 130n, 162, 173-5, and 177, repr.11, fig.257 (c.1631; see note 2); White and Boon, 1969, I, p.98, under no.201; Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.36, under no.47 (the painting a copy); White, 1973, p.139 (one of three indented drawings by Rembrandt [but see note 1]; required in this case because of relative inexperience and desire for elaborate, pictorial print); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.30; Reznicek, 1977, p.94, n.45 (inspired Jordaens); Clark, 1978, p.44, repr. fig.41a (as in 1966); Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.478 (with discussion of Rembrandt's etching-ground); Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.15; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.52, n.3 (direct transformation of a figure study into a mythological scene) and under no.77 (rare combination of chalk and wash); Corpus, II, 1986, pp.465 and 491 (c.1631); Schatborn, 1986, pp.6-7 (c.1631); Exh. Paris, 1986, p.52, under no.19 (fixes lighting and pose, the rest elaborated on plate); Exh. Exeter, 1988, p.7 and repr. fig.1; Exh. London, 1992, no.5, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1993[I], p.17; Schatborn, 1993, p.164 (from life, apart from the alternative arm); Schatborn, 1994, p.21 (perhaps Amsterdam period; only with Uylenburgh would he have drawn from the nude – also the pendant 'Nude on a Mound', Bartsch 198); White, 1999, pp.195 and 198, repr. fig.266; Sluijter, 2000, p.194, n.11 (background chalk lines compared with underdrawing in Mauritshuis 'Self-Portrait', Bredius 6, Corpus A21, the authenticity of which he defends); Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, p.66, repr. fig.3 and under no.10, repr. fig.a; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001-2002, p.77, no.10, repr. (c.1630-31, Rembrandt's first known study of female nude); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-4, p.281; Exh. Tokyo, 2004, pp.115, 143 and 146 (Rembrandt's first nude; sense of reality); Berlin, 2006, pp.104 and 111, under nos 25 and 27; Hinterding, 2006, p.70; Sluijter, 2006, p.271, repr. p.269, fig.241 (notes antecedents in Buytewech, Carracci and Raphael); Exh. Paris, 2006-7[II], p.135, under no.51, repr. fig.90; Sluijter, 2006, pp.271--74 (not certainly drawn from life; here and in the print the viewer is a voyeur; she returns the gaze, like Rubens' Susanna); Paris, 2008, under no.158; London, 2010 (online), no.5, repr.; Corpus, V, 2011, p.528 (in context of Rembrandt's interest in wilderness); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.11, repr. fig.85 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Possibly C. Josi, sale, London, Christie’s, 18 March and following days, 1824, lot 118, ‘A female at the Bath’, bt Shirley, with lot 117 (‘An historical sketch of two figures’) 9s-6d; Jan Gijsbert, Baron Verstolk van Soelen; his sale, J. de Vries, A. Brondgeest and C. F. Roos, Amsterdam, 22 March and following days, 1847, lot 39, ‘Susanne, épiée au bain’, bt Roos, f.25; Gérard Leembruggen Jz.; his sale, Roos, Engelberts, Lamma and Roos, Amsterdam, 5 March and following days, 1866, lot 479, ‘Susanne au bain’, f.40, bt Robinson for Malcolm (the price according to Vosmaer, 1868/77); John Malcolm of Poltalloch (L.1489 verso); purchased with his collection from his son by the present repository, 1895.
[1] As first suggested by Benesch. Other indented drawings for prints by Rembrandt include the Berlin drawing mentioned above (Benesch 41), the Louvre 'St Paul' Benesch 15, the 'Portrait of Cornelis Claesz. Anslo' (British Museum, Benesch 758, inv. 1848,0911.138) and the 'Jan Six' in Amsterdam (Benesch 768); mention should also be made of the 'Ecce Homo' oil sketch on paper in the National Gallery (Bredius 546, Corpus A89) which is also indented (see Royalton-Kisch, 1984 and in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-01, pp.64-81). The black chalk on the verso has led to speculation concerning the colour of Rembrandt's etching ground which, of course, cannot be confirmed (see Literature).
[2] White, 1969, I, pp.172f. He suggests that Rembrandt may have been inspired by an etching by Willem Buytewech, Hollstein 2. A painting of a nude by Rembrandt is recorded in the 1656 inventory of his possessions, no.80 (see Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.357). Clark, 1966, argued that the increased flabbiness of the figure in the etching was intended to shock. Hollander, 1975, pp.108 and 160, argues (somewhat unconvincingly) the contrary: that the nude conforms to contemporary ideals.
[3] Schatborn, 1993, p.164, notes that the revised arm is sketchier and probably not drawn from life.
[4] Bredius 461, private collection, Amsterdam, now universally rejected as a copy based on the etching.
[5] Repr. Sumowski, 'Gemälde', I, 1983, p.151.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0021a
Subject: Soldier on Horseback Blowing a Trumpet
Medium: Pen and brown in with grey wash over black chalk. Inscribed top left in a later hand:' Rembrandt/ f 1636'
280 x 228.
COMMENTS: The inscription is clearly false and any notion that the drawing could be by Rembrandt would involve dating the drawing at least ten years earlier, to the mid-1620s.
The beginnings of Rembrandt's draughtsmanship are not well documented. Thus although the combination of dots with rather harsh lines seen here does feature in the earliest known 'documentary' drawing, the Two studies of the head of an old man in the J. Paul Getty Museum of c.1626 (inv. 83.GA.264; not in Benesch),[1] this cannot alone count as persuasive evidence for an attribution to Rembrandt, given the generally divergent styles of the two drawings. While the drawing convinced the first writers who saw it in the 1940s to 1950s, it has now long seemed too far removed from Rembrandt himself: the sense of structure in the Getty drawing is lacking here and the wooden posture of the horse contrasts completely with the earliest known horse by Rembrandt in the Stoning of St Stephen of 1625 in Lyon (Bredius 531a, Corpus A1).
Sumowski followed Bauch in assigning the drawing, along with a group of related works, to Lievens (Sumowski 1662*-1631*). The attribution depends on stylistic links with Lievens' only well-documented, early pen-drawing, the Mercury and Argus, now in Dresden (Sumowski 1588), which is a study for his etching of the subject. The comparison renders the attribution probable rather than secure, but all the drawings do at least exhibit a tendency towards a somewhat harsh and scrupulous attention to detail which seems uncharacteristic of Rembrandt. But the closeness of the two artists at this time has always given rise to some confusion. Benesch 51 (q.v.), Sumowski's no.1629*, belongs to the above-mentioned group.
A copy of Benesch 0021a, with variations, is recorded by Sumowski as being in the collection of P. Briegleb, Munich.
Summary attribution: Jan Lievens?
Date: 1633?
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv. RP-T-1947-50)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Van Gelder, 1949, p.207 (Rembrandt, c.1624-25; compares Benesch 51 and painting of David before Saul in Basel of 1627, Bredius 488; Corpus A9); Exh. Rome, 1951, no.52; van Gelder, 1953, p.280, repr. fig.3; (Rembrandt, c.1625, in the manner of an engraving); van Regteren Altena, 1953, pp.54-55, repr. fig.1 (Rembrandt, c.1625, may be linked to Basel painting; perhaps inspired by Lastman's Coriolanus in Dublin; trumpeter motif reminiscent of J. de Gheyn); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.21a, repr. (c.1627-28); van Gelder, 1955, p.395, n.2; Knuttel Wzn., 1955, p.49 (doubtful as Rembrandt though of higher quality than other drawings in this style); van Regteren Altena, 1955, p.120; Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, no.5 (Rembrandt, c.1626-30); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.66 (Rembrandt, c.1624-25); Rosenberg, 1956.III, p.351); White, 1956, p.324 (Rembrandt c.1625-26; similar to Lievens because of his close collaboration at this period); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.259 (by Lievens); Drost, 1957, p.159, repr. (Rembrandt, influenced by Elsheimer); Bauch, 1960, pp.212, 217 and 284, repr. fig.174 (Lievens); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20 (if by Rembrandt, before 1627); Sumowski, 1962.I, p.209 (Lievens); Slive, 1963, pp.137-38, repr. fig.17 (Lievens, inspired by Rembrandt's Basle and Lyon paintings); Sumowski, 1965, p.120 (Lievens); Bauch, 1967.I, p.178, n.8 (Lievens); Exh. Leiden, 1966-67, T.20 (attributed to Lievens, c.1627); Sumowski, 1972, p.483, n.4 (Lievens); Schneider-Ekkart, 1973, p.385, no.SZ415; Exh. Braunschweig, 1979, p.17 (LIevens) and p.138, under no.51 (probably by Lievens); Sumowski, 1980, p.11 (Lievens); Sumowski, 179 etc., no.1626*, repr. (Lievens; also mentioned under nos.123* and 133*); Exh. Amsterdam, 1988, no.8; Exh. Leiden, 1991, no.22; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, p.190, repr. fig.23a (Lievens, c.1627-28); Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-2009, no.91, repr. (LIevens, c.1625-28); Rubinstein, 2011, p.364, repr. fig.28.
PROVENANCE: E. Calando (L.837)
[1] See Malibu, 1988, no.113, repr. and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.325, no.1, repr. fig.77.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0022
Subject: Beggar Couple with a Dog
Verso: Unidentified scribbles in black chalk, resembling fireworks (repr. Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002).
Medium: Pen and brown ink, veering to greyish-brown in parts; verso in black chalk only; ruled framing-lines in darker pen and brown ink (recto). Inscribed verso: '19', 'No. 42' and '169'
165 x 145 (upper left corner made up). Watermark: dove in circle (similar to Benesch 12 and 30-32; Benesch 45, 46 and 196 appear to be on the same type of paper - see under Benesch 12).
COMMENTS: The penwork here is eccentric and the outlines (eg in the legs and hat of the nearer figure) highly variegated. Although too far from the documentary sheets for comfort, there are still enough links with the pen drawings of the Leiden period, such as Benesch 10, to accept the Rembrandt attribution. The verso contains a doodle that also looks like Rembrandt's own hand (see Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam 2001-2, p.266, fig.46b). As noted above, the black chalk studies of beggars in the Rijksmuseum of c.1629, Benesch 30-32, have a similar watermark, as do Benesch 12, 45, 46 and 196 (qqv). For style, compare also Benesch 28.
For the theme of beggars, see under Benesch 14. The style here also retains echoes of Jacques Callot (1592-1635). Within Rembrandt's oeuvre the closest stylistic and compositional links are perhaps with the rare etching of a Beggar woman and man of c.1628 (Bartsch 183).
Condition: top left corner made up; a grey restoration in the stick (lower half).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629?
COLLECTION: Private Collection
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bauch, 1933, p. 208, repr. fig. 125; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no. 22; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.3; Amsterda, 1985, under nos.2-4, notes 5 and 6; Schatborn, 1989, p. 127, note 23; White, 1969/1999, p. 172, repr. fig. 226; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.46, repr. (recto and verso); Rubinstein, 2011, p.364, repr. fig.27 (Rembrandt, but comparing style of Lievens).
PROVENANCE: Anonymous sale (possibly Armand Sigwalt), Amsterdam, Muller, 13 June 1912, lot 218; A. Berg, Portland, according to Koenigs family records; with Paul Cassirer; Franz Koenigs (his second collection); by descent until sale, New York, Christie's, 25 January 2007, lot 5, repr. sold for $625,800.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0023
Subject: Blind Man Leaning on a Stick, with a dog
Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched with brown wash.
130 x 115.
COMMENTS: Rightly compared by Benesch to no.22, but despite the similarity of the occasional looped line in the drapery folds, the overall structure here is far less secure - the balance and poise as well as the proportions of the figure raise question-marks, while the legs are realised without any sense of form. The comprehension of light also seems too rudimentary and the drawing has been generally ignored in the recent literature - often an unpromising sign; but not having seen the drawing I reserve final judgment. Could it be a pupil's effort inspired by an etching of a beggar, such as Bartsch 166 of c.1630 or Bartsch 140 (in which the pose and fall of the drapery seem especially close)?
Summary attribution: Rembrandt???
Date: 1630?
COLLECTION: Private collection.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.23, repr. (c.1628)
PROVENANCE: Edwin Czeczowiczka, Vienna; his sale, Leipzig, Boerner and Graupe, 12 May 1930, lot 125; anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 12 March, 1963, lot 65.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0023a
Subject: Beggar Standing and Leaning on a Stick, facing left
Medium: Pen and brown ink
112 x 88. No watermark visible through the backing. Remnants of an inscription, now erased, by Jonathan Richardson on his mat. Inscribed on verso of mat, in black chalk, upper left: '10 [...] L 28 [?]', and upper centre, in pen and brown ink, with Richardson's press marks: 'B.34 / Te 3'; inscribed in black chalk or graphite, centre: 'Ry' and in pen and brown ink, lower left: 'N [?] o 744'; in graphite above this: 'sr/ [...]' and in pen and brown ink, lower centre: 'Pond' (similar but not identical to L.2038). Mat: a Richardson mat with gold border, brown ink lines and brown wash border on pale cream card.
COMMENTS: The connections with nos 22 and 23 claimed by Benesch are too superficial. The lines spin off the pen in a faster tempo here, but despite the peculiar profile of the face (note the witch's chin!), the connections with Benesch 27 and the looping penwork in Benesch 28 lead me to accept the drawing. However, there are few connections with the documentary drawings.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629?
COLLECTION: USA New York, Private Collection (Clement C. Moore II).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Poughkeepsie and New York, 1961, no.39, repr..; Sumowski, 1962.I, pp.274-75; Sumowski, 1964.I, pp.233-34, repr. fig.1; Benesch, 1964, pp.106-7, repr. fig.1 (reprinted 1970, p.248, repr. fig.208); Benesch, I, 1973, no.23a, repr. (c.1628-29); Berlin, 2006, p.30, under no.3, n.6; Exh. New York, 2012, no.29, repr.
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (1665-1745), London (L.2983-84, verso); Arthur Pond (1701-1758), London (according to verso inscription); John Barnard (1709-1784), London (L.1419 on verso and on mat); possibly his sale, London, Greenwood,3rd day, 19 February, 1787, lot 49: "Two of Figures by Rembrandt", sold for £2-6s-0d; Nelson Goodman (1906-1998), Needham, MA; with New Gallery (E.V. Thaw), New York, 1954; Mr and Mrs E. Powis Jones, New York; with W.M. Brady Inc., New York (providing information sheet quoting P. Schatborn's opinion that the drawing is by Rembrandt and datable c.1628-29), from whom acquired by the present owner in 2008.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0024
Subject: Beggar Woman Leaning on a Stick
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash. Inscribed in pen and brown ink on the mat (perhaps by Richardson) 'Rembrandt' and on verso of mat: 'B.7/k' and in graphite: '19/No 3'. The mat is typical of Richardson, with brown lines and wash and a gold trim.
135 x 120. Chain lines horizontal, distance apart unclear but perhaps 24mm.
COMMENTS: The use of wash anticipates Goya. The analogies with Benesch 25 are clear, though the face here has links with the Burchard Grossmann drawing of 1634 (Benesch 257); more surprisingly, the face resembles those in the later, inscribed sheet depicting Two studies of a woman with a child (Benesch 300). But despite these similarities, on balance it seems preferable to place this and Benesch 25 close to or just within the Leiden period, given the almost exaggerated, looping movement in some of the outlines.
Condition: probably trimmed; a brownish stain near left edge where the paper may have become damp.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1631-32?
COLLECTION: USA Washington, National Gallery of Art (Rosenwald Collection; inv.B-9411).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Philadelphia Art Alliance, 1930; Worcester, Worcester Art Museum, 1936, no.62; Benesch, 1947, no.9, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.24, repr. (c.1628-29); Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.1, repr. pl.I (as Benesch; anticipates etching, Bartsch 168; influence of Callot or Elsheimer).
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2183); Thomas Hudson (L.2432); Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Alverthorpe Gallery; Lessing J. Rosenwald.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0025
Subject: Oriental Standing, in profile to left
Verso: stuck down on old mat.
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash and the tip of the brush in brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink on the verso of the mat in a 19th-century hand: "Rembrandt van Rhin/né près de Leyde en 1608/mort à Amsterdam en 1669" and below, in graphite: "Ph. de Koning?", and above left "2293"; lower centre in pen and black ink: "1932"
173 x 108
COMMENTS: See the remarks to Benesch 0024. The face resembles Benesch 27 while the handling of the wash has links with the documentary drawing, Benesch 9 verso. This and Benesch 10 are the earliest drawn figures of orientals by Rembrandt.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1631-32?
COLLECTION: F Paris, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (inv. M.1932; stamped with L.829a)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Paris, 1950, no.483, repr. pl.lvii (Formerly called P. Koninck but by Rembrandt?); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.25, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1628-29; compares Benesch 26 for pen lines and 52 for light); Exh. Paris, 1955, no.54; Bauch, 1960, pp.161-63, repr. fig.131; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2002, p.35; van Straten, 2005, p.135, repr. fig.193; Exh. Paris, 2006-7, no.7, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2012, no.1, repr. (text by M. van Berge-Gerbaud: one of Rembrandt's earliest studies of an oriental; compares Benesch 10, 24 and 53-54).
PROVENANCE: Jean Masson (1856-1933; L.1494a) by whom presented in 1925 to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0026
Subject: Bust of a Man in a Cap, turned to right
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
144 x 108.
COMMENTS: According to Benesch the drawing was discovered and attributed to Rembrandt by W.R. Valentiner. Though not far removed from Benesch 23a in style, the drawing fails to convince. There are no clear connections to any documentary drawings (eg. the early Two studies of the head of an old man, now in Los Angeles,[1] or to Benesch 142, 257 and 336). The over-heavy shadows behind the head seems to echo works of an earlier period, such as Benesch 49, while the pen style resembles later drawings, perhaps especially Benesch 87 - the only comparison that gives cause for hesitation. In the torso especially, the lines take on an overly decorative rather than descriptive quality and the shaded back has lines almost as broken as the lit front - again unlike Rembrandt, who would normally have given a more solid emphasis to the back. The speckling in the face, which is brought to an unusually high finish, is uncharacteristic and more like Govert Flinck (see no.48).
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??[2]
Date: 1633?
COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (stamped with L.1647).[2]
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.26, repr. (c.1628-29; compares pen lines to Benesch 25, 22 and 29); Dresden, 1987, no.988, repr..
[1] See Malibu, 1988, no.1113, repr; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.325, no.1, repr..
[2] I have yet to study the original, which was not available (missing) when I have been in Dresden.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0027
Subject: Young Man Leaning on a Stick, full-length, turned to left
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
144 x 86.
COMMENTS: Comparable to no.23a (qv). In Exh. Amsterdam, 2002, it was displayed near Benesch 9 and 22, and seemed convincingly by the same hand. Previously described as depicting a workman leaning on a spade, the object he holds could just be a stick and his clothes resemble those worn by Rembrandt's beggars.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629?
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Private Collection (heirs of I.Q. van Regteren Altena)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bauch, 1933, p.208, repr. fig.124; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.224; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.78, repr. pl.11; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.27, repr. (c.1628-29); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.10; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.20; Sumowski, 1962.I, p.274; Benesch, 1964, p.108 (reprinted 1970, p.248); Sumowski, 1964.I, p.234; Exh. Rotterdam-Paris-Brussels, 1976-77, no.102, repr. pl.76; Exh. Yokohama-Fukuoka-Kyoto, 1986-87, no.39, repr. p.96; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.74, repr. fig.30; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.50 (text by E. de Heer; dates c.1626 or slightly later).
PROVENANCE: purchased from Nicolaas Beets (art dealer) on 30th October 1928 by I.Q. van Regteren Altena (according to his private inventory, where listed as no.'529 t. Rembrandt staande man'); his heirs' sale, London, Christie's, 10 July, 2014, lot 42 .
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0028
Subject: Sketch of a Man in a Turban, half-length, turned to left
Verso: See inscriptions.
Medium: Pen and dark brown ink; ruled framing lines in a warmer brown ink. Inscribed verso, in graphite, ‘53 [in a circle]’ and an indecipherable inscription of one or two letters in pen and brown ink.
78 x 66. Chain lines 23h. No watermark.
COMMENTS: The drawing may be grouped with a small number of pen and ink figure studies of similar style, including Benesch 10 and 35. Their traditional attribution to Rembrandt is difficult to sustain on the basis of comparisons with drawings of unquestioned authenticity, although here the handling of the pen has affinities with the documentary sketch in the Rijksmuseum of c.1628-9 (Benesch 9 recto [now verso]) for the painting of 'Judas returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver', now in an English private collection (Bredius 539A, Corpus A15). Rembrandt's etchings of the later Leiden period, such as the 'Beggar Man and Woman behind a Bank' of c.1630 (Bartsch 165, Hind 13), are also analogous in style.
The previous identification of the figure as a rabbi seems uncertain.
There is an etched copy, in reverse, by Cecilia Lucy Brightwell.
Condition: Somewhat soiled; frayed near top corners; slight loss at upper centre left edge, made up. Some skinning at the edges of the verso has also been repaired.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1628-29?
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. Oo,9.95)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bürger, 1858, p.401; Kleinmann, IV, no.21; Ex. London, 1899, no.A59; London, 1915, no.21 (c.1630-35, or later?); Bauch, 1933, pp.76 and 194 and repr. p.79, fig.70 (c.1629; compares to studies for 'Judas' painting and to 'Two Studies' formerly in Oppenheimer coll., Benesch 48); Benesch, 1935, p.10 (c.1629); Exh. London, 1938, no.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.28, repr. (c.1629); Schmidt, 1959, p.338 (notes Rembrandt's early interest in oriental types, influenced by Lastman); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.2 (groups with other drawings of late 1620s and early 1630s); Exh. London, 1992, no.3, repr.; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.463 (subject not necessarily a rabbi as previously described: call 'Man in a Turban'); Berlin, 2006, p.30, under no.3 (as Exh. London, 1992); London, 2010 (online), no.3, repr.
PROVENANCE: bequeathed to the present repository by Richard Payne Knight, 1824.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0029
Subject: Seated Man in a High Cap
Medium: Pen and brown ink. Ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso, in graphite, top left: '26'; and lower left: '29'.
120 x 92. Watermark: shield with coat of arms, only partly visible (cf. Churchill 284 [1627]).
COMMENTS: Still generally retained for Rembrandt, and there are some links with Benesch 0008. A drawing by Rembrandt in the J. Paul Getty Museum (inv. 83.GA.264) also has analogies, but suggests dating the drawing very early, c.1627. Yet there are also quite close similarities to Benesch 0002, and the overall modelling and characterization might argue for Flinck (compare, for example, Benesch 0048 and 170). The drawing of the hand and nearer leg is strangely unprepossessing and the characterisation is wooden; however, the fall of light is well conveyed and on balance the drawing is retained here for Rembrandt. The watermark suggests a date c.1627.
The sketch is one of many sketches and etchings of vagrants and street types made by Rembrandt during the Leiden period (see also Benesch 0014, 0022, 0023a-25, 0027, 0030-32 and 0043).
Condition: repair to lower left corner; a cut at lower right.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1627??
COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. MB 158; stamped with L.1857) .
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Catalogus van Teekeningen in het Museum te Rotterdam, gesticht door Mr F.J.O. Boymans, 1852, no.747; Beschrijving der Teekeningen in het Museum te Rotterdam, gesticht door Mr F.J.O. Boymans, 1869, no.626; Vosmaer, 1868, p.512; Vosmaer, 1877, p.597; Dutuit, 1885, p.93; Michel, 1893, p.592; HdG 1356; Kleinmann, VI, 10; Benesch, 1921 (unpublished thesis); Rotterdam, 1921, no.593; Rotterdam, 1925, 1927 and 1928, no.604; Bauch, 1933, pp.40 and 185-86, repr. fig.23; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1947, no.10, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.29, repr. (c.1629); Bauch, 1960, p.156, repr. fig.114a; Benesch, 1964, p.107; Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.1; Rotterdam, 1969, I, p.19, repr. fig.3; Schatborn, 1975-76, p.38; Starcky, 1985, p.256, repr. fig.2; Rotterdam, 1988, no.1, repr. (c.1627-28); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.13, repr. fig.4.
PROVENANCE: F.J.O. Boymans (1767-1847), by whom bequeathed to the present repository, 1847.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0030
Subject: Standing Beggar Leaning on a Stick, turned to right
Verso: Half-length sketch of a man seen from behind
Medium: Black chalk, touched on the recto with white bodycolour; ruled framing-lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed in black chalk, lower right 'R' [partly cut away]; inscribed verso: in graphite, centre: 'R.- 2' and below this 'de Vos 412'; lower left, in blue crayon: '20'; lower right, in graphite: '11.8.4' [modern].
294 x 170. Watermark: dove in a circle (repr. Amsterdam, 1985, p.234, cat.no.2; see De Stoppelaer, 1869, pl.VIII, no.15 (1630); Voorn, 1960, no.28 (1629); see further under Benesch 12; chain lines 35v by the watermark, otherwise c.37v.
COMMENTS: The attribution is sustained by the clear links with Benesch 0012, a comparison that also secures Benesch 31 and 32; and all are on paper of the same type (Benesch 0012, 0022, 0030-32, 0045-46 and 0196 are on this type of paper - see further under Benesch 0012). The mark points to a date in 1629 or 1630, and there seems to be no reason for dating these three drawings later than Benesch 0012, as has often been done by previous writers.
The scale of these three drawings is unusually large for figure studies by Rembrandt, especially of street types, made from life (but compare Benesch 196). His main concern seems to have been to study the fall of light, although the character or psychology is not entirely ignored, coming to the fore in Benesch 31. In Benesch 31 the light falls from the left, the usual norm for Rembrandt, although during the Leiden period, like Benesch 30 and 32, the light comes from the right (e.g. Benesch 3-5, 10, 12, 23A, 36 and 49. Perhaps especially in Benesch 32, the outlines appear somewhat 'clunky' in comparison with the more nuanced figures of this type seen in Rembrandt's other works of the same period, whether drawn, painted or etched.
The style of parallel hatching as well as the subject-matter of Benesch 30-32 seem to respond to Jacques Callot's series of etchings, Les Gueux, of 1622.[1]
The verso of Benesch 30 was described by Benesch as possibly showing a man rowing.
Condition: Generally good; light foxing and staining, mostly near the top left and lower right edges.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629?
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv. RP-T-1889-A-2046)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.516; Vosmaer, 1877, p.601; Dutuit, 1885, p.113; Michel, 1893, p.591; Lippmann, II, 72; HdG 1184 (c.1630-35); Saxl, 1908, p.340 (c.1630); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, under no.97 (c.1630); London, 1915, under no.110; Kruse, 1920, p.84; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1921, p.9 and no.28 (c.1630); Benesch, 1925, p.27; Müller, 1929, p.75; Berlin, 1930, p.231, under no.1104 (c.1630); Bauch, 1933, pp.46 and 188, repr. fig.31 (1628); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.79 (c.1630); Exh. Amsterdam, 1939, no.8 (c.1631); Wichmann, 1939, p.15, no.3 (c.1628), Graul, 1941, p.xxxiii, repr. fig.73 (c.1630); Amsterdam, 1942, nos 1-2, repr. pl.I (1628); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.30, repr. (c.1629; compares etching of seated beggar, Bartsch 173; influence of Callot); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.63 (c.1628-29); Bauch, 1960, pp.160 and 162, verso repr. fig.129; Benesch, 1964, p.106 (c.1629); Exh. Amsterdam, 1965-66, no.8 (1628-29); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.2, n.1 (c.1630); Exh. Chicago, 1969, under no.45 (1628-30); Amsterdam, 1972, p.108, under no.B.162 (c.1629); Exh. New York, 1972-73, under no.80 (1629-30); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, undr no.80 (1629-30); Munich, 1973, p.157, under no.102; Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, under no.80; Sumowski, under no.534*; Schatborn, 1981, p.141 and under no.77; Corpus, I, 1982, p.54, n.5 (c.1627?); Exh. Amsterdam, 1983, no.73; Exh. Munich, 1983-84, under no.71, n.3; Amsterdam, 1985, no.2, repr. (1629-30); Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2, p.134, under no.4, repr. fig.4a (style influenced by Lastman); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, no.22, repr..
PROVENANCE: Jacob de Vos, Jbzn (L.1450); his sale, Amsterdam, Roos and others, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 412 (with Benesch 31 and 32), f.470; acquired by the present repository in 1889 with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt (L.2135).
[1] As suggested by Benesch and reiterated in Amsterdam, 1985, p.11. For the prints, see Lieure 479-503.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0031
Subject: Standing Beggar with a Leather Pouch
Medium: Black chalk, touched with white bodycolour; ruled framing-lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed in black chalk, lower right: 'R' [partly cut away]; inscribed verso in black chalk, upper centre: '479L' [crossed out in pen and brown ink] and in the same pen and brown ink: '1530 FL'; inscribed in graphite, lower centre: 'R3, de Vos 412' and lower left in blue crayon: '19'.
292 x 170. Watermark: dove in circle (similar to Benesch 12, 22, and 30-32; Benesch 45, 46 and 196 appear to be on the same type of paper - see under Benesch 12).[1] Chain lines 25v by the watermark, otherwise c.30v.
COMMENTS: See the remarks to Benesch 30. The control of the light in such a rapid sketch as this one is remarkable.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv. RP-T-1889-A-2045; stamped with L.2228)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.516; Vosmaer, 1877, p.601; Dutuit, 1885, p.113; Michel, 1893, p.591; Lippmann, II, 73; HdG 1185 (c.1630-35); Saxl, 1908, p.340 (c.1630); Kleinmann, I, 38; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, under no.97 (c.1630); London, 1915, under no.110; Neumann, 1918, no.2; Kruse, 1920, p.84; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1921, no.29 (c.1630); Benesch, 1925, p.27; Müller, 1929, p.75; Berlin, 1930, p.231, under no.1104 (c.1630); Bauch, 1933, pp.45 and 188, repr. fig.29 (1628); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Graul, 1941, p.xxxiii, repr. fig.73 (c.1630); Amsterdam, 1942, no.3, repr. pl.2 (c.1630); Schinnerer, 1944, no.13 (c.1630); Exh. Rome, 1951, no.54; Benesch, 1954, p.135 (Collected Writings, p.173); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.31, repr. (c.1629; compares Callot); Bauch, 1960, p.108, repr. fig.72; Benesch, 1964, p.106 (c.1629); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.2, n.1 (c.1630); Haak, 1968, pp.50-51, repr. fig.75 (c.1629); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.27 (c.1628-29); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1971, p.99; Amsterdam, 1972, p.108, under no.B.162 (c.1629); Exh. New York, 1972-73, no.80 (1629-30); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, no.80 (1629-30); Munich, 1973, p.156, under no.1100 and p.157, under no.1102; Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, under no.80; Haak, 1974, pp.18 and 25, no.2 (c.1629); Broos, 1977, p.100; Sumowski, under no.534*; Schatborn, 1981, p.141, under no.77; Corpus, I, 1982, p.54, n.5 (c.1627?); Exh. Munich, 1983-84, under no.71, n.3; Amsterdam, 1985, no.3, repr. (1629-30); Exh. Amsterdam, 1991-92, under no.33, repr. fig.33.1 (1629); Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.24, repr. (c.1629-30).
PROVENANCE: Jacob de Vos, Jbzn (L.1450); his sale, Amsterdam, Roos and others, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 412 (with Benesch 30 and 32), f.470; acquired by the present repository in 1889 with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt (L.2135).
[1] Repr. Amsterdam, 1985, p.234, cat. no.3.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0032
Subject: Old Beggar in a Long Cloak and High Cap, turned to left
Verso: Slight sketch of a cap and hair
Medium: Black chalk; ruled framing-lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed in black chalk, lower right: 'Rem' [partly cut away]; inscribed verso in graphite, lower centre: 'R 1.' and below this: 'de Vos 412'; in black chalk or graphite in a seventeenth-century hand, lower left: '[...]ast [crossed out] / [...]en / [...]en[?] / [...]en/ [...]arius[?]' and in blue crayon, modern: '21'; lower right, in graphite: '11.8.6' [modern].
292 x 170. Watermark: dove in circle (similar to Benesch 0012, 0022, and 0030-32; Benesch 0045, 0046 and 0196 appear to be on the same type of paper - see under Benesch 0012).[1] Chain lines 25v by the watermark, otherwise c.30v.
COMMENTS: See the remarks to no.30. Condition: some light foxing.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (RP-T-1889-A-2047; stamped with L.2228).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.516; Vosmaer, 1877, p.601; Dutuit, 1885, p.113; Michel, 1893, p.591; HdG 1186 (c.1630-35); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, under no.97 (c.1630); Lilienfeld, 1921, no.30 (c.1630); Benesch, 1925, p.27; Müller, 1929, p.75; Berlin, 1930, p.231, under no.1104 (c.1630); Bauch, 1933, p.46 and pp.187-88, repr. fig.30 (1628); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Amsterdam, 1942, no.4, repr. pl.3 (1628); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.32, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.8 (1628-30); Bauch, 1960, pp.158-59, repr. fig.124; Sumowski, 1964, p.234; Benesch, 1964, p.106; Exh. Amsterdam, 1955-56, no.9, repr. fig.4 (1628-29); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.2, n.1 (c.1630); Haak, 1968, pp.50-51, repr. fig.74 (c.1629); Exh. Chicago, 1969, no.94 (1628-30); Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, under no.14; Amsterdam, 1972, p.108, under no.B.162 (c.1629); Exh. New York, 1972-73, under no.80 (end of 1620s); Munich, 1973, p.157, under no.1102; Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, under no.80 (end of 1620s); Broos, 1977, p.100; Exh. Amsterdam-Washington, 1981-82, p.51, repr. fig.1 and p.141, no.77 (1629-30); Corpus, I, 1982, p.54, n.5 (c.1627?); Exh. Amsterdam, 1983, no.74; Schatborn, 1983, p.453, repr. fig.3 (c.1629); Exh. Munich, 1983-84, under no.71, n.3; Amsterdam, 1985, no.4; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, under no.4 (influenced by Lastman) and no.47 (text by E. de Heer; compares Callot; paper with same watermark used c.1629-30 by Rembrandt, Van Vliet and Lievens).
PROVENANCE: Jacob de Vos, Jbzn (L.1450); his sale, Amsterdam, Roos and others, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 412 (with Benesch 30 and 31), f.470; acquired by the present repository in 1889 with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt (L.2135).
[1] Repr. Amsterdam, 1985, no.4.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0033
Subject: Standing Woman in a Long Veil Holding a Censer, full-length
Verso: An abandoned trial (or repetition) of the veil of the figure on the recto, in black chalk.
Medium: Black chalk on thin paper; ruled framing-lines in black chalk; inscribed in brown ink with the 1802-5 Munich inventory number: '5150'; inscribed verso in violet ink with the present inventory number: '6225'.
262 x 164. No watermark. Chain lines 30-35v; laid lines c.9 per cm.
COMMENTS: The paper and the style resemble Benesch 0030-32, but there is no watermark. The attribution is further secured via the connections with Benesch 0012, but the drawing was not used as a study for another composition. In fact although apparently drawn from life, the figure, as Bauch pointed out, reflects (in reverse) one at the edge of Pieter Lastman's painting of St Paul and Barnabus at Lystra, which Rembrandt copied in Benesch 0449.
As with Benesch 0030-32, Rembrandt's chief concern was to express the fall of light, which here floods the figure from the left, where only the lightest touches are used to delineate the details of the veil. The verso may have been a false start for the same figure, after which the sheet was turned over. Condition: generally good, though the sheet appears to have been trimmed to the framing-line above; some very light foxing and some stains near left edge.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629?
COLLECTION: D Munich Graphische Sammlung (Inv. 6225; stamped with L.620 and L.2673).
PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 460; Bauch, 1933, pp.48-49, repr. p.192, fig.38 (1629; depends on central figure in Lastman's painting of Paul and Barnabus at Lystra, copied in Benesch 449); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1947, under no.11; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.33, repr. (c.1629; study from model; compares Hannah in painting of Presentation in the Temple, Bredius 543, corpus A34); Exh. Munich, 1957, no.3; Benesch, 1960, p.108; Exh. Munich, 1966-67, no.11; Munich, 1973, no.1102, pls.309 and 456; Exh. Munich, 1983-84, no.71, repr. pl.58 and fig.8; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.71, repr. (c.1629; no highlighted areas; not drawn from life).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0034
Subject: Standing Oriental in a Long Robe and Mantle
Medium: Black chalk.
151 x 113.
COMMENTS: Compare especially Benesch 0032 and 0058, and for the shadow, Benesch 0033. The drawing was presumably made rather rapidly and from life.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629-30?
COLLECTION: D Düsseldorf, Kunstakademie (now museum kunst palast; Inv. KA (FP) 5093; stamped with L.2309)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 323 ('if genuine, of the early period'); Düsseldorf, 1930, no.899, repr. fig.198; Bauch, 1930, p.191, repr. fig.65; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.34, repr. (c.1629; compares Benesch 12 and 30-32); Exh. Düsseldorf, 1969-70, no.154, repr. fig.108; Düsseldorf, 2009, no.181, repr.
PROVENANCE: Lambert Krahe, Düsseldorf; purchased with his collection, 1778.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0035
Subject: Sketch of a Man Leaning over a Table
Verso: Calligraphic trials - see Inscriptions
Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso with various calligraphic trials, perhaps by the artist, and in the same medium as the drawing. The central part may read ‘Harm [...]’, as in the artist’s patronymic, ‘Harmensz.’.
97 x 100. No watermark. Chain lines 25h.
COMMENTS: Belongs with Benesch 10 and 28. The drawing is entered as by Rembrandt in the earliest inventory of the Fawkener collection in the British Museum, drawn up in 1845, but has had a mixed reception in the literature.[1] The purpose of the sketch is unknown.
For the dating see further under Benesch 28. The comparison there made with the Rijksmuseum's study for the painting of 'Judas returning the thirty Pieces of Silver' (Benesch 0009) is also valid for the present sheet, with its similarly angular, looping and fine pen lines. A later date has at times also been proposed, but comparisons with later drawings seem less persuasive (see under Literature below). Condition: good, but stained; a small nick at the top left corner, a repaired tear at bottom centre; the sheet is a fragment, as is clear from the verso.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1628-29
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bürger, 1858, p.401 (wrongly as Cracherode coll.); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.906 (school of Rembrandt); London, 1915, no.14, repr. pl.III (Rembrandt, c.1630-35); Bauch, 1933, p.46, repr. p.47, fig.33 and pp.186 and 188 (c.1628); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (c.1632-3); Exh. London, 1938, no.14 (c.1630-35); Oxford, 1938, p.78 (compares style and subject of sketch in Oxford, Benesch 56 verso); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.35, repr. (c.1628-9; see n.1 above); Sumowski, 1957-8, p.258 (compares Rijksmuseum's 'Bust of sleeping young Girl and Head of a Boy', Benesch A2, believing both to be authentic); Exh. London, 1992, no.2, repr.; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.463 (motif and chiaroscuro suggest relationship with 'Supper at Emmaus', Musée-Jacquemart-André, Paris, Bredius 539, Corpus A16); Schatborn, 1992, p.20 (figure may be holding something near his eye, while drawing or writing with his right hand); Giltaij, 1995, p.94 (agrees date c.1628-9 proposed in Exh. London, 1992 and compares 'Seated Man', Rotterdam, Benesch 29); Berlin, 2006, p.30, under no.3 and p.61, under no.12 (perhaps mid-1630s and made in the context of 'Baptist preaching' in Berlin, Bredius 555, Corpus A106, in which comparable figure appears in bushes above the Baptist); London, 2010 (online), no.2, repr.
PROVENANCE: Bequeathed to the present repository by William Fawkener in 1769.
[1] It had been placed with the school of Rembrandt by 1899, when it was omitted from the British Museum's exhibition of all its Rembrandt drawings. Hofstede de Groot catalogued it in 1906 as 'der Schule Rembrandts zugeschrieben' but Hind reclaimed it for the master in his catalogue of 1915. He compared it with drawings of the mid- to late 1630s, in particular with the Berlin copy after Leonardo's 'Last Supper' (Benesch 445), which is signed and dated 1635. Bauch (in 1933) was the first to revise the date to the Leiden period and Benesch, who at first (in 1935) assigned it to the early 1630s, later agreed, comparing it in his corpus to Benesch 28, to the Berlin 'Oriental leaning on a Stick' (Benesch 10) and to the Rotterdam 'Seated Man' (Benesch 29).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0036
Subject: Standing Man in a Fur Cap, full-length, in profil perdu to left
Verso: Head of a man in a fur cap
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash.
114 x 66 (upper left repaired).
COMMENTS: Perhaps later than Benesch suggests, as noted by Giltaij. Benesch compared his no.0014, not a convincing starting-point in itself. The present drawing has a firmer structure. The verso, published by Giltaij, more or less repeats the head of the figure on the recto and is comparable in style to Benesch 0050. Giltaij rightly compared Benesch 0296, and the Eeckhout-like aspect of the drawing is difficult to ignore (cf. also Benesch 0267). However, the attribution to Rembrandt, although not supported by the documentary drawings, remains the most likely in view of comparisons with drawings such as Benesch 0315, 0339 and 0399. On these grounds, perhaps the drawing should be dated even later than Giltaij suggests, c.1635.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1635?
COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R 16)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.36, repr. (c.1630); Drost, 1960, p.152, n.4; Drost, 1960.I, p.214, n.4; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.9; Rotterdam, 1969, pp.19-20, repr. fig.4; Sumowski, 1972, p.483, n.10; Rotterdam, 1988, no.3, repr. (first half of 1630s, comparing Benesch 296); Giltaij, 1995, p.94.
PROVENANCE: W. Fettes Douglas; Franz W. Koenigs (1881-1941), Cologne and Haarlem (L.1023a); D.G. van Beuningen (1877-1955), Rotterdam and Vierhouten (Gelderland), by whom presented to the present repository, 1940.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0036a
Subject: Bust of a Bearded Old Man, turned to left
Verso: See inscriptions; heavier lines of recto show through.
Medium: Pen and brown ink, with grey wash, touched with red chalk and brown wash (in the face) and (oxidised) white; ruled framing-lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed verso, below, in red chalk (17th century): 'no 8' [crossed out] '8'
111 x 105. No watermark. Chain lines: 25h; laid lines: c.17/cm. Paper quite chalky white. Mat: modern only.
COMMENTS: The drawing, which is made slightly less prepossessing by the oxidised white, compares well enough with the Self-portraits, Benesch 0053-54, especially in the use of the wash. The Rijksmuseum drawing (Benesch 0054) provides the closest analogies. Unusual are the use of a touch of red chalk and the odd highlight on the nearer shoulder. A few lines, especially the diagonals in central area of drapery, have apparently been reinforced - they show as brown on the verso but as black, after (later?) reinforcement, on recto. The same model seems to appear in Benesch 0020 and 0048, and possibly also in Benesch 0040-41. Condition: generally good, apart from the reinforcements. They could have been carried out by the mounter who added the framing-lines; a little grubby here and there.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629?
COLLECTION: USA, Los Angeles, Private Collection (Goldyne 2011).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1964, pp.108-9, repr. fig.2; Benesch, I, 1973, no.36a, repr. (c.1630; same model in Benesch 15, 16, 20, 37-42; was similar to Benesch 53-54).
PROVENANCE: Leo Fanklyn, London; H. Becker, Dortmund; with Brod Gallery, London, and C.G. Boerner, Düsseldorf, in 1972; London, private collection; with Addison Fine Arts, 2010.
[1] The original studied at Sotheby's, London on 6 May 2011, with kind assistance of Dr. Steven Platzman of Addison Fine Arts.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0037
Subject: Seated Old Man, three-quarter length, turned to right
Verso: Partly stuck down when inspected but seems blank.
Medium: Red chalk on pale brownish (light-stained) paper. The paper appears pale brown, and the red chalk is paler by the figure's left hand and right shoulder; there also seem to have been some indented lines made before the chalk was applied and visible near the left elbow; ruled framing lines in graphite on three sides and in red chalk below (and, less clearly, to right). Signed, recto, in red chalk, left: 'R / 1630'.
156 x 147. No watermark visible (laid down) but a crescent recorded; chain lines 22/23v. Mat: modern only.
COMMENTS: A signed and dated, documentary sheet of 1630. The signature is acceptable though somewhat odd, (a) because it does not read 'RHL', as would be expected at this date, (b) because of the unusual line between the first descending loop of the 'R' and the final tail to the right (which might, however, be expected if the monogram were to be read as 'RHL') and (c) because of the unfamiliar way the zero is attached to the '3'. Even were the signature proven to be false, which I believe very unlikely, the attribution of the drawing would not be in doubt, given the persuasive stylistic connections with Benesch 0020, 0040, 0041 and 0082.
The model appears in a number of drawings of around the same period, including in all probability Benesch 0020, 0038, 0039, 0042 and perhaps Benesch 0040, 0041 and 0082. Among the paintings and etchings, too, the same model seems to appear, for example in the painting of Jeremiah of 1630 (Amsterdam, Bredius 604, Corpus A28) and in the etched Bust of an old man with a flowing beard, also of 1630 (Bartsch 325); but such identifications must necessarily be somewhat tentative, as in many of these works the intention was not to produce an accurate depiction of the model, like a sitter in a portrait.[1]
Condition: light-stained, otherwise generally good; a fingerprint in brown at centre right; probably somewhat trimmed below (where the framing line differs - see above).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1630
COLLECTION: USA Washington, National Gallery of Art (inv.1943.3.7047; B-9408)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1877, pp.106-7 and 487; Michel, 1894, II, p.255; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; Exh. London, 1899, no.139; HdG 997; Lippmann, I, 187b; Heseltine drawings, 1907, no.1; Bauch, 1933, p.201, repr. fig.93; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, 1947, no.17, repr.; Exh. Cambridge, 1948-49, no.36; Mongan, 1949, p.86; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.37, repr.1630; compares Benesch 38 et al.); Rosenberg, 1959.I, p.74, repr. fig.135; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.14, repr. fig.2; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.2, repr.; Exh. Washington, 1969, no.24; Bruyn, 1983, p.56, n.26; Exh. Washington, 2006 (Strokes of Genius); Paris, 2008, p.53, n.1; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.8, repr. fig.84 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Narcisse Revil, Paris, 1842; Jacob de Vos, Jbzn, Amsterdam; his sale, Amsterdam, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 410; J.P. Heseltine; his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27 May, 1913, lot 5; H. Eissler, Vienna; with Alverthorpe Gallery, Jenkintown; Lessing J. Rosenwald (1891-1979), by whom presented to the present repository, 1943 (with a life interest).
[1] There is perhaps somewhat too much enthusiasm in the identifications in Corpus, I, 1982, p.149, under no.A11, where the same model is recognised in Benesch 7, 16, 19, 20, 37-42, and 82, in the etchings Bartsch 260, 262, 309, 312, 315 and 325 and in paintings including the Amsterdam Tobit and Anna of 1626 (Bredius 486, Corpus A3), the Stuttgart St Paul in Prison of 1627 (Bredius 601, Corpus A11), the Hamburg Simeon in the Temple (Bredius 535, Corpus A12), the Melbourne Two old Men disputing of 1628 (Bredius 423, Corpus A13), the Nuremberg St Paul at his writing-desk (Bredius 602, Corpus A26), the Amsterdam Jeremiah of 1630 (Bredius 604, Corpus A28), the Mauritshuis Simeon in the Temple of 1631 (Bredius 543, Corpus A34), the St Peter in Prison of 1631 (Bredius 607, Corpus A36 and the Louvre Hermit (Bredius 605, Corpus A16).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0038
Subject: Seated Old Man with his Hands Together
Verso: Blank, but with rubbed with traces of red chalk.
Medium: Red chalk, partly rubbed with the finger in the shadows, and touched with black chalk (in the hair and neck); ruled framing-lines in pen and dark brown ink. Inscribed top right in pen and brown ink: '2546' and lower right in graphite: '2651' and in pen and brown ink: '.63' [or '69? - probably Crozat's number]
147 x 145. No watermark. Chain lines 26v. Mat: modern, but there is a remnant of an older mat with a thin gold strip.
COMMENTS: One of the great drawings of the Leiden period, the drawing has been associated with the comparable etching, Bartsch 325 of 1630. It is not, however, a direct preliminary study, as the head in the etching is viewed more frontally; the composition is also curtailed, omitting the hands and much of the arms. Nevertheless, the two works could have been made at the same (or almost the same) sitting, and the date of 1630 is therefore acceptable.
For the model, see under Benesch 16 and 37. The purpose of the drawing was as a character study, useful for historical and mythological subjects, rather than as a portrait.
Condition: good, though slightly rubbed. A few green spots.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1630?
COLLECTION: S Stockholm, Nationalmuseum (inv.NMH 2651/1863; stamped with L.1638 and L.1980).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1925, pp.26 and 29, nos.2-3; Bauch, 1933, p.202, repr. fig.137; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, 1947, no.16, repr.; Münz, 1952, under no.40; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.38, repr. (c.1630 and used for etching Bartsch 325); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.15; Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.64; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.5; Bauch, 1960, p.202, repr. fig.137; Exh. Leningrad, 1963; Exh. Stockholm, 1967, no.266; White and Boon, 1969, under no.325; Exh. Amsterdam-Washington, 1981-82, p.50, repr, fig.2; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.16, n.6 (stresses more tonal approach of Rembrandt compared with Lievens drawings of the period); Exh. Washington-Fort Worth-San Francisco, 1986, no.86; Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-89, no.13, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.III, pp.413-14, repr. fig.6; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.66, repr. fig.19; Exh. Stockholm, 1992-93, no.131, repr.; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.17, repr. (c.1630); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.2.2, repr. (c.1629-30); Rubinstein, 2011, pp.360-61, repr. fig.19.
PROVENANCE: Roger de Piles?; Pierre Crozat (1665-1740), Paris (L.3612 with number '63'; Mariette, 1741, p.101); Count Gustav Tessin (1695-1770; L.2985 with number '2546'; List, 1739-42, p.38; Cat., 1749, livre 17, no.238; acquired by him as a work by Claude Mellan); presented by him in 1750 to King Adolph Frederik of Sweden; his sale, 1777, where purchased by his successor, Gustav III, for the Royal Library (Cat., 1790, no.2546), whence transferred to the Royal Museum and then to the present repository.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0039
Subject: Bust of a Bearded Old Man
Verso: Laid down
Medium: Red and black chalk, heightened with white (now much oxidised) on paper prepared pale yellow
114 x 91.
COMMENTS: The beard and the geometrical lines in the drapery lower left are unusually similar to Jan Lievens (cf. Benesch 0016, for example), yet overall the impression is closer to Rembrandt, with his firmer grip on the modelling and overall structure. The model resembles that in numerous works of c.1630, perhaps especially in Benesch 0037 (qv), dated that year, in which the wisps of hair seem to have been blown in the same direction and the fall of the light is the same. The pose is also close to the etching, Bartsch 309, of 1630, confirming the likely date. The model particularly resembles that in two paintings, the St Paul in meditation of c.1628-29 (Nuremberg, Bredius 602, Corpus A26) and the Jeremiah of 1630 (Amsterdam, Bredius 604, Corpus A28).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1630?
COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv.22581; stamped with L.2207 and L.1886).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1892, p.417 (Rembrandt); Michel, 1893, p.587, repr. opp. p.12 (relates to Scholar at a table, Stockholm, Bredius 430, Corpus C17); Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; HdG 624; Lippmann, I, 162A; Bénédite and Demonts, 1921, no.1, repr.; Van Dyke, 1927, p.106 (Lievens); Bauch, 1933, pp.139 and 203, repr. fig.152; Paris, 1933, no.1165 (c.1630-32); Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Paris, 1937, no.106; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.39, repr. (c.1630); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.259; Exh. Milan, 1970, no.3; Corpus, I, 1982, pp.149 and 270; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.16, n.6; Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.441; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.5, repr. (was attributed to Dou from 18th to early 19th century); Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, pp.172-73, no.16, repr.; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, p.34; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007.I, no.4, repr. (1629-30); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.2.1, repr. (c.1629-30); Rubinstein, 2011, p.361, repr. fig.20 (noting emphatically flat shading and strong accents in black chalk.
PROVENANCE: Charles Paul Jean-Baptiste de Bourgevin Vialart, Comte de Saint-Morys (1743-1795), Paris; his collection seized by the French state at the Revolution, 1793; entered the Louvre, 1796-97; listed in the NOTICE DU MUSÉE NAPOLÉON : DESSINS , vol. 6, p. 1054, chap. : Ecole hollandaise, Carton 85 (…) no.8288 as by Gerard Dou.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0040
Subject: Seated Old Man
Medium: Red chalk, touched with black chalk; ruled framing-line in pen and brown ink. Signed in monogram and dated in red chalk, lower centre: 'RHL 1631' [slightly trimmed below]; inscribed verso, in red chalk, upper centre: '2-' and upper right: '141'; in graphite lower left: 'P' and lower centre 'O 66' (the 1864 inventory number).
227 x 147. Watermark: eagle with Basel staff (Churchill 438; Heawood 1303, but with one head); chain lines 21/23v.
COMMENTS: A signed and dated, documentary sheet. It belong to the series discussed under Benesch 0020 (q.v.). The drawings of 1630-31 in the series are generally drawn with a more tonal approach than here - the hatching in the drapery of Benesch 40 harks back to the black chalk figure studies of c.1629 (Benesch 0030-32), and contrasts with the handling of Benesch 20 and 41, for example - a lesson in the difficulty of assigning dates to Rembrandt's drawings on the basis of style.
Whether, like Benesch 0020, Rembrandt could have had the old testament figure of Jacob in mind is uncertain, but as in that drawing, the 'listening' expression of the model would have been appropriate to the subject. The use of some black chalk retouches to pick out and clarify some details is common to many of these drawings. The model most resembles that in Benesch 0020 and 0041, and the same chair appears in all three drawings.[1]
Condition: generally good; a repair, lower centre, and few abrasions, and trimmed below (see monogram and date).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1631
COLLECTION: NL Haarlem, Teyler Museum O* 50 (formerly in 1854: Q* 16 and in 1864: O* 66; stamped with L.2392)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.423; Michel, 1893, p.592; Von Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; Scholten, 1904, p.107, no.50; HdG 1322; Graul, 1906, no.3, repr.; Lippmann, I, 168; Saxl, 1908, p.238; Kleinmann, I, 1; Buisman, 1924, no.13; Weisbach, 1926, p.113; Van Dyke, 1927, p.105 (Lievens); Exh. London, 1929, no.576 [and Commemorative Catalogue, 1930, p.197]; Berlin, 1930, p.232, under no.1151; Hell, 1930, p.18; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.226; Bauch, 1933, p.213, repr. fig.95; Paris, 1933, p.17, under no.1145; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, 1947, no.18, repr.; Hamann, 1948, p.207, repr.; Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.146; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.40, repr.; Baard, 1956, no.32; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.16, repr.; Knuttel, 1956, repr. fig.6; Roger-Marx, 1960, p.129, under no.27; Moskowitz, 1962, no.568; Eisler, 1964, p.98, repr. pl.67; Gerson, 1968, p.240, repr. fig.86a; Bruyn, 1970, p.33; Exh. London, 1970, no.22, repr.; Exh. Haarlem, 1978, no.66, repr. fig.34; Exh. Amsterdam-Washington, 1981-82, no.78, repr.; Corpus, I, 1982, pp.149 and 281; Bruyn, 1983, p.56, n.26; Exh. New York-Chicago, 1989, no.67, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, p.275; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.26; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.69, repr. fig.64; Exh. London, 1992, p.63, n.11; Haarlem, 1997, no. 321, repr.; Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.28, repr.; Plomp, 2006.I, p.444, reeepr. fig.1; London, 2010 (online), under no.12, n.11; Schatborn, 2011, p.294, repr. fig.1; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.9, repr. fig.1 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: possibly Jan Danser Neyman sale, Paris, 8 July, 1776, lot 692 (with measurements c.230 x 148); acquired by the present repository before 1822.
[1] For this or a similar model, see under Benesch 37 .
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0041
Subject: Seated Old Man with Clasped Hands, full-length, turned to left
Medium: Red chalk with black chalk on yellowish paper (see Benesch 0007), the outlines and (partly) the shadow to right indented for transfer to the copper plate; ruled framing-lines in pen and dark brown ink. Inscribed verso in pen and brown ink (by Cornelis Ploos van Amstel?), centre left, no longer legible and lower left, by Ploos an Amstel: 'Rembrand / geb 1606 / h. 9d / b 6 d'; lower left in graphite inscribed: 'K.d.Z. 1151' [the inventory number] and 'Rembrant' and lower right: 'Suermondt / Smlg. Ploos / Dupper' and bottom centre: 'Inventar 4081'.
226 x 157. Watermark: Eagle with Basel staff (cf. Hinterding, 2006, p.106, A.a.a., RPK 61:1164); the paper is not especially smooth.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, inseparable from the signed and dated sheet, Benesch 37, and the other drawings grouped around it, especially Benesch 20 and 40 (qq.v.). Its documentary status derives from its being partly indented for transfer to the copper plate for the etching, Bartsch 291, of c.1631. In this relationship the connection is uncomplicated, although it could be that the copper plate was originally larger and intended to accommodate the whole figure. However, the connections with other works by or attributed to Rembrandt of the period are less easily explained.
First, the figure appears with little change - just a slight adjustment to the angle of the head - in the painting in the Louvre of an Old man in an interior with a winding staircase, of c.1632 (Bredius 431, Corpus C51). The painting is now usually rejected as a school work, although in the present writer's opinion it could be autograph, begun in the late Leiden years, c.1630-31 and completed, signed and dated somewhat later (the date is not decipherable but earlier writers record 1632 or 1633). The interior in the painting includes a table to the left with books, which can also be made out in the drawing, so that even if the painting is the work of a pupil, the drawing was clearly referred to and it must have been drawn with a similar figure in view (possibly on a larger scale, however).
There are also looser connections with the Nuremberg painting of St Paul of c.1629-30 (Bredius 602, Corpus A26), but this probably came before the drawing. More contemporaneous with Benesch 41, but yet more distant from the drawing, is the painting of the Penitent St Peter in prison of 1631 in a private collection (Bredius 607, Corpus A36). Here the figure kneels and the trajectory of his arms and the disposition of his weight is accordingly different. Finally, mention has been made of Benesch 82, for which possibly the same model was used.[1] Nonetheless these works share their interests in depicting the frailty and wisdom of elderly man, often examined in considerable detail.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1630-31?
COLLECTION: D Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (KdZ 1151; stamped with L.1606).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1877, p.490 (1631); Lippmann, 1882, no.18 (c.1633); Lippmann, I, 10; Michel, 1890, p.45; Michel, 1893, p.572, repr. opp. p.152; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.120; Berlin, 1910, no.266 (c.1633; study for Paris painting); Hind, 1912, under no.4*; Lilienfeld, 1914, no.102; Bode, 1915, column 219 (for Paris picture); Neumann, 1918, no.1; Neumann, 1918.1, p.118; Buisman, 1924, under no.13; Weisbach, 1926, pp.112-13 and 610, n.1 to chap. 5 (c.1630-31); Van Dyke, 1927, pp.105-6 (Lievens); Berlin, 1930, p.232, no.1151 (c.1633); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.227 (c.1633); Lugt, 1931, p.59; Bauch, 1933, pp.105-7, 110 and 213 (c.1631, later used for Paris picture); Paris, 1933, under no.1145; Wichmann, 1940, no.7; Schinnerer, 1944, no.12; Benesch, 1947, no.19, repr. (for Paris painting of 1633); Rosenberg, 1948, p.10; Münz, 1952, under no.304; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.41, repr. (c.1631; related to Paris painting, etching Bartsch 291 and St Peter in prison); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.30; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, under no.16; Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.256 and 262 (c.1631-33, for Paris picture); Exh. Munich, 1957, no.5 (for Paris picture); Benesch, 1963, p.15, no.5 (c.1631); Rosenberg, 1964, p.17, repr. pl.15; Stech, 1964, no.26; Gerson, 1968, pp.190-91; Exh. Berlin, 1968, no.5 (c.1631-33); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.28; Tümpel, 1977, p.39, repr. (c.1631); Exh. Amsterdam-Washington, 1981-82, p.29; Bruyn, 1983, p.56, n.26; Corpus, II, 1986, pp.641-42, under no.C51 (c.1630); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.5; Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-89, pp.6 and 40-41, no.16; Exh. New York-Chicago, 1989, under no.67, notes 1 and 2; Exh. Amsterdam, 1991, p.160, repr. fig.291A; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, I, p.302, under no.55, and II, p.28, under no.2, n.1; Exh. London, 1992, under no.5 and under no.15, n.11; Schatborn, 1993, p.162 (the background added 'from memory', the head from life); Haarlem, 1997, under no.321; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, pp.115-17, repr. fig. 9e; Exh. Berlin, 1999, under no.36; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.68-69; Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, p.41; Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.44 and no.29, repr. (c.1631; one of five known indented drawings); Van Straaten, 2006, pp.166-67 (1631); Berlin, 2006, no.4, repr. (c.1631; same model and grouped with Benesch 20 and 40, drawn in short space of time; also same model in Benesch 82; used for etching, Bartsch 291; composition with open book compared with Nuremberg painting of St Paul, Bredius 602, Corpus A26; also relates to painting of Penitent St Peter, which has same model, Bredius 607, Corpus A36; cf. also Louvre 'school' painting of an Old man in an interior, Bredius 431, Corpus C51); Schatborn, 2011, p.313, repr. fig.45; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.12, repr. fig.45 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Cornelis Ploos van Amstel, Amsterdam (his handwriting verso, cf. L.3002-3004); Leendert Dupper, Dordrecht; his sale, 28 June 1870, lot 266; Barthold Suermondt, Aachen; acquired by the present repository in 1874.
[1] The relationship with these latter two paintings is discussed by Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.4, to which the present text is much indebted. For a discussion of the model, see under no.37.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0042
Subject: Bearded Old Man, in profile to left
Verso: Drapery study: a sleeve?
Medium: Red chalk, touched (on recto only) with black chalk. Inscribed verso in graphite top left: 'HH 690' and in the centre: '2' (in a circle).
137 x 138.
COMMENTS: Though often doubted as a Rembrandt in the recent literature and given to Jan Lievens, the comparisons with Lievens' drawings (cf. Benesch 16, which is now generally given to him) are far less persuasive than those with Rembrandt’s.
Of the drawings in the group with which it has usually associated (Benesch 0015, 0020, 0037-41), it may be the earliest: the more precise delineation, in the hair, for instance, comes close to Benesch 0007 of c.1628 as well as Benesch 0038, and the shading in the lower left corner is identical to that in Benesch 15 of the same period (see also the heavier shading in the backgrounds of Benesch 0037 and 0039, which is again replicated in the lower right corner of Benesch 0042). In addition, the trailing lines in the right background echo those in Benesch 0015.
The now often accepted attribution to Jan Lievens, whose drawings are never so precise, becomes in my view unsustainable if the drawing is studied alongside Lievens' monogrammed (and therefore unimpeachable) Head of a young man, now in the British Museum, a work of the same date, type, scale and medium. Comparative photographs of this drawing (including a detail) are therefore included here and hopefully they will scotch the Lievens attribution, as the contrast in styles is insuperably great.[1] Indeed it is surprising that two drawings made by these artists soon after they both left their training in Lastman's studio should differ so markedly.
The Washington drawing, on the recto, exhibits an extraordinary control of detail and light (note the lighter wisps of hair at the front and the heavier ones at the back of the cranium), a persuasive comprehension of form, a sense of proportion, a robust strength in the mise-en-page and a variety of touch, from the most delicate touches in the hair to the confident, powerful zig-zag flicks of chalk in the fur collar (compare the collar in Benesch 40) that are clearly far removed in character from Lievens and yet typical of Rembrandt. Equally characteristic are the scalloped outlines in the shadowed edge of the white collar and in the profile of the chest.
It is, however, possible that the drawing was originally made in c.1628 and strengthened by Rembrandt a year or two later, in the body and the darker shadows, and also in the background, lower right, which may be compared with the same area of Benesch 39.
As for the verso, it has a solid, sculptural quality that distinguishes it from Lievens' more flaccid, 'impressionistic' modelling at this period, again exhibited in the British Museum drawing illustrated (and again in Benesch 16, which as already mentioned is now usually attributed to Lievens). The verso may be compared with several passages in Rembrandt's early paintings, which display an interest in deep grooves of shadow in the drapery that matches any such instincts detectable in Lievens' work at this period (cf., for example, the drapery on the extreme right of the St Paul in prison - Stuttgart, Bredius 601, Corpus A11).[2] The analogies with Lievens in this respect are certainly no closer, and in every other respect, more distant than with Rembrandt.[3]
The model of the recto is probably the one who posed for Benesch 37 (q.v.) and some other drawings, as there noted. Compare also the drawing in the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, attributed to Rembrandt's pupil Jacques des Rousseaux, which however is closer to one of the etchings by Jan Lievens mentioned above. [4]
Condition: generally good; repaired top left corner; some light foxing.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1628-30?
COLLECTION: USA Washington, National Gallery of Art (inv. 1987.20.11)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hind, 1928, no.11, repr.; Exh. London, 1929, no.578 (Commemorative Catalogue, 1930, p.198); Bauch, 1933, p.203, repr. fig.153; Paris, 1933, under no.1165; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Worcester (USA), 1936, no.58; Exh. San Francisco, 1939-40 (cat.1941), no.83; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.42, repr. (c.1631; compares Benesch 15 and 41); Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.3, repr. pl.3 (c.1630-31); Schatborn in Exh. Amsterdam, 1988-89, pp.12 and 17, repr. pls IV and V (Lievens); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.134 (to be retained as Rembrandt); Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, pp.70-71, no.25, repr.; Plomp, 2006.I, p.5, repr. fig.2 (Lievens); Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-2009, no.98, repr. (Lievens, 1628-30); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.2.4, repr. (Lievens, c.1631); Royalton-Kisch, 2011, p.100 (Rembrandt); Rubinstein, 2011, pp.361-62, repr. figs.21 and 22 (recto and verso; by Lievens, near borderline with Rembrandt).
PROVENANCE: Charles Fairfax Murray; William Bateson; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 23-24th April, 1929, lot 228; Lessing J. Rosenwald; presented by his widow to the present repository.
[1] For Lievens' drawing see London, 2010 (online), Lievens no.2, repr. It is generally dated c.1630. The fact that the drawing shows a profile, which Lievens adopted for head studies (etched as well as drawn) more regularly than Rembrandt, seems a poor reason for attributing the drawing to him.
[2] I have been fortunate to discuss the drawing not only with friends and scholars in the Lievens camp (including Peter Schatborn, Gregory Rubinstein and William W. Robinson), but also with Andrew Robison at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, who also adheres to the Rembrandt attribution.
[3] The comparison made with Lievens' much later drawing in the Louvre, the Bust of a man with curly hair (inv.2239; Sumowski1661*), executed around 20 years later in c.1650, reveals just how distant any analogies with Lievens' work are (see Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.2.5, repr.).
[4] Inv.M 1973 (Sumowski 2294** - see Exh. Paris, 2012, no.43, repr.). The drawing bears a date, 1630, based on that on Benesch 37, but the initial R seems to have been tampered with to make it resemble a monogram by Rembrandt.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0043
Subject: Beggar in a High Cap, full-length, walking to left
Medium: Black chalk, with a touch of white in the cap. Ruled framing-lines in black chalk. Inscribed verso in graphite 'Hausmann 965'; 'Inv. Nr. 4115' 'H.d.G. 108, K.d.Z. 1104, Rembrandt'.
171 x 75. Upper right corner made up.
COMMENTS: The drawing belongs well with Rembrandt's Leiden period studies of beggars, both etched and drawn, as has always been agreed (see Literature below). Compare also for style Benesch 0045 and 0046. The date cannot be far from the documentary sheet, Benesch 0012, of c.1629. The especially dark colour of the chalk, with its somewhat crumbled-looking outlines which lend the drawing a softer aspect than Rembrandt's other drawings of this period, suggests that Rembrandt, unusually for his Leiden years, may possibly have employed charcoal rather than black chalk.[1]
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629-30?
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (KdZ 1104; stamped with L.1606).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: von Seidlitz, 1900, p.488; Lippmann, II, 35b; Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.24 (c.1631); HdG 108; Saxl, 1908, p.338 (c.1633); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.97 (c.1630); Berlin, 1930, p.231, repr. pl.164 (c.1630); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.223 (c.1630); Bauch, 1933, pp.120-21 and p.216 (c.1631); Benesch, 1935, p.10; Wichmann, 1940, no.5 (c.1630); Möhle, 1949, pp.29-31; Winkler, 1951, pp.109 and 113; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.43, repr. (c.1631; compared with etching, Blind fiddler, Bartsch 138); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.28 (c.1630); Van Straten, 2006, pp.194-95 (1631); Berlin, 2006, no.2, repr. (c.1628-29; extended discussion, with further literature, of Rembrandt's beggar iconogaphy).
PROVENANCE: David Bernhard Hausmann (1784-1874), Hannover (L.378); acquired by the present repository in 1875.
[1] Benesch (1954/73) regarded what he saw as the calmer, quieter and more picturesque qualities of the drawing as a reason to date it c.1631 - rather later than the Dresden study (Benesch 12), but the quality of the medium may account for most of the differences he detected.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0044
Subject: An Elderly Polish Man, standing
Medium: Black chalk; inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower left: 'R'; inscribed verso, in pen and brown ink, top right: '309'.
149 x 88. No watermark; chain lines 22h (10-11 laid lines/cm). Mat: modern mount only (but see under Condition below).
COMMENTS: There appears to be no reason to alter Benesch's assessment of this drawing, although a slightly earlier date than his seems preferable. He noted that it appears to be the first of Rembrandt's depictions of Polish types (followed e.g. in the etchings, Bartsch 141-42). In style it belongs with Benesch 0034 as well as 0045 and 0046. The links, especially with the former, suggest a date around 1629-30 (cf. also the documentary sheets, Benesch 0012 and 0021).
Condition: somewhat yellowish discolouration; a horizontal crease, centre; some foxing; a small blue tab remains at the corner of the verso from an older backing.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629-30?
COLLECTION: D Mettingen, Draiflessen Collection (formerly Hilversum, Liberna Collection, inv. 61)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Mellaart, 1931, p.23; Bauch, 1933, p.193, repr. fig.53a; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, 1943, p.23, repr. fig.4; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.44, repr. (c.1630-31); Bolten and Folmer-von Oven, 1989, no.107.
PROVENANCE: Maison R.W.P. de Vries, Amsterdam (L.2786a [stamped twice]); probably their sale, Paris, G.B. Lasquin, 23 May, 1930, Rembrandt, Vieil homme debout, sold for 9,500 fr.; Dr. H. Wendland, Lugano; A.S. Drey, Munich; Mrs M. Drey, London, from whom acquired by the present owners, 1963.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0045
Subject: A Polish Officer, full-length
Medium: Red chalk.
245 x 175. Watermark: none, but paper of same type as dove in circle, similar to Benesch 0012, 0022, 0030-32, 0046 and 00196 - see under Benesch 0012.
COMMENTS: The red chalk distinguishes the drawing from the group that includes Benesch 0044, but otherwise the draughtsmanship is characteristic of Rembrandt. The paper (see under watermark above) helps to confirm the date. The figure is sometimes described as an actor, which is possible, although this would have been from before the construction of the Van Campen theatre (Schouwburg) in 1637.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629-30?
COLLECTION: R St Petersburg, Hermitage Museum (inv.ОР-14946)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bauch, 1933, p.211; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.45, repr. (c.1630-31).; Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.2-4, n.5.
PROVENANCE: Betzky; Royal Academy of Fine Arts, St Petersburg, whence transferred to the present repository, 1924.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0046
Subject: Scholar at his Writing Table
Medium: Black chalk. Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower right: 'R'
206 x 152. Watermark: none, but paper of same type as dove in circle, similar to Benesch 0012, 0022, 0030-32, 0045 and 00196 - see under Benesch 0012.
COMMENTS: The figure, with his head supported on one hand, belongs at least loosely to the iconographic tradition for representing Melancholia, and harks back to Dürer's engraving of this subject.[1] The eccentric outlines resemble those in the documentary sheet, Benesch 6 and the drawing should be dated to the same period. The annotation 'R' resembles that on Benesch 0044 and 0049.[2]
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1628-29
COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv.22580; stamped with L.1886)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Paris, 1929, no.247, repr. pl.XXXVIII (Dou); Paris, 1933, p.20; Bauch, 1933, pp.111 and 213 (Rembrandt, c.1631); Benesch, 1935, p.24; Isarlo, 1936, p.14 (Dou); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.46, repr. (c.1630-31; compares Benesch 44 and 45); Exh. Leiden, 1956, no.105 (Dou); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.24 (Dou); Sumowski, III,1980, under no.534* and 538* (Rembrandt, c.1630-31); Kuznetsov, 1981, p.375, repr. fig.3 (Rembrandt); Corpus, I, 1982, under no.C15, repr. p.537, fig.4 ('attributed to Rembrandt or to Gerard Dou'; compares school painting of a Scholar reading, Braunschweig, Bredius 429, Corpus C15); Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.2-4, n.5; Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.441; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.77, repr. (not Rembrandt - anonymous c.1640); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.133 (Rembrandt, c.1629; compares Benesch 6); Royalton-Kisch, 1991I, p.272; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.73, repr. fig.29; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.35, repr.; Van Straten, 2005, pp.197-98, repr, fig.352; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.6, repr. (text by H. Grollemund; c.1630, as also suggested by the, perhaps Italian, paper with widely spaced chain lines).
PROVENANCE: Comte de Saint-Morys; seized by the French state at the Revolution, 1793 and deposited in the Louvre, 1796-97 (as by Gerrit Dou).
[1] Many examples of this iconographic type appear in the work of Rembrandt and his circle, some of them discussed by Lütke Notarp, 1998, pp.217ff. The Dürer print is Bartsch 74.
[2] As pointed out in Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.77.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0047
Subject: Sheet of Figure Studies with a Seated Beggar
Medium: Pen and tip of the brush in brown ink; ruled framing-lines in darker brown ink.
90 x 94. No watermark
COMMENTS: An alluring but faded sheet which, however, does not convince as Rembrandt at all. The profile figure at the top resembles Gerbrand van den Eeckhout and other comparisons with drawings by this artist are suggestive, if not entirely persuasive: for example, the Mercury and Argus of 1654 (The Hague, Royal Library; Sumowski 629), the Sheet of Studies , although in black chalk (Haarlem, Teylers Museum, Sumowski 636) and the Eliezer and Rebecca (Budapest, Sumowski 712*). Most of these are usually dated during the early 1650s, and Benesch 47 may be slightly earlier, c.1650.
Condition: faded and foxed.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1650??
COLLECTION: H Budapest, Szépművészeti Múzeum (inv.1571)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Dutuit, 1885, p.88; HdG 1380; Térey, 1909, repr. pl.15; Benesch, 1925, pp.119-21, repr. fig.1 (repeating article in Ars Una, 1924; c.1630-31); Exh. Budapest, 1932, no.136; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Budapest, 1950, no.55; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.47, repr. (c.1630-31; compares Benesch 14, 36 and 48, and etchings Bartsch 174-75); Garas, 1956, no.23; Vayer, 1956, no.77 (1630); Bauch, 1960, p.260, n.117 (1640s); Sumowski, 1961, p.3 (perhaps Eeckhout, after 1650); Exh. Budapest, 1965, no.42; Exh. Budapest, 1967, no.94; Budapest, 2005, no.217, repr. (compares Benesch 693 and 705; notes MRK's and J. Garff's tentative attribution, made verbally in 2004, to Van den Eeckhout, following Sumowski, 1961).
PROVENANCE: Prince N. Esterhazy (1765-1833), Vienna (L.1965); his collection purchased 1870 by the Hungarian state; Orszagos Keptar (National Gallery; L.2000).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0048
Subject: An Old Man with a Book, and the Head of a Man Wearing a Turban
Verso: Not seen, but some pan and brown ink lines are visible through the recto, lower left corner.
Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed by a later hand, in graphite, top left: 'R' and lower right: '9';[1] an inscription on the verso is visible but not legible through the sheet, which is stuck down; the ink has corroded the paper.
113 x 154. Mat: modern only.
COMMENTS: In style the drawing belongs with Benesch 0002 (q.v.) and is probably by Govert Flinck. Iron-gall ink of the type used here was only employed by Rembrandt in the late 1630s, whereas this drawing reflects Rembrandt's Leiden period in style, as Benesch recognised. The model also resembles one used by Rembrandt during the Leiden period and discussed under Benesch 0037 (perhaps the best comparisons for the present sheet are with Benesch 0020, 0040, and 0041) and it therefore seems likely that Flinck based the drawing, perhaps loosely, on one by Rembrandt.
Rembrandt's early paintings and etchings also reveal his interest in oriental, turbaned figures, like the one sketched to the left in Benesch 0048. In the Stoning of St Stephen of 1625 in Lyon (Bredius 531A, Corpus no.A1), Rembrandt's earliest known painting, a horseman depicted in profile on the left resembles his counterpart in the drawing in many respects, albeit with a fuller beard in the oil. Several other paintings, prints and drawings of the Leiden period attest to Rembrandt's interest, from the first, in Asian costumes and other exotic accessories.
Nonetheless, as stated above, the connections between the main model in the present sheet with Rembrandt's works of the Leiden period are insufficient to support the traditional attribution, on account of the style and medium of the drawing. Among Rembrandt's documentary sheets, perhaps the closest is the drawing in the J. Paul Getty Museum of Two studies of the head of an old man, c.1626 (inv. 83.GA.264; not in Benesch).[2] But as mentioned above, the less firmly structured sense of form and the tangled lines in Benesch 48 undermine its attribution to Rembrandt. Perhaps closer is the drawing in the British Museum of a Man leaning over a table (Benesch 0035), but here again the sense of form, the tempo of the shading and the quality of the penwork diverge from the present sheet. In all respects, the style seems closer to the work of the young Govert Flinck, as seen in Benesch 2 (q.v.), and the related sketches there mentioned.
Condition: the acidic action of the iron-gall ink has damaged the drawing.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??
Date: 1635-40??
COLLECTION: Private Collection CH Geneva (Krugier, inv. JK 3643)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, III, 60B (listed as in the W. Gay collection); Bauch 1933, pp.77 and 194, repr. fig.67; Benesch 1935, p.10; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.48, repr.; Slive 1965, no.394, repr.; Benesch 1970, p.47; Malibu, 1988, under no.113; Exh. Berlin-Venice-Madrid-Geneva-Paris-Munich, 1999/2007, no.45, repr. (Rembrandt; c.1629/30; NB may not feature in every edition of the catalogue, or have another number).
PROVENANCE:[1] J. MacGowan, Edinburgh (Lugt 1496); possibly his sale, London, Phillips, 31 January 1804, lot 536; W. Gay, Paris; Henry Oppenheimer; his sale, London, Christie's, 10-14 July 1936, lot 286, 85gns; private collection; sale, 'From a Continental Collection', Christie's, 9 December, 1982, lot 79, £14,000 hammer.
[1] There are remnants of an erased inscription in pen and brown ink, lower right, that might have been the mark of J. van Rymsdyck (L.2167).
[2] See Malibu, 1988, no.113, repr. and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.325, no.1, repr. fig.77.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0049
Subject: Seated Old Man in a High Cap, full-length, profile to right
Medium: Pen and brown ink, with brown and grey wash, on pale brown paper; ruled framing-lines in pen and dark brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower right: 'R'.
152 x 128.
COMMENTS: Cf. Benesch 0022, which perhaps provides the closest analogies as well as a foothold for the date, c.1629. The attribution to Rembrandt is by no means straightforward, despite the sheer quality of the profile and the remarkable knitting together of the line running from the top of the hat down over the shoulders, cascading into tributaries of ink below the arm. The contrast with the delicacy of the fine lines drawn, for example, near the shoulders is extreme.[1] Also in favour of the attribution is the profound, slumbersome characterisation, plausibly and elegantly described (in Exh. Paris, 1988-89) as revealing 'un vieil homme qui s'abandonne au cheminement de sa pensée'. Yet as with Benesch 0022, there are no straightforward connections with any of the documentary drawings. The pose and characterisation have rightly been compared with Rembrandt's early depictions of Tobit from 1626 onwards,[2] yet there are analogies, too, with the seated figure in profile who appears in two of the preparatory studies for the Judas returning the thirty pieces of silver', Benesch 0008 (towards the left) and Benesch 0009 verso. The latter drawing also provides the closest analogies for the wash.
The stylistic and formal connections noted above make a date c.1629 more plausible than c.1626-27, which has recently been preferred by several commentators.[3]
Condition: generally good; 2 vertical creases or folds near right edge and some discolouration, mainly above and near the top corners.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629?
COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv. 195 DR)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.583; Exh. Amsterdam, 1898, ex. catalogue; Exh. London, 1899, no.127; HdG 1005; Heseltine, 1907, no.60; Friedländer, 1913, p.529; Bauch, 1933, p.208, repr. fig.121; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Paris, 1937, no.86; Blum, 1939, VI, no.9; Benesch, 1947, no.20, repr.; Exh. Paris, 1947, no.150; Coblentz, 1954, p.51; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.49, repr.; Bauch, 1960, pp.174 and 261, repr. pl.155; Sumowski, 1961, p.3; Held, 1964, p.127, repr. fig.47; Amsterdam, 1981, p.27, repr. fig.a; Schatborn, 1982, p.253; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77; Starcky, 1985, pp.256 and 263, repr. fig.1; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.1, repr. (c.1626-27); Exh. Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.139 and under no.28, repr. fig.28.2 (c.1626-27; closest Rembrandt comes to Lastman 'in line and shading of contours'); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92.I, p.13; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.63, repr. fig.15; Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997, p.xvii and n.6 (influence of Lastman); Exh. Paris, 2006-2007.I, no.1, repr. (c.1626-27).
PROVENANCE: John Bouverie (c.1722/1723-1750), England (L.325); by descent to 1st Earl of Gainsborough; his sale, Christie’s, 20 July, 1859, part of lot 126; Adriaan Jacobus Domela Nieuwenhuis (1850-1935); his (?) sale, London, 15 July, 1887, lot 33; J.P. Heseltine (L.1507); his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27 May, 1913, lot 15, bt Danlos for Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934), by whom bequeathed to the present repository, acquired in 1935.
[1] Schatborn, 1989 (and in Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92.I and Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997), points to analogies of style with Rembrandt's teacher, Pieter Lastman, especially as seen in the latter's drawing of King Cyrus returning the silver to the temple in Berlin of c.1611 (KdZ 3793). He therefore dates the drawing earlier than here, to c.1626-27 (see literature above).
[2] As stressed in Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.1.
[3] Benesch placed the drawing somewhat later, c.1631.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0050
Subject: Old Man with Flat Cap and Long Beard, bust, turned to left
Verso: Laid down.
Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey wash, on off-white paper; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink; inscribed by a later hand in pen and brown ink (of a slightly warmer hue), lower left: 'Rembrandt f' and upper left with Robinson's mark (L.1433).
84 x 79. Top right corner repaired with a new patch.
COMMENTS: The drawing was cut from a larger sheet of sketches, as is revealed by the fragment of the head of a man at the lower right. Like Benesch 0049, the drawing almost convinces merely by dint of its sheer quality. But the analogies with other drawings by Rembrandt, and with his etchings, are not wholly persuasive and doubts remain. There are no close comparisons to be made with any of the documentary drawings by Rembrandt,[1] but there are links with others, especially with Benesch 0036A[2] and the verso of Benesch 0036, that provide sufficient reasons for upholding the attribution. The shape of the tip of the nose is characteristic of Rembrandt and is encountered, for example, in the etched Sheet of Studies of Men's Heads, Bartsch 366.[3]
Condition: generally good, though the upper right corner is (now skilfully) made up; some very slight foxing and staining, and two minor losses near the eyes.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1629?
COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (inv. 197 D.R.)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel,1893, p.582, repr. pl.4; HdG 1002; Heseltine, 1907, no.20; Bauch, 1933, pp.131, 142 and 205, repr. fig.140; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. Paris, 1937, no.87; Exh. Paris, 1947, no.153; Coblentz, 1954, p.51; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.50, repr. (c.1630-31; compares Benesch 49 and three etchings, Bartsch 315, 366 and 374); Schatborn, 1985, p.13; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.6, repr. (c.1630-31; compares etching of St Jerome, Bartsch 106, and Benesch 36A); Exh. Paris, 2006-2007.1, no.5, repr.
PROVENANCE: J.C. Robinson (L.1433); possibly his sale, Amsterdam, 20-21 November, 1882, lot 171; J.P. Heseltine (L.1507); his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27 May 1913, lot 14, bt Danlos, fl.3,500, for Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934), by whom bequeathed to the present repository, acquired in 1935.
[1] Perhaps the nearest is the early drawing in the J. Paul Getty Museum of Two studies of the head of an old man, c.1626 (inv. 83.GA.264; not in Benesch), but the difference in style remains tangible.
[2] The comparison with Benesch 36A was made by Starcky in Exh. Paris, 1988-89.
[3] Benesch, 1954/73 compared this and other etchings.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0051
Subject: A Foot Operation (the Sense of Touch)
Verso: Inscriptions only (see below)
Medium: Pen and dark brown ink with grey wash and white heightening; a few outlines apparently reworked in graphite, as if the drawing were purposefully partly indented by this process; freehand framing-lines in pen and brown ink above and below only. Inscribed verso in graphite, top: '1067 esp [underlined]/ Adriano Brauwer' and centre: '124' [crossed out] '6 - 100' [within a rectangle]; lower centre: 'rembrant' and lower right: '1067 E' [the inventory number]; in pen and brown ink, centre: '312' [crossed out] and lower centre (18th century?): 'Joannes Backer'. NB the centre inscriptions are on an old reinforcing added strip; also in graphite on an added strip, left of centre and above the other strip: 'Adriano Brauwer '.
322 x 268. Watermark: lily in crowned shield with WR below (similar to Piccard online no.128249 (Neuenstein, 1629; see Churchill 427 [1645?] and Heawood 1769 (Schieland 1616), ;[1] chain lines 24v, about 20 laid lines/cm. The mat is modern but there are remnants of an old blue backing-paper.
COMMENTS: A problematic drawing, now generally given to Jan Lievens, it is comparable to Benesch 21a in style (q.v.). However, the face of the grimacing victim resembles Rembrandt's own, but apparently at a significantly later date than in the Self-portrait drawings of around 1628-29, Benesch 53-54, so on this basis any idea that the drawing is by the young Rembrandt in Leiden falls aside: stylistically it would have to be of approximately the same date or earlier, c.1626. The elaborately worked up background in grey wash is also uncharacteristic of Rembrandt, though it has been pointed out that the writhing figure of the victim resembles Samson in Rembrandt's 1636 painting, now in Frankfurt, of the Blinding of Samson (Bredius 501, Corpus A116), so that the drawing could date from the mid-1630s.
The Lievens attribution, although plausible on grounds of style, is equally vulnerable to the above arguments, as it would again have to date from the 1620s, yet the portrayal of Rembrandt seems to hail from the mid-1630s. In addition, the background is markedly different from Lievens' other works of the Leiden period, so that doubts about the Lievens attribution must also remain.
The lack of pentimenti and the 'ready-made' appearance of the background suggest that the drawing may be based on a lost painting - a number of sheets of this type, copying Rembrandt paintings, are known, and have been attributed to Ferdinand Bol and other pupils.[2] However, in this case some of the lines appear to have been indented (see under medium above), prompting the idea that it may have been drawn in order to create a reproductive engraving. This might satisfactorily explain many of the drawing's qualities, but would further undermine the attributions to Lievens and Rembrandt, and admit yet another possibility - that the drawing is a copy after Rembrandt by Johannes van Vliet (1600/1610-1668), who was chiefly active as Rembrandt's engraver between 1629 and 1636.[3] However, the latter's drawings are not sufficiently known and such an idea must remain a speculative one.
An unsigned painting of the composition, attributed to Van Vliet, is in the Lakenhal Museum in Leiden.[3] It repeats the design almost exactly but the head does not resemble Rembrandt's. There is another painted version of the subject, but with important differences, in a private collection, now usually ascribed to the circle of Lievens, although in my view an attribution to Rembrandt in c.1626-28 remains likely.[4]
For the time being the attribution must remain an open question, and we retain the generally preferred attribution to Lievens here; but certainly the drawing seems unlikely to be by Rembrandt, and might possibly be by Van Vliet.[5]
Iconographically, the composition was almost certainly intended to represent the sense of touch, as Rembrandt himself did in his early painting of an Operation (touch) now in a private collection.[6]
The drawing was engraved by Andrea Scacciati (as a work of 'A. Racker') in the 'Disegni originale d'eccellenti pittori esistenti nella Galleria Reale di Firenze, ecc,., published in Florence, 1766-74.
Condition: worn, discoloured and repaired (see inscriptions above); some oil stains; a tear, lower right, bottom edge (unrepaired); incipient, repaired tears elsewhere; frayed at or near corners and near edges.
Summary attribution: After Rembrandt (Jan Lievens?)
Date: 1632?
COLLECTION: I Florence, Uffizi (inv.1067E; stamped with L.930)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Baldinucci, 1673-75 (ed. P. Barocchi, 1975), p.193 (with annotation: 'Joannel Bacler no.1'); ibid., 1687, (ed. Monaci, 1987), p.748 ('Joannes Bacher, disegni 1'); Pelli Bencivenni, Indice, 1784, BU 463/3-2, c.174 ('Racker Joannes/ Miscell.e XXII/ N.164 / Un villano sedente a cui due figure gli sradicano un callo, / con suo dolore nella di lui / casa. A penna, e acquerello'); ibid., op. cit, BU 463/3-3, c.22v ('Joannes Racker / Un Villano sedente che / si fa tagliare i calli nella Bottega / di un chirurgo, a penna, e acquerello, bello'; and in margin 'E intagliato nella serie'); ibid., op. cit., c.382, Libro Universale XXII ('Joannes Racker 1'); Ramirez di Montalvo, 1849, cassetta VII, no.33 (A. Brouwer); Ferri, 1890, p.338 ('Abramo Brouwer');[7] Van Regteren Altena, 1925, p.145 (Lievens); Bauch, 1926, p.111, no.V (manner of Lievens); Schneider, 1932, p.70 (Rembrandt school in Leiden); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Bauch, 1939, p.256, repr. fig.186 (Lievens); Heppner, 1941, p.51 (inspired by Brouwer); Benesch, 1947, no.4, repr. (Rembrandt); Van Gelder, 1949, pp.206-7 (Rembrandt); Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, p.27, under no.52 (Rembrandt); Van Gelder, 1953, pp.283-84, repr. fig.14 (Rembrandt); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.51, repr. (c.1628); Benesch, 1955, p.389 (Rembrandt, inspired by Adriaen van de Venne); Van Gelder, 1955, p.395, n.2 (Rembrandt, c.1627); Van Regteren Altena, 1955.I, p.120, n.1 (Rembrandt; relates to two drawings in the Albertina, Inv.8560-61 [Sumowski 132* and 133* as Bol]); Exh. Leiden, 1956, no.82a; Knuttel, 1956, pp.68 and 245 (Rembrandt; preceds Bredius 422 [see n.1 here]); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.66 (Lievens, a transformation of a Rembrandt motif, with flatter forms); Rosenberg, 1956.III, p.351 (doubtful as Rembrandt); White, 1956.I, p.324 (controversial, between Rembrandt and Lievens); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.236 (Lievens); Sumowski, 1957-58, p.259 (Lievens); Bauch, 1960, pp.209ff. and 284, repr. fig.169 (Lievens); Roger-Marx, 1960, p.100, repr. fig.3 (Rembrandt, c.1628); Van Gelder, 1961, p.151 (problematic attribution); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.21 (probably Rembrandt, before c.1627-30; Rembrandt inscription on verso probably 17th-century); Sumowski, 1962, p.209 (Lievens); Exh. Florence, 1964, no.61, repr. fig.62 (Rembrandt; Bredius 422 a copy of a lost original by Rembrandt, for which the drawing a study); Sumowski-Frey, 1964, p.139, n.64 (Lievens, though Frey, op. cit., p.93 regards as Rembrandt); Van de Waal, 1964, p.43, n.96 (undecided between Rembrandt and Lievens); Bauch, 1967, p.166 (Lievens); Bredius-Gerson, 1969, p.587, under no.422; Hamann-Sumowski, 1969, p.446 (Lievens); Benesch, 1970, pp.170-71 (Rembrandt); Exh. Milan, 1970, no.1, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1626); Campbell, 1971, p.113 (Rembrandt, influence of Brouwer); Schneider-Ekkart, 1973, p.386, SZ 417; Sumowski, 1973, p.107 (Lievens); Florence, 1975, no.756 (Rembrandt?); Reznicek, 1977, p.89, repr. fig.12 (Rembrandt, on road to the 1636 Frankfurt Blinding of Samson, Bredius 501, Corpus A116); Sumowski, 1980, p.11 (Lievens); Sumowski, 1979 etc., no.1629*, repr. (Lievens, c.1628); Chiarini,, 1982b, pp.169, 205-206, n.159; Corpus, I, 1982, under no.C1, p.442, and under no.C.11, p.516, repr. fig.5 (Lievens); Leiden, 1983, p.375 (perhaps Van Vliet); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.1, n.4 (Lievens); Florence, 1986, II, p.447; Exh. Amsterdam, 1996, p.111, no.48, repr. fig.48.1 (attributed to Lievens); Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, p.201, repr. fig.26a (Lievens); Enklaar, 2005, p.35, repr. fig.1; Exh. Florence-Paris, 2008, no.62/56, repr. (Lievens); Exh.Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008–9, p.71, repr. fig.1 (Lievens, but particularly Rembrandtesque); Rubinstein, 2011, p.365, repr. fig.30 (rare genre scene among early Lievens drawings).
PROVENANCE: Cardinal Leopoldo de' Medici.
[1] Repr. Exh. Florence-Paris, 2008, p.182/145. The watermark information above is taken from this catalogue. Similar marks were employed for much of the first half of the 17th century. Compare also Laurentius 431-443, with dates from 1600-1643; perhaps the closest are their nos 439 (1631) and 440 (1634).
[2] Cf. for example, London, 2010, Bol nos 1 (with further examples, n.6) and 2.
[3] Leiden, 1983, no.266; Enklaar, 2005, p.35, repr. fig.1. The latter dates the painting, which bears traces of Van Vliet's signature, to 1658 or later, but it must be based on a prototype of the mid-to-late 1620s.
[4] Bredius 422, Corpus, I, 1982, C11; Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.26, repr. in colour.
[5] As suggested by Wurfbain in Leiden, 1983, p.375; Enklaar, 2005, p.35, dismisses the attribution to Van Vliet, preferring one to Rembrandt or his immediate following. Certainly the attribution to Van Vliet receives no support from his drawing in Basel of Three standing men (repr. Exh. Amsterdam, 1996, p.12, fig.2), but unlike that drawing, the Foot operation would be a copy after a lost prototype, and that might explain the disparity of styles.
[6] See Bredius 421A, Corpus B2. En suite paintings by Rembrandt of Hearing (three singers) and Sight (spectacles seller) are known (Bredius 421, Corpus B1; and Corpus B3, which is not in Bredius). The attribution to Rembrandt is now generally accepted and the paintings placed c.1624/25 (see, for example, Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, nos.9-11, repr., although the picture of Touch was not actually exhibited). En suite paintings by Rembrandt of Hearing (three singers) and Sight (spectacles seller) are known (Bredius 421, Corpus B1; and Corpus B3, which is not in Bredius). That the drawing was intended to represent the sense of touch is also noted by Middelkoop in Exh. Florence-Paris, 2008, no.62/56.
[7] The references to old catalogues of the Medici collections are from Exh. Paris-Florence, 2008 (see literature above). The old attribution to Backer is especially intriguing because it is so unusual; that to Brouwer seems wide of the mark and a commonplace association for a genre scene displaying extremes of emotional stress.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0052
Subject: The Reading
Verso: Blank, except for marks and inscriptions.
Medium: Tip of the brush in brown and brown wash; a few preliminary touches in pen and brown ink but only in the area of the woman's head and raised hand. A trial in pen and brown ink towards upper left. Inscribed in pen and brown ink, top right: '44' [Bonnat's album number]; and verso in graphite, lower right: 'Woodburn 1828 u/ eu/'.
175 x 193. No watermark; chain lines 22h; laid lines regular and fine, c.11/12 per cm. Paper almost pale brown (but not as dark a tone as the iron-gall drawings).
COMMENTS: The drawing is exceptional for Rembrandt, and therefore difficult to judge, and it seems particularly misplaced in Benesch's volume I; but although doubted or generally ignored by scholars, several comparisons persuasively support the attribution. First, the woman appears to be Titia van Uylenburgh, represented in the celebrated portrait drawing of 1639 (Benesch 441); the costume she wears could also belong to this period.[1] Secondly, the background wash to the left in these two works is also comparable;[2] and in both works the tip of the brush picks out the details. Thirdly, and perhaps most crucially, the darkly silhouetted figure on the right may be compared with the corrected figures at the bottom of the touched proof of the first state of the etching, Christ before Pilate (Bartsch 77) in the British Museum (repr. Amsterdam-London, 2000-1, p.138). An image of the detail is included here and the two works are remarkably similar. Finally, the background wash and the use of the tip of the brush to enhance the modelling are characteristic of a number of other drawings of c.1639, including Benesch 440 (compare the swirling movement of the brush in the nearer shoulder of the central figure) and even the somewhat earlier documentary sheet for the Dresden Ganymede, Benesch 92. The paper resembles the type used in Rembrandt's iron-gall ink drawings of c.1637-39, although it has not been prepared with such a pronounced tone here.
Nonetheless, the drawing remains an unusual one in Rembrandt's oeuvre before the late 1640s, especially with regard to the technique in almost pure brush. Yet the result can only be described as remarkable, an exceptionally bold drawing that anticipates works of the nineteenth or even the twentieth century to an extraordinary degree.
The title, the Reading, may be wrong, not least because the silhouetted figure on the right appears to be holding a lute or some similar musical instrument in front of the book or score from which he is playing.[3] Such a scene could possibly have contained connotations either of the sense of hearing, in a series of the senses (as in Rembrandt's early painting, Bredius 421, Corpus B1 - see further under Benesch 51) or of the Prodigal Son squandering his inheritance, which seems less probable given the apparent propriety of the gathering.[4]
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1639?
COLLECTION: F Bayonne, Musée Bonnat (inv. 1447)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, I, 151; HdG 682 (represents Holy family with Simeon in the temple); Benesch, 1935, p.9; Benesch, 1940, p.2; Van Regteren Altena, 1948, no.19; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.52, repr. (c.1631).
PROVENANCE: Samuel Woodburn, 1828 (see verso inscription); Léon Bonnat (1833-1922), and his square mark verso (not in Lugt) with inv. no.00641 (now obscured by inlay).
[1] See, for example, the Portrait of Maria Trip of 1639 (Bredius 356, Corpus A131).
[2] Compare also, for example, the wash in Benesch 395, 401, 406 and the Berlin Self-Portrait, Benesch 432.
[3] The idea stems from reading the lines reaching towards the woman's elbow as the neck of the instrument.
[4] However, Rembrandt used himself and Saskia as models for what is probably a depiction of this in his painting in Dresden, Bredius 30, Corpus A111.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0053
Subject: Self-Portrait with Mouth Open
Verso: Tracing of profile of the head on the recto in black chalk (not by Rembrandt)
Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey wash; ruled framing-lines in the same brown ink. Inscribed verso, in graphite, upper centre: '45' [in a circle]; top left, in pen and brown ink: '0+ 3' [?]; lower centre, in graphite: 'F' [?]; lower right by W. Y. Ottley, in pen and brown ink: 'no.253 wyo' (Lugt 2662). This does not denote that he owned the drawing, but was written as part of the inventory of the British Museum's collection during his time as Keeper of the Department of Prints and Drawings, 1831-33.
127 x 95. Watermark: fragment of a Basilisk or an armorial mark - not the same mark as on Benesch 54 (the drawing discussed below); chain lines horizontal, 25mm apart.
COMMENTS: Clearly acceptable as Rembrandt, the looping penwork being typical of the Leiden period (cf. no.0009 recto). The only question is the date, but the relationship with no.0009 of 1628-29 provides the clue, and is acceptable on the basis of the artist's age. See also no.0054, which, even more than the present sheet, connects with the etched Self-Portrait of 1629 (Bartsch 338), in which the artist is again similarly attired, with a pointed collar over a doublet with frogging down the cntre. The combination of pen and brown ink with grey wash is also found in the documentary drawing, Benesch 0008 of c.1628-29.
The thin, curling lines in pen and brown ink are comparable to two other drawings in the British Museum (Benesch 0028 amd 0035), again suggesting a date c.1628-9, when Rembrandt was 22-23 years old. Over the delicate work in ink the grey wash is applied more boldly, elaborating the delineation of the hair, shading the face and extending the figure below to include the bust.
The related 'Self-Portrait' in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (Benesch 0054), in which the torso is turned to the left, is comparable in size, style and technique. The head is smaller, and, with the tip of the brush in grey, Rembrandt added some zigzag shading behind the figure. In composition these drawings are indirectly related to some of Rembrandt's self-portrait etchings of c.1628-30[1] and to some painted self-portraits of the same period, in particular those in Amsterdam (Corpus A14, c.1628), Munich (Bredius 2, Corpus A19, c.1629) and Nuremberg (Corpus A21, copy 1, c.1629 [now regarded as the original version, rather than that in The Hague][2]). In the latter, the figure's mouth is only slightly open, and he wears a metal gorget and appears less dishevelled. The only self-portraits in oils of the Leiden period in which the artist is portrayed, as here, with his mouth open, are those in Munich, already mentioned, and Indianapolis (Corpus A22, copy 1 [now regarded as the original version, rather than that in Japan][3] of c.1629), although this feature is met with in some of the etchings,[4] including the 'Self-Portrait as a Beggar seated on a Bank', which is dated 1630 (Bartsch 174).
The number and informality of most of the early self-portraits also relate them to many other painted, drawn and etched busts or 'tronies' of the Leiden period, most of which are not self-portraits. Some of these images, including Benesch 0053 and 0054, may have been made as exercises in facial expression and as models for Rembrandt's pupils rather than as independent works for the art market.[5]
The marked 'chiaroscuro' of the drawing has prompted the plausible suggestion that it was made by artificial light[6] and that Rembrandt was concerned with studying the way the light passes across and through the mouth, illuminating its interior and creating a highlight at the corner of the mouth on the shadowed side of the face. This latter effect is found in paintings of the same period by the Utrecht Caravaggists.[7] It is also noteworthy that Rembrandt here portrays himself in his everyday clothes rather than in a historicising costume, as is more usual in his self-portraits.[8]
Unlike Rembrandt's painted and etched self-portraits, his drawings are rare, and only six others are known and generally accepted as autograph.[9]
An interesting variant, perhaps by a Rembrandt pupil of c.1650-60, who has apparently substituted his own face, is in a private collection.[10] Rembrandt's pupil, Samuel van Hoogstraten, in his De Inleyding tot de Hooge Schoole der Schilderkonst of 1678, recommends making critical copies of drawings in this way, reflecting the practice of Rembrandt's workshop.[11]
Condition: generally good; slightly stained at edges; brown ink somewhat faded and the sheet a little discoloured
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1628-29?
COLLECTION: GB London British Museum (inv. Gg,2.253)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bürger, 1858, pp.397-8 (perhaps a self-portrait); Bode, 1876, p.126 (relates to painting in Kassel, Bredius 1); Wurzbach, 1876, p.223; Middleton, 1878 under no.7 (relates to 1629 etching, Bartsch 338); Bode, 1881, p.60, repr. p.61 (the earliest drawing known to Bode; for the 1630 etching, 'Bl.219' [according to Seidlitz this refers to Bartsch 13]); Bode, 1883, p.379 (c.1629; Rembrandt's earliest surviving drawing); Dutuit, IV, 1885, p.85 (quotes Bode, 1883); Michel, I, 1893, pp.32-3 and 582 (related to Bartsch 338 of 1629); Seidlitz, 1895/1922, under nos.9, 13 and [1st ed. only] 338 (rejects Middleton, 1878, association of the drawing with Bartsch 338; related to Bartsch 9 and 13); Exh. London, 1899, no.A1 (c.1628-30; compared to etchings Bartsch 338 and 13); Lippmann, II, no.45; Kleinmann, III, no.43; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.895 (c.1629; related to Bartsch 338 and the painting in The Hague, Bredius 6, Corpus A21); Saxl, 1908, p.338 (c.1645); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; Hind, 1912/24, I, pp.54-5 [in 1st ed. only] and under no.4, pl.XIV (c.1629; not repr. in 2nd ed.); London, 1915, no.1, pl.1 (c.1629-30); Neumann, 1918I, no.33; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, III, 1925, under no.88 (compares Berlin 'Self-Portrait', Benesch 432, KdZ.1553); Weisbach, 1926, p.115 (compares The Hague painting and etchings in general); Berlin, 1930, p.230, under no.1553 (quotes Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann,1925); Bauch, 1933, pp.152,156 and 199, repr. fig.168 (c.1629; related to painting in The Hague); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.657 (c.1629; related to etchings Bartsch 13 and 338 and paintings [now] in Indianapolis - Bredius 3, Corpus A22 copy I; Amsterdam - Bredius 5, Corpus C34; and The Hague); Benesch, 1935, p.9 (c.1629); Benesch, 1935.I, p.262; Bredius 1937/35, under no.6 (related to Mauritshuis painting); Exh. London, 1938, no.1; Popham, 1939, p.67; Wichmann, 1939, p.19 and no.4, repr. (c.1628-9); Benesch, 1940, pp.6-9, repr. fig.6, reprinted 1970, pp.136-7, fig.103 (c.1627-8; earlier than Benesch 54); Pinder, 1943, pp.21-2, repr. p.14 (compares Bartsch 13); Schinnerer, 1944, no.1, repr. (c.1629); von Alten, 1947, no.1 repr. (c.1629); Benesch, 1947, p.10 and no.7 (as in 1940; drawn by artificial light); Rosenberg, 1948/64, I, p.5/8, II, pl.6; Münz, 1952, II, repr. pl.1, fig.1; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.53, repr. fig.60/61 (c.1627-8; resembles etching, Bartsch 27 which he believes c.1628; earlier than Benesch 54; also as Benesch, 1947); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, p.13, under no.6 (related to Mauritshuis painting and etching of 1629, Bartsch 338); Exh. London, 1956, p.7, no.1 (c.1629; compared to Bartsch 338); Rosenberg, 1956, pp.124-5, repr. fig.8 (relates to Mauritshuis painting); Bauch, 1960, pp.163 and 262, n.137 (compares Bartsch 338); Roger Marx, 1960, p.10, repr. fig.1a; Scheidig, 1962, p.35, repr. fig.1 (c.1627-8); White 1962, pl.12 (c.1628); Slive, 1963, p.133, fig.12; Benesch, 1964, p.109, reprinted 1970, p.249, repr. fig.103 (c.1627-8); Slive, 1964.I, p.486, fig.6 (compares Boston 'Self Portrait in the Studio', Bredius 419, Corpus A18); Slive, 1965, I, no.269, repr. (c.1629); van Regteren Altena and Frerichs, 1965, p.44 under no.55 (c.1629); Bauch, 1966, p.8, under no.112 (as Slive, 1964.I); Clark, 1966, repr. p.6, fig.4 (earliest self-portrait); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.1 (as Benesch); Erpel, 1967, p.15, repr. fig.4 and no.14 (c.1628-9); Gerson, 1968, p.30, repr. p.195, fig.a; Haak 1969/68, p.38, repr. fig.51 (c.1627-78); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, p.24, repr., and p.112, under no.24 (as Benesch); Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, under no.96 (c.1627-8; compares 'Beggar-Woman with Gourd', Washington, Benesch 24); Bonnier, 1970/69, p.6, repr. in colour, fig.2; Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.29 (related to Bartsch 13); Exh. London, 1974, no.143, repr.; Haak, 1976/74, no.1, repr. (c.1627-8); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.14; Defoer, 1977, p.18, n.38; Clark, 1978, p.12, repr. fig.3 ('true' likeness); Amsterdam, 1981, under no.1; Corpus, I, 1982, pp.211 and 216; Schatborn, 1982, p.253; Wright, 1982, pp.17 and 45, no.2, repr. pl.7 (c.1629; compares self-portrait in Lakenhal 'History Painting' and the Mauritshuis 'Self-Portrait', Bredius 460 and 6, Corpus A6 and A21); Exh. London, 1984, no.1 (c.1629); Haak, 1984, p.265, repr. fig.562; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.1, repr. fig.1a (c.1628-9); Chapman, 1990, pp.24 and 30, repr. fig.25 (c.1629; independent, not preparatory; introspective emphasis); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2I, pp.32-3 (with Amsterdam sheet, Benesch 54, a preliminary study for the etching of 1629, Bartsch 338); Exh. Leiden, 1991-2, pp.67 and 76, n.42, repr. p.98, fig. 46 (one of three grey wash drawings of Leiden period, with Benesch 54 and Benesch 8; related to print, Bartsch 338, Hind 4); Exh. London, 1992, no.1, repr.; Van de Wetering, 1997, p.4, repr. p.v (Rembrandt not usually seen in his everyday clothes); Exh. London-The Hague, 1999, no. 13, repr.; Hess, 1999, p.272, repr. fig.3 (Nuremberg painting based on the drawing; mouth slightly open in both); Portier-Theisz., 1999, p.86 (see n.7 above; also compares the etching, Bartsch 338); Exh. Nuremberg, 2001, p.11, repr. fig.5 (as Hess, 1999; holds that Amsterdam drawing, Benesch 54, made immediately before that in British Museum); Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, p.25, repr. fig.5; Exh. London, British Museum, 2002, Imaging Ulysses: Richard Hamilton's illustrations to James Joyce (ex. catalogue); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, p.77, repr. fig.55 (1628-29); London, 2010 (online), no.1 (1628-29); Corpus, IV, 2005, pp.48, 145, 148-50, repr. p.148, fig.93 (c.1628-9; length of hair varies in early self-portraits which cannot all be accurate; see further n.7 above); Berlin, 2006, p.78, under cat. no.17 (as Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925); De Winkel, 2006, p.139; London, 2010 (online), no.1, repr. (c.1628-29).
PROVENANCE: bequeathed by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode to the present repository in 1799.
[1] Compare in particular Bartsch 1, 4, 10, 13 and, as mentioned above, 338.
[2] See Exh. London-The Hague, 1999-2000, no.14a, Exh. Nuremberg, 2001 and Corpus, IV, 2005, p.597-8.
[3] See Exh. London-The Hague, 1999-2000, no.8 and Corpus, IV, 2005, pp.598-601.
[4] Bartsch 13, 316 and 320.
[5] See Schatborn's entry on the Rijksmuseum's drawing (Benesch 54) in Amsterdam, 1985, no.1, in which he quotes Rembrandt's pupil, Samuel van Hoogstraten, 1678, p.110, recommending artists to use their own faces in the mirror to study facial expressions.
[6] Benesch, 1947 (see Lit. below).
[7] As suggested in Corpus, IV, 2005, p.148. It is there surmised that this was the main purpose and focus of the drawing, but the consideration given to other details such as the eye in shadow should not be overlooked. Portier-Theisz., 1999, p.86 already saw the drawing as focussing on "l'étude d'expression de la bouche ouverte (d'étonnement ou de surprise)".
[8] See Van de Wetering, 1997 (see Lit. below).
[9] See Exh. London-The Hague, 1999-2000, nos.45 (Benesch 437; Washington), 47 (Benesch 432, Berlin), 63 (Benesch 1171, Amsterdam, Rembrandthuis, now often doubted, although I am inclined to accept it as by Rembrandt), 77 (Benesch 1176, Rotterdam) and 78 (Benesch 1177, Vienna). One other that comes in contention is Benesch 432 (Marseille).
[10] Previously in a private collection, Vienna, then with Boris Wilnitsky Fine Arts, Vienna (until early 2017); drawn with the tip of the brush; 138 x 95mm. The drawing is difficult to date but looks to be mid-seventeenth century (as does the paper).
[11] See Van de Wetering, 2016, pp.103-4.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0054
Subject: Self-Portrait
Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey wash; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink (comparable in tone to the ink of the drawing).
128 x 94. Watermark: top section of a crown, comparable to Churchill 274 (1622) and Heawood 546 (1607);[1] chain lines 23-25h. Inscribed verso in pen and brown ink, lower left: ‘P347’ or ‘P349’ [the last number crossed out].
COMMENTS: For a further discussion, see under Benesch 0053, which must have been drawn at around the same time (Benesch thought they might be from the same sketchbook). However, the use of dots of ink in the face is reminiscent of Reminiscent of Rembrandt's earliest drawings, such as the Two studies of the head of an old man in the J. Paul Getty Museum of c.1626 (inv. 83.GA.264; not in Benesch).[2] The stylistic connections with Benesch 53 and with Benesch 9 verso (Benesch’s recto) secure the attribution and date. Rather than with a momentary expression as in Benesch 53, the artist here represents himself with a less fleeting, more reflective demeanour, which comes close to the etched Self-Portrait of c.1629, Bartsch 338, which also repeats the hatching behind the torso.
Condition: slightly darkened and spotted. A backing paper mentioned in the 1931 auction has been removed.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1628-29?
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (RP-T-1961-75)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Graul, 1924, no.1 (c.1628-29); Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.94 (c.1629); Exh. Amsterdam, 1930 (according to Benesch only); Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.223 (c.1629); Bauch, 1933, pp.155 and 200, repr. fig.171 (c.1629); Freeman, 1933, no.1, repr.; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.658 (c.1630); Graul, 1934, no.1 (c.1629); Benesch, 1935, p.10 (c.1631); Exh. Berne, 1937, no.182 (c.1629); Benesch, 1939, p.5 [according to Amsterdam, 1985 - reference not found]; Benesch, 1940, pp.6-7, repr. fig.5, reprinted 1970, pp.136-7, fig.102 (1628-29; later than Benesch 53); Pinder, 1943, pp.22-23, repr. p.18 (c.1630); Brion, 1946, pl.IV (1629); Van Gelder, 1946, I, p.11, repr. fig.5 (c.1629); Benesch, 1947, no.8, repr. (as Benesch, 1940); Exh. Basel, 1948, no.3 (c.1628-29); Van Gelder, 1949, p.207; Boeck, 1953, p.199; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.54, repr. (c.1628-29; compares etching, Bartsch 338, and also Benesch 22); Bauch, 1960, p.262, n.137; Roger Marx, 1960, p.10, repr. fig.1b; Van Gelder, 1961, p.151, n.24; Van Regteren Altena, 1961, pp.69 and 84, no.31, repr.fig.19; Bauch, 1962, p.325 (c.1627-8); Van Hall, 1963, p.274, no.126 (c.1629); Slive, 1963, p.128, fig.29; Slive, 1964.I, p.486, fig.6 (compares Boston 'Self Portrait in the Studio', Bredius 419, Corpus A18); van Regteren Altena and Frerichs, 1965, no.55 (c.1629); Erpel, 1967, p.16, repr. fig.9, and pp.147-48, no.2 (c.1629-30); White, 1969, pp.107-8, repr. fig.132 (c.1629); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.24 (c.1629); Exh. Amsterdam, 1974-75, no.11 (c.1629); Defoer, 1977, p.18, n.38; Corpus, I, 1982, p.216; under no.A19; Wright, 1982, p.45, no.2, repr. pl.6 (c.1628); Schatborn, 1983, p.452, repr. fig.1 (c.1629); Amsterdam, 1985, no.1, repr. (c.1628-9); Chapman, 1990, p.24, repr. fig.24 (c.1629); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2.I, pp.32-3, repr. fig.4a (with Benesch 53 a preliminary study for the etching of 1629, Bartsch 338); Exh. Leiden, 1991-2, pp.67, n.12 and 76, n.42 (one of three grey wash drawings of Leiden period, with Benesch 53 and Benesch 8; related to print, Bartsch 338); Exh. London, 1992, under no.1, repr. fig.1a; Exh. London-The Hague, 1999, no. 12, repr. (c.1629); Exh. Nuremberg, 2001, p.11, repr. (holds that Benesch 54 made immediately before Benesch 53); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, pp.77-78, no.12, repr. (1628-29); Corpus, IV, 2005, pp.48, 145, 148-50, repr. fig.95 (c.1628-9; length of hair varies in early self-portraits which cannot all be accurate); Berlin, 2006, p.78, under no.17; De Winkel, 2006, p.139; London, 2010 (online), under no.1 (c.1628-29); Rubinstein, 2011, p.366, repr. fig.32.
PROVENANCE: Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), London (L.2445); Samuel Woodburn (1786-1863), London (see under L.2584; not in his 1835 catalogue of Lawrence’s drawings); William Esdaile, (1758-1837), London; his sale, London, Christie's, 17 June 1840, lot 58 (?): "Rembrandt's portrait, a slight sketch; from Sir Joshua Reynolds' collection" [the marks of Reynolds and Lawrence may have been trimmed away], bt Woodburn (?), 13 shillings;[3] Edith Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Leipzig, 1924; Cornelis Hofstede de Groot (1863-1930), The Hague (L.561); his sale, Leipzig, Boerner, 4 November 1931, lot 160 bt Van Diemen; I. de Bruijn-van der Leeuw (Spiez, CH), by whom presented to the present repository in 1949 with lifetime usufruct (until 28 November 1960; acquired 1961).
[1] The mark repr. Amsterdam, 1985, p.242, cat.1.
[2] Not in Benesch. See Malibu, 1988, no.113, repr. and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.325, no.1, repr. fig.77. On the other hand Benesch thought that the present drawing was later (c.1628-29) than the one in the British Museum (c.1627-28).
[3] Between Esdaile and Hofstede de Groot, Benesch, who does not list E. Mendelssohn Bartholdy among the previous owners of the drawing, instead lists the name 'Kann'. The provenance given above follows Amsterdam, 1985, no.1, which omits this. The British Museum records 'E. Kann' as the vendor in 1897 of one drawing by Jost Amman (1897,0113.1), and Eduard Kann (1880-1962, Austrian) as a collector of oriental coinage.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0055
Subject: An Old Woman, bust, full face ('Rembrandt's Mother')
Pen and brown ink with brown wash. Inscribed lower left: 'Rembrandt'; the page has some letterpress, upper right corner: ''inentUal' [?]
122 x 105.
COMMENTS: The identification of the sitter as Neeltje van Zuytbrouck, the artist's mother, is improbable.[1] The drawing seems acceptable as Rembrandt on the basis of Benesch 0053-54, and the rather 'worked up' penwork has links with Benesch 0050. But the slashes of wash, repeatedly in the same direction, look to have been made by Rembrandt at a later moment, possibly in the mid-to-late 1630s (cf. Benesch 281a and 283). There seem to be no clear grounds for attributing the drawing to Gerrit Dou, as has been attempted.[2] As Benesch (1954/73) surmised, the drawing was probably made from life by artificial light.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1628-29?
COLLECTION: D Ulm, Ulmer Museum (Strölin bequest)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bauch, 1933, p.205, repr. fig.142; Valentiner 670 (c.1630); Benesch, 1935, p.10; Benesch, 1940, p.7, no.1 (reprinted 1970, p.137, fig.102); Benesch, 1947, no.5, repr.; Münz, 1952, II, p.179, under no.318; Münz, 1953, pp.144, 146 and 157, repr. (Dou); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.55, repr. (c.1628-29; compares Benesch 53 and the 1628 etching of Rembrandt's mother, head only, Bartsch 352); Exh. Paris, 1974, no.75, repr.; Sumowski, 1979 etc., under no.533*; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, p.16, no.18, repr. (1628; contrasted with Lievens - Rembrandt concentrates more on the rendering of light; drawn before the 1628 etchings of his mother, Bartsch 352 and 354). [Not mentioned in Exh. Leiden, 2005-2006.]
PROVENANCE: A. Strölin, Lausanne; by descent (via Paris) until bequeathed to the present repository (c.2009).
[1] The drawing, surprisingly, is not mentioned in Exh. Leiden, 2005-2006.
[2] By Münz, 1952 and 1953 (see literature above).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0056
Subject: Rembrandt's Father, Harmen Gerritsz. van Rijn (c.1568-1630)
Verso: Sketch of a Seated Man, full-length, leaning forward
Medium: Red and black chalk with brown wash. Verso: red chalk only. Inscribed recto by Rembrandt in pen and brown ink, lower centre: 'HARMAN. GERRITS. / van den Rhijn'; inscribed verso, 17th-18th century [?], in red chalk, centre left edge (or below in relation to the recto): 'no.7'; inscribed in graphite (by Chambers Hall?): 'rembrant 36 CH' [crossed out]
190 x 240. Upper corners rounded. Watermark: crowned coat-of-arms, similar to Churchill 289 (Neuchâtel, c.1626).[1]
COMMENTS: The handwriting, which may be compared with that in Rembrandt's letters, is undoubtedly the artist's own, and the Lastman-esque verso speaks for the Leiden period. The three, almost doodled heads of the same figure at either side of the recto, covered (presumably by Rembrandt himself) with wash, are curious, as is the slackly drawn body. The question arises as to whether the drawing was made from around the time of the sitter's death in 1630, as has been proposed, or earlier and from life. In the compiler's view the style speaks for a date from before 1630. As well as Lastman in the verso, the recto betrays similarities with drawings by Lievens in the careful shading of the face, which may be compared with Lievens' Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, now in Dresden of c.1625-28.[2] The watermark, the same as in Benesch 0007, further supports an early dating, and c.1628 is suggested here.
The sitter does not resemble the figure in many of Rembrandt’s early paintings and etchings who has traditionally been identified as Rembrandt’s father; but a small painting in the Bader collection remains a likely depiction of the same model.[3] Rembrandt's father died in 1630 (buried 27 April), providing a possible terminus ante quem, unless the drawing was made from memory; but as already mentioned, from the style and the watermark that does not seem particularly likely.
Little is known of Rembrandt's father; he was a prosperous miller and at his death his widow left an estate valued at almost 10,000 guilders.[4]
The pensive figure on the verso seems clearly autograph but it cannot be convincingly related to any other work by Rembrandt. As mentioned abpve its sparing delineation is reminiscent of Lastman's style, which helps bolster the early date proposed here.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1628?
COLLECTION: GB Oxford, Ashmolean Museum (inv. WA.1855.11; stamped with L.2003)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 1134; Graul, 1906, no.2; Hind, 1906, pp.426-27; Oxford, 1907, III, 24; Hind, 1912, I, p.84, under no.21; Exh. London, 1929, no.575 (Commemorative catalogue, 1930, p.197); Hind, 1932, repr. pl.II; Bauch, 1933, p.197, repr. fig.135; Valentiner 669; Benesch, 1935, p.10; Exh. London, 1938.I, no.550; Oxford, 1938, no.182; Benesch, 1947, no.14, repr.; Münz, 1953, pp.177-80, repr. fig.205; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.56, repr. (c.1630); Bauch, 1960, pp.170-73; Tümpel, 1977, p.11 (c.1630); Held, 1980, p.31, repr. fig.23; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.77, n.5; Schatborn, 1986, pp.61-62; Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, no.6 and p.98, repr.; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, p.52, repr.; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, pp.45 and 220; Exh. Boston, 2000-2001, p.117, repr. figs 41 and 16a; Exh. Kyoto-Frankfurt, 2002-2003, p.68, repr. fig.10b; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, under no.9, repr. fig.9a; Exh. Leiden, 2005, no.59, repr. (c.1630); Schatborn and Dudok van Heel, 2011, p.347, no.1, repr. back cover (recto) and fig.151 (verso).
PROVENANCE: presented to the present repository by Chambers Hall (1786-1855), Southampton and London (L.551), in 1855.
[1] As reported in Berlin, 2006, p.26, n.3.
[2] Sumowski 1625*; Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-2009, no.92, repr..
[3] Bredius 633, Corpus 22C (but now generally accepted as by Rembrandt, c.1630). See Exh. Boston, 2000-2001, no.16.
[4] See Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, p.52 and Exh. Leiden, 2005-6.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0057
Subject: Self-Portrait in a Soft Hat (the head etched)
Verso: see inscriptions
Medium: Etching, completed in black chalk and touched in pen and brown ink; at top only, the remnants of a ruled framing-line in graphite. Inscribed recto, by the artist in black chalk, left: ‘ÆT.24 [corrected from 27]. / Anno.1631.’, and lower right, ‘Rembrandt’; an indecipherable number in graphite, top right. Verso: graphite, top centre: ‘M-52—II/ Touched/ 2’ (nineteenth century); top right, in graphite: ‘128’
133 x 120. No watermark; chain lines 21/22h.
COMMENTS: The head is etched rather than drawn, making this a touched proof, but it is otherwise a documentary drawing, signed and dated 1631. The print's inclusion by Benesch in the catalogue of Rembrandt’s drawings is justified by the extent of the work in black chalk. However, the dating of the black chalk is problematic, and some readers may prefer to read the summarised opinion at the end of this commentary. Some comparative illustrations have been included.
The etching is the unique impression of the unfinished 2nd state of the print, the 1631 Self-Portrait in a soft hat and patterned cloak (Bartsch 7), an etching to which the body is added only from the 5th state. But the final composition is a half-length rather than the bust seen here and the pose in the etching is more frontal. The drapery is also significantly different. Despite the narrow fictive margin below the image in the touched proof, the sheet has been trimmed, as the plate usually measures 148 x 130 mm.[1] In the completed states it prints without a lower margin – the image fills the plate below.
It was long - and not unreasonably - assumed that the present sheet was a preliminary sketch for the completion of the etching, which is also monogrammed and dated 1631 in the plate, but that the design was rejected in favour of the more frontal pose that was finally adopted.[2] As the etching is Rembrandt’s first proper self-portrait in print (rather than merely a character study based on his own features), it would be no surprise that he should take particular care on its preparation.
Two other early proofs of the same etching exist that are also reworked in black chalk. The first, the Bibliothèque Nationale impression of the 4th state, is signed and dated in almost exactly the same way (including the adjustment of the artist’s age from 27 to 24). It shows the body drawn in black chalk in a more frontal pose, with hints of the patterning to come on the sleeve. But it remains closer in composition to Benesch 57 than to the etching. The other impression, drawn on an example of the 3rd state in the British Museum (inv. no. 1848,0911.9), is more fragmentary and unsigned, but shows the upper bust of the figure in black chalk, almost exactly as finished in the etching.[3]
The straightforward assessment of the touched impressions as studies for the completion of the plate is however undermined by two main factors: the form of the signature, and the relationship of Benesch 57 and the Bibliothèque Nationale’s proofs to two painted self-portraits of 1632 including the form of the signature.
In Rembrandt’s signature, the full first name, spelt ‘Rembrandt’ rather than ‘Rembrant’, only appears on his works of art from 1633. This has prompted the suggestion that the chalk additions date from later than the etched head, which is from 1631 (as already mentioned, it is signed and dated in the copper plate – see n.2). The artist's age, adjusted from 27 to 24 in this and in the proof in Paris, would imply that the artist added the chalk busts later, in 1633-34, when he was 27 (he was born on 15 July 1606); and that realising his error in dating the face to the time when he drew in black chalk, so the argument runs, he adjusted his age back to 24. So presumably the etching was begun when Rembrandt was 24 – before his 25th birthday on 15 July, 1631. The watermarks in the first nine states confirm, at least, that they were all completed at the same time, in 1631.[4] It is therefore argued, and the theory is generally accepted, that the chalk additions are indeed later, made two to three years after the impressions had been printed. (Before the watermark evidence emerged, it was often thought that the etching was probably only completed later as well, in 1633-34, after the rehearsals in black chalk.)[5]
The issues are complicated by the existence of two related paintings, both signed and dated 1632. The first, a small Self-Portrait now in a private collection (not in Bredius; Corpus IV, Add.1, pp.609-15), closely resembles Benesch 0057, though in reverse. The painting shows the artist in a marginally more frontal pose and with shorter hair at the back; his proportions are slightly elongated and only the hat brim is significantly different to the etched head. Intriguingly, an X-radiograph of the picture (reproduced in Corpus, loc. cit.) suggests that the figure was originally placed in a slightly more slimmed down, less frontal position that was closer to Benesch 0057. This would support the theory that the touched proof came before the completion of the painting.
The second oil, the bust-length oval Self-Portrait now in Glasgow (Bredius 17, Corpus A58), resembles and is in the same direction as the retouched impression of the 4th state in Paris; but the artist’s head is seen more frontally and his hat is reversed, and there is no sign of the patterned sleeve. Given the somewhat searching quality of the drawn areas, it again seems that the Paris impression could have been used as a preparatory sketch for the Glasgow painting.[6]
To conclude that the chalk additions in Benesch 57 and the Paris variant are preliminary studies for the two paintings of 1632 would return those additions to 1631. But we would then have to believe either that Rembrandt only inscribed the sheets with his age and date later, in 1633-34, which seems unlikely (the chalk in the inscriptions and the drawn parts appear uniform and contemporary with each other); or that he inscribed the sheets at the same time as he drew them, in 1631, but in both cases mistook his own age and used a signature that became the norm in his work only later.[7] Neither scenario seems unproblematic, though the former is clearly preferable. The decisive clue must be in the style, and on balance (no more than that!) the smooth handling of the chalk speaks for a later date than 1631 (compare, for example, the more rugged handling of black chalk in the documentary drawing of 'Diana at the Bath' of c.1630-31, Benesch 21). In addition, the device of the fictive arch in Benesch 57 clearly resembles Rembrandt's drawn 'Portrait of a Man in an Armchair' in the Payson collection (Benesch 433), which is signed and dated 1634. Thus the style and the arch both support (neither of them decisively) dating the black chalk additions to 1633-34.
The arched composition seen here was influenced by Paulus Pontius's engraving of 1630 after Rubens's 'Self-Portrait' painted for Charles I and still in the royal collection at Windsor.[8] From it Rembrandt also adopted not only the hat but also the pose of the body turned to the left, a feature both of the present sheet and the completed etching. Rubens's image also seems to have informed the two painted Self-Portraits of 1632 discussed above.[9]
To summarise: although signed and dated 1631 (so that the sheet has documentary status), because of the form of Rembrandt's signature, the style of the chalk passages and the correction to his age from 27 to 24, the drawn parts of Benesch 57 probably date from 1633-34. This was after the completion of the design of the etching in its first nine states.[10] The adjustment in the artist’s age suggests that Rembrandt felt it important to record it correctly.[11]
It may not be coincidental that J. G. van Vliet made a copy of the etching which is dated 1634. Is it possible that Rembrandt, in 1633-34, was revisiting the compositions of his painted and etched self-portraits of 1632 with a view to producing up-to-date image of himself in a similar guise? The idea is highly speculative, but reveals the remaining difficulty in explaining the existence of these ‘latterly retouched’ etched self-portraits of 1633-34, based on works of 1631-32.
An etched copy after this sheet was made in 1809 by I.J. de Claussin.[12]
Condition: worn at top corners and slightly rubbed; the fragmentary framing line suggests that the sheet has been trimmed, as does the fact that the etching-plate was larger than the present sheet.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1633-34 [the etched head 1631]
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.1842,0806.134; formerly 1973.U.789)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: de Claussin, 1824, p. 5, under no.7, and 1828, p.2 (notes several touched impressions, usually signed and dated 1631; he may therefore have known the present sheet); Blanc, II, 1861, pp.144-6 (confuses PROVENANCEs of present sheet and British Museum inv.1848,0911.9, but knew both); Vosmaer, 1868, p.21; Middleton, 1878, pp.xli and 53, under no.52, and repr. pl.1, fig.3 (see n.5); Willshire, 1874, p.115 (PROVENANCE; I am grateful to Felix Pollack for this reference); Dutuit, I, 1883, p.49, under no.7; Rovinski, 1890, under no.7, repr. pl.21; Michel, 1893, p.4; Seidlitz, 1895/1922, under no.7 (first half of 1631; notes other two touched impressions); 1899, London (BM), p.23, no.50b; Hofstede de Groot, 1906[I], p.II, no.16; Exh. Paris, 1908, p.23, under no.10; Hind, 1912/24, under no.54 (see notes 3 and 6); Neumann, 1918, pp.105-6; Graul, 1920, p.11; Bauch, 1933, p.217; Benesch, 1935, p.9; Exh. London, 1938, p.18, no.54; van Gelder, 1946, VI, p.11, repr. p.15; Münz, 1952, I, repr. pl.14, 11, pp.28 and 56, and under no.14 (Rembrandt not satisfied with drawn solution; etching completed later – by van Vliet?); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.57, repr. fig.62/66; Biörklund and Barnard, 1955, p.35; Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, under no.15 (see n.11); van Hall, 1963, p.274, no.129; Erpel, 1967, pp.156-7 and no.41, repr. fig.23; White, 1969, I, pp.109 and 120, II, repr. pl.135; White and Boon, 1969, I, p.2, under no.B7 ('4' corrected from '7'); Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.35, under no.46; Campbell, 1971, pp.61-3, repr. fig.4 (Rubens' influence; iconography resembles portraits of artists, not self-portraits); Rosenberg, 1973, p.108 (c.1630; compares Vienna 'Self-Portrait', Benesch 1177); Slatkes, 1973, p.255 (based on Rubens); Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, pp.76-7, repr.; Broos, 1982, pp.246 and 251 (1633; see n.5); Wright, 1982, p.45, no.4, pl.36; Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-6, no.19 (1633); Exh. Paris, 1986, p.55, under no.21 (print before July 1631); Exh. Amsterdam, 1989, p.179, repr. (quotes Vosmaer, who in 1863 used the date as evidence that Rembrandt was born in 1607, and Broos, 1982); Chapman, 1989, pp.209-10, repr. fig.7 (suggests the redrawing postdates the sequence of states); Chapman, 1990, p.61, repr. fig.91 (quotes Broos, 1982; not preparatory, as Chapman 1989 – see n.10; compares painting as Hind, 1912/24; Rubens's influence, as Slatkes, 1973); Exh. Glasgow, 1990-91, p.17; Royalton-Kisch, 1991[I], p.280, repr. fig.14; Royalton-Kisch, 1991[II], repr. p.305, fig.182; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2[I], pp.167-8, repr. fig.12; Exh. London, 1992, no.8a, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1993, pp.111-122, repr. fig.56 (dates and PROVENANCE); Exh. Liverpool, 1994-5, no.12, repr.; van de Wetering, 1997, p.4, repr. fig.3 (Rembrandt not often portrayed in everyday clothes); Starcky, 1999, p.11, repr.; Exh. London-The Hague, 1999-2000, no.32 bis, repr, fig.32c;; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, no.13.II, repr.; Exh. Washington-London-The Hague, 2000-2001, p.90, under cat. no.14, repr. fig.1 (influenced Dou's painted Self-Portrait of c.1645 in a private collection, Spain); van de Wetering, 2002[I], pp.39-40, repr.p.35, fig.42 (see n.11 above); Exh. Rome, 2002-2003, no,13,ii, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 2003, p.39, repr. fig.42; Dickey, 2004, p.27, repr. fig.34 (not a study but an afterthought); Dickey, 1998, fig.32 (retouches date from 1639); Binstock, 2006, p.271, repr. fig.19b (chalk additions part of preparation for the print; the artist's age never read '27' but always '24', the sloping '4' then readjusted); Schwartz, 2006, p.151, repr. fig.258; London, 2010 (online), no.7.1; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.17, repr. fig.93 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Possibly J. P. Zomer and A. M. Zanetti (see n.3); Consul Joseph Smith, Venice; his sale, Christie’s, 6th day, 27 April, 1776, part of lot 57: ‘REMBRANDT’S WORKS’, bt Boydell, £288-15s; Marquess of Donegal (his collection said in the catalogue to have belonged to Smith), sale, London, Stewart, 2nd day, 31 January, 1800, lot 151: ‘A Portrait of Rembrandt, an Original Drawing, by himself, in the 27th year of his Age, 1631, finely executed’ (the Museum’s copy inscribed by the dealer, Thane: ‘This print is evidently the same as that now in the British Museum from Mr Harding’s Colln who bot it at the Buckingham sale Head part a print same as lot 126 [an impression of one of the ‘head only’ states], the bottom drawn & the whole ornamented, it seems by one of his Scholars (Thane)’); George Hibbert (L.2849); his sale, London, Th. Philipe, 17 April, etc., 1809, 13th day, lot 7, bt Woodburn, £5-0-0; Duke of Buckingham; his sale, London, Phillips, 12th day, 12 June, 1834, lot 1573, bt Josi, £53 –11s (presumably for Harding); purchased by the British Museum with the collection of Joseph Harding of Finchley, 1842 (see L. under no. 1196).
[1] See White and Boon, 1969, I, pp.2-3, no.B7. The first four states represent the head and hat only.
[2] The etching is not signed with the monogram and date, 1631, until the fifth state, but this may be because the plate was only inked in the head in the earlier states, so that the monogram and date in the top left corner would not have printed; all the impressions of the first four states have been cut so that the signature would in any case probably have been removed. See White, I, 1969, p.110, n.5. Only one (the Amsterdam impression of the fourth state) might have shown the signature, but even this is uncertain (see the reproduction published by Rovinski, 1890, no.25). White, loc. cit., suggests that it has been trimmed more than the sheet under discussion.
[3] The authenticity of the retouching on the British Museum's second touched impression (1848,0911.9) is hard to judge because of its rubbed condition. It is usually rejected, e.g. by Hind, 1912/24, under no.54, and White and Boon, 1969, I, p.3. In the compiler's view (first voiced in Royalton-Kisch, 1993), the additions are likely to be by Rembrandt, a view supported by the fact that it was kept together with the Bibliothèque Nationale's impression in the albums compiled by J.P. Zomer, founded on Rembrandt’s own collection, and subsequently owned by A. M. Zanetti and Baron Vivant-Denon (see Duchesne, 1826, p.94, nos.311-12). The existence in Venice in the eighteenth century of both the British Museum's and the Paris touched impressions raises the suspicion that Zanetti sold some 'duplicates' from the Zomer albums to Consul Smith. The British Museum's smaller touched impression (1848,0911.9) was subsequently purchased from Samuel Woodburn by Lord Aylesford in 1829. It came to the Museum with many items from the Aylesford collection in 1848 via the dealer W. Smith (see L.58). The Bibliothèque Nationale's impression was owned after the sale of Denon's collection in 1827 by Thomas Wilson (see his catalogue of Rembrandt's etchings, 1836, p.28, note), who bought it from Woodburn (see L.2580). According to Lugt (loc. cit.) Wilson sold his collection to W. B. Tiffin in c.1830 but repurchased part of it. In 1877 his impression was owned by Lord Holford, who lent it to the exhibition at the Burlington Fine Arts Club (Exh. London, 1877, p.55, no.7). Details of the PROVENANCE of the British Museum's impressions can be gleaned from a marked copy of Wilson's catalogue, kept in the British Museum (Department of Prints and Drawings). See further Royalton-Kisch, 1993.
[4] See Exh. London, 2000-2001, under cat. no.13, and Hinterding, 2006, vol.II, p.244, where impressions of the first nine states are recorded as having watermarks of no later than 1631.
[5] That the work in black chalk was executed later than 1631 was in fact already proposed by Seymour Haden (Exh. London, 1877, p.32, and Seymour Haden, 1879, p.23, basing himself only on the Bibliothèque Nationale's impression) and by Middleton, 1878, p.xli and p.53, repr. pl.1, fig.3, who also mentions the present sheet and the second touched impression in the British Museum (1848,0911.9). Both based their arguments, which were long forgotten, on the style and on the form of the signature. Schatborn, in Exh. Amsterdam, 1981, no.4b (referring only to the Paris impression), and Broos, 1982, p.251 (in which he refers to his article in the 'NRC Handelsblad', in the 'Cultureel Supplement', no. 543, 1 May, 1981, p.1, an article I have not seen) and again in Exh., Amsterdam, 1985-6, no.19, saw that the correction from 'Aet.27' to 'Aet.24' by the artist gives the clue to the date of the additions and proposed a dating in 1633 (without reference to Middleton and Seymour Haden's views). The artist was born on 15 July, 1606 according to Orlers, 1641, p.375 (see Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.45), and this date is now generally accepted, although some caution was voiced by Jacobs, 1988, p.99.
[6] The etching's analogies with this painting were first noted by Hind, 1912; the change from the bust length in Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956 (see Lit. below).
[7] The present signature resembles that on the drawing of 'Christ among his Disciples' of 1634 in the Teylers Museum in Haarlem (Benesch 89). The earliest dated drawing to be signed with the artist's first name in full is the 'Study for Lot drunk' of 1633 in Frankfurt (Benesch 82). The first paintings to be signed in this way also date from 1633 (see Corpus, II, 1986, pp.99-106) apart from the 'Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp' of 1632 in the Mauritshuis, The Hague (Bredius 403, Corpus A51). There it is spelt 'Rembrant' (and its authenticity is doubtful; see Corpus, II, 1986, p.182). One etching of 1632, the 'St Jerome praying, arched', is signed 'Rembrant [sic] ft. 1632'. As for the paintings and drawings, the name 'Rembrandt' is the norm for the etchings (though sometimes without the 'd') from 1633 (for an overview of the signatures on the etchings, see Münz, 1932, II, p.48). Autograph documents of 1631 are also signed without the 'd' (see Corpus I, 1982, vol. pp.53ff.). The first document to be signed by the artist with the 'd' dates from 10 June 1634, being the banns of his marriage to Saskia (Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, pp.106-7, no.1634/2, with reproduction). Surprisingly Benesch, 1964, p. 124, n.11, wrote that he knew of no instance in which the artist had spelt his name 'Rembrant'(!).
[8] The print is Hollstein 121.III (under Pontius), Corpus Rubenianum, XIX, 135 (copy 11) and Voorhelm Schneevoogt 157.1. The influence was first noted by Slatkes, 1973, p.255. That Rembrandt only occasionally depicted himself in modern, everyday dress was noted by van de Wetering, 1997, p.4.
[9] Münz, 1952 (see Lit. above) felt that the discrepancy of style in the later states of the etching warranted the attribution of the print's completion to J.G.van Vliet. This never became a widely held view. Hinterding (in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.26-28), revealed that the 10th and the final 11th states were made later (respectively in c.1637 and ‘after 1648’).
[10] Chapman, 1990, p.61, argued that the retouchings postdate the sequence of states.
[11] As noted by van de Wetering, 2002, pp.39-40.
[12] As noticed by Jaco Rutgers, who found an impression in the Art Institute of Chicago (email correspondence, 21 March 2011). As he mentions, the date (1809) suggests that De Claussin saw it at the Hibbert sale.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0057a
Subject: Entrance to a Town with two figures under an arched gateway
Verso: Blank - see inscriptions
Medium: Pen and dark brown ink with brown wash in two tones (lighter on the left) on pale brown paper (perhaps washed this colour). Inscribed in graphite below with a device resembling a zero (0) over an upside down four (4) and in centre: '4'.
143 x 153 25h (c.12 laid lines/cm). No watermark. Mat: modern only.
COMMENTS: There is nothing with which the drawing can be wholly satisfactorily compared in order to secure the attribution, yet the wash has some connections with Benesch 0009 recto and the eccentric looping of the penwork, for instance in the dog to the lower right, seems characteristic enough (compare in this respect the lower left of Benesch 8). The light-filled gateway and the contrasts are reminiscent of near-contemporary drawings by Italianate draughtsmen, such as Bartholomeus Breenbergh (1598-1657). The more 'Dutch-looking' wall and buildings to the right speak of the Netherlands. The scene has not been identified.
The drawing, the first outdoor sketch by Rembrandt known, has not been greatly discussed and has even been remarked upon disparagingly. Benesch found the treatment of light 'masterly' but wrote of the 'still unskilled handling of the pen'. Yet surely its informality as a sketchbook page needs to be taken into account. The abstract qualities, the broad and deftly-applied washes (the sharp diagonal perspective of the slope of the sunlight on the left and the shadow along the wall and across the arch seem to have been drawn with very few brushstrokes) and the rendition of light, distance and atmosphere with such minimal means should all prompt our admiration and perhaps astonishment.[1] Not for nothing has the attribution never been seriously doubted; not for nothing did the drawing appeal to such sophisticated aesthetes and connoisseurs as Ricketts and Shannon.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1628-29?
COLLECTION: GB Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum (inv.2138)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/57, no.57a, repr.; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257; Larsen, 1983, pp.80-82, repr. fig.15; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.5; Exh. Washington-Chicago-Los Angeles, 1985-86, p.168; Exh. Washington, 1990, no.31, repr. (c.1627-29; Rembrandt's "inauspicious debut as a landscape artist"); Exh. Leiden, 1991-92, pp.29 and 73, repr. fig.4; Lee, 1992, p.191, repr fig.x; Royalton-Kisch, 1992 (1987), p.116, repr. fig.7 (only outdoor drawing from Leiden years; extraordinarily broad and abstract); Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2002, no.36, repr. (c.1628-29).
PROVENANCE: Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon (L.2238d); bequeathed to the present repository by Charles Shannon, 1937.
[1] The drawing was not mentioned in Exh. Kassel-Leiden, 2006-2007.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0058
Subject: Kneeling Man
Medium: Black chalk (possibly charcoal?). Inscribed verso by a later hand, in graphite, upper right: 'P14' and lower right: ''Verz. Hute(aide a liter [?]) / 12 1/2 x 1 4/6 [?] / x, [underlined] 7 1/2/12 1/2 x 90 ½'.
129 x 126. Watermark: Basel crozier with pendant initials NHM (compares very closely and likely identical with Laurentius 2007, no.294, repr., in a document signed by Maurits Huygens in The Hague on 27 March 1638).
COMMENTS: In style the drawing compares well with others in black chalk, some of them made in the Leiden period, such as Benesch 0012. This would place the drawing c.1629, earlier than Benesch thought, while Robinson believes it is later (see Exh. Greenwich, Conn., 2011-12, no.6).
The watermark argues for the later possibility, as an identical mark appears in a document signed by Maurits Huygens in The Hague on 27 March 1638 (as noted above) and in Benesch 180 (the verso of which bears traces of a drawing in black chalk).[1] There are also stylistic analogies with drawings such as Benesch 370. The figure in the present sheet is somewhat simplified, the blocked-out construction and the rough-hewn (though effective) shading reflecting Rembrandt's style of the Leiden period. The youth represented seems to be engaged in a narrative and Benesch, I believe correctly, saw the figure as holding a cloak over his arms, prompting his suggestion that he could be one of Joseph's brothers holding the blood-stained cloak, as in the 1633 etching, Bartsch 38.[2]
The figure seems to be echoed in the 1650s by Rembrandt's pupil, Ferdinand Bol, on the left of his red chalk composition study for the Continence of Scipio, now in the Akademie in Vienna (Sumowski 109).[3] The way the head is drawn is particularly similar and the possibility that Bol drew the present sheet cannot be wholly ruled out.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1635-38?
COLLECTION: George and Maida Abrams collection, Boston
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.58, repr. (c.1632-33; apparently a study for a brother of Joseph, as in Bartsch 38 - Joseph's coat brought to Jacob; compares Benesch 83 and 196); Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, under no.3 (as Benesch); Exh. Greenwich, Conn., 2011-12, no.6, repr. (later than 1633; depicts a shepherd).
PROVENANCE: Carl Emil Duits, London (L.533a) and by descent until sold via the dealer Stephen Somerville, London, to the present owner.
[1] Bevers suggests a date c.1635-38 for Benesch 180 in Berlin, 2006, no.15, and describes the traces of a black chalk drawing on the verso. The watermark is also illustrated on p.221 (but incorrectly described as with the pendant letters EHM rather than NHM). I am grateful to William W. Robinson for an image of the watermark in Benesch 58 and discussing it with me. I subsequently found the match in Laurentius 2007; this might suggest that the drawings were made in The Hague.
[2] Robinson reads the diagonal lines below as a shepherd's crook, but this seems uncertain. The line could as well represent the edge of a step or platform.
[3] The way the head is drawn is particularly similar and the possibility that Bol drew the present sheet cannot be wholly ruled out. The related painting (Sumowski, Gem. I, no.93, repr. as from 1650-55), now in the building of the First Chamber in The Hague, has been cut down so that the figure no longer appears; a drawn copy in Lille (repr. Sumowski, I, fig.14), which again shows the complete design, reflects a variant study by Bol.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0059
Subject: St Jerome Kneeling in Prayer
Medium: Pen and brown ink over traces of black chalk. Inscribed verso in graphite, centre: 'R10'
151 x 128. No watermark; chain-lines 20h
COMMENTS: Cf. Benesch 0131 for style. However, the traces of black chalk reveal the present drawing to be a copy - compare in this respect Benesch 11, for example. The penlines are mechanical almost throughout and there are some curious touches, including many very small 'ticks' attached to the zigzag on the right. But if a copy, the drawing could well depend on a lost work by Rembrandt himself, in style reminiscent of Benesch 0128.
The blocked-out forms resemble Govert Flinck, whose name has been invoked before; yet the pockets of hatching and zigzags in different directions also have affinities with Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, as do the hands (cf. the hands of Joseph of Arimathea in Benesch 108). On balance an attribution to the former seems the most likely, but the drawing goes to show how close these two pupils can be when at their most Rembrandtesque.
The drawing is one of numerous depictions of the same saint by Rembrandt and his pupils. The drawing has often been linked with Rembrandt's etchings, Bartsch 100-106, especially with those of the 1620s and 1630s (Bartsch 101 above all, but also 102 and 106); but the relationships are no more than general. However, it seems likely that the draughtsman knew these works or perhaps followed another, closer template for his work, now lost. A date in the late 1630s seems likely.
A copy after the drawing is recorded (HdG 1103, formerly in the Aylesford and Robinson collections).
Summary attribution: After Rembrandt? By Govert Flinck or Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??
Date: 1635-40??
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijkmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (inv.RP-T-A-1897-A3475; stamped with L.2228)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, II, 76a; HdG 1176 (c.1632); Saxl, 1908, p.340 (c.1632); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1921, no.20 (1631); Hind, 1923, under no.94 (1632); Van Dyke, 1927, p.76, repr. fig.53, pl.xiv (Flinck, c.1632); Valentiner 556 (c.1632); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (1632); Amsterdam, 1942, no.9, repr. pl.6 (1632); Münz, 1952, under no.244; Boeck, 1953, p.203 (1632); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.59, repr. (1632; compares Benesch 65); Sumowski, 1961, p.3 (Flinck, 1634-35); Amsterdam, 1972, p.88, under no.B.101 (c.1632); Munich, 1973, p.171, under no.1177 (1632); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IX, under no.2164*; Amsterdam, 1985, no.89, repr. (not Rembrandt).
PROVENANCE: H. Valkenberg; his sale, Amsterdam, Tersteeg and Muller, 2 February 1898, part of lot 156 ("lot d'estampes et de dessins anciens"), where purchased by the present repository, f.68.20.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0060
Subject: Christ Carried to the Tomb
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
124 x 149 (including a 15mm strip added to the right-hand side).
COMMENTS: Benesch compared several drawings that are now generally assigned to Govert Flinck. Of these, Benesch 0065 recto and 0066 perhaps provide the closest analogies. The hatching on the back of the nearer figure is close to Rembrandt and echoes his confidence (as seen in Benesch 0133) but the outlines consistently lack rigour or focus. These drawings all seem likely to be by Flinck.[1]
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. 2686)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 77; Lippmann, II, 58b; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1922, no.65; Berlin, 1930, p.228; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.228; Lugt, 1931, p.58; Valentiner 500; Benesch, 1935, pp.15-16; Benesch, 1947, no.28, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.60, repr. (c.1632-33; 16th-century inspiration from Fontainebleau or the Low Countries; groups with Benesch 61, 63, 65 and 68); Not in Berlin, 2006.
PROVENANCE: Émile Diaz (1835-1860), Paris (L.841); acquired in 1880 by Alexander Emil Posonyi (1839-1899), Vienna (L.2040), from whom purchased by the present repository.
[1] The omission of discussions of the drawing in the recent literature is telling; my own notes have rejected the attribution to Rembrandt since 1985.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0061
Subject: The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus (Mark, v, 35-43)
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
188 x 240.
COMMENTS: Rather like Benesch 0059, there are elements that remind one of Van den Eeckhout, with his underlying geometrical approach. But these are greatly outweighed by the Flinck-like postures and expressions. The strongly Rembrandtesque character of the composition might reflect a lost work by Flinck's master, but the slack details, repeated outlines and the restricted intercommunication of the figures in the gestures and facial expressions speak for the pupil. Benesch 0062 is clearly inseparable from this, and Benesch 0065 recto and 0066 are also close (note the halo); compare also the figure on the right with his counterpart in Benesch 0121. Benesch's own connection with Benesch 0011 is also apposite.
The bible narrates that Christ took the girl's hand and spoke the words: "Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise". Here and in Benesch 0062, the moment depicted is immediately prior to the cure; the result is somewhat staid. Rembrandt, one might venture to suggest, would have shown Christ holding the hand and revealed the girl's incipient response to his miraculous ministrations.
The drawing, along with several others (including Benesch 606) was etched by Simon Watts in 1765, when in the collection of Thomas Hudson. The etching was published in Charles Rogers, 'Collection of Prints in Imitation of Drawings', London, 1778.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R23; currently in Moscow, Pushkin Museum, but subject to a claim by the state of the Netherlands)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Kauffmann, 1926, p.170; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.320; Valentiner 418; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1947, no.31, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.61, repr. (c.1632-33); Benesch, 1960, no.10, repr.; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.84, nn.3 and 4 (Rembrandt, early-to- mid-1630s); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92.I, p.122, n.2 (attribution to Rembrandt uncertain); Exh. Moscow, 1995, no.283, repr.; Schatborn, 2010, pp.22-25, repr. fig.21 (Flinck).
PROVENANCE: Thomas Hudson (L.2432); Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2183); Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); Heyl (according to Benesch; perhaps Freiherr Max von Heyl zu Herrnsheim [1844-1925]); Franz Koenigs, from whom acquired by the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; sold to Germany but during the Second World War recovered by the USSR....
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0062
Subject: The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus (Mark, v, 35-43)
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
152 x 222.
COMMENTS: See the remarks to Benesch 0061, which seems self-evidently by the same hand as well as being of the same subject. The background figure to the left seems especially characteristic of Flinck (compare the subsidiary figures in Benesch 0002). The overly wild and calligraphic hatching in the background is characteristic of other drawimngs attributed to him. The distant figure on the left also resembles Benesch 0656 and the hatching in the door-frame to Benesch 0528.[1] The woman on the right resembles her counterpart on the left of Benesch 0127 verso.
A copy of the drawing is in a private collection.[2]
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: Private Collection
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode, 1914, repr.; Kauffmann, 1926, p.166; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.228; Valentiner 419; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1954/73, I, no.62, repr. (c.1632-33; early drawing with imperfections); Sumowski, 1979 etc, IV, 1981, under no.953a (copy after Rembrandt); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.84, nn.3 (not Rembrandt; compares school version of subject in Rijksmuseum, Benesch A1); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92.I, p.122, n.2 (attribution to Rembrandt uncertain).
PROVENANCE: R. Kann; Marcus Kappel, Berlin; H. Rathenau and by inheritance to his heirs until circa 1990; private collection, New York; sale, New York, Sotheby's, 23 January 2001, lot 142, repr., sold for $10,200; Otto Naumann Gallery, New York; their sale, New York, Sotheby's, 25 January, 2007, lot 13, repr..
[1] These two drawings are also attributed to Flinck in Royalton-Kisch, 2010 (online) and by Schatborn, 2011. In a letter to Otto Naumann of 1 September 1995 the compiler suggested Flinck's name as a possibility for Benesch 62.
[2] Kindly brought to my attention by the art-dealer Crispian Riley-Smith (email 6 June 2008). Graphite with brown wash, 140 x 242mm, from the collection of Milton and Cécile Hebald. Has been exhibited at the Ackland Memorial Art Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It bears the anonymous collector's mark L.519. Inscriptions on the reverse of the backing paper, which do not, in general, give a trustworthy impression, claim the drawing belonged, among others, to Horace Walpole, Uvedale Price, John Barnard, William Young Ottley, Yates (1827), William Esdaile and 'Tait' (1831).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0063
Subject: The Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross
Verso: Blank
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
182 x 260 (top corners rounded). Watermark: countermark LB [?]; chain lines horizontal (distance apart uncertain).
COMMENTS: With Benesch 0063 and 0063a we again encounter a draughtsman of quality but who, despite a myriad of lines and much effort - a general lack of succinctness - fails to convey the expressive, emotional force of Rembrandt. The distance between this and the documentary sheets is considerable (eg. Benesch 0140-42 and, of the same subject, Benesch 0154). Compare also Benesch 0093, 0097 and 0100, works of the same type, medium and, probably, period, in which Rembrandt's characteristic confidence is clearly evident, with his bravura energy and quite different ductus of line, not to mention the stronger pathos and more marked characterisations. Flinck seems the likely candidate here, especially to judge by the background figures. Cf. also Benesch 0061-62. The rounded top corners are also a feature of Benesch 0081, where we encounter similarly liquid and cursory work to that found in the figure on the left here. Benesch only compared his no.0060, which is not especially apposite but again likely to be by Flinck. The motif of Christ embraced by the Virgin Mary may have been inspired by Benesch 0100.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv. C 1308; marked with L.1647)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Franke, 1865, port. iv, no.8/1 (Rembrandt); Dresden (Woermann), 1896-98, viii, no.299, repr. pl.vii; HdG 224; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.30; Stechow, 1929, p.226, repr. pl.7 (a step on the road to Benesch 154); Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1947, no.32, repr.; Benesch, 1954/73, no.63, repr. (c.1632-33; earlier than Benesch 154 and its related painting in London); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.66; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.256 (pupil); Benkendorf, 1960, pp.46f (pupil corrected by Rembrandt); Exh. Dresden, 1960, no.3 (pupil corrected by Rembrandt); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.21; Exh. London, 1992, p.55, under no.12, n.13 (pupil, reflecting Rembrandt's compositions of the same subject in London); Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.85, repr. (pupil); Exh. Paris, 2006, no.49, repr. (as Exh . London, 1992; may also reflect Munich painting, Bredius 560, Corpus A126); London, 2010 (online), under no.9, n.12 (as Exh. London, 1992).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0063a
Subject: Christ being Nailed to the Cross
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
132 x 125.
COMMENTS: Benesch rightly placed this next to no.0063 on its discovery. The inspiration here seems to be from Rembrandt's Leiden period, including Benesch 0006 recto and Benesch 0008, with the impressively economical outlines, especially in the Christ figure. Yet the style, with its consistent pressure on the pen (apart from in Christ's legs) stands apart from the documentary drawings, to judge from the reproductions, and Flinck seems the probable draughtsman, as with Benesch 0063.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??
Date: 1635-40?
COLLECTION: Private Collection?
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1964, pp.100f., repr, fig.3 (ibid., Collected Writings, I, pp.249-50, repr. fig.209); Benesch, I, 1973, no.63a, repr. (c.1632-33; compares comparable designs by precursor of Rembrandt, from Strölin collection, and by Jan Pijnas, owned by Bruce Flegg); Sumowski, 1979 etc., v, 1981, under no.1146* (anon. school of Rembrandt, to be his no.2483; attributes the ex-Strölin drawing to Van Hoogstraten).
PROVENANCE: C.R. Rudolf, London.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0064
Subject: The Entombment
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and grey-brown wash, corrected in white; traces of red chalk, centre right only; ruled faming lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed extensively on an old backing with notes on literature and PROVENANCE, in pen and blue ink and graphite.
190 x 266; a triangular section of paper containing the two central bearers of Christ's body is pasted onto the sheet.
COMMENTS: This is a significant Rembrandt school design, but as the comparisons made by Benesch suggest (see under literature, below), it is not by Rembrandt. A clue may be given by the almost cubistic geometry in the realisation of some of the figures, which resembles the style of Van den Eeckhout (cf. Benesch 0138 and 0146-47). At all events the connection with Rembrandt is second hand. The composition may date from later than 1640, its quiet solemnity contrasting with the energy of Rembrandt's compositions of the 1620s and 1630s. The long looping lines that frame the scene also suggest the 1640s, with their greater liquidity. Van den Eeckhout seems the preferable attribution, especially judging by the rudimentarily delineated figures in the background. It may be that the draughtsman was inspired by Rembrandt's designs in Benesch 0017 and the Glasgow grisaille (Bredius 554, Corpus A 105), the latter mentioned in this context by Benesch. The grisaille may date from later than is usually presumed (as argued in Exh. Glasgow, 2012).
Condition: quite heavily foxed near the edges except on the left; this particularly affects the upper area.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1640-45?
COLLECTION: Private Collection, London
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.64, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; relates to Glasgow grisaille of the subject, Bredius 554, Corpus A105;states that Valentiner first accepted it and dated it c.1633 but later omitted it); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (inclined to agree with Benesch but nearer 1640); Sumowski, VI, 1982, under no.1521b** (no clear opinion stated); Paris, 2010, p.169, under no.60, n.16 (Eeckhout)
PROVENANCE: Thomas Dimsdale (L.2426, verso); John Henry Hawkins (1803-1877; inscription on former backing paper); F. Güterbock, Berlin (1948 in London; 1949 Zurich); Stella Hartmann.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0065
Subject: The Temptation of Christ (Matthew, iv, 3)
Verso: St Jerome in prayer
Medium: Pen and brown ink, perhaps with the tip of the brush in brown (in the lower centre of the sheet to describe the wing behind the study of Satan on the right) with some light indications in black chalk; the verso in pen and brown ink with brown wash, with some fragmentary sketches at the top in black chalk.
126 x 161, the corners trimmed.
COMMENTS: The drawing belongs (as Benesch noted) with Benesch 0060, which exhibits similar 'spirited flourishes' of the pen (Benesch's phrase), along with other drawings now associated with Govert Flinck, the closest of which is Benesch 0066 of the same subject. Flinck's capabilities as a draughtsman are clearly apparent from these fluent studies, which well emulate Rembrandt's manner of the mid-1630s, as seen, for example, in the Dresden Ganymede (Benesch 0092). Occasionally Flinck falls short of his master, here for example in the facial characterisation of Satan, despite being repeated at the lower right, and in the sloppy delineation of his wings, an unusual feature in any case. The traces of black chalk suggest that he was probably basing himself, perhaps loosely, on a drawing by Rembrandt, rather than inventing the design alla prima.
The less subtle sketch on the verso lends significant support to the attribution and has strong affinities with Benesch 0067.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?[1]
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: D Frankfurt, Städelsches Kunstinstitut (inv.3079)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 330; Handzeichnungen alter Meister im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 1916, xiii, no.9; Exh. Frankfurt, 1926, no.350; Stift und Feder, 1927, no.22, repr. (verso); Valentiner 351; Benesch, 1935, pp.15 and 21; Benesch, 1947, no.29, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.65, repr. (Rembrandt, 1632-33); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (verso by a later hand - Maes comes to mind); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.21 (verso school); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IV, 1981, under no.953a* (intended to be discussed in a future chapter on rectos and versos [that never appeared], but intimates that the verso drawing is not by Rembrandt and to be associated with Flinck); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VIII, 1984, under no.1938* (recto by Rembrandt); Schatborn, 2010, p.17 (Flinck).
[1] See also under Benesch 84, n.1.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0066
Subject: The Temptation of Christ (Matthew, IV, 3)
Medium: Pen and brown ink, with later additions by another hand in paler brown ink (trees, grass, church and the modelling of the rocks); ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed in graphite lower right with a small paraphe or perhaps the number '8'; inscribed in pen and brown ink on the back of the mat: 'Le Diable Ten [...]'.
162 x 207. No watermark visible (the drawing is laid down); chain-lines horizontal, distance apart uncertain.
COMMENTS: See Benesch 65. Already catalogued as by Govert Flinck by Sumowski (his no.950a*), the figure of the devil shows him at his most impressive and confident. The design inspired two school drawings formerly attributed to the "pseudo-Victors" or to Nicolaes Maes, but now associated with Justus de Gelder (Sumowski 1938* and 1939*).
Intriguingly, the additions in paler ink, which are somewhat reminiscent of Jan Lievens' landscape drawings, resemble Benesch Ad 707a (NB not Benesch 0707A), also in Washington and from the same bequest, which has a similar brown wash mat.
Condition: the sheet was restored at the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge (MA) in 1966-67.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: USA Washington, National Gallery of Art (inv. B-510)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner 352; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.66, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares Benesch 65 and 67; Rembrandt planning a painting or etching of the subject); Sumowski 950a* (Flinck); Wheelock, 1983, p.290 (Rembrandt); Exh. London, 1992, under no.7; London, 2010 (online), under no.7 (attributed to Flinck); Schatborn, 2010, p.17 (Flinck).
PROVENANCE: Earls of Warwick; Thomas Halstead; Marsden J. Perry (Providence, Rhode Island); J.E. Widener, by whom bequeathed to the present repository in 1942.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0067
Subject: St Jerome Kneeling
Verso: Blank
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
150 x 114. Watermark: Hapsburg double-headed eagle; chain-lines 25h. Thin paper. On a 19th (?) century blue mat with grey wash strip & 3 black lines.
COMMENTS: By Govert Flinck, as recognised by Sumowski (his no.953a*) and related to the verso of Benesch 0065. This, like Benesch 0061-62 and 0065-66, is a good quality drawing, especially fluent in the nearer leg. As Benesch pointed out, there are clear analogies with the figure on the right of Benesch 0062.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: P Wroclaw, Ossolineum (inv.8719)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.67, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares figure on the right of Benesch 62 and etching Bartsch 101); Exh. Warsaw, 1956, addendum no.110 (Rembrandt, c.1632-33); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257 (perhaps by Rembrandt; not clearly linked to Rembrandt's etching, Bartsch 101); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.21 (school work); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (perhaps Flinck); Scheidig, 1962, p.74, repr. pl.8 (as Benesch, 1954); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IV, 1981, no.953a*, repr. (Flinck, early 1640s); Exh. Wroclaw 1998, no.15 (Flinck).
PROVENANCE: Prince Lubomirski; formerly Lwow (Lviv), Lubomirski Museum.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0068
Subject: Christ Conversing with Mary (Luke, x, 38-42)
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
125 x 110.
COMMENTS: The style of the drawing fits snugly with Benesch 0061 and other drawings now attributed to Govert Flinck (see Benesch 0011; Benesch rightly compared nos.0060-62, 0069 and 0077).
The lack of recent bibliography is symptomatic of the drawing's attributional status. Many other drawings of the subject (which of course usually includes Mary, who is omitted here) survive by Rembrandt's pupils - see, for example, Benesch 0079, 0630-32 and C3a. These may depend on a lost painting by Rembrandt that is mentioned by Arnold Houbraken.[1]
The drawing was etched by Johann Daniel Laurenz in 1756.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: Private Collection?
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Kauffmann, 1926, p.166; Valentiner 395; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1947, no.25, repr.; Benesch, 1954/73, I, no.68, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 60-62, 69 and 77).
PROVENANCE: A. Beurdeley (L.421); his sale, Paris, G. Petit, 6 June, 1920, lot 227; Robiano; his sale, Amsterdam, Muller-Mensing, 15-16 June, 1926, lot 432; A.W.M. Mensing; his sale, Amsterdam, Mensing, 27-29 April, 1937, lot 552; Dr Charles Simon, Zurich (listed as the owner by Benesch, 1954/73; CHECK Sotheby’s Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 25. April 1983, which included Ben.A119 from this collection.)
[1] Houbraken, 1718-21, II, pp.246-47.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0068a
Subject: Christ and his Disciples on the Road to Emmaus
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink
226 x 161.
COMMENTS: The acidic action of the iron-gall ink has undermined the power of the drawing. The attribution to Rembrandt remains tenable (if controversial) through comparisons with Benesch 207 and 423 verso, where the outstretched and other hands seem inseparable. Though slacker in line than many other drawings by Rembrandt in iron-gall ink, the touch is more varied than in Benesch 76, for example, which is overly hesitant as well as indefinite in comparison. However, there are similarities to such drawings, which are now ascribed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, throwing some doubt on the present sheet.[1] Benesch 69 may have been inspired by the present drawing.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt?
Date: 1639?
COLLECTION: GB Scotland Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland (inv. D 5131)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1964, pp.110-12, repr. fig.6 (Collected Writings, p.250, repr. fig.212); Benesch, I, 1973, no.68a, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 61, 62, 68 and 69); Edinburgh, 1985, p.122, repr. fig.879 (Rembrandt end of 1630s, quoting Royalton-Kisch reaffirmation of attribution to Rembrandt, redating to late 1630s on basis of comparisons with Benesch 157 [misprinted as 557] 423 verso and 455); repr. Burlington Magazine, CXXVII, 1985, p.569, fig.92 (as a recent acquisition of the National Gallery of Scotland); Exh. Paris-Philadelphia-Detroit, 2011-12, p.129 and no.19, repr. pl.4.13 (Rembrandt, c.1639).
PROVENANCE: B. Houthakker (dealer), Amsterdam; J. Theodor Cremer; sale, New York, Sotheby's, 16 January, 1985, lot 118 (as 'attributed to Rembrandt'), where acquired by the present repository.
[1] Benesch's stylistic comparisons (see literature above) are with drawings now generally attributed to Govert Flinck, but seem wide of the mark.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0069
Subject: Study of Christ, near full-length, gesturing
Verso: Laid down on old mat with gold leaf band and brown wash strip (like Benesch 147).
Medium: Pen and brown ink over traces of graphite or black chalk. Inscribed on the old mat in pale brown ink, lower left: 'Rembrandt' and lower right '/B'
147 x 194. No watermark visible; chain lines probably horizontal, though hard to make out.
COMMENTS: The slight traces of underdrawing, which extend to the lines at the lower right, mark this out as a copy. It is probably based on Benesch 0068a. In general the style suggests Govert Flinck - cf. Benesch 0029, for example - although attributing copies is a notoriously tricky enterprise.[1]
Condition: good; a few foxmarks.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: D Stuttgart Staatsgalerie (inv.C63/1234)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.69, repr. (c.1632-33).
PROVENANCE: Feit collection, Cologne.
[1] On 12 January 1984 I discussed the drawing in Stuttgart with Werner Sumowski, who then agreed that the drawing must be a copy. I feel I must pay tribute to his characteristically open generosity of spirit in acceding to the ideas of an apprentice student of Rembrandt concerning a drawing housed in the collection where he lived and which he knew best. ("Sie haben völlig recht" were words he often uttered or wrote when presented with ideas that ran counter to his published conclusions.)
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0070
Subject: Christ Walking on the Waves
Verso: See Inscriptions
Medium: Pen and brown ink, with ruled framing-lines in the same medium. Inscribed, recto, in pen and brown ink, lower left, with the initials ‘JCR’ (L.1433); in graphite, lower right: ‘8’; verso, in pen and brown ink, top left: ‘J. C. Robinson 145/63’; in graphite, lower left: ‘Rembrant’ and upper centre: ‘970'.
165 x 265. Watermark: Foolscap with five-pointed collar and initails resembling TD or TC (repr. Royalton-Kisch, 2010 [online], Flinck, no.7), similar to Heawood, 1929 (Holland 1629) and Laurentius p.220, no.511 (1637); chain-lines 24h.
COMMENTS: The subject is from Matthew, XIV, 29-31: St Peter attempts to walk with Christ on the Sea of Galilee. Only two other apostles are depicted, the one leaving the boat possibly being St Peter at an earlier moment.[1]
The sheet is here attributed to Govert Flinck with some reservations, as the penmanship is more varied and sophisticated than in his other drawings. Nevertheless, it has long been regarded as belonging to a group of drawings of New Testament subjects, including the 'Christ with Mary and Martha' in Haarlem (Benesch 79) and the two representations of the 'Temptation of Christ' (Benesch 65 and 66, in Frankfurt and Washington);[2] and these are all now assigned to Flinck with good reason.
While the present drawing has analogies with some of Rembrandt's etchings of the period c.1632,[3] the connection with the Haarlem drawing is incontrovertible. Among Rembrandt's drawings, perhaps the 'Three Studies of a bearded Man on Crutches and a Woman' in the British Museum (Benesch 0057), in which the hands and drapery exhibit close similarities to the present sheet, is the closest. But the broad and unwieldy shading to the right and the tangle of wiry lines that constitute the figure of Christ and the water around him cannot be paralleled in Rembrandt's work, yet seem characteristic of Flinck.[4]
Compare Rembrandt's later treatment of the subject, Benesch 1043 of c.1652-56, and his painting of the related scene, 'Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee' of 1633 (Bredius 547, Corpus A68).
The watermark is the same as in Benesch 0116.
Condition: restored in 1991, when the debris from an old backing was removed and skinned areas in the verso were strengthened with Japanese paper; other repairs exist to the top and left edges.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1638?
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.1895,0915.1262)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Robinson, 1869/76, no.766/790; Exh. London, 1878-9, no.299; Exh. London, 1895, no.382; Exh. London, 1899, no.A65; Lippmann, IV, no.82; Kleinmann, III, no.41; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.882; Baldwin Brown, 1907, pp.129-30; Becker, 1909, pp.123-4 (right half later); Wurzbach, 1910, p.417; London, 1915, no.72 (c.1650); Neumann, 1918.I, no.87, repr. (Rembrandt revised the boat – originally more in profile to right; the right-hand figure corrected to compensate); Stockholm, 1920, pp.27 and 62 (resembles 'Incredulity of St Thomas', Stockholm, Benesch C29A, and 'Stone-Cutting Operation', also Stockholm, Benesch 1154); Bredt, 1921/28, II, repr. p.31/35; Valentiner, I, 1925, no.425 (c.1638; rejects Neumann's assertion that it was corrected later); Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.3 (c.1635-6); Van Dyke, 1927, pp.51-2 (by Bol; compares drawing in Victoria and Albert Museum, 'God appearing to Abraham', HdG.967, repr. Valentiner, I, 1925, p.XVIII); Berlin, 1930, under no.1144 (c.1635, correcting London, 1915; compares Berlin 'Ruth and Boaz', Benesch 162); Hell, 1930, p.24 (mid-1630s; compares cat. no.56); Paris 1933, p.18, under no.1147 (close to Louvre 'Diana surprised', Benesch A50); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (1632-3); Benesch, 1935[I], p.262; Exh. London, 1938, no.72 (c.1650); Schinnerer, 1944, no.53, repr. (c.1638); Benesch, 1947, under no.28; Rotermund, 1952, p.108 (Peter protected within Christ's radiance); Benesch, 1954/73, I, no.70, repr. fig.74/84 (c.1632-3; contemporary with painting of 'Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee' of 1633 [Bredius 547, Corpus A68]; agrees with Valentiner that the drawing executed at one time and not corrected later); Exh. London, 1956, p.22, no.4 (right column); Berlin, 'St Mark and Ananias'); Sumowski, 1958, repr. fig.67 (c.1632); Drost, 1960.I, p.221, n.11 (influence of Bellini drawing, Berlin, 'St Mark and Ananias'); White, 1962, pl.2 (c. 1633); Slive, 1965, II, no.531, repr. (c.1633); Haak, 1969/68, p.87, repr. fig.125 (c.1632-3); Campbell, 1971, p.263 (interprets as a sequential narrative - see n.1 above); Haak, 1976/74, no.8, repr.; Hoekstra, IV (deel 2), 1981, repr. p.31; Walsh, 1985, p.50, repr. fig.3 (as Benesch, 1954/73); Exh. London, 1992, no.7 (Rembrandt, but possibly Flinck); Schatborn, 1994, p.21 (attribution uncertain); Exh. London, 1995, no. 172; Giltaij, 1995, p.96, repr. fig.2; Exh. London, 1996-7, no.84, repr. in colour Haarlem, 1997, p.293, under no.322; Rosand, 2002, p.246, repr. fig.234; Berlin, 2006, p.12, n.20 (Flinck? [following suggestions of Schatborn and Royalton-Kisch]); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.4 (Flinck, c.1638); Royalton-Kisch, 2010 (online), no.7, repr. (attributed to Flinck, c.1638); Schatborn, 2010, pp.15-16, repr. fig.16 (Flinck).
PROVENANCE: Anon. collection TW (Thomas Williamson of Somers Town?; L.2468); J. C. Robinson (L.1433; see also verso inscription); John Malcolm of Poltalloch (L.1489); purchased with his collection by the present repository through his son, John Wingfield Malcolm, 1895.
[1] See Campbell, 1971, p.263.
[2] The group was first constructed by Valentiner (see Lit. below), who dated it c.1638. Benesch, 1954/73, when describing the present sheet, misquoted Valentiner in placing the 'Annunciation' in Besançon, his no.99, in the group. The Washington drawing (Benesch 66) was attributed to Flinck by Sumowski, IV, 1981, no.950ax, the second by Schatborn, 2010, p.17.
[3] E.g. the 'Old Beggar Woman with a Gourd' (Bartsch 168), the smaller sketches in the 'Sheet of Studies, with the Head of the Artist' (Bartsch 363), the 'St Jerome praying' (Bartsch 101) the 'Raising of Lazarus' (Bartsch 73) and the 'Good Samaritan' (Bartsch 90).
[4] Among Rembrandt's documentary drawings one might compare those related to the Berlin 'St John the Baptist preaching' (Bredius 555, Corpus A106) in Berlin (Benesch 140-41), New York (Benesch 336) and at Chatsworth (Benesch 0142); also the study of 'Adam and Eve' in Leiden (Benesch 164) for the etching of 1638 (Bartsch 28), or the 'Lamentation' in the British Museum (Benesch 154). The most recent compendiums of Flinck's work as a draughtsman are in Sumowski,1979 etc., IV, 1981, and Schatborn, 2010.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0071
Subject: Sts Peter and John Healing the Lame Man at the Temple Gate (Acts, iii, 5-7)
Medium: Pen and brown, iron-gall ink with brown wash.
175 x 220.
COMMENTS: The iron-gall ink has undermined the legibilty of the drawing and the ink has also bled, in particular near the figures on the left. Yet despite this it remains clear that the broad, liquid confidence of the handling, perhaps especially in the wash, supports Sumowski's attribution to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, despite some analogies with works attributed to Govert Flinck (cf. Benesch 0170). The stylistic links with the right section of Benesch 0074 are wholly convincing. The technique reflects Rembrandt's drawings in iron-gall ink of c.1638-39 and the pupil's drawing probably dates from approximately the same period.
Condition: see above; there is also some discolouration and staining in the lower section of the sheet.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: D Ulm, Ulmer Museum (Strölin Gift; Inv. 2009.9753)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner 531 (Rembrandt, c.1633); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (c.1632-33); Amsterdam, 1943, under no.92 (c.1633); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.71, repr. (c.1632-33); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (not entirely convincing as Rembrandt); Bauch, 1960, p.256, n.79 (Rembrandt, c.1635); Drost, 1960.I, p.221, n.10 (Rembrandt, c.1632); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.21 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (reminiscent of Eeckhout in the 1660s); Sumowski, 1962, p.203, n.4 (as Sumowski, 1961); Sumowski, 1963, p.220, under no,.108; Roy, 1970, p.59 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1979 etc., III, 1980, no.763*, repr. (Eeckhout, 1660s); Schatborn, 1985, p.98, repr. fig.5 (as Sumowski, 1980); Bevers, 2010, pp.51-52, repr. fig.15 (Eeckhout, late 1630s); Paris, 2010, p.168, under no.60 (Eeckhout).
PROVENANCE: Alfred Strölin (1871-1954), Lausanne (former Paris dealer); presented to the present repository by the Strölin family, 2009.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0072
Subject: The Circumcision
Medium: Pen and brown ink, rubbed with the finger. Inscribed top right in pen and brown ink: '4.'.
205 x 223 (top corners rounded)
COMMENTS: This wretchedly faded drawing is not easy to judge. If by Rembrandt it would probably date from the mid-1640s: the foreground figures echo the documentary drawing of Two Men in Conversation (1641 Courtauld Institute, Benesch 0500a) and the Esau selling his Birthright (c.1640-41, British Museum, Benesch 0606). Yet the pillar to the right resembles that in the David and Jonathan of the 1650s (British Museum, Benesch 0948A).[1] The poise of the more worked up figures in the foreground is somewhat insecure, and as has been pointed out, the detailed addition of pilasters and an arch 'hanging' on the left is uncharacteristic of Rembrandt, especially so in combination with the looser column on the right. Yet the way the architectural details are described, with thin zigzag hatching, is also almost replicated in the step on the right of Benesch 0500a.
The shorthand details of the figures to the left are comparable to the style of another documentary drawing, the most sketchy of the drawings related to the etching of Jan Cornelis Sylvius (Stockholm, Benesch 0762a). Compare also Benesch 0567. The more elaborated, nearest figure in the centre has analogies with the beggar on the left of Benesch 0688 (British Museum, now often ascribed to Ferdinand Bol) and a comparison may be made with the documentary study of an Old Man Led by a Woman of c.1647-48, not least for the calligraphic loop at the lower left corner (Louvre, Benesch 185). Benesch's only comparison was with Benesch 0073, a drawing that has long been doubted as a Rembrandt, but which in any case is only superficially comparable.
One hypothesis might be that the drawing was made around the time of the Courtauld and Stockholm sketches (i.e. c.1641-46), with the pillar to the right added later. Yet such a mixture of styles is often a signal that the work is by a pupil. On balance the drawing is retained here for Rembrandt himself, given the analogies described above and its intrinsic high quality.
Condition: much faded.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt?
Date: 1642-46??
COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv.C1386; with the stamp L.1647)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Franke, 1865, Holländische Schulen, port. V, no.12/2; Dresden (Woermann), 1896-98, vol.8, p.90, no.294, repr. pl.5; HdG 211; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, p.13, no.17 (c.1652); Valentiner, 1934, no.306, repr. (c.1633); Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1954/73, no.72, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 73); Exh. Dresden, 1960, p.9, no.4; Scheidig, 1962, p.74, no.11, repr.; Exh. Dresden, 2000-2001, no.12, repr. pl.II; Exh. Dresden 2004, no.99 repr. (Rembrandt); Exh. Paris, 2006, no.62, repr. (c.1632-33, possibly with a later hand adding the architectural detail at the left).
PROVENANCE: acquired by the present repository before 1756.
[1] Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, p.13, no.17, dated the present drawing c.1652, a notion described by Benesch, 1954, as 'inconceivable'.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0073
Subject: Joseph Sold by his Brethren (Genesis, XXXVII, 28)
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, with some white bodycolour.
172 x 267. Watermark: arms of Basel with letters FHM, comparable to Heawood no.1203 of 1634.
COMMENTS: Despite the drawing's many qualities, several commentators have experienced problems with the attribution to Rembrandt. Benesch suggested that the broader left section is later, from around 1644, and possibly by a pupil. Impossible to connect with the documentary sheets, it was published by Sumowski (see literature) as by Van den Eeckhout, which seems persuasive. He rightly compares Benesch A45 (Sumowski 809**), which certainly does not seem to be by Rembrandt. There are also links with Benesch 77 (q.v., now also regarded as by Eeckhout).
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1640??
COLLECTION: USA New York, Morgan Library (inv. I, 174)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 1076; Fairfax Murray, 1904, I, 174; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1076; Exh. Paris, 1908, no.302; Exh. Toronto, 1926, no.40; Bredt, 1927, I, p.46; Benesch, 1935, p.15; van Guldener, 1947, p.27; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.73, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.264 (Rembrandt; camel copied by van Renesse for 1653 etching of same subject); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.42, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1635-40); White, 1969.I, p.435 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1971, p.88 (not Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1979 etc., iii, 1980, no.807**, repr. (Van den Eeckhout, c.1640); New York, 2006, no.35, repr. (attributed to Bol); Bevers, 2010, p.68, n.8.
PROVENANCE: Charles Fairfax Murray; purchased with his collection by J. P. Morgan.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0074
Subject: Daniel Interpreting the Dreams of Nebuchadnezzar [?] (Daniel, II)
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, touched with white bodycolour. Inscribed in pen and brown ink by a later hand, lower right: 'Rembrant', the last letter corrected to '..dt.'
181 x 232.
COMMENTS: See Benesch 0073, which seems likely to be by the same hand, although the speed of execution is here faster and yet more vigorous. The swift and spikey style is characteristic of Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (cf. Benesch 108).[1] See also Benesch A45 (Thetis and Achilles, in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, Sumowski 809** as Eeckhout) which has points in common with both drawings. The right-hand section is close to the figure group on the left of Benesch 0071. The present sheet was published by Sumowski, as by Van den Eeckhout, a name that was mooted by Frits Lugt in his notes in the RKD (see literature below).
The identification of the subject is uncertain. Sumowski (1980) reverted to the title 'Historical scene', believing none of the proposed identifications explained the presence of soldiers presenting a figure on the right. Van Guldener (1947) suggested 'Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dream' (Genesis, XLI, 14), which seems as likely as the present title, Daniel interpreting the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar. Albach, 1972, suggested the scene is a tableau based on Hugo Grotius's 'Sofompaneas', which again shows Joseph interpreting Pahraoh's dream but without Joseph kneeling, as is otherwise customary. The play was translated into Dutch by Vondel in 1635 and performed in 1638.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1640?
COLLECTION: USA New York, Private Collection (Clement C. Moore).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode, 1914, p. 21, repr. (Rembrandt); Valentiner 208; Kauffmann, 1926, p. 174, n. 3 (Rembrandt, c. 1633-34); Hell, 1930, p. 21 (Rembrandt); Paris, 1933, p. 44, under no 1242 (Bol or Flinck); Benesch, 1935, p. 15 (Rembrandt); Van Guldener, 1947, p.48 (Rembrandt; see text above); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no. 74, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares Benesch 73, 76 and 203 verso); Sumowski, 1956-7, p. 259 (Flinck); Albach, 1972, , pp.115ff., repr. p.114 (probably school work, c.1638; not Rembrandt according to K.G. Boon); Munich, 1973, p. 79, under no.548 (probably Van den Eeckhout); Albach, 1977, repr. fig.11 (as in 1972); Sumowski, 1979 etc., iii, 1980, no. 808** (attributed to Van den Eeckhout;, c.1640; mentions that Frits Lugt also suggested him in his RKD notes); Schatborn, 1985, p.97, repr. fig.5 (Eeckhout); Berlin, 2006, p.88, under no.20 (Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, pp.50-51, repr. fig.13 (Eeckhout, late 1630s); Exh. New York, 2012, no.56, repr. (Eeckhout; figures to right include figure bending to wash his hands).
PROVENANCE: Jean-Charles-Marie Jourdeuil (L.528); his sale, London, Sotheby's, 12-13 June 1868, lot unknown (as Rembrandt); Marcus Kappel, Berlin; Wilhelm R. Valentiner; his sale, Amsterdam, Mensing, 25 October, 1932, lot IV (as Rembrandt); Eldridge R. Johnson, Moorestown, New Jersey; by descent to Mr and Mrs George Fenimore Johnson; their sale, New York, Sotheby's, 23 January, 2008, lot 165, repr. (as Eeckhout), sold fto the present owner ($73,000).
[1] Van den Eeckhout's name was first suggested by Frits Lugt in his notes a the RKD, The Hague (as recorded by Sumowski).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0074a
Subject: David Taking Leave of Jonathan (I Samuel, XX, 42)
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash and some white bodycolour.
206 x 268. Chain lines 26h approx.
COMMENTS: Published by Sumowski (1956-57 and 1979) as by Ferdinand Bol. The slackness of the background lines is suggestive of him, yet the figures differ, having some qualities like Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (Benesch 0074) and some like Govert Flinck (compare Benesch 0080). On balance Van den Eeckhout seems the more likely artist, not least because of the bold and confident use of wash.
The subject was frequently treated by Rembrandt and his pupils (as pointed out by Benesch - see Benesch 0502a, 0552 and 1025).
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??
Date: 1638-40??
COLLECTION: GB Birmingham, Barber Institute of Fine Arts (inv. BIRBI-45.13)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Birmingham (Barber Inst. Handbook), 1949, p.23, repr. pl.xii; Birmingham, 1952, pp.186-87, repr. (Rembrandt; subject the Reconciliation of David and Jonathan and connected with the 1642 Hermitage painting of this subject, Bredius 511); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.74a, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 74, 75, 76 and 79 [now given to Eeckhout or Flinck]); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.259 (Bol); Rotermund, 1963, no.100, repr. (Rembrandt; 'Pact between David and Jonathan'); Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, 1979, no.253*, repr. (Bol; notes Lugt suggested this attribution in his notes in RKD; compares S.252* in Vienna, Laban and the sheepshearing, inv.8809, and Benesch 498; dates these to second half of 1640s).
PROVENANCE: L. Finklestein.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0075
Subject: Eli and Elkanah? (1 Samuel ii, 20)
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
145 x 120.
COMMENTS: The subject is uncertain. As Benesch wrote, 'the scene may represent Elkanah's yearly visit to Eli, but Hannah and the little Samuel are absent'.
Although comparable in style to drawings by Rembrandt (see Benesch 0133) this sketch seems inadmissably far from the documentary sheets, such as Benesch 0140-42 and 336 - all studies for the grisaille in Berlin of St John the Baptist preaching. The present sheet, however, may have been inspired by such works. As alternatives both Govert Flinck and Gerbrand van den Eeckhout come in contention.[1] For Flinck, compare Benesch 0060-61 and 0070; Benesch himself compared 'the closely related no.0124', which is here catalogued as by Flinck. But the finer, more refined penmanship and the solid sense of the underlying structure of the figures in Benesch 0075 seem closer to Van den Eeckhout - the central group of Benesch 0073 provides many analogies. The rather wild penwork in the background also has links with the same drawing and with Benesch 0074.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: USA Glens Falls, New York: The Hyde Collection (inv.1971:78)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner 808 (Rembrandt, c.1635-40); Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.75, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 73-74; see further above).
PROVENANCE: Marcus Kappel, Berlin; Wilhelm R. Valentiner; his sale, Amsterdam, Mensing, 25 October, 1932, lot III (as Rembrandt); Louis F. Hyde, Glens Falls, New York (as listed by Benesch, 1954) by whom vested in the present repository.
[1] Ferdinand Bol also occasionally produces comparable works in details such as the hands: here the left hand of the figure on the right resembles that of Hagar in Bol's drawing in the Rijksmuseum, Sumowski 89, inv.RP-T-1930-27. But in general Bol's style, though close at times to Flinck and Van den Eeckhout, is more decorative and his figures communicate a less secure sense of the underlying structure compared with Benesch 75.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0076
Subject: The Centurion of Capernaum Kneeling before Christ (Matthew, VIII, 5-13)
Verso: A sketch of a figure in pen and brown ink but covered over with wash. Inscribed verso in graphite: 'V'
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, corrected with white bodycolour, on paper tinted light brown; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.
197 x 171. No watermark.
COMMENTS: The style was compared by Benesch with no.0074, but the looser lines lack both the energy and precision seen there. The question is whether the style is close enough to Benesch 0068A(q.v.) to sustain an attribution to Rembrandt, but the lines are less varied and the characterisations repeated and indefinite. The calligraphy at the top right, perhaps describing a tree, the treatment of the light and the spatial relationships are also uncharacteristic of Rembrandt. Comparisons with other drawings of the mid- or late-1630s by Rembrandt fail to convince, whether or not in iron-gall ink (cf. especially Benesch 0115, 0154, 0161, 0164). Closer is Benesch 0071, so that Van den Eeckhout becomes a possibility.[1] Similar kneeling figures also appear in Benesch 0077 and 0146.[2] Cf. also Benesch 0170 for style.
The identification of the subject, as so often with Rembrandt, is probably correct though not immediately obvious.[3] The drawing, as well as the standing Christ and kneeling centurion, probably includes Christ's disciples and the bearded figure on the right has been identified as Simon Peter.[4] Benesch 0077 is a more developed version of the subject.
The drawing illustrates the moment when a centurion kneels before Christ hoping to persuade him to cure his sick servant.
Condition: the paper damaged at the top corners; the acidity of the iron-gall ink has caused many lines to bleed.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??
Date: c.1638-40
COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R 4)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Kauffmann, 1926, p.159 (Rembrandt, late 1630s); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.76, repr. (c.1633); Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.8; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.97; Rotterdam, 1969, p.20, repr. fig.6; Sumowski, VI, 1982, no.1522**, repr. (attributed to P. Koninck, comparing several drawings by him); Rotterdam, 1988, no.6, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, pp.132-33 (van den Eeckhout?); Exh. Rotterdam, 2005-2006, no.33 (Rembrandt or Van den Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, p.51, repr. fig.14 (Eeckhout); London, 2010 (online), under Flinck, no.8 (Flinck); Paris, 2010, under no.60 and n.16 (Eeckhout, late 1630s).
PROVENANCE: J. MacGowan (L.1496); possibly in his sale, London, 26 January, 1804, in lots 542-44; Asscher and Koetser, Amsterdam (according to Sumowski - see literature) ; Franz Koenigs (L.1023a); presented to the present repository by D.G. van Beuningen, 1940.
[1] As suggested by the present writer in 1990 and by Bevers, 2010 (see literature).
[2] Since the clarification of Flinck's work by Schatborn, 2010, the analogies with Govert Flinck seem less strong than I thought in Royalton-Kisch, 2010 (online), and I now revert to my 1990 opinion.
[3] Rotterdam, 1988, records that in Koenigs' inventory the drawing was thought to depict the man possessed by devils (Luke, VIII, 26-39).
[4] By Frerichs in Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65 and recorded by Giltaij in Rotterdam, 1988.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0077
Subject: The Centurion of Capernaum Kneeling before Christ (Matthew, VIII, 5-13)
Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey and brown wash, touched with black chalk (upper left) and corrected with white bodycolour. Ruled framing-lines in open and black-brown ink; and unruled framing-lines (on three sides, not the top) in pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite, lower left: 'ip..cx' and 'NxSJ'
190 x 255. Watermark: Strasbourg bend in shield with crown topped by a lily (repr. Paris, 2010, II, p.197, no.60);[1] chain lines c.23-24h.
COMMENTS: For the subject, see Benesch 0076. The freehand framing-lines appear to have been set down first, then the main part of the drawing, with later additions, probably not by the artist, in grey ink,. These are mostly confined to the extreme edges between the two sets of framing-lines but also clearly visible in the hatching behind the head of Christ and in the darker side of the building in the background. Benesch thought the grey wash was also by a later hand, but this is probably not the case, as it compares well with the wash in the drawings cited below as by the same artist.
Even allowing for these additions, the drawing is clearly the work of a pupil and stylistically wholly distinct from Rembrandt, as some commentators have long recognised (see Literature). An attribution to Salomon Koninck has been advanced (see Literature), to whom Sumowski assigns this along with all the supposed Salomon Koninck compositions listed for comparison by Benesch (i.e. Sumowski 1529*, 1536* and 1538*). Salomon Koninck is a highly shadowy figure as a draughtsman, however, and there are clearer links with Van den Eeckhout[2] (see Benesch 0064, 0138, 0146 and 0147).
The figure climbing the tree on the right echoes one of the parents in the Rape of Ganymede, Benesch 0092, of 1635,[3] providing a terminus post quem. But the drawing is probably earlier than the version in Rotterdam (Benesch 0076, q.v.).
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1635-38??
COLLECTION: F Paris, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection (inv. 5197)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, I, 1954/57, under no.76, and no.77, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33, a model for S. Koninck); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (probably S. Koninck, as Lugt also believes [oral statement]); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257 (as Benesch, 1954); Exh. Paris, 1957 (Institut Néerlandais; a brochure but no catalogue); Sumowski, 1958, repr. fig.58 (Rembrandt, c.1634); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (probably Ferdinand Bol, c.1640); Sumowski, 1963, p.12, under no.65 (style of Bol); Sumowski, III, 1980, under no.763* (S. Koninck, as per Lugt's notes in RKD and Rosenberg, 1956); Amsterdam, 1981, under no.25, n.6 (Rembrandt); Rotterdam, 1988, under no.6, n.10 (pupil of Rembrandt); Sumowski, VI, 1982, no.1537*, repr. and under nos.1521b** and 1522** (reworked; S. Koninck); Royalton-Kisch, 1998, p.619 (has later retouchings; pace Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, does not state that the drawing is by Rembrandt); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.16, repr. fig.16b (Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, pp.47-49, repr. fig.12 (Eeckhout, comparing especially Benesch 146); Paris, 2010, no.60, repr. (Eeckhout); Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, no.13, repr. (Eeckhout; compares Braunschweig drawings inv.Z242 and Z330, Sumowski 601-2); Exh. New York, 2011, p.95.)
PROVENANCE: possibly Simon Fokke (1712-84), Amsterdam (his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley etc., 6th etc. December, 1784, album O, no.987 ('De hoofdman over Honderd by Christus komende, zijnde een rijke Ordonantie, als vooren' [i.e. in pen and India ink]), bt Wubbels, Dfl.18 with lots 985 and 986; Bank Wolff and Cohen (L.2610); Frederik Carel Theodoor Baron Isendoorn à Blois van de Cannenborch (1784-1865), Vaassen (L.1407; not in his sales, Amsterdam, Roos and Roos, 19 August and 18 December 1879); Anton Wilhelmus Mari Mensing (1866-1936), Amsterdam; his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27-29 April, 1937, lot 570, as school of Rembrandt, bt Jacobsen for Frits Lugt (L.1028).
[1] The description of the mark is taken from Paris, 2010; however the illustration there suggests that the mark may be the Arms of Berne.
[2] First suggested by Peter Schatborn (email to the compiler, 3 Feb. 2004).
[3] As noted by Schatborn in Paris, 2010 (see literature).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0078
Subject: The Angel Appearing to Manoah and his Wife (Judges, XIII, 11-18)
Medium: Pen and brown ink, corrected with white bodycolour. Inscribed on old backing (now removed), in pen and brown ink: 'Zk/9/H/' and 'no.21'.
185 x 254. Top corners rounded. Watermark: foolscap (tracing repr. Rotterdam, 1988, p.348, no.5)
COMMENTS: The drawing depicts the moment when an angel appears to Manoah following its appearance to his wife, when it had foretold the birth of their son, Samson. The story of Manoah was frequently treated b y Rembrandt and his pupils, from the master's painting of 1637 in the Louvre (Bredius 503, Corpus A121) to school drawings in Amsterdam and Budapest.[1]
For style, Benesch compared his nos.0074, 0079 and 0062, all of them now assigned to Govert Flinck, one of a number of possibilities mooted before (see literature below). The exceptional energy of Benesch 0078 is undeniable and has parallels in Benesch 0293 recto. Yet the effect here is harsher and more calligraphic, and the figures are strangely elongated. The hatching, especially on the angel, is considerably flatter than is usual for Rembrandt, who customarily employs shading to clarify the planes and modelling as much as to add tone. Some details, such as Manoah's right hand, find their counterparts in Benesch 0070 and 0079, again speaking for Flinck. However some aspects also resemble van den Eeckhout, including the elongations and scrawling seen in Benesch 0108. But on the whole the attribution to Flinck seems the most reasonable, and in this drawing he tried to emulate Rembrandt's most vigorous manner of the mid- to late-1630s.
In 1640, Flinck painted the subject of the Angel taking leave of Manoah and his wife and the drawing was probably made between Rembrandt's picture of 1637 and Flinck's own of 1640.[2]
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv. R 8)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Von Bode, 1914, p.5, repr.; Valentiner, I, 1925, no.132, repr.; Kauffmann, 1926, pp.167 and 174, n.3; Exh. Amsterdam, 1929, no.253; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.322; Hell, 1930, p.23; Paris, 1933, p.44, under no.1242 (Bol or Flinck); Amsterdam, 1942, p.74, under no.1 (anon. pupil); Exh. Braunschweig, 1948, no.29; Rembrandt-bible, 1954, repr. fig.50; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.78, repr.; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 (Van den Eeckhout?); Roger Marx, 1960, p.216; Badt, 1961, p.64, repr. fig.16; Rotermund, 1963, p.92, no.80, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.66; Exh. Jerusalem, 1965, no.28, repr.; Exh. Prague, 1966, no.86; Rotterdam, 1969, p.42, repr. fig.72 (Bol?); Gerszi, 1971, p.104, repr. fig.89; Gerszi, 1976, under no.49, repr.; Exh. New York-Paris, 1977-78, under no.93; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.76, notes 5 and 6; Rotterdam, 1988, no.5 (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; 'no justification for doubts'; compares Benesch 79); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.132 (Flinck more likely than Rembrandt, comparing the Stag hunt, Benesch A59, also in Rotterdam [Rotterdam, 1988, no.75; inv. R 92]); Exh. London, 1992, p.41, under no.7, n.3 (could be by Flinck); Schatborn, 2010, pp.15-16, repr. fig.18 (Flinck).
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2189 and L.2983-84); Thomas Hudson (L.2432); Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); E.V. Utterson (L.909); Marcus Kappel, Berlin (according to Bode, 1914); Fritz Koenigs (L.1023a); presented to the present repository by D.G. van Beuningen, 1940.
[1] See respectively Amsterdam, 1985, no.76, repr. (mentioned by Benesch under C31) and Benesch C11a (Budapest, 2005, no.24, repr. as Bol). Benesch lists 12 other drawings of the Manoah story.
[2] Flinck's painting is in the Agnes Etherington Art Center, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario (Bader Collection; Sumwoski, Gem., II, no.617, repr.).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0079
Subject: Christ Conversing with Mary and Martha (Luke, X, 38-42)
Medium: Pen and brown ink; framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink upper left by an anonymous 17th century collector or dealer (L.2943) with the Greek letters 'Ʌ' [upper case lambda; in a circle] and 'Σ' [upper case sigma]; and by Esdaile, lower left 'WE' (L.2617). Inscribed verso in a seventeenth-century hand in pen and brown ink, upper centre: 'Rembrandt van Ryn principael' and lower left by Esdaile '1835 WE' (L.2617) and lower centre 'Rembrandt'.
160 x 190. Chain lines: 25h.
COMMENTS: The biblical text describes how Martha, working at the stove, asks Christ that Mary Magdalene assist her, rather than sitting and listening to Christ. He replies that Mary 'hath chosen that good part'. The episode was commonly depicted in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, often as an exemplar of the 'vita activa' and 'vita contemplativa' in the service of God. Several drawings of the subject have been attributed to Rembrandt, not always convincingly.[1] As pointed out by Plomp (Haarlem, 1997, no.322), in this drawing Martha carries a knife and a purse, emblematic of the vita activa.
Like Benesch 0078, the drawing lies near the stylistic borderline between Rembrandt and Govert Flinck. There are analogies with Benesch 0100 verso, especially in the faces of the figures on the right, but the similarities with the Flinck group are still closer - cf. Benesch 0067, 0070, 0080 and Sumowski no.954*. The latter, at Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, shows a half-length serving-woman with a tray in a similar costume and pose to Martha, here on the left. Comparisons with documentary drawings by Rembrandt further undermine the traditional attribution to him (cf. for example, Benesch 0092, 0142 0154, 0164 and 0423 verso). The attribution was questioned by several commentators after Von Seidlitz first raised doubts in 1894 (see literature below). Schatborn (oral communication) was the first to suggest Flinck.
A copy of the drawing was etched by Bernard Picart in his 'Impostures Innocentes', Amsterdam, 1734, D, and by I.J. de Claussin, Supplément, 1828, p.156, no.56; p.180, no.140; Bartsch, 1799, Appendix, no.55.De Claussin's etching, in a second state, is dated 1635, perhaps reflecting his or current assumptions.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1638-40??
COLLECTION: NL Haarlem, Teyler Museum (inv. O* 46)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London (Lawrence Gallery), 1835, no.51; Vosmaer, 1868, p.508; Vosmaer, 1877, p.591; Michel, 1892, p.425; Michel, 1893, p.592; Von Seidlitz, 1894, p.122 (not Rembrandt); HdG 1320 (attribution uncertain); Haarlem, 1904, no.46; Lippmann, iv, 170; Becker, 1909, p.41, repr. pl.II; Kleinmann, I, 3; Stockholm, 1920, p.89, repr. fig.103 (as HdG; compares Benesch C10, Vertumnus and Pomona, in Stockholm); Valentiner 396 (Rembrandt - refutes HdG); ; Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.1 (c.1634-35); Van Dyke, 1927, p.131 (possibly Bol); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (uncertain); Exh. Amsterdam, 1951, no.12 (c.1635-37); Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.151; Rotermund, 1952, p.110, n.1; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.79, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares Benesch 77, 80, 201 and 202; doubts not justified); Rosenberg, 1956, p.131, repr. fig.34 (Rembrandt, c.1633); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257; Drost, 1957, pp.178-79, repr. fig.196; Roger-Marx, 1960, p.117, under no.16, repr. fig.16b; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.100; Slive, 1965, I, no.180 (Rembrandt; c.1633); Exh. Haarlem, 1978, no.67, repr. fig.35; Sumowski, 1979, etc. under nos. 253*, 948a* and 950* (Rembrandt); Schatborn, 1981, pp.18-19 and 32-33. repr. fig.8 (on early PROVENANCE; never doubted as Rembrandt); Exh. Amsterdam-Groningen, 1983, p.214, under no.61 (as Benesch, 1954); Robinson, 1987, p.241, repr. fig.2; Rotterdam, 1988, p.44, under no.5, repr. (c.1632-33); Exh. New York-Chicago, 1989, no.68, repr.; Exh. London, 1992, pp.41 and 193, n.2 (Rembrandt, but belongs to a group of drawings that might be by Flinck from end of the 1630s); Haarlem, 1997, no.322, repr.; Berlin, 2006, p.12, n.20 (could be Flinck [following suggestion of Schatborn]); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, under no.4, repr. fig.4c (Flinck, c.1638); London, 2010 (online), under no.7 (attributed to Flinck, following Schatborn, oral communication); Schatborn, 2010, p.15, repr. fig.14 (Flinck); Exh. Paris-Philadelphia-Detroit, 2011-12, no.12, repr. pl.3.1 (Rembrandt, 1632-33; wrongly states that Schatborn reattributed the drawing to Flinck in 1981).
PROVENANCE: unidentified 17th century Dutch collector (L.2943); Jan Pietersz. Zoomer (L.1511), Amsterdam (possibly his sale catalogue, c.1722, Portf.41); possibly S. van Huls sale, The Hague, 14 May, 1736, lot 978, bt Schlij, f2; possibly Thomas Dimsdale, whose collection bt by Samuel Woodburn, 1823; Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); his Rembrandt collection bt in 1835 via Woodburn by William Esdaile (L.2617); his sale, London, Christie's, 17 June, 1840, Part 2, lot 93, bt Hodgson, £5 with lot 94; Mendes de Léon; his sale, Amsterdam, 20 November, 1843, lot G10, bt Schmidt, f50; H. de Kat; his sale, Rotterdam, 4 March, 1867, lot 214, bt Pool, f42; Benoît Coster; his sale, Amsterdam, 18 March, 1875, lot 83, bt Van Gogh for the present repository.
[1] See Benesch 68, 630-32 and C3a, and the drawing in the British Museum, London, 2010 (online), anonymous Rembrandt School, no.105.
This entry in much indebted to M. Plomp's text in Haarlem, 1997, no.322, especially for the details of literature and Provenance.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0080
Subject: Joseph Interpreting the Prisoners' Dreams (Genesis, XL)
Verso: not seen, but an inscription shows through to the recto.
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash and grey wash (between the prisoners only); ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink (similar to the ink of the drawing but sometimes paler). Inscribed on the verso, which illegibly shows through the recto; there may have been an inscription at the top left, beginning with 'C' or 'G' but this is not legible.
173 x 206. No watermark (according to a note in the museum's files). Laid onto a modern blue mount.
COMMENTS: The subject is from Genesis 40, which relates that Pharaoh imprisoned the baker and butler along with Joseph. The latter interpreted the other two men's dreams, correctly foretelling that the baker would be hanged while the butler would be restored to favour. The scene was often treated by Rembrandt and his pupils and the present work was probably inspired by Benesch 0423 verso (cf. also Benesch 0109, 0110, 0476, 0912 and A103, as well as the drawing related to Benesch 0423 verso now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles [inv. 95.GA.18]); there are also a number of paintings, including one of 1648 by Jan Victors now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.[1]
In style the drawing relates to Benesch 0079 and but has perhaps closer connections with Benesch 0061, 0062 and 0070. The pose of the central figure resembles that of Benesch 0267, but the latter seems to be the work of a different artist; in general, similarities with drawings by Van den Eeckhout are less persuasive (cf. e.g. Benesch 0077 and 0390).
Condition: the sheet discoloured and foxed, but the ink not faded.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?[2]
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: USA Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago (inv.1967.144)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1954/73, no.80, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares Benesch 79); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (perhaps a copy); Sumowski, 1957, p.257, repr. fig.13; Exh. New York, Schab Gallery, 1966, no.167 (Rembrandt); Art Quarterly, xxx, 1967, p.66, repr. p.76; Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, no.103, repr.; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.42, n.2, repr. and under no.75, n.9 (Rembrandt; the basis for a painting by Victors in the Rijksmuseum [1648; inv. A451; Sumowski, Gem., 1738, repr.]); Haarlem, 1997, p.293, under no.322; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.4.2, repr. (Flinck, c.1638); Schatborn, 2010, pp.15-16, repr. fig.15 (Flinck).
PROVENANCE: Barron Grahame; his sale, London, Christie's, 15 March 15, 1878, lot 136; E.J. Poynter (L.874); his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 24-25 April, 1918, lot 281; Victor Koch, London (according to Benesch, 1954); sold to William H. Schab Gallery , New York, 1966 (according to notes in curatorial file in Chicago); sold by them to the present repository in 1967, using the Kate S. Buckingham Fund, as part of the Clarence Buckingham Collection.
[1] Inv. A451; Sumowski, Gemälde, no.1738, repr.; the painting was inspired by the design known through Benesch 423 verso.
[2] Suggested by Peter Schatborn when visiting Chicago in 1990.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0081
Subject: The Departure of the Prodigal Son (Luke, XV, 13)
Medium: Pen and brown, iron-gall ink with brown wash.
193 x 275 (top corners rounded). Watermark: countermark [C?]D, PD or PB (not clear - see further below)
COMMENTS: Christ's Parable of the Prodigal Son, which teaches that all sinners can be forgiven if they repent, was frequently depicted in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Rembrandt himself made paintings, prints and drawings related to the story and in this he was followed by his pupils.[1]
The drawing has frequently been doubted as by Rembrandt in the past, beginning with Carel Vosmaer as long ago as 1868 (see literature). It approaches Benesch 0061-62 in style more than any drawing that can clearly be attributed to Rembrandt himself, but the handling is here more liquid, suggesting a somewhat later date, perhaps even in the 1640s, when Rembrandt's own style developed in this direction (the first among his documentary drawings to exhibit these traits is Benesch 0482 of c.1640). The use of iron-gall ink, which Rembrandt used from around 1637-39, might also suggest the date for the drawing.
It has been pointed out that the figure on the right depends on his counterpart in Benesch 0136, of c.1636,[2] while the architecture and the onlooker peering out of the window (here the elder brother) depend on Rembrandt's etching of the Return of the Prodigal Son, also of 1636 (Bartsch 91). The horse resembles the one in Rembrandt's etching of the Good Samaritan of 1633 (Bartsch 90),[3] while the main figure, which has analogies with Rembrandt's self-portraits,[4] may depend on the Prodigal Son as seen on the right of Benesch 0100 verso.[5] Such borrowings are common in pupils' drawings, and provide in this instance a terminus post quem of 1636. A comparable treatment of the subject, sometimes attributed to Ferdinand Bol, is in the Lugt Collection and is drawn on paper with a comparable watermark.[6] Schatborn attributes the present drawing to Govert Flinck (in Paris, 2010, under no.34, etc. - see Literature below).
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?? or Ferdinand Bol??
Date: 1636-44?
COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv. C 1309; stamped with L.1647)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: (always as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated): Franke, 1865, port.IV, no.8/2; Vosmaer, 1868, p.507; (Van Hoogstraten or Van den Eeckhout); Michel, 1893, p.577 (Rembrandt); Dresden [Woermann] 1896-98, viii, p.91, no.300, repr. pl.vii (Rembrandt); HdG no.217; Wurzbach, 1910, p.56, no.217 (perhaps Van Hoogstraten?); Bredt, 1921, New Testament, I, p.52, repr. (Rembrandt); Benesch, 1922, p.36 (not by Rembrandt); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.23 (perhaps by Van den Eeckhout); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.383, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1634; the main figure and his clothes resembles self-portraits and comparable images of c.1634-35); Kauffmann, 1926, p.160 (very doubtful as Rembrandt); Weisbach, 1926, p.173 (Rembrandt); Hell, 1930, p.23 (Rembrandt); Benesch, 1935, p.16 (Rembrandt, c.1632-33); Gerson, 1936, pp.76ff. and 154 no.Z 158 (perhaps an early work by P. Koninck); Benesch, 1954/73, no.81, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1632-33; compares for style Benesch 64, 77 and 80); Vetter, 1955, repr. pl.3; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 (P. Koninck); Valentiner, 1957, p.59 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1958, p.195, under no.41 (as Gerson, 1936); Jursch, 1958-59, p.59, repr. fig.1 (Rembrandt); Benkendorf, 1960, p.9, no.5 (as Benesch, 1954); Exh. Dresden, 1960, no.5 (as Benesch, 1954); Roger-Marx, 1960, pp.333ff., repr. pl.154a (as Benesch, 1954); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.31 (perhaps Koninck); Scheidig, 1962, p.37, repr. pl.12; Rotermund, 1963, p.185, repr. pl.198; Sumowski, 1963, p.209, under no.40 (as Gerson, 1936); Bergström, 1966, p.147-48, repr. pl.3 (Rembrandt); Tümpel, 1968, p.383 (P. Koninck); Tümpel, 1968.I, p.118, repr. pl.24 (P. Koninck); Van der Waals, 1970, p.62, repr. pl.4 (Rembrandt, with Self-Portrait as the Prodigal Son); Exh. new York-Paris, 1977-78, under no.12 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VI, 1982, no. 1521b** (attributed to P. Koninck; figure on right based on Rembrandt as in Benesch 136; style compared with Dismissal of Hagar, formerly Dresden, S.1367* and Christ healing the lame man in Braunschweig, inv.374, S.1379*same period as Benesch 76; like Bol's treatment of the subject in Lugt Collection, S.251*, perhaps based on a lost Rembrandt); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, under no.27, n.10 (Koninck); Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.67, repr. (attributed to Flinck; horse reflects 1633 etching of Good Samaritan, Bartsch 90); Exh. Paris, 2006, no.35 (attributed to Flinck, c.1633-36, or 1640s); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.5.2, repr. (Flinck, c.1635-36, directly imitating Rembrandt; horse and architecture based on Rembrandt etchings, Bartsch 90 and 91); Paris, 2010, under no.34, repr. fig.15 (Flinck, c.1636; watermark perhaps the same as in version attributed to Bol in Paris, Lugt collection, Inv. 2529, Sumowski 215*); Schatborn, 2010, pp.25-26, repr. fig.25 (Flinck; as Paris, 2010; main figure based on Benesch 100, verso).
PROVENANCE: acquired by the present repository before 1756.
[1] Apart from Rembrandt's celebrated paintings of The Prodigal Son in the Tavern, now in Dresden (Bredius 30; Corpus A111) and of The Return of the Prodigal Son , in St Petersburg ( Bredius 598), Benesch catalogues no less than fourteen drawings, three of them as copies after or tentative attributions to Rembrandt: Benesch 81 and 651 (The Departure of the Prodigal Son; another, otherwise uncatalogued school version of the 1650s was sold London, Christie's, 3 July, 2012, lot 54, repr.), 601 (The Prodigal Son among the swine), 528a, 529 and C42 (The Prodigal Son with the loose women), A40a, 519, 562, 983,1101,1017,1037 and A90 (The Return of the Prodigal Son). This last subject was treated in his etching of 1636 (Bartsch 91).
[2] By Sumowski, 1982.
[3] Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.67.
[4] As pointed out by Valentiner, 1925, no.383. The Dresden picture of c.1635 depicting the related subject of the Prodigal Son in the Tavern (Rembrandt and Saskia) is perhaps the closest (Bredius 30, Corpus A111).
[5] See Schatborn, 2010.
[6] Inv. 2529 verso; Sumowski 251*; see Paris, 2010, no.34 (verso), for the fullest discussion. The mark on the Lugt drawing is a countermark FD, while that in Dresden is less distinct (in Exh. Dresden, 2004, it is described as '[C?] D').
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0082
Subject: A Study for Lot Drunk
Medium: Black chalk, heightened and corrected with white. The tone of the chalk varies considerably. Ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink. Signed and dated below by the artist: 'Rembrandt. ft. / 1633'; inscribed verso in graphite, below: 'No.14 Van Rembrandt / - 7 - 10' and in pen and brown ink: 'h.9¾ / b.7½ Rembrandt van Rijn f 1633 / gebooren bij Leyden 1606 / gestorven Amsterdam 1674 / Discipel / van P. Lastman / en J. Pynas'
253 x 189. Laid down on laid paper. Watermark not visible; chain lines perhaps 27h; laid lines c.17-18 per cm.
COMMENTS: The signature and date are clearly autograph (this is the first dated drawing to be signed 'Rembrandt' in full), giving the drawing documentary status, as does its relationship with a now lost painting by Rembrandt known through a print, in reverse, by Jan Van Vliet (Hollstein 1) and a pupil's copy in the same direction as the painting, now in the British Museum.[1] The print dates from 1631 and represents the Drunkenness of Lot (Genesis, XIX, 30-38): after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot dwelt in a cave with his two daughters. To preserve the family's future, on two consecutive nights the daughters made their elderly father drunk with wine, lay with him, and became pregnant, the eldest with Moab, the younger with Benammi.
The painting differs from the drawing in the placement of Lot's arms and upper body, as well as his expression. Here he seems more contemplative compared with the loud and demonstrative characterisation in the painting. Yet the position of the legs remains the same and the vigorous and exploratory style throughout the drawing is consistent, so that there can be little doubt that the drawing was made as a preliminary study.[2] The date written on the drawing, 1633, was added two years after the completion of the print and the drawing must have been made in or shortly before 1631. It resembles works of the earlier period in style, especially Benesch 37, 39-41 and 20. Some changes were made to the figure's pose and clothing in the finished painting, in which Lot cries out in his drunken stupor.
It has been suggested that the drawing may have been retouched by Rembrandt in 1633, when he signed it.[3] While this is possible, all the stylistic traits of the drawing are already apparent in the above-mentioned works of c.1630-31, especially Benesch 20, 37 and 42, which may have been made from the same model.[4]
Condition: generally good; slightly soiled, mostly near the edges; a brownish stain, not severe, near Lot's left knee; slight foxing mostly at upper left and lower left edge, and a few brown ink spots upper right.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1630-31?
COLLECTION: D Frankfurt, Städel Museum (inv. 857)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.90, repr. (study for the lost painting); HdG 324; Valentiner 42; Handzeichnungen alter Meister im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, iv, 1909, no.9; Benesch, 1925, pp.10 and 15; Exh. Frankfurt, 1926, no.351; Bredt, 1927, I, p.15; Bauch, 1933, p.180; Benesch, 1947, no.26, repr.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.82, repr. (1633; drawing later than the painting); Corpus, I, 1982, p.149, under no.A11 (signature later than the drawing); Bruyn, 1983, p.56; Exh. Frankfurt, 1991, no.22; Exh. Frankfurt, 2000, no. 55, repr.; London, 2010 (online) under nos. 7a, note 5 and no.89 (as Corpus, 1982; earliest dated drawing signed 'Rembrandt'); Schatborn, 2011, pp.298-99, repr. fig.10; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn 2011, no.14, repr. fig.10 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Johann Friedrich Städel (1728-1816), Frankfurt.
[1] British Museum inv. 1836,0811.560 - see London, 2010 (online), anonymous after Rembrandt, no.89, repr.
[2] Benesch, 1954/73, no.82, believed that in 1633 Rembrandt posed his model in a similar posture to the earlier painting.
[3] Suggested by Schatborn, 2010, pp.298-99.
[4] For the model, see under Benesch 37.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0083
Subject: The Raising of the Cross (Luke, XXIII, 33)
Medium: Black chalk with grey wash.
232 x 187.
COMMENTS: The drawing repeats the subject and, with some variations, the design of one of Rembrandt's paintings of Christ's passion made for the Stadholder, Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange (Bredius 548, Corpus A69). However, X-radiographs of the picture, which is datable 1633 and now in Munich, reveal that the drawing was made after rather than before it, as many authors had not unreasonably assumed (see literature below). The drawing does not repeat any of the abandoned motifs seen in the X-radiograph, including a further figure on the left, pulling to raise the cross, or Christ's head lolling to one side, so that the drawing is certainly derived from rather than preparatory for the painting.
Several attributions have been proposed for the drawing but that to Govert Flinck[1] is convincing. In another drawing, now in Leiden (Prentenkabinet der Rijksuniversiteit, inv.120, Sumowski 949*) Flinck made a comparable variation - though with yet greater departures from the original - on Rembrandt's 1636 Ascension of Christ, painted as part of the same commission for the Stadholder (Bredius 557, Corpus A118). There are also echoes of Benesch 0006 recto and some similarities with the Rembrandt school version in Boston mentioned in connection with that drawing.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1635-40?
COLLECTION: A Vienna, Albertina (inv.9396)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Schönbrunner and Meder, 1893-1908, no.422, repr. (Rembrandt; originally acquired as by Bol); Riegl, 1902, repr. pl.12; HdG 1423; Wurzbach, 1910, p.420; Fraenger, 1920, p.84, repr. fig.63 (influenced Van Vliet etching of the same subject [Hollstein 8]); Lütjens, 1921, p.93, n.1; Kauffmann, 1922, p.89; Leporini, 1925, fig.283 (1955 ed., p.271, fig.144); Van Regteren Altena, 1925.II, p.141, repr. fig.5; (probably by van den Eeckhout); Benesch, 1925-26, pp.25ff.; Bauch, 1926, p.64, n.56; Riegl-Swoboda, 1931, repr. pl.56; Benesch, 1933-34, p.296; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.484 repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Weski, 1944, p.9; Benesch, 1947, no.30, repr.; Überwasser, 1948, repr. pl.xiv; Exh. Vienna, 1949, no.96; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.83, repr. (1633; in 1954 misquotes opinion of Regteren Altena 1925 as Backer); Exh Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.21, repr. Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.66; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.9; Müller Hofstede, 1956, p.93f.; (not Rembrandt or Backer); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 and 1956c, p.351 (Backer, wrongly thinking this follows van Regteren Altena, 1925.II); White, 1956, p.323 (not Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.260 and 273, repr. fig.27 (van den Eeckhout, 1640s); Gerson, 1957, p.150 (Flinck); Müller Hofstede, 1957, pp.93f. (Moeyaert); Roger Marx, 1960, pp.142 and 145, repr. fig 33a (Rembrandt); Haverkamp Begemann, 1961, p.21 (school work); Sumowski, 1962, p.12 (van den Eeckhout); van Hall, 1963, p.273, under no.99 (Rembrandt; mentions attribution to Backer); Sumowski, 1963.I, p.216, under no.85 (van den Eeckhout); Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, p.129, under no.111 (Rembrandt); Exh. Vienna, 1965, no.92; Bauch, 1966, p.4, under no.57 (probably S. Koninck); Exh. Munich, 1967, p.61, under no.394 (school work); Brochhagen, 1968, pp.39f. (school work); Arpino and Lecaldino, 1969, p.134, no.2, repr. (van den Eeckhout); Hamann-Sumowski, 1969, p.449 (van den Eeckhout); Exh. Vienna, 1969-70, no.2, repr.; Benesch, 1970, pp.87 and 116 (Rembrandt); Kai Sass, 1971, pp.16 and 23, repr. and p.78, n.63 (Rembrandt); Broos, 1972, p.100, repr. fig.1 (Rembrandt; influence of Altdorfer woodcut, Winzinger 54 [New Hollstein w29]); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973-74, p.36 (often doubted; A. Tümpel believes by Moeyaert); Exh. Sacramento, 1974, pp.37-38, repr. fig.60 (Moeyaert); Guratzsch, 1975, p.249 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, Drawings, iv, 1981, no.977*, repr. (Flinck); Rotterdam, 1988, under no.2, repr. fig.c (perhaps by Van den Eeckhout); Corpus, II, 1986, pp.317 and 319, under no.A69, copy no.1, repr. fig.8 (Moeyaert after Rembrandt).
[1] First suggested by Gerson, 1957, p.152. Other suggestions have included Backer (see Van Regteren Altena, 1925.II, p.141, this being the first time that the attribution to Rembrandt was doubted) and Cornelis Moeyart (see literature).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0083a (Bartsch 73,ii, touched)
Subject: The Raising of Lazarus (John, XI, 43-44), the larger plate: touched proof with a Sketch of a Woman Shrinking Back.
Verso: Offset of the sketch of a Woman Shrinking Back.
Medium: Etching, with the figure of Martha adjusted in graphite in the lower right corner (the retouching has created an offset on the verso, which resembles a black chalk drawing, see further below). Signed in the plate on rock at centre: "RHL. v. Rijn".
370 x 258. Watermark: Strasburg bend and lily, 'WR' below (Hinterding variant H.a.a.; close to Piccard, XIII, nos.867, 872, 875, 876, 879, 881 and 885, from Strasburg, Oberkirch, Zweibrücken, Gengenbach and Bremen, with dates from 1588 to 1634); chain lines 28v.
COMMENTS: This is a documentary drawing. Like Benesch 0057, it is an impression of an etching - the second state of the 'Raising of Lazarus' (Bartsch 73) - touched by the artist in graphite in the lower right-hand corner.[1] Unfortunately his retouchings have been partly erased, but are clearly visible in an offset on the verso.
The etching is based on Rembrandt's painting of the same subject of c.1630-31 (now Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Bredius 538, Corpus A30). X-radiographs of the painting reveal that its composition was altered, having originally been closer to the etching, with Lazarus' head nearer the centre and the woman with outstretched arms holding a cloth. The two works were apparently created in a somewhat symbiotic relationship, with many of the changes to the painting made later than the etching, which had in turn originally been based on the picture in its still incomplete form, but underwent developments of its own independently of the final picture.[2]
Having etched the first state, Rembrandt decided to alter the figure of Martha in the lower right, which in its first, etched form resembles her counterpart in the Los Angeles painting. He decided on a more erect stance, as realised in the third state of the print. The graphite sketch on the recto of the present sheet rehearses this change and was adopted without significant changes apart from being worked up in detail. It was included by Benesch in his catalogue of Rembrandt's drawings in the mistaken belief that the verso image of this figure is an original drawing. But as can be demonstrated by reversing a photograph of a detail the verso sketch and comparing it with the recto, the verso is merely an offset of Rembrandt's retouching on the recto. The apparently left-handed diagonal shading in the verso from the top left to bottom right (a right-handed draughtsman normally shades from top right to bottom left) is further confirmation that Benesch 83a is an offset from the recto. Nevertheless the drawing documents Rembrandt's most cursory drawing style at the period of the etching's creation, c.1632,[3] and for this reason here retains its place in a catalogue of Rembrandt's drawings, alongside some other touched proofs. Perhaps the sheet was lying on a prepared copper plate or specially prepared sheet to pick up the traces from the recto on the verso.
Condition: generally good, but the graphite lines at lower right on the recto have been erased in part, scraping the surface of the paper just above the foreground figure’s left hand.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1632?
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. 1848,0911.35)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Duchesne, 1826, p.102, no.543 (described as a touched first state: 'Cette épreuve a de légères retouches au crayon, qui feraient croire que Rembrandt avait eu l'intention de placer une figure debout sur le devant à droite, au lieu de la femme vue par le dos.'); Mariette, 1857, p.351; Blanc, I, 1859, p.167, under no.48 (touched in black chalk; seen in British Museum; no reference to verso); Middleton, 1877, p.10 (the print by van Vliet and Rembrandt; the graphite touches made by Rembrandt for van Vliet to follow); Middleton, 1878, p.178, under no. 188 (recto and verso differ from each other and from the end result); Dutuit, 1882, p.369 (as Middleton, 1878); Rovinski, 1890, col.45, under no.73, repr. I, pl.230; Seidlitz 1895/1922, pp.62-63/124, under no.73 (recto touched in chalk in 3rd state; verso differs from recto); London, 1899, p.29, no.98b; Hind, 1912/24, under no.96, repr. (c.1632; 3rd state); Saxl, 1923-4, p.153, n.1, repr. p.264 (verso a drawing; similarity of this figure to those in attitudes of surprise by Raphael in tapestries of 'St Paul preaching in Athens and Death of Ananias'); Hind, 1932, repr. pl.XXVIII; Münz, 1952, I, repr. pl.214, II, pp.92-3, under no.192 (without reference to the verso); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.83a, verso repr. fig.90/98 (c.1633); White, 1969, I, p.32, II, repr. figs.17-18 (the verso a tracing); White and Boon, 1969, I, p.38 (the verso a drawing); Campbell, 1971, p.75 (quotes Saxl, 1923-4, but debt to Raphael not slavish); Schatborn, 1986, pp.36-38, repr. figs.1-3; Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.135, repr. fig.75 in reverse (offset; compared to 'Study of a Woman', Rotterdam, Benesch 518 verso); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2.I, p.186, repr. fig.7c; Exh. London, 1992, no.6a, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1993, p.121, n.31 (PROVENANCE); Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, p.122,under no.17, repr. figs a and b (respectively recto and verso); Hinterding, 2006, p.81 (various states of the print - fewer than previously thought - all from same period, as watermarks reveal); Royalton-Kisch, 2010 (online), no.6.1, repr.; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.15, repr. fig.89 (documentary drawing); Exh. Glasgow, 2012, no.11, repr. p.89, fig.48.
PROVENANCE: Jan Pietersz. Zomer; A. M. Zanetti; purchased from him in 1791 by Dominique Vivant Denon (PROVENANCE given by Duchesne, 1826); his sale, 12 February, 1827, no.343; Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford (L.58; probably purchased by the Earl of Aylesford from Samuel Woodburn in 1829); Messrs William Smith, from whom purchased by the present repository in 1848.
[1] For the states, which have been renumbered (there are now only five rather than Hollstein's eight), see Hinterding in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-01, p.32, and Hinterding, 2006, p.81.
[2] The relationship between the two works is not so straightforward that one can claim that the etching copies an early 'state' of the painting, but it does repeat motifs that were abandoned in the oil. For example, the X-radiograph of the latter suggests that that the man with outstretched arms in the etching originally figured in the oil, as also the man with the turban and long beard at the far left of the etching. Rembrandt removed (and in the latter case, arguably adjusted) these figures in the painting, probably when he changed the position of Christ. The changes to the figure of Martha in the lower right corner of the etching is however a development away from the painting in its final form, so that the etching had its own momentum as it developed, independent of the painting.
[3] The date proposed by White and Boon, 1969, p.38, and which has been adhered to, within a year, by all writers. Benesch proposed 1633, believing that the present figure (as seen from the fifth state) is a portrait of Saskia. The woman behind the tomb he thought was the so-called sister of Rembrandt. However, as mentioned in n.2, this portion of the etching is based on his painting, probably completed as early as 1630-31 (see Corpus, I, 1982, p.304).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0084
Subject: Two Figures, one kneeling
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
98 x 73.
COMMENTS: Benesch connected the drawing with figures in the left background of the 1633 etching, the Ship of Fortune (Bartsch 111), but the relationship is vague. Sumowski, under no.159*, rejected it as a copy, but in style the penmanship links convincingly with Flinck, not least with Benesch 0124 and 0129, with their looping, thick pen lines. The indication of the head at the top right resembles those in Benesch 0002 and Benesch 0454 verso. Benesch's only stylistic comparison weas with the latter.[1]
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1640?
COLLECTION: D Frankfurt, Städel Museum (inv.3080)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 338; Frankfurt, 1913 xii, no.9a, repr. (as 'Pygmalion before the statue'); Benesch, 1925 [1970, p.51]; Exh. Frankfurt, 1926, no.354; Valentiner 535; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.84, repr. (study for 1633 etching Ship of Fortune, Bartsch 111; compares Benesch 454); Sumowski, I, 1979, under mo.159* (copy).
[1] On a visit to Frankfurt (2 Oct 1991) I noted that the drawing was by the same hand as Benesch 65 (also in Frankfurt). In an email of 2004 I suggested an attribution for Benesch 84 to Flinck to Peter Schatborn, who agreed in his reply (3 Feb 2004).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0085
Subject: Ahasuerus on his Throne (Esther, VII, 1-10)
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink with brown wash, with some white bodycolour and grey wash, on paper prepared light brown. Some later additions in pen and black ink with grey wash. Laid down on grey card with two ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
177 x 131. Watermark and chain lines not visible.
COMMENTS: The drawing is a characteristic, though severely damaged (and retouched) work from Rembrandt's "iron-gall ink" period, c.1638-39. Cf. Benesch 0161, 0168, 0423, 0442 and 0451 for the dating. The model was probably the actor, Willem Ruyter (on whom see Benesch 120).
The figure of Ahasuerus is unusually depicted alone, perhaps just after learning from his wife, Esther, that his closest confidant, Haman, had ordered the extermination of the Jews.[1] The object he is holding in his right hand has been identified as a knife or sceptre.[2]
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1638-39?
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (RP-T-1930-38; stamped with L.2228)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Leiden, 1903, no.30; Lippmann, III, 96; HdG 1284 (c.1635); Exh. Paris, 1908, no.391 (c.1635); Saxl, 1908, p.349; Hofstede de Groot, 1909, no.11; Exh. Amsterdam, 1913, no.54; Exh. Leiden, 1916, no.14; Hirschmann, 1917, pp.10-11 (1635); Seidlitz, 1917, p.253 (Salomon Koninck? c.1635); Exh. Paris, 1921, no.65; Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.41 (c.1635); Benesch, 1935, p.16 (1633); Amsterdam, 1942, no.13, repr. pl.9 (1633-34); Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, no.58 (c.1634-35); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.85, repr. (1633-34); Slive, 1965, no.434 (1632-35); Amsterdam, 1985, no.10, repr. (end of 1630s); Exh. Amsterdam, 2006, p.39, repr. fig.33 ; Schatborn and de Winkel, 2006, p.391, repr. fig.6.
PROVENANCE: P.& D. Colnaghi, Ltd, London; Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, by whom presented to the present repository in 1906, with a lifetime interest until 14 April, 1930.
[1] As suggested by Schatborn in Amsterdam, 1985, no.10. Benesch, 1954, no.85, was the first to identify Ahasuerus; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.11, had suggested that the drawing showed a rabbi.
[2] Respectively by Benesch, 1954 and Hofstede de Groot, 1906 (see literature).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 86
Subject: Manius Curius Dentatus Refusing the Gifts of the Samnites (Plutarch, xviii,2; Valerius Maximus, iv, 3, 5)
Medium: Pen and brown, iron-gall ink with brown wash, heightened with white bodycolour.
145 x 186. Laid down on (pre-Potocki, 19th-century?) blue mat with a white stripe immediately around the drawing, then 6 black lines.
COMMENTS: The story concerns the Roman General and Consul, Manius Curius Dentatus (d.270 BC): when the Samnites sent him gifts to influence him, he was found by the hearth roasting turnips. Refusing the gifts he stated that he preferred the simple life, roasting turnips, and to rule over the possessors of gold rather than to possess it himself. This morality tale was painted in the Amsterdam Town Hall by Govert Flinck in 1656,[1] but his version bears no relationship with Benesch 86.
The drawing belongs with Benesch 0064, so that Gerbrand van den Eeckhout becomes the likely draughtsman. The composition lacks clear focus, the blocked out forms are not strongly structured by Rembrandt's standards (perhaps the nearest by him is Benesch 0423 verso), and the wash is uncharacteristic of the older artist, perhaps especially in the curtain. The iron-gall ink suggests a date at the very end of the 1630s, when Rembrandt was also using this medium (as in Benesch 0423, for example).
The drawing was etched when in the 'Cabinet de Mr Uilenbroek' by Bernard Picart in his Impostures Innocentes, 1734, I (see Bartsch, Appendix, no.60; de Claussin, Supplément, 1828, p.157, no.61). A copy of the drawing is in the Rijksmuseum.[2]
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1640??
COLLECTION: P Warsaw, University Library (inv.4279; formerly T.1155, no.8)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner 583 (c.1630); Benesch, 1915, p.16; Benesch, 1954/73, no.86, repr. (c.1633-34); Benesch, 1959 [1970, p.217, repr. fig.179] (notes Rembrandt's picturesque approach to the antique at this period); Schatborn, 1985, p.98 (Eeckhout, discussing copy in Rijksmuseum); Warsaw, 2004, no.1 (quotes a letter to the print room by Falck rejecting Rembrandt's authorship); Exh. Warsaw, 2009, no.30 (Van den Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, p.54, repr. fig.19 (Eeckhout).
PROVENANCE: Gosuin Uilenbroek; Stanisław Kostka Potocki (1755-1821), by whom presented to the present repository. (The drawing was held in St Petersburg between 1832 and 1923.)
[1] Sumowski, Gem., II, no.638, repr.
[2] Inv.RP-T-1897-A-3497. See Amsterdam, 1942, no.115, repr. (copy after Rembrandt); Schatborn, 1985, pp.96-98 (Eeckhout).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0087
Subject: Three Studies of the Bust of an Old Man
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared light brown.
174 x 160. Laid down. No watermark visible; chain lines horizontal, distance apart unclear.
COMMENTS: The drawing may, as was long thought, have been intended to represent the apostles at the Supper at Emmaus (Luke, XXIV, 30-31), although the idea cannot be proven as no directly related works are known.[1]
In style the drawing belongs with the iron-gall ink group of the late 1630s - Benesch rightly compared his no.0218, but perhaps Benesch 0249 is closer still. An unusual characteristic of these drawings is the somewhat unvarying width of the lines, resembling an etching, as if the pressure exerted on the pen was kept even. In my view (not previously recorded), the present drawing is also executed in iron-gall ink on paper prepared brown, which makes a date c.1638-39 likely. Unusually, the pen-lines have hardly 'bled' into the paper at all due to the acidic effect of iron-gall ink, so that they resemble the lines of a drawing in bistre.
The drawing was etched by I.J. de Claussin (1766-1844) on a plate which includes motifs from other drawings attributed to Rembrandt.[2]
Condition: generally good (see remarks above concerning the ink); some spots and foxing
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1638-39?
COLLECTION: F Paris, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection (inv.1922)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.584; Exh. Amsterdam, 1898, probably no.262 (collotype exhibited; c.1633); HdG 993 (c.1635); Heseltine, 1907, no.33, repr.; Exh. London, 1929 and 1929.I, no.590; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.242 (c.1637); Stechow, 1934, pp.335-36, repr. fig.3 (c.1634); Valentiner 527 (c.1633); Benesch, 1935, p.16 (c.1632-33); Van der Eecken, 1937, p.20, repr; Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.82, repr. pl.LIII (c.1637); Exh. Rotterdam, 1938, no.426, repr. fig.250; Benesch, 1947, p.18, under no.38 (c.1633-34); Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.159 (c.1640); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.87, repr. and II, under no.218 (c.1633-34); Drost, 1957, pp.181-82, detail repr. fig.202 (c.1635); Exh. Paris, 1957 (no catalogue); Gombrich, 1960, p.346, repr. pl.284; Sumowski, 1961, p.4, no.87; Sumowski, 1963, p.219, under no.104 (c.1630); Gerson, 1968, pp.220-21, repr. fig.C; Exh. Paris, 1970, no.227, repr. (1634); Exh. New York-Paris, 1977-78, no.86, repr. pl.67 (as Benesch); Koerner, 1986, pp.25-26, repr. fig.13 (as Benesch); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, no.1, repr. pl.XII (c.1633-34); Starcky, 1999, pp.38-39, repr. (as Benesch); Westermann, 2000, pp.219-20, repr. fig.143 (as Benesch); Exh. London-Paris-Cambridge, 2002-2003, under no.44, repr. fig.1, c.1635; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.10, repr. (c.1635); New York, 2006, under no.203 (c.1632-34); Slive, 2009, p.61, repr.fig.5.8; Paris, 2010, no.1, repr.
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, jnr (1694-1771), London (L.2170); probably his sale, London, Langford, 5 February 1772 and following days (the lots are only cursorily described in the catalogue); Joshua Reynolds (1723-92), London (L.2364); his sale, London, De Poggi, 26 May, 1794 and following days, either from album QQ, nos.960-985, or RR, nos. 987-1009 (only artists' names are given in the catalogue); Samuel Woodburn (1786-1853), art dealer, London (L.2584); his sale, London, Christie's, 12-14 June, 1860, lot 1047 ('Studies for the disciples at Emmaus'), bt Roupell, £1-11s-6d;[3] Barron Grahame (1792-1877), Morphie, Scotland; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 15 March, 1878, part of lot 132, bt Noseda, £3-8s-0d; John Postle Heseltine (1843-1920), London (L.1507); his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 27-28 May, 1913, lot 4, repr., bt Kappel, Dfl.4200; Marcus Kappel (1839-1919), Berlin; Paul Cassirer (1871-1926), Berlin; Frits Lugt, Maartensdijk and Paris (L.1028), acquired 29 October, 1924.
[1] The drawing was first entitled 'Studies for the disciples at Emmaus' when it featured in the Woodburn sale in 1860 and the concept was generally retained, including by Benesch.
[2] There are two impressions of the print in the British Museum, 1854,0513.73 and 1861,0413.54.
[3] Benesch, following the 1913 Heseltine sale catalogue, stated that after Woodburn the drawing belonged to Edward Bouverie, but this seems to be a mistake (as noted in Paris 2010).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0088
Subject: Group of Three Figures Conferring
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, heightened with white, on paper washed brown.
190 x 158. Top corners cut.
COMMENTS: The costumes suggest that the artist was considering a biblical subject, but no related work is known.[1]
The elongated figures and use of wash are commensurate with Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. He may have based himself on drawings such as Benesch 0141. Comparing the latter reveals how far removed the style is from anything ascertainably by Rembrandt. (The lack of lityerature uis also telling.) It is worthy of note that Benesch primarily compared his no.0064, now also ascribed to Van den Eeckhout.[2]
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: Private Collection, USA.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: H. Comstock, International Studio, Dec. 1926, p.35; Valentiner, unpublished vol.III, no.1426; Benesch, 1954/73, no.88, repr. (c.1633-34); Bevers, 2010, pp.53-54, repr. fig.17 (Van den Eeckhout); Paris, 2010, p.169, under no.60, n.16 (Eeckhout).
PROVENANCE: L. Boehler (art dealer), Lucerne; Albert Keller, New York City (according to Benesch, 1954/73); Conrad Graeber (art dealer), Baltimore, 2003.
[1] According to Benesch, Valentiner proposed that the drawing represented Joseph and Mary seeking accommodation in Bethlehem (Luke, II).
[2] He also compared Benesch 239 and 260.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0089
Subject: Christ Among his Disciples
Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey and brown wash and black, red and green chalk, heightened with white bodycolour. Ruled framing line in pen and black ink. Signed and dated in black chalk, upper right: 'Rembrandt. / f. 1634'
357 x 478. An irregular patch in the centre replaced by the artist and a 20mm horizontal strip detached and then re-added along the top.
COMMENTS: A signed and dated documentary sheet. For various reasons, however, it may be that the date, like those on Benesch 0017, 0057 and 0082, is not to be taken at face value and added when the drawing was passed on by the artist: these include the general relationship of the figure in the centre to Benesch 37 and, in reverse, to Benesch 0041 (the same figure may have inspired Benesch 0267), the self-portrait-like figure on the left, shouting, who relates to Rembrandt's drawn and etched self-portrait studies of the Leiden period, the similarity of the figure immediately behind him to Benesch 0040 and the resemblance between the model on the extreme right and that that in Benesch 0020 of 1631. For the use of red chalk, compare also Benesch 0056, and the widespread use of grey wash also occurs found most often in Rembrandt's early drawings. The overall style, too, seems Lastmanesque,[1] so that a date at the end of the Leiden period (c.1631) is stylistically more probable than 1634. It may of course be that Rembrandt did some further work on the drawing in 1634, when he inscribed it, although clear evidence for this is lacking: despite the complexity of the mix of media, the style - or indeed styles -of the drawing seem consistently redolent of the Leiden period.
The subject has been the subject of debate, suggestions including the Raising of Lazarus,[2] the Healing of the Epileptic,[3] and Christ appearing to his disciples after the Resurrection,[4] but it seems rather straightforwardly (given the nocturnal setting) to represent Christ among his disciples on the Mount of Olives. Curiously Rembrandt left one face only blocked out (upper left) and, even counting this figure, there are only 10 rather than 11 disciples present.
The purpose of the drawing is uncertain but it may have been intended, at least in its present state, as a design for an unrealised print.[5] This would bring it into relationship with various other works in grisaille or restricted tones, often on paper now laid onto canvas or panel: the Joseph telling his Dreams in the Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam of c.1634 (paper on card, 627 x 811; Bredius 504, Corpus A66), the Adoration of the Magi, now in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg of c.1633-35 (paper on canvas, 448 x 391; not in Bredius. Corpus C46, but see for its reinstatement as by Rembrandt Corpus V, p.180), the St John the Baptist preaching, now in Berlin of c.1634-35 (canvas on panel, 627 x 811 but enlarged from 398 x 495, Bredius 555; Corpus A106), the Ecce Homo in the National Gallery, London, of 1634 (paper on canvas, 545 x 445; Bredius 546, Corpus A89), the Lamentation also in the National Gallery, London, of c.1634-35 (paper on canvas, 319 x 267; Bredius 565, Corpus A107) and perhaps also the Entombment painted on panel now in the Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, perhaps of c.1634 but possibly somewhat later, c.1640 (321 x 403; Bredius 554, Corpus A105).[6] In addition there is the etching of the Deposition of 1633 by J.G. van Vliet after Rembrandt (Bartsch 81 [2]), which has always been regarded as a pair to the Ecce Homo print made in 1636 by Van Vliet after the above-mentioned grisaille (Bartsch 77). Certainly there is much evidence to support the hypothesis that Rembrandt was contemplating the production of a set of prints that echoed in many cases the subjects from the Passion of Christ that he was concurrently painting for the Stadholder. While the style of these works is far from uniform, they are harmonised by their tonalities and usually by their figure-scale, as well as by the technical aspects.
A full-size copy of the drawing passed through the Amsterdam art market at the sale of O. Brenner and others, 14 December 1911, no.1274, as by Leonaert Bramer. A drawing in the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, attributed to Rembrandt's pupil, Philips Koninck, represents a comparable scene.[7]
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1631 (and 1634)?
COLLECTION: NL Haarlem, Teyler Museum (inv. O* 47 [formerly, in 1854, Q7, and 1864, O*74]; stamped with L.2392)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1968, p.440; Vosmaer, 1877, p.506; Michel, 1893, p.592; Lippmann, I, 165; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Haarlem, 1904, p.106; Wickhof, 1906, p.25; HdG 1319; Weisbach, 1926, pp.141-42, repr. fig.23; Van Dyke, 1927, p.29 (attribution uncertain); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.363, repr.; Exh. London, 1929, no.572 (Commemorative Catalogue, p.196); Müller, 1929, p.76 (Lastman influence); Hell, 1930, pp.18, 20; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.231; Paris, 1933, p.47, under no.1254; Graul, 1934, no.28, repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.20; Benesch, 1947, p.22, no.44, repr.; van Regteren Altena, 1948, no.18; Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.148; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.89, repr. (independent work or project for a painting; Christ and halo resemble etchings Bartsch 88 and 68); Benesch, 1955, p.394, repr. fig.2; Van Gelder, 1955, p.396; Baard, 1956, p.27, no.45, repr.; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.28, repr.; Knuttel, 1956, p.54, repr. fig.8; Rotermund, 1956, pp.197-201, repr. fig.159; Benesch, 1960, p.145, repr. pl.II; Exh. Brussels-Hamburg, 1961, no.47, repr.; Rotermund, 1963, pp.181-82, no.184, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-65, no.108; Brion, 1965, p.197, repr. fig.113; Slive, 1965, I, no.175; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1967, p.111, repr; Gerson, 1968, p.225, repr. fig.72a; Haak, 1968, p.113, repr. fig.165; Van Gelder, 1973, p.192; Knipping, 1974, II, p.450, repr.; Exh. Haarlem, 1978, no.681; Sumowski, Drawings, 1979 etc., under no.124*; Corpus, II, 1986, pp.473 and 476; Schatborn, 1986.1, p.62; Tümpel, 1986, p.162, repr.; Walsh, 1986, pp.16-17, repr.; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.84; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991–92, no. 6, repr.; Exh. London, 1992, p.46, n.5, and pp.47, 50, 57 and 202; Haarlem, 1997, no. 323, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.51ff (repeated in Corpus, V, pp. 182–83 [Van de Wetering suggests that Rembrandt was planning a Passion series in print, and that the drawing could have been prepared for an unrealised part of this plan]); Corpus, V, 2011, pp. 182–83 (as Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001); Schatborn, 2011, p.299, repr. fig.12; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.19, repr, fig.12 (documentary drawing); Exh. Paris-Philadelphia-Detroit, 2011-12, p.112 and no.15, repr. pl.4.4.
PROVENANCE: E. Valckenier-Hooft; her sale, Amsterdam, 31 August, 1796, lot A4, bt Hendriks for the present repository.
* The present catalogue entry is highly indebted to Michiel Plomp's text in Haarlem, 1997, no.323, repr.
[1] As first noted by Müller, 1929.
[2] Lippmann, and Van Regteren Altena, 1948.
[3] Wickhof, 1906.
[4] Weisbach, 1926 and Corpus, 2011. Panofsky (in the German edition of Exh. Brussels-Hamburg, 1961) suggested that the scene conflates the Calling of the first disciple and the first healings (Matthew, IV, 18-25 with the Beatitudes (Matthew, V, 1-12).
[5] See Van de Wetering most recently in Corpus, V, 2011, pp.176-183.
[6] See Exh. Glasgow, 2012.
[7] Inv. PC 54 326; Sumowski 1525** (as P. Koninck); Exh. Paris-Ajaccio, 2012 and 2014, no.30, repr.. (A copy of this drawing is in the Louvre [Paris, 1933, p.49, no.1263, repr..])
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0090
Subject: The Angel Preventing Abraham from Sacrificing his Son, Isaac
Verso: A Rough Composition Study, in red chalk.
Medium: Red chalk over black chalk, with grey wash, on paper prepared with light brown wash (verso red chalk only). : Signed (?), recto, lower left, in the same red chalk as that employed in the drawing: ‘Rembrandt [the final ‘t’ unclear]’.
195 x 147. Watermark: Eagle with Basel Crosier, similar to Churchill 438 (Basel 1633) and Hinterding A.a.a. (datable 1635); chain lines: 23-24v.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, being a preparatory study for the painting of this subject in St Petersburg (Bredius 498, Corpus A108), which is dated 1635. The compositions differ substantially in the positions of the angel, of Abraham's right hand, and Isaac's left leg. The drawing was also used for a painted variant in Munich completed in 1636, where the angel's pose follows the drawing more closely. To judge from the many pentimenti, the drawing must have been made first, and for stylistic reasons this also seems likely - it has a great deal in common with the red chalk drawings of the Leiden period (compare Benesch 0015, for example, with the same combination of media handled similarly). The verso gives a rare and fascinating insight into Rembrandt's most cursory jotting style.
The design, including the figures, was initially sketched lightly in black chalk. Subsequently, the red chalk was applied with varying degrees of pressure, often exceptionally hard: the upper outline of Abraham's right sleeve looks almost as if it has been indented. The grey wash was used last, to add shadow and model the forms, the tip of the brush at times clarifying the outlines, as for example in the face of the angel, the bundle of sticks on the right and beneath the figure of Isaac. The profiles of the latter's legs are seen in several positions.
The variant initial outlines make it unlikely that the study was made after the St. Petersburg canvas in order to prepare the second version of the painting in Munich of 1636, as has sometimes been proposed.[1] The improbability of this hypothesis is reinforced by the different positions of the knife and of Isaac's left leg, which were changed for both paintings. The pose of Abraham, not fully resolved in the drawing, is also unlikely to have been based on the earlier painting as it is more-or-less identical in both oils.[2] However, recourse must have been had to the sketch for the pose of the angel in the Munich painting. Also in support of a dating before both the painted versions, it should be noted that the combination of red and black chalks with grey wash is encountered, for example, in the signed and dated drawing in Haarlem of 'Christ among his Disciples' (Benesch 0089) of c.1631/34, but not in later works. The style of parts of the Haarlem drawing is also comparable.
The slight sketch on the verso is difficult to decipher, but seems to be a study for the lower half of the same design.[3] If this reading is correct, it makes it yet less likely that the drawing was made after the completion of the St. Petersburg painting.
Rembrandt returned to the subject of the 'Sacrifice of Isaac' in an etching of 1655 (Bartsch 35, Hind 283) which is reminiscent of his earlier design.[4] All Rembrandt's versions depend on earlier treatments of the subject by Rubens and, in particular, Pieter Lastman.[5] It has also been noted that the compositions of the 1630s depart from the biblical text, which states that the angel interceded as Abraham reached for the knife. The later moment chosen by Rembrandt coincides with a mention of the story by Jacob Cats in 'Houwelyck', first published in 1625.[6]
A drawn variant of the design attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, closer to the Munich painting in the position of the angel and to a lesser degree reminiscent of the 1655 etching, is in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.[7]
Condition: good, though rubbed in parts; small repairs at top right and lower left corners; creased horizontally at top; scraped around Abraham’s head.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1634-35?
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. 1897,1117.5)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bode and Hofstede de Groot, III, 1899, under no.208 (for Munich painting); Exh. London, 1899, no.A4 (for Leningrad or Munich painting); Kleinmann, IV, no.23; Lippmann, IV, no.81; Bell, c.1905, p.16, repr. pl.I (for St. Petersburg painting); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.866 (c.1636, for Munich painting); Valentiner, 1906, p.174 (for Munich painting); Valentiner, 1908, p.565, under no.515 (for Munich painting); Becker, 1909, p.102; Wurzbach, 1910, p.417 (for Munich painting); Hind, 1912, I, p.51; London, 1915, no.6, repr. pl.II (for St. Petersburg or Munich painting); Hofstede de Groot, 1915[I], p.84, repr. fig.8 (a pupil followed the drawing for the angel in Munich painting); Hofstede de Groot, VI, 1916/15, p.28, under no.8 (for Munich painting); Kauffmann, 1920, p.69 (see n.6 above); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.48 (1635-6, for Munich painting); Weisbach, 1926, p.190 (compares with Munich painting); Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.2 (for St. Petersburg painting); Van Dyke, 1927, p.51 (by Bol, for his painting in Munich); Müller (Hofstede), 1929, pp.66-7, repr. p.65, fig.16 (after St. Petersburg painting, for Munich version; stresses Lastman influence); Schneider, 1932/73, p.49 (influenced Lievens painting of the subject in Rome [repr. Sumowski, 'Gemälde', III, 1983, no.1194]); Benesch, 1935, pp.21 and 25 (for St. Petersburg painting and used for Munich painting); Benesch, 1935[I], p.263 (for St. Petersburg painting); Exh. London, 1938, no.6; Popham, 1939, p.68 (echoes of earlier Mannerists); Benesch, 1947, p.22, no.49, repr. (for St. Petersburg painting); 'Rembrandt Bible', 1947, no.6, repr.; Rosenberg, 1948/64, I, p.225/354, n.8 (for Munich painting); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.90, repr. fig.98/105 (for both paintings; Lastmanesque); Benesch, 1955, p.396, reprinted 1970, p.183 (Caravaggesque); Exh. London, 1956, p.24, no.8 (for Leningrad painting); Gerson (and J.G. van Gelder), 1957, p.124 (van Gelder: Flinck?; Gerson: Rembrandt); Valentiner, 1957, p.55 (probably used by Bol, who may have made Munich painting); Sumowski, 1957-8, p.237 (used by Flinck for Munich painting); Benesch, 1960, p.17 and no.13, repr. (as in 1935; chose moment of highest tension); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.22 (pupil's work based on St. Petersburg painting, perhaps for Munich painting); Sumowski, 1961, p.4 (for Munich painting); Gantner, 1964, p.51; von Moltke, 1965, p.13 (for Munich painting and after St. Petersburg version); Slive, 1965, II, no.530, repr. (for Munich painting); Bauch, 1966, p.29, under no.A10 (for Munich painting); Rosenberg, Slive and ter Kuile, 1966, p.83 (for Munich painting); Wegner, 1966, p.103 (notes literature ignored by von Moltke, 1965); Exh. Munich, 1966-7, p.36, under no.66 (for Munich painting); Munich, 1967, p.73 (for Munich painting; quotes Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961); Gerson, 1968, pp.64 and 226, repr. fig.a (for Munich painting): Haak, 1969/68, p.126, repr. fig.193 (c.1635, for Munich painting); Waals, 1969, p.99 (between the two paintings); Campbell, 1971, pp.29-30 (follows Benesch but contrasts Lastman's version of the theme); Broos, 1972, p.147, repr. fig.13 (for Munich painting); Loevinson-Lessing, 1974/71, under no.10, repr. (between the two paintings); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.155; Sciolla, 1976, p.6 (for St. Petersburg painting); van de Wetering, 1977, p.41, n.44 (for St. Petersburg or Munich painting); Clark, 1978, p.124, repr. fig.137 (for St. Petersburg painting; contrasts later etching); Vogel-Köhn, 1981, p.18 (as Benesch); Corpus, I, 1982, p.22, nn.42-3 (for Munich painting?); Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.12 (as Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961); Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, p.1018, under no.611 (for Munich painting); Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-86, no.2 (1635-6; composition depends on Lastman and Rubens); Corpus, II, 1989, pp.106-7, repr. fig.5 (workshop; signature dubious; based on St. Petersburg painting, perhaps by the pupil – Bol? – who executed the Munich version, or else based on the latter [cf. Van Dyke, 1927, and Valentiner, 1957]); Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), pp.139-40, verso and recto repr. figs.22-3 (publishing verso; both studies of c.1634 for St. Petersburg painting); Exh. London, 1992, no.13, repr. in colour (drawn c.1634-5 before both the painted versions); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.464 (not Rembrandt; a studio variant; follows Müller Hofstede, 1929); Klessmann, 1992, p.449, repr. fig.3 (stresses influence of Rubens' painting in Kansas); Schatborn, 1994, p.21 (convincing as Rembrandt); Giltaij, 1995, p.98 (a pupil's imitation of Munich painting); Exh. Manchester-Brighton-Swansea-Dulwich, 1996-97, 'The Inner Eye', no.176; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, no.74, repr. in colour; Dekiert 2004, pp.55-57; Schwartz, 2006, p.346, repr. fig.615 (as Müller-Hofstede, 1929); Exh. Dijon, 2003-2004, no.43, repr.; Exh. Munich, 2004; Tümpel, 2006, p.491, repr. fig.6 (summarises opinions; iconographic discussion of the two paintings); Bevers in Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, pp.22-25 (Rembrandt; drawn between the two painted versions); London, 2010 (online), no.10, repr. (as Exh. London, 1992); Schatborn, 2011, p.305, repr. fig.23; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.35, repr. fig.23 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Many drawings of the subject by Rembrandt are mentioned in early sale catalogues. An ‘Abraham offering up Isaac’ appeared in the sale of Samuel Woodburn, Christie’s, 9th day, 26 June, 1854, lot 2193, sold with one other to C. Hall for 4s, (first noted in British Museum files by C. White); another appeared in a later Woodburn sale, Christie’s, 13 June, 1860, lot 1381, bt with one other by Robinson for 15s; perhaps more plausibly the present sheet was that in the Andrew James collection, listed there as a slight sketch by Waagen , 1857, p.214 and Brunet, 1866, p.260, and sold in James’ sale, Christie’s, 28 April, 1873, lot 62, bt Col, £9-15-0. The extraordinary sum of £189 was made by another drawing of the subject, said to have come from the Lawrence and Esdaile collections, sold at the Bale sale, Christie’s, 15th day, 10 June, 1888, lot 2436, bt Thib[audeau?]; purchased from Dr J Law Adam[8] by the present repository in 1897.
[1] E.g. by Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, under no.611, with earlier literature apart from van de Wetering, 1977, p.41, n.44 (a text that is reprinted, with variations, in Corpus, I, 1982, p.22 notes 42-3), who also suggests that the drawing was made between the St. Petersburg and Munich paintings. According to P. van Thiel (in Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2, p.182) the initial lay-in of the Munich picture followed that in St. Petersburg. This is corroborated by the findings of the restorer, the late Hubert von Sonnenberg, who found traces of the earlier position for the angel underlying the Munich version (visible in infra-red light). His findings were made public at the Symposium in London, National Gallery, 23 May, 1992.
[2] Now usually identified as Govert Flinck (see Sumowski, loc. cit.) or Ferdinand Bol (see Corpus, under no.A108). The work is signed by Rembrandt to the effect that he changed and overpainted it ('Rembrandt, verandert. En over geschildert. 1636').
[3] This reading requires turning the sheet 90º clockwise (as in the illustration here) and interpreting the short, emphatic dash, upper centre, as Abraham's knife, with an arm reaching towards it from the right, and an apparently bearded figure (Abraham) to the left.
[4] As pointed out by White, 1969, II, p.93. A related drawing at Compiègne was published by Sumowski, 1971, p.136, repr. fig.15 (rejected by Bruyn, 1990).
[5] See Broos, 1977, pp.51-2 (with previous literature) and Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-6, under nos.1-2.
[6] Kauffmann, 1920, p.69. The same book by Cats contains an illustration that appears to have influenced another work of the same period, the 'Ecce Homo' grisaille in the National Gallery, of 1634 (Bredius 546, Corpus A89) - see Bauch, 1960, pp. 192-5.
[7] Inv.2033/1863, Sumowski 773* dates it to the 1660s.
[8] The British Museum’s manuscript Reports for 1897 give the name as ‘Dr Law Adam / 16 Vicarage Gate, Kensington’; the Departmental Register gives the name as ‘Dr Adams’. No other information about him is known, but the sheet came from him along with a miscellaneous group of prints and drawings.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0091
Subject: Two Figures Seated at a Table
Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink by a later hand, lower right: 'Rembrandt'
101 x 110.
COMMENTS: The drawing is now usually grouped with works by the so-called Munich Forger, thought to have been active at the end of the seventeenth or durin the eighteenth century (see also Benesch 0967-68).[1] The unruly inscription and somewhat sloppy draughtsmanship are characteristic. Although dependent on motifs of the 1630s, the style seems considerably later, and could not be from before the late 1640s. Similarities to figures in the Berlin drawing of the Last Supper after Leonardo (Benesch 445) and those on the left of the grisaille of Joseph telling his Dreams (Bredius 504, Corpus A66) had led to optimistic assessments of the drawing in the past, but it has not been published as by Rembrandt since the first volume of Benesch's catalogue of 1954/73. Athough many drawings attributed to the Munich Forger have later retouchings, and some appear to be entirely the work of an artist active around 1700 or possibly later, in the present case, and perhaps some others, it is possible that the drawings were made by an artist who had been pupil of Rembrandt.
Summary attribution: Anonymous ("Munich Forger"?)
Date: 1640s or later, perhaps even 18th century.
COLLECTION: D Munich, Graphische Sammlung (stamped with L.620)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Munich, 1884-93, no.149a; HdG 386; Neumann, 1919, Anmerkungen, p.10, repr. (relates to Berlin Last Supper drawing Benesch 445); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (study for painting of Joseph telling his Dreams (Bredius 504, Corpus A66); Kauffmann, 1926-27, p.159; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.91, repr. (c.1635 and as Benesch, 1935; close to Berlin Last Supper Benesch 445); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.67 (18th century, Munich forger); Not in Exh. Munich, 1966-67, or Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2002.
PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich.
[1] See Renger and Burmester, 1985-86, Burmester and Renger, 1986, Exh. Munich, 2001-2002, p.207 and Burmester and Renger , 2003.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0092
Subject: The Rape of Ganymede
Verso: Laid down.
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and grey-brown wash (the ink appears to be an ordinary brown bistre, although in some heavily worked parts, especially the rump of the infant, it has attacked the paper as though it were acidic. The possibility that Rembrandt retouched the drawing in iron-gall ink, which could have caused this degradation, cannot be excluded); ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.
186 x 162. No watermark visible; chain lines horizontal, distance apart uncertain; laid lines c.16/cm.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, thanks to its relationship with the painting of the same subject in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, which is signed and dated 1635 (Bredius 471; Corpus A113).
The iconography depends ultimately on several written sources from antiquity (Homer's Iliad, xx, 231-35; Virgil's Aeneid, v, 252ff.; Ovid, Metamorphoses, x, 152-61). They relate that the shepherd Ganymede, the son of King Tros of Dardania (who gave his name to Troy) and his wife Callirrhoe, was considered beautiful by the Gods and in particular by Jupiter, who disguised himself as an eagle and abducted him. He became Jupiter's cup-bearer and, to make amends with his father, Jupiter presented King Tros with four immortal horses for his chariot (in post-Homeric versions, he gave a golden vine). Ganymede was later considered the genius of the sources of the Nile, and the astronomers made him into the constellation of Aquarius.
From the swift, energetic style the drawing appears to be a preliminary sketch, executed before work on the painting had begun. Rembrandt may have worked on the oil for some time, so that the drawing could date from around 1634, or even earlier.[1] The painting adds or elaborates some details, such as the bunch of cherries in the child's left hand and the landscape background, and yet it omits the child's distraught parents, seen in the lower left corner of the drawing, one of them possibly viewing the abduction with the aid of a telescope.[2] This may be an oblique reference to the astrological aspects of the story.[3] Karel van Mander mentions the parents in his 'Explanation' of the myth in his 1604 translation of Ovid, and also states that Ganymede was still at an early age when abducted.[4] By showing him as an infant, Rembrandt avoids the common homoerotic aspects of the tale, seen in full strength in Michelangelo's version.[5] Rembrandt's pupil, Nicolaes Maes (1634-1693), was one of a number of seventeenth-century artists who portrayed recently deceased children in the guise of Ganymede as a memorial and iconographic consolation to their grieving parents; but the nature of Rembrandt's representations of the scene, here and in the painting, makes it unlikely that he tackled the myth with the same connotations in mind - nobody would wish their child memorialised in such an undignified state.[6]
Rembrandt appears first to have drawn the head of Ganymede, as the lines used for the eagle Jupiter, though drawn loosely, do not cross his profile. Nor does the shading impinge on Ganymede's outstretched left arm, so that his body may have been roughed out in its entirety before Jupiter was sketched in. This done, the figures below were probably added to complete the composition; and the spaces between all the protagonists filled with curling lines and hatching, suggesting movement and, perhaps, clouds or smoke. These areas were later emphasized with wash, especially to the right, and the same medium was applied to add contrast and shadow to the eagle and Ganymede.
In style, the drawing is loose and sketchy, with flurries of lines roughing out the forms and only rarely, as in the child's face, concerned with details. An abstract quality in the figures is leavened by the delicately applied wash, which clarifies the modelling of many features and gives the direction of the fall of light. But in the swirling turbulence of the background, the effect of both the penlines and the wash is almost 'expressionistic'. As noted above, the heavily reworked rump of the child seems to be in iron-gall ink, raising the possibility that Rembrandt, who used this medium only from around c.1637-39, may have retouched the drawing later.
It is interesting to note how genre drawings such as Benesch 0401 and 0313 relate to this representation of a mythological scene. At times Rembrandt produces an almost seamless transition between types of subject-matter that were traditionally kept distinct.
Condition: generally good, though slightly cut down, especially above - the painting includes a section of sky clear above the wings of Jupiter, which are trimmed here; the ink seems to be bistre but as noted above has in parts degraded like iron-gall ink, especially in the child's hind quarters.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1634-35.
COLLECTION: D Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv. C1357; stamped with L.1647).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Heucher, 1738, p.116 (Bureau X); Gruner, 1862, XIII, i; Franke, 1865, Holländische Schulen, port.IV, repr. pl.XIII, no.i; Michel, 1893, repr. opp. p.222; Dresden (Woermann), 1896-98, vol.viii, p.90, no.292, repr.pl.IV; HdG 241; Graul, 1906, no.20; Lippmann, I, 136; Kauffmann, 1918, p.48, repr. fig.14; Neumann, 1918, p.10 and no.57, repr.; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, III, 1925, p.15, no.47; Weisbach, 1926, repr. fig.57; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.609; Benesch, 1935, p.21; Gerson, 1936, Z.xlxxix (as Rembrandt); Benesch, 1938, pp.45-6 (reprinted 1970, p.132); Rosenberg, 1948, p.161; Benesch, 1954/73, no.92, repr.; Benesch, 1955 (reprinted 1970, p.183); Exh. Dresden, 1960, p.11, no.11; Scheidig, 1962, pp.41ff., repr. pl.33; Rosenberg, 1964, p.274; Clark, 1966, p.17, repr. fig.15; Schatborn, 1975, pp.8-19; Russell, 1977, pp.5-18; Exh. Washington-New York- San Francisco, 1978-79, no.592; Bruyn, 1983, p.54; Corpus, III, 1989, under no.A113, repr. p.167, pl.5; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, vol.2, no.10; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1991-92, p.460 (suggests drawing may have been made after painting begun [but without arguments]); Grohé, 1996, p.109, repr. pl.19; Exh. Dresden-Vienna, 1997-98, pp.178ff., no.81; Bevers, 2000-2001, pp.70-72; Exh. Dresden 2004, no.102; Exh. Dresden, 2006, no.3, repr; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.65, repr.; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.29, repr. fig.105 (documentary drawing).
PROVENANCE: Gottfried Wagner (d.1725), Leipzig; acquired by the Electors of Saxony with his collection in 1728, and though them became part of the collection of the present repository.
[1] Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.460, suggested that Rembrandt may have drawn the sketch only after work on the canvas had already begun, but in view of the loose and inventive style, this seems unlikely.
[2] Benesch thought it a cross-bow; Rosenberg, 1964, a bow and arrow; Valentiner, 1934, thought the intention was to show one or two feathers torn from the eagle's tail. The figures could in theory be Ganymede's brothers, Ilus and Assaracus.
[3] See Corpus, under A113; Rembrandt probably denotes Ganymede's placement in Aquarius in the painting by showing the child urinating in fright. The catamitic connotations of the myth (the word being derived from the Latin corrupted form of Ganymede's name, Catamitus), are clear in many earlier treatments of the subject: by Michelangelo, Correggio and Rubens, and in the celebrated antique statue attributed to Leochares (of which there is a supposed copy in the Vatican). But these associations were negated by Neo-platonic humanists who contrived to see in Ganymede a symbol of the purity of the soul, and some theologians even compared his ascent to heaven with Christ's. In the popular medieval Moralised Ovid, Ganymede was seen as a prefiguraton of St John the Baptist. The pure soul's progress to heaven was the symbolism attached to Ganymede in Andrea Alciati's influential Emblematum Liber, which also portrays him as an small child. This is reflected in the writings of Karel van Mander. In his 1604 edition of the Metamorphoses, he stated that the pure human soul was so beloved of God that he was often taken prematurely (see van Thiel in Exhibiton Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2, under no.24. Russell, 1977, first aired many of the ideas now attached to the painting. See also Knipping, 1974, I, p.45). Thus divested of its homoerotic overtones, the story came to act as a commemoration or consolation to bereaved parents, a usage found in the work of Rembrandt's pupil Nicolaes Maes (Russell, op. cit.). The cherries in the painting, a fruit often associated with the Christ child as the 'Fruit of Paradise', could also have positive connotations related to Christian symbolism, although different associations are possible (see Corpus, III, 1989, p.166).
[4] Karel Van Mander, 'Uitleggingh op den Metamorfosis Pb. Ovidij Nasonis' in his 'Schilderboeck', 1604, fol.87.
[5] Probably known to Rembrandt through the engraving after Michelangelo by Nicolas Beatrizet of 1542 (Bianchi 35). See further note 3 above.
[6] See Schaller, 2005.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0093
Subject: The Taking of Samson (Judges, XVI, 18-21)
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink.
147 x 202.
COMMENTS: Some recent commentators have rejected the drawing, but although more sketchy, the stylistic connections with, for example, Benesch 0097 are too close.[1] Compare also the left side of Benesch 0151. There are also analogies with the underdrawn state of Christ and of the apostles on the extreme right in the Last Supper after Leonardo of 1635, now in Berlin, Benesch 445. The cursory underdrawing is here all we have in many parts, and the exceptional aspects of the drawing result from this unusually unfinished state. The extraordinary energy of the drawing is palpable and at times the nib split into 'tramlines' where extra pressure was exerted on the pen, particularly in the figure on the left.
The subject is probably the moment just prior to Samson's blinding, the latter shown in the celebrated Frankfurt painting of 1636 (Bredius 501, Corpus A116), with which the drawing may have an immediate connection. A date around 1636 seems likely owing to this relationship, but the iron-gall medium and the stylistic links with the iron-gall ink drawings of a slightly later period (e.g. Benesch 0246 verso and 0423 verso) suggest that the drawing could be from a little later, c.1638.
The central part of the design may be indebted to the painting of c.1618-20 now in Dulwich by the young Anthonie van Dyck (inv. DPG127), which it resembles more closely than the better-known version of 1609-10 by Rubens now in the National Gallery in London, which was engraved in reverse by Jacob Matham (Hollstein 11, New Hollstein [Matham] 10). Samson's pose is especially similar, including the position of his feet. How Rembrandt might have known Van Dyck's design is uncertain, although the latter visited the Netherlands in 1631-32 and his painting is first recorded in Amsterdam in 1711.[2] The style, with its thin, almost spiderweb lines, is also unusually reminiscent of the Flemish master's drawings.[3]
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1636-38
COLLECTION: D Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Inv.C 1966-66 with the stamp L.1647)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 263; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.70 (Christ falling under the cross); Valentiner 807 (connects with Frankfurt painting); Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.93 (c.1635; perhaps connected with Anholt Diana, Bredius 472, Corpus A92); Exh. Dresden, 1960, no.10; Scheidig, 1962, repr. pl.17; Holler, 1997, pp.191-94 (Rembrandt); Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.86, repr. (1636-38, by a pupil); Exh. Paris, 2006, no.50, repr. (as Exh. Dresden 2004; possibly retouched).
[1] Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.70 even listed the subject as the same as Benesch 97.
[2] See Barnes, Poorter, Millar and Vey, 2004, no.1.5, repr. The provenance is there given as '?David Amory, Amsterdam, 1711' and the description of the picture in his sale catalogue of 1722 coincides well with the Dulwich painitng.
[3] Compare, for example, Van Dyck's cursory sketches for the Martyrdom of St Catherine, now in Braunschweig, of c.1618-29 (Vey no.60) or the penwork in the later sketch of Diana and Endymion, now in the Morgan Library, New York, of c.1629 (Vey no.132).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0094
Subject: Milo of Croton
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
100 x 100.
COMMENTS: Although not a drawing I have seen, there seem to be few close connections with Rembrandt. Benesch compares only no.0093, but the analogies are largely restricted to the figure's nearer leg. Unusual for Rembrandt and his pupils is the straight line drawn across the nose below rather than above or through the eyes. The invention, given the subject, seems hesitant. The liquid style might suggest a Rembrandt pupil of the 1640s rather than the 1630s, the period to which the drawing has previously been assigned, and there are some analogies with Samuel van Hoogstraten.
Milo of Croton (or Milon of Crotona) was a Greek wrestler of astonishing strength who lived during the 6th century BC. He reputedly died after attempting to split a tree trunk asunder - he became trapped and was devoured by wolves. Apart from a celebrated woodcut by Niccolo Boldrini (1510-70) after Pordenone,[2] the subject is rare, especially before Rembrandt's time.[3]
Summary attribution: Anonymous
Date: 1640-45?
COLLECTION: Private Collection (Harris?)[1]
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.233; Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.94, repr. (c.1635; compares Benesch 0093).
PROVENANCE: Amsterdam, with Frans Buffa & Zonen (dealer).
[1] Benesch simply gives the name of the owner as 'Harris'.
[2] Passavant, VI. p.237, no.70.
[3] There are two drawings of the subject by Rembrandt's younger contemporary, Salvator Rosa (1614-73), in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, (inv.1986.579 and 1987.61) but they have nothing in common with Benesch 0094.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0094a
Subject: St Peter, half-length
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash; later (?) touches in blackish brown ink around the ear. Inscribed verso, in light brown ink: "J R-N.18 √≡" and centre: "Z . z . JG."
83 x 70.
COMMENTS: In no part (and in neither the hands nor the face) does the drawing convince as by Rembrandt. Benesch offered no comparisons (in 1964 he stated only that it depicts St Peter at the moment of his liberation from prison) and the contrast with Rembrandt's own drawings of the same type, like Benesch 0132 and 0141, is great. Flinck is a possibility - compare Benesch 0117.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck??
Date: 1638-40
COLLECTION: USA, New York, Morgan Library, Thaw Collection (inv. EVT 327)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, Leicester Galleries, 1942 (no catalogue); Benesch, 1964, p.113, repr. fig.9 (Collected Writings, 1970, p.251, repr. fig.217); Benesch, I, 1973, no.94a (c.1635; [without any comment]); Exh. New York, 1975, no.25, repr.; Exh. New York, 1994-95, p.252, repr.; New York, 2006, no.208, repr..
PROVENANCE: Lili Froehlich-Bum, London; Redfern Gallery, London; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York, by whom presented to the present repository.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0095
Subject: Jacob Lamenting at the Sight of Joseph's Blood-Stained Cloak (Genesis, XXXVII, 32-34)
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, touched with white heightening in Jacob's hands; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.
174 x 155. Watermark: probably a fragment of a Strasburg lily (repr. Berlin, 2006, p.218; similar to Hinterding, 2006, p.208, C'.b., HMP 235084)
COMMENTS: The drawing represents the harrowing moment when Jacob is shown the bloodstained cloak of his favourite and youngest son, Joseph. Four of the latter's brothers are depicted, viewing the old man's reaction with a mixture of fear and guilt, here wonderfully conveyed in the most abbreviated shorthand. The anguished expression of the old man himself is fully elaborated, with alternative poses for him sketched at the upper right.
Rembrandt had previously treated the subject in an etching of c.1633 (Bartsch 38), from which a few elements here are derived, including the use of a tall figure to frame the design on the left and a brother anchoring the apex of the central group and pointing away.
The drawing has attracted varying comments in the past concerning both its attribution and date (see literature below). For the style, compare the documentary drawing Benesch 0141, which however seems to be earlier and is less liquidly handled. The figure on the left seems to echo that on the left of the Berlin study after Leonardo's Last Supper of 1635 (Benesch 0445), providing a probable terminus post quem. The two central brothers resemble the two boys on the right of the Pancake Woman, Benesch 0409, as well as the background figures in the Quacksalver, Benesch 0416. The drawing was rightly catalogued by Benesch near his no. 0096, which argues for a date near 1640, and he also compared the left hand figure to that in Benesch 0097. According to Bevers (in Berlin, 2006), the ink employed contains iron-gall, which would confirm a date in the period c.1637-39, when Rembrandt's iron-gall drawings all seem to have been made. Bevers also published the watermark, which is similar to that found in Benesch 0100.
No directly related etching or painting seems to have resulted from the drawing, although the figure of Jacob is comparable to Benesch 0107 and 0109. The alternative head of Jacob looking up is close to Benesch 0104 verso, which combined with the difficulty of finding comparisons with Rembrandt's documentary drawings and the doubts previously expressed by other witers, makes the attribution to Rembrandt somewhat less than certain, but overall, because of the drawing's sheer expressive power, I have decided to refrain from placing a question mark over the attribution. In theory, the drawing ought to resemble Benesch 0093, 0097 and 0100 more closely (being drawings of the same type and period) and Benesch 0104, 0106, 0107 and 0109, all now associated with Ferdinand Bol, rather less.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1637-39?
COLLECTION: D Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ 5213, stamped with L.1612 and 2504)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Friedländer, 1901, p.213; HdG 29; Berlin, 1910, no.273; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.13 (early); Bode, 1915, cols.217-18; Valentiner 97 (very doubtful, c.1630); Kauffmann, 1926, pp.160 and 174 (c.1631-32); Bredt, 1927, I, p.49; Van Dyke, 1927, p.48 (Ferdinand Bol); Berlin, 1930, p.222, repr. pl.144 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.232; Lugt, 1931, p.57; Rijckevorsel, 1932, pp.84-85, repr. fig.83; Bauch, 1933, p.227; (c.1632-33 if genuine); Paris, 1933, under no.1133 (before 1628); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (c.1635); Benesch, 1947, I, under no.52 (c.1635); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.95, repr. (c.1635); Benesch, 1955 [Collected Writings, I, pp.184-85, repr. fig.152] (c.1635; eloquent description of the penlines, 'almost like stalks of straw'); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.40 (c.1635); Rosenberg, 1956, p.67; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.27 (c.1632-35); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257; Bauch, 1960, p.256, n.79 (mid-1630s); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.22; Clark, 1966, pp.4-5; Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.17; Sciolla, 1976, no.XI, Clark, 1978, pp.48-49; Sumowski, 1979 etc., under no.182*, n.2; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.42, n.2 (Jacob the basis for Benesch 109); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.7; Haak, 1969 (1990 ed.), pp.102-103 (c.1635); Rosand, 2002, pp.224-26, 241 and 245-46, repr. fig.211 (imagery close to Judas Returning the 30 Pieces of Silver, Bredius 539A, Corpus A15); Exh. Berlin, 2002-2003, no.77 (c.1635-38); Kreutzer, 2003, pp.50-51 and 190 (c.1635); Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.100 (c.1635-38; echoes earlier etching, Bartsch 38); Berlin, 2006, no.14, repr. (c.1635-37; echoes etching, Bartsch 38).
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, jun., London (L.2170); Joshua Reynolds,
London (L.2364); Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), Berlin, with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0095a
Subject: The Raising of Jairus' Daughter (?) [Mark, V, 35-43]
Medium: Etching after a lost drawing apparently in pen and brown ink with brown wash.
184 x 228 (to platemark); 141 x 210 (to border-line, as illustrated here)
COMMENTS: Benesch included this image, the etched reproduction by Joseph Schmidt (1750-1816) illustrated here, after a lost drawing. While the subject, if correctly identified,[1] relates the drawing to Benesch 0061-62, which might bring Govert Flinck into contention, the style is not obviously his. None of Benesch's many comparisons is entirely persuasive (with Benesch 0095, 0097, 0099, 0100, 0106, 0108 and 0263). Perhaps the closest of them is Benesch 0108 and the wash is also reminiscent of Benesch 0138, so that the lost drawing could be by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. Unless the original drawing resurfaces, any judgment will necessarily remain particularly tentative.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??
Date: 1638-40??
COLLECTION: Whereabouts unknown
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.95a, the etching by Schmidt repr. (c.1635; only known through the etching; see further main text above).
PROVENANCE: Perhaps in Vienna when etched by Joseph Schmidt (1750-1816), who was primarily active there.
[1] The crucial figure of Christ is of course absent here. Schmidt made another etching after a supposed Rembrandt drawing, in a similar style, that shows an old man in bed attended by two women and with two babies in a cot nearby (an impression of the print is in the British Museum, inv. 1895,0915.1436).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0096
Subject: A Woman's Execution
Verso: Slight sketch of the head of the same woman
Medium: Pen and brown ink, corrected on the recto only with white bodycolour. Inscribed verso, in graphite, top left: '499 39 i/' [crossed out]/ '41/23'; and lower right, at a 90-degree angle to the above: '465/2' and at the same angle as the upper inscriptions: 'E'[?] / '-15/-';[1] and lower left: 'I.5302' [the Lugt inventory number].
195 x 256. The drawing has been cut vertically down the centre and rejoined using an 18mm wide backing strip; Watermark: Strasburg lily in crowned shield, with number '4' and initials 'WR' below (comparable to Laurentius and Laurentius no.438 of 1630, but lacking the oblique 'shoulder' to the shield at the top left side), repr. Paris, 1910, II, p.189, no.9;[2] chain-lines: 27h.
COMMENTS: The subject is uncertain; presumably the drawing represents the death of a woman in history or mythology, or the martyrdom of a female saint such as St Catherine, as Benesch tentatively proposed. St Catherine is indeed the most likely candidate, an idea that has been rejected for lack of her usual attribute, the wheel, but this would not be unusual in a composition by Rembrandt.[3] Her executioner is repeated on the right; two other figures bind and hold her. She may be kneeling on the steps to a platform, down which her drapery cascades to the right. The central figure was initially drawn in thin lines in a slightly lower position (subsequently coated with white heightening), while the head at the top right could be an elaboration of the figure on the left (though Benesch regarded it as a sketch for an oriental spectator of the scene). There is a small study of the woman's face on the verso which could have been drawn first of all, though this is uncertain. If so, it would reveal that Rembrandt might elaborate a composition around a central or focal point - as might be expected.
There are sufficient stylistic analogies with the documentary drawing, Benesch 0482, to secure the attribution and place the drawing c.1640.[4] A comparison with Benesch 95 (made by Benesch) is also valid. The broad, liquid handling is more typical of the early 1640s than the mid-1630s, the period to which Benesch and others have assigned drawing (some have preferred an even earlier date - see literature).
Condition: top corners made up (the left more than the right); the sheet sliced vertically into two halves and rejoined (as noted above).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1640?
COLLECTION: F Paris, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection (inv. 5302)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.145; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.96, repr. (c.1635; comparing his nos.93, 95 and 97 and the 1635 etching, Stoning of St Stephen, Bartsch 97); Van Gelder, 1955, p.396; Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.257 and 264; Exh. Paris, 1957 (no catalogue); Benesch, 1964, p.113 [Collected Writings, 1970, p.252] (c.1635); Exh. New York-Paris, 1977-78, no.85m, repr. pl.68 (early 1630s); Fryszman, 1978, p.345; Sumowski, 1979 etc., , 1979, under no.181* (c.1635); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, no.8, repr. (c.1640); Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001, under no.26, n.2 (by Ferdinand Bol); Exh. Dresden, 2004, under no.86; Berlin, 2006, under no.14; Exh. Paris, 2006, under no.50; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.27, repr. (c.1640); Paris, 2010, no.9 (c.1640); Exh. New York, 2011.
PROVENANCE: Mrs Brenda Harks Riddolls; her sale, London, Sotheby's, 21 December 1937, no.25, bt Wheeler for Lugt, £9; Frits Lugt, The Hague and Paris (L.1028) by whom vested in the present repository.
[1] Read in Paris, 2010, as '-157' but it seems closer to the British shorthand '15/-' for 15 shillings.
[2] The mark is compared in Paris, 2010 with that in Benesch 343, but only a fragment of the top of the mark on the latter is visible, so it could be of a different type; it has both its 'shoulders' and a fatter central leaf to the lily.
[3] In a letter to Frits Lugt of February 1952, Rotermund rejected the idea that a saint was shown as he knew of no martyrdom that corresponded with the details in the drawing (see Paris, 2010, no.9, p.46).
[4] The comparison first made by M. van Berge-Gerbaud in Exh. Paris, 1997-98.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0097
Subject: Christ Falling under the Cross on the Way to Calvary
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, perhaps rubbed with the finger. Inscribed in pen and brown ink by a later hand, lower left: 'Rembrant'; inscribed verso, in graphite, with the inventory number '1554'.
144 x 260. Watermark: arms of Fraubrunnen, Bern (repr. but not identified in Berlin, 2006, p.220, no.8; see Laurentius and Laurentius, no.173 [1635]).
COMMENTS: The drawing represents one of the three moments when Christ fell down under the weight of the cross as he carried it on the road to calvary. That Christ carried his own cross is mentioned in the Gospels, Matthew XXVII, 31–33, Mark, XV,20–22, Luke, XXIII, 26–32 and John, XIX, 16–18, the latter describing how Simon of Cyrene was forced to assist (not shown here), while Mark mentions the presence of the three Maries at the Crucifixion (Mary Salome, the mother of James, Mary the wife of Cleopas and Mary Magdalene). The scene, elaborated in the medieval period, became an established and common iconography in western art before 1500. Rembrandt was chiefly inspired by the engravings by Martin Schongauer (earlier 1470s, Hollstein 9) and Lucas van Leyden (1521, Bartsch/New Hollstein 51).[1] As can be judged from these and other earlier versions, the broadly drawn figure on the left is a soldier, presumably carrying the instruments to fix Christ to the cross in a basket slung over his lance or club. Also soldiers are the two men behind and above Christ, one apparently reloading the weight of the cross onto Christ's shoulder, the other urging him on with a whip. Behind the latter is a cavalryman, cut at the top, the horse's eyes and nose visible near the top of the crossbar. The other four figures include a woman in the centre wearing a veil (one of the Maries?), St Veronica (?) moving in from the right, apparently holding out the image of Christ on her kerchief,[2] and in the foreground the swooning Mary, the mother of Christ, attended by St John. The moment of Mary's 'swoon' gave the name 'Lo Spasimo' to the painting of the subject by Raphael of c.1514-16 (Prado, Madrid), which would have been known to Rembrandt through the engraving by Agostino Veneziano of 1517 (Bartsch 28, or through the engraved copy attributed to Francesco Villamena, c.1565-1624). That Rembrandt chose this same moment may not be coincidental. Characteristically, he envisaged the swoon in a realistic and original manner, placing Mary horizontally so that she acts as a compositional and emotional foil to the fallen Christ, who is without the usual crown of thorns. Other artists who may have prompted Rembrandt to attempt the subject, which is rare in the northern Netherlands in the seventeenth century, include both Rubens and Van Dyck.[3]
Rather clearly autograph (when I first studied the drawing seriously in 1988 I noted that it was 'a miracle'), Benesch compared for style the 1635 Berlin Last Supper after Leonardo (Benesch 0445), but the lines here are less splintered and the drawing could be slightly later (compare, for example, Benesch 0293). The watermark, not previously deciphered or dated, confirms that the drawing is likely to be from around 1635. Rembrandt drew many subjects from the Passion of Christ while he was involved with painting his Passion series for the Stadholder, Frederik Hendrik of Orange, between 1632 and 1639.[4]
A slight sketch on the verso of Benesch 0264 (qv) appears to be a rehearsal for a number of key elements here.
A pupil's drawing of a fallen warrior with two women now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, was influenced by the figures of Mary, John and St Veronica.[5]
Condition: top left corner repaired; otherwise good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1635-36?
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staaliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ 1554; stamped with L.1607)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte, 2, 1881, col.XXXXIV (acquisition report); Lippmann, I, 15; Michel, 1890, p.82; Michel, 1893, p.573; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.33, repr. (c.1636); HdG, 1906, no.71; Valentiner, 1906, p.175; Rembrandt-Bijbel, 1910, no.27; Valentiner, 1913, pp.108ff. (1914 ed., p.162); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.58 (1630s); Valentiner, 1914, pp.118-19; Neumann, 1918, no.55, repr.; Dehmel and Pfister, 1920, pp.8-9; Stockholm, 1920, pp.63-64, under no.IV, 18; Bredt, 1921, II, p.86; Kauffmann, 1926, pp.168 and 175 (c.1634-35); Berlin, 1930, p.227, repr. pl.155 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.228 c.1635); Graul, 1934, no.228 (mid-1630s); Valentiner 481 (c.1636); Benesch, 1935, pp.21 and 26 (c.1635); Schinnerer, 1944, no.94 (c.1636); Weski, 1944 (c.1635);[6] Benesch, 1947, no.47, repr. fig.47 (c.1635); Benesch, 1954/73, no.97, repr. (c.1635; compares Benesch 445); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.45 (c.1635); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.257; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.10 (mid-1630s); Van Gelder, 1959, p.19, repr. fig.62 (c.1635); Bauch, 1960, p.256, n.79 (mid-1630s); Benesch, 1963, pp.19-20, no.15 (c.1635); Gantner, 1964, pp.97-99, repr. fig.26 (c.1635); Slive, 1965, no.15 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1968, no.22 (c.1635-36); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.40; Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.98 (c.1635); Sciolla, 1976, under no.VIII; Broos, 1977, p.101; Amsterdam, 1981, under no.4; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.88, repr. fig.88a; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, no.5, repr. (mid-1630s; basis in Schongauer); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.460; Schatborn, 1993, p.157 basis in Schongauer); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997, p.XXII (figure to left identified as Simon returning from the fields); Haarlem, 1997, p.134, under no.117; Sell, 1998, p.37; Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, no.40, repr. (mid-1630s); Exh. Dresden, 2004, under no.86; Berlin, 2006, no.8, repr.; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.13.1 (c.1635;); Schatborn, 2010, p.33, repr. p.41, fig.2.
PROVENANCE: J.C. Robinson (L.1433), from whom purchased by the present repository in 1880 (acquisition number 189-1880).
[1] Cf. also Dürer's woodcut from the Large Passion (Bartsch 10). The present catalogue entry is much indebted to that by Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.8.
[2] The identification of this figure as St Veronica was tentatively proposed by Schatborn in Exh. London-Amsterdam, 1991-92, under no.5, stating that the idea was from Stephan Kemperdick. The identification, while possible, is uncertain: the sudarium (kerchief) is not clearly delineated and the head (or heads?) appear too small in proportion and could be those of more distance onlookers. Her pose, rushing forward, would be inappropriate had she just received the image of Christ. Of all the iconographies associated with Christ's Passion, St Veronica was one of the most modern inventions and one closely associated with the Roman Catholic church. She is usually shown alone with the 'Vera Ikon' or true image of Christ, but occasionally forms part of depictions of the Road to Calvary. One that Rembrandt might have known, although its composition has nothing in common with the present drawing, was by Jacopo Bassano and recorded in the middle of the 17th century as in the Reynst collection in Amsterdam (see the engraving by Jeremias Falck in the Cabinet Reynst; Variarum imaginum a celeberrimis artificibus pictarum Caelaturae. An impression is in the British Museum, inv. 1887,0722.166. For further details see Logan, 1975, pp.38-45.)
[3] See Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.8. He refers to Rubens' altarpiece for the church at Afflighem, now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (Oldenburg, 1921, no.419; there is also the version engraved by Paulus Pontius in 1632, Schneevoogt, 41, 262, Hollstein 8) and Van Dyck's painting for the Dominican church of St Paul in Antwerp (Barnes, De Poorter, Millar and Vey, no.I.25, repr.7), for which a number of related drawings survive (Vey, 1962, nos.7-13). The latter painting was engraved in reverse by Cornelis Galle (New Hollstein, VII, no.522), but possibly later than Rembrandt's drawing.
[4] See the Descent from the Cross of 1632-33 (Bredius 550, Corpus A65), the Raising of the Cross of c.1633 (Bredius 548, Corpus A69), the Ascension of Christ of 1636 (Bredius 557, Corpus A118), the Entombment of Christ of c.1635-39 (Bredius 560, Corpus A26) and the Resurrection of Christ also of c.1635-39 (Bredius 561, Corpus A127). These were later joined by the iconographically distinct Adoration of the Shepherds of 1646 (Bredius 574, Corpus, V 11) and a now lost Circumcision of Christ, also of 1646 (Corpus, V 10). All the paintings, apart from the last-named, are in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, the other (the copy) being in the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum in Braunschweig.
[5] As noted in Amsterdam, 1985, no.88, repr.
[6] Reference to be checked; the drawing is mentioned on pp.12, 19 and 159 of the author's 1942 dissertation of the same title (see Berlin, 2006, under no.8).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0098
Subject: Soldier and Rearing Horse
Medium: Pen and brown ink over indications in black chalk; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.
128 x 84
COMMENTS: A rather feeble drawing, likely to be by (or after) Govert Flinck (cf. Benesch 0111-12 and Sumowski nos 948a* and b*).[1] There is no close stylistic relationship with anything that can be assigned to Rembrandt with any confidence. The traces of black chalk underdrawing make the idea of a copy likely, as the original would almost certainly have been done 'alla prima,' without preliminary indications. There is also another copy in existence, which came from Zomer's collection.[2]
The horse is derived from Rembrandt's etching, A Cavalry Fight, of c.1630-32 (Bartsch 117) for which Benesch and others thought the drawing was a preliminary study.
Summary attribution: by or after Govert Flinck?
Date: 1635-40?
COLLECTION: R Moscow, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Sidorow, 1923, VIII (c.1641; study for etching, Large Lion Hunt of 1641, Bartsch 114); Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.98, repr. (c.1635; study for the etching of a Cavalry Fight, Bartsch 117, in fact a Conversion of Saul; compares for style Benesch 101 and 399); Moscow, 2010, no.190, repr. (Flinck; attribution conveyed by Schatborn, orally, 2009; with further lit. to CHECK).
PROVENANCE: A.W. Thibaudeau (L.2473; not in his sale, London, 1889); Sergey Vassilievich Pensky, Moscow, by whom bequeathed to the present repository (then the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts), 1912.
[1] From my notes: 'near Flinck?' (annotated Benesch, 09/09/1987); Flinck suggested to Schatborn who agrees (e-mail 03/02/2004).
[2] A photograph was kindly sent to me by Christie's in London in June 1990. Zomer's collector's mark (L.1511) is mostly hidden by the window of the mount in the photograph. The back of the mount has a printed label in poor condition in Russian and French, which like Benesch 98 claims a provenance from Thibaudeau.
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0099
Subject: The Annunciation (Luke, II, 29-30)
Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched with corrections in white bodycolour.
144 x 124.
COMMENTS: Rembrandt remains remarkably faithful to the text of St Luke's description of Mary's reaction the words of the angel Gabriel: " And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God." While the fearful and stunned Mary has slipped from her chair, shed a slipper and dropped her book by her feet, the angel takes her hand and attempts to comfort her. Adjustments to Mary's arms, hands and legs seems to emphasise the sense of movement and anxiety. The shape to the right may indicate a prie-dieu, and a pet cat (presumably) scuttles away below. As so often, Rembrandt revolutionises the traditional iconography by showing the angel and Mary in such close proximity, and in tactile contact. The composition influenced Ferdinand Bol in his drawing of the subject, in which many of the same motifs recur and the cat plays with a ball of string.[1]
The drawing should probably be placed around 1635. Although it has the thin lines and delicacy of silverpoint, as in Benesch 0427, the wings have analogies with those in Benesch 92, though drawn with less speedy bravura.
A copy is in Weimar (HdG 529, Valentiner 814).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1635?
COLLECTION: F Besançon, Musée des Beaux-Arts (inv.D.2618; stamped with L. Supplément 238c).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 548; Valentiner 814; Kramar, 1926, I, p.32, repr. fig.7; Benesch, 1935, p.21; Exh. Amsterdam, 1935, no.34; Benesch, 1947, no.48, repr.; Benesch, 1954/73, no.99, repr. (c.1635; compares Benesch 90, 95 and 445); Exh. Paris, 1970, p.96, no.209; Exh. London, 1992, under no.7, n.2; Exh. Besançon, 1999, no.24, repr.; Exh. Besançon-Richmond, 2003-2005, p.66; Berlin, 2006, under no.47; Schwartz, 2006, p.347; Exh. Paris, 2006-2007, no.11, repr.; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.8.1, repr. (c.1635; inspired the version by Bol in Oslo, inv.NG.K&H.B.15591, Sumowski 180*)
PROVENANCE: Jean-François Gigoux (1806-94; L.1164), by whom bequeathed to the present repository.
[1] Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet, inv. B-15591, Sumowski 180*, Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.8.2, repr..
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0100
Subject: The Lamentation of Christ at the Foot of the Cross
Verso: Soldiers and Women (the Prodigal Son?)
Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched on the recto with red chalk and white heightening (to the lower left); fine scratching diagonally over the recto of the sheet. Inscribed verso in partly erased graphite, lower left: '432' and '0'
173 x 155. Top corners made up. Watermark: fragment, the top part of a Strasburg lily (comparable to Hinterding, 2006, C'b; HMP 235084)
COMMENTS: The subject of the lamentation at the foot of the cross after Christ's deposition is not specifically described in the gospels but was nevertheless commonly depicted in western art by the fifteenth century (see under Benesch 0154). Most of the figures can be identified on the basis of other versions of the subject, with the reclining Christ in the arms of Mary, his mother, with Mary Magdalene wringing her hands next to St John, who holds Christ's hand and looks at two further mourners. Joseph of Arimathea and Nikodemus stand to the right with a further mourning figure to the left of the ladder. The combination of these elements with the group of the Pietà is found in early Netherlandish paintings, which may have inspired Rembrandt's design.[1]
The drawing resembles the British Museum version (Benesch 0154) in several respects and may be viewed as a preliminary sketch for the more developed work, which in turn led to the grisaille in the National Gallery in London (Bredius 565 Corpus A107). Christ's mother there falls back in a faint and there are other obvious differences, but there are general similarities in the grouping of the foreground figures. The present drawing may also have inspired Benesch 0063, in which Christ is again cradled by his mother.
The verso sketches contrast entirely, showing a couple engaged in acts of lust in three variations. That the upper study, which resembles the central group in Benesch 0394,[2] was drawn last is clear from the way it avoids overlapping the contours of the lower sketches. There are also similarities with motifs in Benesch 0398 and in a drawing now in the Peck collection, Boston (Valentiner 768).[3] The sketch on the right, showing the woman mounting the man's lap, brings the drawing into the sphere of Rembrandt's painting of himself and his wife as the Prodigal Son squandering his Inheritance, now in Dresden, of 1636.[4] As in that painting, the face of the man on the right could be intended as a self-portrait of the artist - his face appears in a similar position and expression in the painting, with a comparable beret with feather and the light in the same direction (the woman, especially in the sketch on the left, is not wholly unlike Saskia, either). The X-radiograph of the painting shows that the woman (Saskia) was initially painted wearing a veil of the type seen in the figure on the left of the drawing.[5]
Both the recto and verso compare in style with the documentary drawings, Benesch 0140-41, but with marginally more liquidity, suggesting a slightly later date c.1635, and Benesch 0445, the dated Berlin version of the Last Supper after Leonardo of 1635. Like Benesch 0154, the drawing was doubtless made as the artist wrestled with ideas while painting his series of the Passion of Christ for the Stadholder (see under Benesch 0097). The verso may date from the period when Rembrandt began work on the Dresden Prodigal Son, completed and dated in 1636.
Condition: trimmed at the top (see verso image); lower left corner repaired and top corners made up; a brown stain towards upper right and minor stains or discolouration elsewhere.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1635?
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ.2312)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte, 2, 1881, col.LXXXII (acquisition report); Lippmann, I, 11; Michel, 1893, p.573; Von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; HdG 75 (c.1635); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, nos.62-63 (recto and verso; c.1635); Neumann, 1918, p.118; Neumann, 1918.I, no.56, repr.; Stockholm, 1920, p.39, under no.II, 17 (not Rembrandt, but defended as Rembrandt by Neumann in the same publication); Kauffmann, 1926, p.164 (recto c.1630-32); Weisbach, 1926, p.612, n.8 (verso); Stechow, 1929, p.226; Berlin, 1930, p.228; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.236 (c.1635); Lugt, 1931, p.58; Paris, 1933, under no.1133 (c.1628); Valentiner 494 (recto, c.1634) and 773 (verso, c.1634); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (c.1635); Benesch, 1944, p.295; Schinnerer, 1944, no.84 (recto, c.1635); Benesch, 1947, I, under no.52 (c.1635); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.100, repr. (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.46 (c.1635); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.257 and 264 (c.1635); Slive, 1965, I, no.11 (c.1635); Tümpel, 1968, pp.119 and 122 (c.1635; verso a sketch for the Prodigal Son in the brothel); Harris, 1969, p.162; Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.109; Broos, 1977, p.101; Amsterdam, 1981, under no.2; Corpus, III, 1989, under nos.A107 (recto) and A111 (verso); Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.88 (recto) and 94 (verso); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.7; Royalton-Kisch, 1989, pp.135-36; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.16, verso repr. fig.7; Exh. London, 1992, under no.12 (c.1634-35); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.39 (the verso), repr. (c.1635); Van Straten, 2002, p.278 the verso not the Prodigal Son); Exh. Boston, 2003, under no.4 (verso); Kreutzer, 2003, pp.164-65 and 195 (recto, c.1635); Exh. Dresden, 2004, under no.67 (verso); Bevers, 2005, pp.469-470; Berlin, 2006, no.9, repr.; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-2010, no.5.1, repr. (verso exhibited, recto repr.fig.5a; c.1635-36).
PROVENANCE: F. Heimsoeth, Bonn; his sale, Frankfurt, Prestel, 5 May, 1879, lot 146; Rudolf Schuster, Berlin, by whom presented to the present repository in 1881.
[1] See Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.9. The present catalogue entry is much indebted to Bevers's text.
[2] Loc. cit..
[3] Loc. cit..
[4] Dresden, Gemäldegalerie, Bredius 30, Corpus A111.
[5] Corpus A111, the X-radiograph repr. p.135, fig.2, with mention of the veil on p.140 (lower right column).
First posted 4 June 2012

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.
It 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; Broos, 1977, p.101; Blankrt, 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);
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); 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.165*, repr. (Bol, end of 1630s; compares Study of the Maries in Wroclaw, Sumowski 98); Exh. Wroclaw 1998, no.4 (Bol).
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*).
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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 a 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. 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 (cf. Benesch 0078?), the eccentric wiry lines such as those running up the side of the cross near its base; 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 138 and with the present drawing Van den Eeckhout emerges as an exceptionally gifted artist when young - as indeed he remained later on.[1]
Having stated all that, I cannot 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).[2]
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout? Retouched by Rembrandt??
Date: 1640?
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ. 12954; formerly 4-1929*).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.230; Berlin, 1930, p.227 (Rembrandt); Valentiner 486; Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, 1947, no.52, repr.; Benesch, 1954/73, no.108, repr. (compares background of Rembrandt's etched Small Calvary of c.1635 [Bartsch 80]; groups with Benesch 110, 111, 399, as well as Benesch 95, 95a, 100 and 104); Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-2004, no.41, repr. (Rembrandt); Berlin, 2006, pp.192-93., repr. (attributed to Eeckhout, 1635-40; compares Benesch 138 and 160; 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. 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).
PROVENANCE: Michael Sadler; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 12 December, 1928, lot 108.
[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 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.
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 80; subject also treated in Benesch 110 and 106 [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); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.42, n.2 (late 1630s, perhaps by Bol; based on Benesch 95); Berlin, 2006, under no.14 (quotes Amsterdam, 1985).
PROVENANCE: Joachim von Bergmann; Störkel-Kauffung, Silesia.
[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).
PROVENANCE: C.A de Burlet, Basel; Thomas Gibson Fine Art (dealer), London, 1987;[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).
[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). 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.; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.112, repr. (compares Benesch 111; otherwise as HdG); 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).
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.
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 (Bredius 555, Corpus A106), datable c.1634-5. 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 267), 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).
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 (an 'R' in seventeenth-century style), including Benesch 0138. See Hind, 1926, p.9; Sumowski 237x (a drawing by Bol in Berlin); 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 Benesch 0264, 0271, 0275 and 0313.
[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 <http://www.marquesdecollections.fr/detail.cfm/marque/5817> 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.
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 engraving apparently helped inspire two of his early paintings.[3]
Rembrandt's drawing is placed somewhat too early 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 other iron-gall ink drawings of the later 1630s (like 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]
A school version, perhaps of the 1640s surfaced in 2004.[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.
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).
PROVENANCE: Tobias Christ, Basel.
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*).
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, 1939/40, 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*).
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.
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: <http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/90015350?rpp=20&pg=1&ft=10.1&deptids=9&pos=11>.
[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 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. 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).[1] 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.[2] 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 with the performance include Benesch 0312, 0316-322 and perhaps also 0323-26, but this is doubful.[3]
Willem Ruyter also appears in Benesch 0230 and 0235 and in a drawing, not in Benesch, now in the Rijksmuseum.[4] 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).
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.
[1] 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).
[2] 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.
[3] See Van der Waal, 1956 and Dudok van Heel, 1979; also Schatborn and de Winkel, 2006 and De Winkel 2006, pp.244-46.
[4] 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).
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).
[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*).
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).
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
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
157 x 102.
COMMENTS: Note the subsidiary study of the drapery in the lower right corner of the sheet. Published by Gerson and Sumowski as by Philips Koninck. Benesch compared no.0075, but the present drawing seems more characteristic of Govert Flinck - cf. Sumowski nos.948a, 948b and 951* (the shading by the feet), as well as Benesch 0069 and 0111-112 and 0117.
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck?
Date: 1640?
COLLECTION: 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. Kominck, c.1655-58).
PROVENANCE: Dresden, Galerie Arnold (their catalogue, 1921, no.79, repr. as Rembrandt).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0125
Subject: Jacob's Dream
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash; a touch of red chalk in the nose.
101 x 129.
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]
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: HdG 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 70; Berlin, 1930, p.221; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.231; Lugt, 1931, p.56; Benesch, 1935, p.24; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.125, repr. (c.1636; compares Benesch 127; see further above); Paris, 2010, under no.33 [Flinck?]. (NB not in Berlin, 2006 and thus not considered to be by Rembrandt.)
PROVENANCE: Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); William Esdaile; 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.
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).
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 originsal in style of Benesch 128); 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]).
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;
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).
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).
First posted 4 June 2012

Benesch 0128
Subject: Lot and his Daughters (Genesis, XIX, 30-38)
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
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. Benesch 0110 and the shading around the daughter on the left and the shading in Benesch 0127 recto). The difference between this drawing and Benesch 0070 may help define the borderline between Rembrandt and the young Flinck. 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.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: 1636-38?
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, 1994, no.54; 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).
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.
First posted 4 June 2012

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 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**); 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 (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). NB Not included in Exh. Vienna, 2004.
[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]
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).
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).
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 (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..
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).
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).
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 (?)
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.
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 (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).
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).
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).
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). 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.1634. 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. 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 are usually 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); Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, under no.13, n.5 (belongs to core group of Eeckhout drawings).
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. 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 that 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.1634-35 (Bredius 555, Corpus A106). A date c.1634 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: 1634?
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); enesch, 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).
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.1634-35 (Bredius 555, Corpus A106).
The free, not to say slack, style of the drawing cannot possibly date from the 1630s, as Benesch proposed (he in fact owned the drawing), but has links with Rembrandt's drawings 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 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 evenness of pressure in the St John the Baptist Preaching. Also unsettling is the fact that the style of Benesch 0139A also relates to Benesch 0071, 0073 (in the landscape) and 0076, drawings that seem definitely to be the work of another hand, probably Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. The landscape also has analogies with the much doubted views of Windsor and London (now in Vienna, Benesch 0786, and Berlin, Benesch 0787-88).
Yet despite these counter-arguments to the attribution to Rembrandt, one has to accept that the magisterial breadth 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 almost unintelligible? Of what use would such a drawing be? Only as a roughing out of the composition for the design of the frame would such a drawing make any sense.
So the drawing stands at an attributional crossroads. I had thought to include it in the 'attributed to Rembrandt' section, with three question marks. But taking its breadth and possible function into account, an attribution to Rembrandt, currently at least, seems more plausible. There are also some stylistic similarities with Benesch 0767, 1053 and 1175, all documentary or inscribed works, and with many other drawings, including Benesch 1045, 1160, 1068, 1068A and 1210.
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).
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.
First posted 22 April 2013

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.1634-35 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106). 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 suggest 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: 1634?
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ. 5243; stamped verso with L.1612/2504)
FURTHER LIETRATURE/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).
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.1634-35 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106).
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: 1634-35?
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, repr.pl.170 (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).
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..
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.1634-35 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106). 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: 1634-35?
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).
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.1634-35 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106). 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: 1634-35?
COLLECTION: GB London, Courtauld (Princes Gate 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; 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).
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).
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).
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, Copenhagen (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).
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).
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 drawings 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).
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 69).
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’; 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 r 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-Boston, 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. 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.
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; iInscribed, 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), executed c.1634-35.[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, particulary 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).
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. Schatborn, 1994, p.21, suggested that the recto was derived from Benesch 141 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).
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 handling differs substantially from that in any securely attributed drawings by Rembrandt.
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); Bevers, 2007, p.58, n.30 (Flinck?; mid- to late-1630s).
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), although 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.1634 (Bredius 555, Corpus A106).[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, 1977, p.102; Rotterdam, 1988, no.4, repr. (c.1632); Paris, 2008, under no.117 (discussed in relation to the etching, Bartsch 139).
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.
[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 (Bredius 560, Corpus A126) commissioned for the stadholder, Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange, and now in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. The crouching figures 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 Benesch 154. 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 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 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, Corpuys A127, 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.
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.151, 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); 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. Washington, 2005, p.118, repr. fig.3 (c.1637); 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); Orenstein, 2013, p.5, repr. fig.15 (noting Schongauer quotation mentioned above).
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.;
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 (Bredius 565, Corpus A107), but opinions have differed as to whether it was drawn before, after, or during the execution of the more finished work.[1]
The British Museum's sheet began as a pen and ink sketch of the figures lamenting over the dead body of Christ. Rembrandt evidently decided to enlarge the composition. This was effected in various stages, as follows: (1) he stuck the original sheet onto a slightly larger piece of paper (most clearly visible in the narrow parallel strips at the top, those on the left now being slightly lower). (2) 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. (The top half of the split between the 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.)(3) The two sections were then fixed to a third and yet larger sheet; but the left section, with the standing mourners and the Magdalene at Christ's feet, was stuck down in a lower position than (and slightly to the left of) that on the right.
The composition was then reworked, firstly with indications in red chalk and subsequently in oils and the surface of the third sheet only contains work in these media. The main parts of the third sheet that are exposed are the following: the top left corner, the section occupied by the right-hand ladder and the small quadrangular patch at its base, and the strip running across the bottom from the lower right corner to the point below the sorrowing Magdalene at Christ's feet.[2] The tallest figures behind the body of Christ are also apparently executed entirely in oil paint. The bases of the crosses, the ladders, the temple of Jerusalem, the sky, the foreground section and, to the right, the mourners and the winding-sheet were all painted at this 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.
It seems likely that Rembrandt executed 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 pen and ink part of the Museum's sketch would have been made first of all. The National Gallery's painting is executed entirely in oils and follows the foreground frieze of figures in the drawing. It also includes the ladders, but these could have been added at a subsequent stage (the X-radiograph is inconclusive on this point). Some of the figures, only cursorily indicated in the British Museum's sketch, are worked up in considerable detail, including the man climbing the ladder at the top left corner. But the artist seems to have omitted several motifs that appear only in the Museum's study, including the figure in a broad hat that bends forward over Christ. The National Gallery's painting shows no definite signs of this figure either on the surface or in X-radiographs. This suggests that Rembrandt revised the composition again in his mind, abandoning at an early stage certain solutions that he had considered in the British Museum's sketch. He also altered the background, in which he initially took over the large tower from the earlier trial, only to rework this area again later.[3] Indeed, the National Gallery's sketch was destined to undergo as many revisions as the drawing. Its central, paper section was also cut, in two places: in the area 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 in 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.[4]
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 100), 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. In style both resemble the dated drawing in Berlin of 1635 after Leonardo da Vinci's 'Last Supper' (Benesch 445). 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.[6] The tall, sorrowing woman standing behind the main group near the centre of the British Museum's sketch resembles the figure in Benesch 152, that was used for the Munich 'Entombment', painted for the stadholder in the mid-to-later 1630s.[7] A drawing of the head of this or a similar figure, Benesch 153, may be a copy.[8] Finally, the etched 'Crucifixion: small plate' of c.1635 (Bartsch 80), 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.[9] 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), the 'Christ before Pilate' of 1634 in the National Gallery in London (Bredius 546, Corpus A89), the 'Entombment' at Glasgow (Bredius 554, Corpus A105) and the 'St John the Baptist preaching' in Berlin (Bredius 555, Corpus A106). 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.[10]
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.[11] 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'.[12]
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 63) also reflects these compositions.[13]
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.[14]
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.
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.193-4 (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).
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2184); Jonathan Richardson, jun. (L.2170); Sir Joshua Reynolds (L.2364);[15] 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 Further literature above.
[2] The extreme edges of the sheet on the other sides, mostly covered by the framing line, are also made up of the third and largest sheet. The above reconstruction, with minor deviations, follows that proposed by Harris, 1969.
[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] 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), 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] 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 445, while those above Christ's body are like the two to his right, especially in the case of the National Gallery's sketch.
[7] 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.
[8] See Amsterdam, 1981, no.2.
[9] 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.
[10] 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 orpus, 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.
[11] See Réau, II, 1957, pp.519-21.
[12] 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 152).
[13] 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).
[14] 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.
[15] 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

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.
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]
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 must always have been apparent.
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, 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).
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 datable and documentary drawings in this medium, Benesch 161 recto, 168, 423 and 442.
[2] Sumowski 823*, where attributed to Barend Fabritius.
[3] See The Rembrandt Database, Rembrandt, Susanna, 1636, Mauritshuis, The Hague, inv. no. 147, http://www.rembrandtdatabase.org/Rembrandt/painting/2926/susanna, 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?
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, 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..
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
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. 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).
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1638-40??
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ. 5218)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 44; Bode, Amtliche Berichte, 1908, p.63; Bode, 1908, pp.108-9, repr.(late 1640s or c.1650); Valentiner, 1908, p.34; Berlin, 1910, II, no.272, repr.; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1913, no.30, repr. (compares Benesch 180); Valentiner, 1914, p.166; Kauffmann, 1924, p.72 (c.1635); Kauffmann, 1926, p.168; Berlin, 1930, p.224, Inv.5218 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1930, p.45; Benesch, 1935, p.29; Valentiner 259; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.159, repr. (c.1637-38; compares Benesch 160); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (prefers date c.1635); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.36 (text does not question the attribution to Rembrandt); (NB, not mentioned in Berlin, 2006.)
PROVENANCE: Lord Egmont; R.P. Roupell.
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.
A previously unasked and therefore unanswered question is whether the darker and more liquid lines on the right, and the energetic description of the canopy to the upper left, might be corrections and additions by Rembrandt - compare here for style Benesch 363 recto. The idea seems plausible on the basis of this comparison.
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. [2]
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout? Retouched by Rembrandt?
Date: 1638-40?
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (KdZ. 5252)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 48; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.34, repr. (uncertain if by Rembrandt); Kauffmann, 1926, p.166; Van Dyke, 1927, p.95, repr. (S. Koninck); Valentiner 299; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.234; Berlin, 1930, p.224 (c.1632); Benesch, 1935, p.28; Benesch, I, 1954, no.160, repr. (returns in c.1638 to style of 1632-33; compares Benesch 159, 161, 162 and 416; similar oriental warriors also found in other works); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (c.1632, pace Benesch, 1954); Schatborn, 1972, pp.97-106, repr. (Rembrandt); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.9, repr. fig.9b; Dittrich, 2003, p.68, repr. fig.5 (Rembrandt, c.1632 or 1638; the warrior on the right resembles Benesch 3 and 4); Berlin, 2006, pp.193-95, repr. (attributed to Van den Eeckhout); Bevers, 2010, p.46, repr. fig.8 (Eeckhout).
PROVENANCE: Festetics; Klinkosch; 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] 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).
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. Los Angeles, 2009–10, no. 19.1, repr. (verso repr. fig.19a; c.1638-39 [recto]; c.1638 [verso]; compared/contrasted with Benesch 129); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.40, repr. figs.115-16 (documentary drawing); Royalton-Kisch, 2011, p.98.
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: Boaz and Ruth (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 cannot be by the same hand. In 1988 my notes show that I had doubted the drawing was by Rembrandt, and that in 2004 I had thought of Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, the attribution that was published by Bevers in 2006.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?
Date: 1640?
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv.1144)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: HdG 32; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.16 (doubtful); Kauffmann, 1926, p.175, n.3; Van Dyke, 1927 (doubtful); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.229; Berlin, 1930, I, p.222 (c.1635; Lastmanesque; some weaknesses; compares Benesch 70); Lugt, 1931, p.57; Valentiner 147; Benesch, 1935, p.28; Benesch, I,1954/73, no.162, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1638); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (prefers earlier date than Benesch, 1954); 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.)
PROVENANCE: acquired before 1878.
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).
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).
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).
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, I, 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, I, 1979, no.178*, repr. (Bol); Rotterdam, 1988, no.44, repr. (Bol).
PROVENANCE: Earl of Dalhousie (L.717a); P.& D. Colnaghi (see under L.717a); Paul Cassirer (see under L.717a); L. Böhler, Lucerne (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 almost certainly 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 125).
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); Paris, 2010, no.33, repr. (Bol); Exh. New York, 2011, p.94; Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, no.1, repr. (Bol, 3rd quarter of 1630s).
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.
[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..
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).
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).
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.1637-39 (see under Benesch 143) and the style echoes Rembrandt's own works in the same medium during these years. But direct comparisons make an attribution to a pupil possible, and Gerbrand van den Eeckhout's name has been invoked.[3] The connections with his work are plausible to some extent (cf. Benesch 74, for example, and in particular the Christ between two Soldiers in the Rijksmuseum)[4] and the unspecific facial expressions are unusual for Rembrandt, as also the rather stiffly posed reclining figure. Yet from the point of view of style, especially with the broad, bold sweeps of brown wash for the shadows, as well as certain analogies with Rembrandt's sketch of Joseph in Prison (Benesch 423 verso), an attribution to Rembrandt cannot be entirely discounted - the connections with his work seem as close as with those certainly by Van den Eeckhout, and the drawing is therefore here retained in the 'attributed to Rembrandt' section.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout?; Rembrandt??.
Date: 1639?
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (KdZ. 5292)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, IV, 40; HdG 139 (claims provenance included Bouverie); Berlin, 1914, no.128 (not Rembrandt); Kauffmann, 1920, p.77-79, repr. (identifies as illustration to Trou-Ringh by Jacob Cats); Hofstede de Groot, 1923-24, p.58 (identifies subject as Samuel at Eli's); Valentiner 809; Berlin, 1930, I, p.234; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.240; Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.171, repr. (c.1639; identifies subject as Darab Sheltered in the Ruined Vault; under Benesch 423 compares this drawing); Sumowski, VBerlin, 2006, pp.194 and 197, repr. (by Van den Eeckhout; represents Samuel and Eli); Bevers, 2010, p.54, repr. fig.18 (Eeckhout).
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson Jr. (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
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).
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).
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).
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).
PROVENANCE:
[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).
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: <http://arts-graphiques.louvre.fr/detail/oeuvres/1/107866-La-servante-de-Judith-mettant-la-tete-dHolopherne-dans-un-sac>.
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.1634 (Bredius 555; Corpus A106 – 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]).
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).
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; vol.vi, 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)
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?
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, 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).
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (Inv. KdZ 3774)
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 17 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 in style 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 tentative. 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).
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).
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. 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; 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.
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 (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; Schatborn, 2011, p.317, repr. fig.59; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.63, repr. (documentary drawing).
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:
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/publications/online_research_catalogues/search_object_details.aspx?objectid=710536&partid=1&searchText=479&numpages=12&output=bibliography%2f!!%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. 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). (In compiling this entry I have 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] http://arts-graphiques.louvre.fr/detail/oeuvres/6/107757-Feuille-detudes-de-mendiants (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 Laurenz 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).
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).
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); Schatborn, 2011,p.315, repr. fig.58 and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.341, no.61, repr. fig.58 (documentary drawing).
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)
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, Copenhagen, 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, I, 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 (‘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); Exh. Florence, 2000, no.58, repr..
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

END OF BENESCH VOL.I
___________________________________________________________________

BENESCH VOL.II

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.; Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.135 (Flinck?); Exh. Rotterdam, 2005.
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).
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.
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 (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).
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);
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); 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).
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).
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 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; 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)
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).
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.
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, 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; 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).
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.
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

Benesch 0201
Subject: Two Peasant Men in Discussion
Verso: Laid down.
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared with brown wash. Some later retouches.
103 x 63.
COMMENTS: Despite some rather unprepossessing qualities and hesitations, the strength of the characterisations and the style of some passages of drawing, for example in the figure on the left’s left lower leg which seems especially like Benesch 500a, suggest that this sketch could be autograph. The weaknesses down the side of the figure on the left, near the lip of the sheet, may have been exacerbated by an attempt to erase an architectural motif at the very edge of the paper. Nonetheless hesitation is due, owing to the fact that so much of the drawing has the dull, sluggish tempo of a copy; nowhere does Rembrandt’s customary zest really shine through (cf. drawings such as Benesch 0230-0231). Compare also Benesch 0202 and 0669, especially for the shading. None of the documentary drawings can be commandeered to help bolster the attribution to Rembrandt himself, but the use of iron-gall ink places the sketch circa 1638-39..
Condition: Generally good, though trimmed and retouched.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt? (After Rembrandt?)
Date: c.1638-39.
COLLECTION: D Frankfurt, Städel Museum (inv.852)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.337 (early); Frankfurt, 1913[?], xx Lieferung, no.8; Exh. Frankfurt, 1926, no.355; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.201, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 0079, Benesch 0232 and foreshadows etchings, Bartsch 177-78 [NH 131-32]); Exh. Frankfurt, 1991, no.23 (c.1634); Exh. Frankfurt, 2000, no.57 (c.1640; records verbal opinions: the drawing doubted by Schatborn 1998, but compared in 1999 by Royalton-Kisch with Benesch 0669 and 0500a).
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, senior (L.2184; his mark reinforced by a later hand in pen and brown ink); John Barnard (L.1419); Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); Johann Friedrich Städel (1728-1816), the founder of the present repository.
First posted 28 August 2015

Benesch 0202
Subject: An Old Man and a Young Woman Walking
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
149 x 98.
COMMENTS: The style is close to Benesch 0072 and especially to Benesch 0232, suggesting a date in the second half of the 1630s. However, the documentary drawing Benesch 500a with its comparable passages of detail and shading argues for a date in the early 1640s, although the degree of detail here, for example in the woman’s face, is unusual (among the documentary drawings one might point to Benesch 0336, which must, however, be earlier). Compare also Benesch 0606.
Despite the poor condition of the sheet, the unhesitating lies throughout encapsulate enough of Rembrandt’s own style to accept it as autograph, albeit with some caution. The motif seems partly to anticipate the couple in the Hundred Guilder Print, studied in Benesch 0185.
Condition: Poor – has probably been washed; spots from foxing have been disguised.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt?
Date: c.1638-40?
COLLECTION: D Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett (inv. C 1899-44)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, I, 148a; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.272 (c.1635); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.79; Benesch, 1947, no.23, repr.; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.202, repr. (c.1632-33; compartes Benesch 0081, 0232, 0391); Exh. Dresden, 1960, no.7; Scheidig, 1962, no.9, repr.; Slive, I, 1965, pl.153; Sumwoski, 1979 etc., vi, Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.100, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.63, repr. (c.1632; compares Benesch 0224, 0230 and 0232, and 1648 etching Beggars Receiving Alms, Bartsch 176; NH 243).
PROVENANCE: Francis Seymour Haden (L.1227); his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 15 June 1891 and following days; Edward Habich (L.862); his sale, Stuttgart, Gutekunst, 27 April, 1899 and following days, lot 542, where purchased by the present repository.
First posted 29 August 2015

Benesch 0203
Subject: A Seated Woman, Reading
Verso: Head of a Man in a Turban
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared with brown wash; touched on the recto with brown wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
Inscriptions: lower left by a later hand, in brown ink: “Rembrant.”; verso in red chalk: “13” and “1395” and in graphite: “Rembrandt. Del.”
161 x 172. No watermark; chain lines: 25h.
COMMENTS: A fine and characteristic study in iron-gall ink of c.1638-39.[1] Many of these studies appear to depict people in the artist’s immediate entourage. Among the most similar is Benesch 0249, which shows an older and less myopic woman reading. The documentary drawing, Benesch 0168 of c.1638, which also shows a woman reading, may have been made at around the same time.
Condition: good; some iron-gall ink ‘burn’.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1638-39.
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (L. 1606; inv. KdZ 1112)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, I, 21; Michel, 1890, p.45; Michel, 1893, p.572; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.133 (c.1635); Saxl, 1908, p.229 (c.1638, Saskia the model); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, nos 121-22 (c.1635); Lugt, 1921, no.2438 and 1975B (collectors’ marks); Berlin, 1930, p.233, repr. pl.168 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.239; Benesch, 1935, p.16 (c.1632-33); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.203, repr. (c.1633; compares Benesch 0060 for date, also Benesch 0204 and 0218; verso a sketch for Benesch 0074); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.52 (c.1635); Sumowski, 1956/7, p.255 (c.1633); Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, under no.34 (c.1635-39); Slive, 1965, no.21 (c.1636-39); Sumowski, 1979 etc., vi, 1982, under no.1521bxx; Exh. London, 1992, under no.30 (c.1639); Berlin, 2006, no.20, repr. (c.1638-39; compares Benesch 0249 [erroneously footnoted as 0272], Benesch 0218-19, 0423 and 0442 and the verso as London, 1992 [Benesch 0207 verso] and Benesch 0157).
PROVENANCE: Unknown eighteenth-century English collector (L.2925); Karl Ferdinand Friedrich von Nagler (L.2529); purchased with his collection in 1835 by the present repository.
[1] The date from the datable documentary drawings Benesch 0157, 0161, 0168, 0423 and 0442.
First posted 29 August 2015

Benesch 0204
Subject: A Seated Woman Reading, Wearing a Veil, profile to left
Medium: Pen and brown ink; inscribed lower right with the letter: "R"
130 x 100.
COMMENTS: The drawing has been ignored since Benesch included it in his 1954/73 corpus, and had not been published before. Although related in motif to drawings such as Benesch 0203 and 0249, the style here is different and hesitant almost throughout. The parallel shading down the figure’s back seems especially un-Rembrandtesque. (Only in the lower skirt does the pen move with a Rembrandtesque verve.) It retains an interest as a work probably made in the immediate vicinity of Rembrandt, and might even depend on a lost drawing. Benesch noted that the right-hand page of the book features a heart pierced diagonally with arrows. This might be an illustration from an emblem-book concerning love.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt
Date: c.1638-40
COLLECTION: D Ulm, Ulmer Museum (Strölin bequest)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.204, repr. (c.1633; a heart with crossed arrows visible on the book; compares Benesch 0203 and 0249).
PROVENANCE: A. Strölin, Lausanne; by descent (via Paris) until bequeathed to the present repository (c.2009).
First posted 1 September 2015

Benesch 0204a
Subject: A Seated Scholar in a Barret at his Desk
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
Inscriptions: lower left, in graphite: “h.” [?]; verso, in graphite, with names of Somers and Speelman and the sale in 1769, presumably in fact referring to 1769 (see Provenance); and "Hague", and "K.T. [...]" [?]
153 x 163. Fine laid lines; chain lines c.20h.
COMMENTS: Among the most vigorous drawings ever attributed to Rembrandt, executed with exceptional speed and verve, and combined with a credible characterisation of the scholar in his study, it comes as a surprise to find that it cannot be accepted as the master’s own work – at least, not without an unacceptable leap of faith. For this reason a slightly extended discussion seems warranted here.
The drawing is marked chiefly by energetic shading that has apparently ‘run wild’, so that the calligraphic effect takes over and dominates the representational aspect of the scene. This alone is unusual for Rembrandt, as we will see. Those familiar with etching will also recognise how the lines throughout are applied with almost uniform and firm pressure, a lighter touch (like a first etching bite) detectable only in the shadow at the lower right. The result is that the drawing resembles the reproductions of old master drawings made by etchers in the 18th century more than works by Rembrandt.[1] These qualities cannot be replicated among Rembrandt’s documentary drawings, despite the fact that many of them do contain some areas of comparable verve: between c.1634-1640 one might point to Benesch 0141 recto, among Rembrandt’s most purely calligraphic sketches, but in which the shading is generally precise and modest in quantity. The broadly made sketch for the Jewish Bride, Benesch 0292, offers no real analogies and much the same may be said for comparisons with the documentary sheets, Benesch 0445, Benesch 0482 and Benesch 0759. In none of them does the shading or the penwork generally ‘run wild’ as we see here; rather, the shading is applied moderately and judiciously, usually with a significantly lighter touch. In Benesch 0336, a documentary drawing in which the faces are carefully characterised, the whole approach to delineating facial features looks decidedly different.
As noted in the Introduction (under the 'About' tab) the documentary drawings may not reveal every aspect of Rembrandt’s various and varied drawing styles, yet comparisons with the many other drawings still attributed to him provide scant, if any, support for the present work’s traditional attribution. Benesch 0120 shows a similar subject, but could hardly be more different; much the same applies to Benesch 0293, which gives an unsurpassed idea of Rembrandt’s drawing style at its most lively. Two passages of shading in Benesch 0416, in the umbrella and its shadow, come closer, like those in Benesch 0099, but the figures in both drawings are completely different.
The rather unwieldy pen style is however found in some works from Rembrandt’s circle, such as Benesch 0062, 0070 and 0078 (in 0078, the hatching under the angel's wing is especially comparable). These are now generally thought to be by Govert Flinck and provide many analogies. There are also links with Benesch A12 and A59, also thought to be drawings by Flinck.[2] Yet Benesch 0390, the most satisfactory of the comparisons made by Benesch, though generally more lightly touched with the pen, in the shadows at the lower right resembles the shading in the present work closely. One might also point to Benesch 0108 and to the vigour of Benesch 0074, as well as Benesch 0294, analogies that suggest Gerbrand van den Eeckhout is the draughtsman here.
It is worth remarking that the paper is uncharacteristically thin for a Rembrandt drawing, with extra-fine laid lines and narrow chain lines.
Iconographically, the motif of a scholar resting his head on his chin is often associated with representations of Melacholia, a common theme in the work of Rembrandt and his circle, although not certainly the intention here.[3]
A comparable subject was drawn by Govert Flinck, perhaps at around the same time.[4]
Condition: trimmed at top; several small holes and minor stains and general staining around the edges, from old glue on the verso.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout? / Govert Flinck??
Date: c.1638-40?
COLLECTION: GB London, Courtauld Institute (inv. D.1978.PG.180)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.204a, repr (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 0060, 0061, 0068, 0203 and 0390); London, 1961, no.180 and Addenda, repr. (as Benesch, 1954); Slive, 1964, p.276; London, 1971, p.58; Sumowski, 1979 etc., IV, under no.979xx; Exh. London, 1981, no.146 (c.1632-33); Exh. London, 1983, no.3.
PROVENANCE: Lord John Somers; sale, Paris, Rémy, 10 December 1759 (?); M.H. Speelman (see Inscriptions above); H.J. Bhabha, London; acquired in Paris in 1959 by Antoine Seilern, by whom bequeathed to the present repository in 1978.
[1] One might compare an etching such as that by Simon Watts after Benesch 0606 published in Charles Rogers, “A Collection of Prints in Imitation of Drawings”, vol.II, 1765, viewable at:
http://www.huntsearch.gla.ac.uk/cgi-bin/foxweb/huntsearch/LargeImage.fwx?collection=all&catno=9072&mdaCode=GLAHA&filename=9072.JPG (consulted 2 September 2015). The subtleties of the original drawing are skilfully imitated, yet fall short of and flatten the optical effect of the original.
[2] For Benesch A12, see London, 2010 (online), Flinck no.3. For Benesch A59, see Rotterdam, 1988, no.75, repr. and Schatborn, 2010, pp.15-17, repr. fig.17 (in both cases as by Flinck).
[3] Some examples are discussed by Lütke Notarp, 1998, pp.217ff..
[4] Sumowski, 1979 etc., no.979xx and Exh. Amsterdam, 1999, pp.57-58.
First posted 4 September 2015

Benesch 0205
Subject: Standing Man, to right, his arm outstretched
Verso: See Inscriptions.
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared with light brown wash; ruled framing-lines in pen and brown ink.
Inscriptions: verso, centre, in graphite: “Coll. Desperet, W. Mayor”.
112 x 54. Watermark: none; chain lines: 23v.
COMMENTS: The pose of the man, who seems to be cut from a larger sheet, resembles that of Jacob in Benesch 0606, but in style the figure looks earlier: the use of iron-gall ink on paper prepared in brown wash is more typical of drawings made in c.1638-39 and it compares well with Benesch 0423, not least in the zig-zag shading. A date c.1639 therefore seems appropriate. The figure was traditionally identified as a beggar holding out his hand for alms, but this seems unlikely - he could equally be a baker or other merchant receiving payment.
Condition: somewhat spotted at the edges, otherwise good; presumably trimmed from a larger sheet.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1639
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet (RP-T-1930-37)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Leiden, 1903, no.31; Exh. Leiden, 1906, no.62; Hofstede De Groot, 1906, no.1283 (early; gives provenance, represents a beggar); Exh. Leiden, 1916, no.19; Seidlitz, 1917, p.253; Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.39 (c.1635); Amsterdam, 1942, no.14 (c.1632); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.205, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 0074); Exh. Amsterdam, 1965-66, no.10 (c.1632-33); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.2, n.1 (c.1630); White, 1978, under no.68; Amsterdam, 1985, no.18, repr. (c.1641); London, 2010 (online), under no.34, n.4 (compares Benesch 0606).
PROVENANCE: E. Desperet (L.721)[1]; his sale, Paris, 12-13 June, 1865, lot 278 [with Benesch 0328]; William, Mayor, London (L.2799[1]; Mayor Catalogue, 1871, under no.363; Hogarth, 1875, under no.631); Max Freiherr von Heyl zu Herrnsheim, Darmstadt; his sale, Stuttgart, 25-26 May, 1903, lot 241 (130 marks); F. Meyer, Dresden; Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, The Hague, by whom presented to the present repository in 1906 with a life interest (which lasted till 1930).
[1] These collectors’ marks have been erased or covered up, according to Amsterdam, 1985, no.18.
First posted 14 September 2015

Benesch 0206
Subject: A Beggar and Beggar-Woman
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
127 x 111.
COMMENTS: To judge from reproductions (I have not seen the original), the drawing resembles Benesch 0010, 0023a and 0027 sufficiently to come into contention as an original by Rembrandt of c.1629. This is despite some disappointing features (eg. the hands of the woman). There is some left-handed shading in the face of the beggar which is also troubling. The beggar on the right resembles the etching of a Ragged Peasant (Bartsch 172, NH 47).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt?
Date: c.1629
COLLECTION: Whereabouts unknown.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hind, 1908, no.26 (compares etchings Bartsch 172 and 178 [NH 47 and 132]); Bauch, 1933, p.204, repr. fig.111 (Leiden period); Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.206, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 0205 and 0079).
PROVENANCE: Sir Archibald Campbell; with Colnaghi, London, 1976, cat. no.43, repr..
First posted 14 September 2015

Benesch 0207
Subject: An Oriental Standing, full-length
Verso: Sketch of the Head of a Man, wearing a turban (crossed out)
Medium: Pen and brown iron-gall ink heightened with white on paper prepared with brown wash; the verso in pen and brown ink only; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
Inscriptions: verso, in graphite (nineteenth to twentieth century), top left: 'Rembrandt (?)’ lower left: ‘100’ and ‘2933 [in a circle]’.
222 x 173. Watermark: none; chain lines: 24-25h. Mat: modern only.
COMMENTS: The drawing has been generally accepted as Rembrandt's work and dated c.1633, along with other studies of orientals executed in the same medium and style. The date has been proposed on the basis of the figure's resemblance to others painted by Rembrandt c.1632-3, such as King Cyrus in the small picture in a private collection of 'Daniel and King Cyrus' of 1633 (Bredius 491, Corpus A67, vol.VI, no.102).[1] Yet the breadth and vigour of the execution and the use of iron-gall ink both point to the end of the 1630s. Comparison can be made with several drawings of around 1639, including the recto and verso of the study of the 'Artist drawing from the Model' in the British Museum (see Benesch 0423). The unquestioned study in Melbourne (Benesch 0157) for Rembrandt's painting of 'Susannah and the Elders' in Berlin (Bredius 516, completed only in 1647) was also executed at about this time and is close to the present sheet from both a technical and stylistic point of view. The verso, first published in 1963, is inseparable from a sketch of another turbaned head on the back of an iron-gall ink study in Berlin, which should also be assigned to this period (Benesch 203 verso).[2] The underlying work in the head on the recto was executed in similarly fine lines to the verso before it was reworked in a broader manner.
The figure on the recto is reminiscent of one in a composition by Rubens of the 'Adoration of the Magi', which Rembrandt could have known through an engraving by Lucas Vorsterman and another print, based on Vorsterman's, that was published by Claes Jansz. Visscher in 1621.[3] The latter formed the basis of Rembrandt's iron-gall ink study of the 'Madonna and Child with a kneeling King' in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 115), which resembles the present sheet in style and has also been dated to the second half of the 1630s.[4]
In a later 'Sheet of Figure Studies' in the Warsaw University Library (Benesch 667, dated by him c.1641-2), Rembrandt created a figure whose pose and garb recall the present model.[5] The type also appears in the right background of his etching of the 'Beheading of St John the Baptist' of 1640 (Bartsch 92, Hind 171).
Condition: Generally good; a horizontal scar across the figure’s knees was caused by the penetration of adhesive from old backing tape (the tape removed and damage treated, 1987).
Summary attribution:
Date: c.1639.
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.1895,1214.100)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1899, no.A47 (mid-1640s); Lippmann, IV, no.84; Kleinmann, III, no.36; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.912; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.64 (c.1640-50?); Neumann, 1918[I], no.10, repr.; Stockholm, 1920, p.50 (compares school drawing in Stockholm, HdG.1580 [Sumowski 226x as Bol]); Van Dyke, 1927, p.96, repr. pl.XXIV, fig.95 (by S. Koninck; compares 'Adoration of Magi', Berlin, Benesch 160); Köhne, 1932, p.48, n.98 (compares Lievens etching of 'Standing Oriental', Hollstein 80); Benesch, 1935, p.16 (c.1633); Benesch, 1935[I], p.263 (early 1630s); Exh. London, 1938, no.64 (c.1640-50?); Amsterdam, 1942, p.25, under no.53 (as London, 1915); Benesch, 1947, p.21, no.27, repr. (c.1633); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.207, repr. fig.226/242 (c.1633); Exh. London, 1956, p.11, no.21; Sumowski, 1956-7, p.260, repr. fig.31 (Bol?); Drost, 1957, p.163 (Elsheimer influence; the most important of Rembrandt's group of oriental studies); van Gelder, 1960, p.77, repr. fig.5 (relates to painting of 'Daniel before King Cyrus' of 1633 in a private coll., Corpus A67, Bredius 491); White, 1963, p.38, repr. pl.32a (publishes verso); Benesch, 1964, p.122 (reprinted 1970, p.256); Slive, 1965, II, no. 533, repr. (c.1633); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.64; Sumowski, I, 1979, under nos.165x and 183x; Corpus, II, 1986, p.301 (see n.1 above); Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-6, no.23, repr. (reproduction only exhibited; c.1635-40; relationship to Rubens); Exh. Washington, 1990, p.30, n.2 ('picturesque' subject-matter); Exh. London, 1992, no.30, repr. in colour. (c.1639); Exh. Stockholm, 1992, repr. p.366, fig.165a (inspired Stockholm study by Bol, Sumowski 226x); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.463 (sheet has darkened – not prepared with wash); Exh. Southampton, 1995 ('Drawing the Line'), no. 173; Giltaij, 1995, p.98 (early 1630s); Warsaw, 2004, p.85, under no.5 (see n.5 above); Berlin, 2006, p.88, under no.20 and p.201 (follows Exh. London, 1992 in comparing verso to the verso of Benesch 203 in Berlin); Exh. London, 2006 (Rembrandt: a 400th anniversary display [no cat.]); Schwartz, 2006, pp.74 and 296, repr. figs 120 and 526; London, 2010 (online), no.27, repr..
PROVENANCE: Possibly Mendes de Leon, sale, Amsterdam, 20 November, 1843, Kunstboek G, no.7 (‘Een staande Man in Oostersche kleeding; breed met de pen’); purchased from Colnaghi’s 1895 (in exchange for duplicate prints).
[1] The connection first made by J. G. van Gelder, 1960, p.77 since when the idea that it was a preliminary study has been rejected – see Corpus, II, 1986, p.301. The group of studies of orientals was constructed by Benesch (1935, 1947 and 1954). Two of them (Benesch 209-10 in Berlin and Budapest) have been described as 'questionable' (Sumowski, III, 1980, under no.763x) although in the compiler's view they are probably genuine. Benesch, 1935, pp.15-6, further bases his date of c.1633 on the inscription, which he describes as 'false', on the Bremen 'Study of a Dromedary' (Benesch 453). He nevertheless thought that the inscription preserved a sound tradition. Stylistically, however, the drawing has only superficial connections with the present sheet.
[2] The paper of the Berlin sheet is very similar and also has horizontal chain lines 25 mm apart.
[3] Schneevoogt, 1873, p.22, nos.82 and 80 respectively. The composition was a source of inspiration to Rembrandt on other occasions: see Corpus, I, 1982, under nos.A9 and A40, Amsterdam, 1985, under no.9, and Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-6, pp.36-7. Rubens' painting, which Rembrandt would not have known, is now in Lyon (Oldenbourg, 1921, no.164).
[4] Amsterdam, 1985, no.9, repr.
[5] Warsaw, 2004, p.85, no.5, which also compares the British Museum drawing to the later representation of an 'Oriental' now in Groningen (Benesch 1130).
First posted 14 September 2015

Benesch 0208
Subject: A Young Oriental Riding a Camel
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink, corrected with white heightening.
180 x 103.
COMMENTS: The drawing has been missing since World War 2, making any assessment tentative. The motif resembles a figure in a school of Rembrandt drawing of Eliezer and Rebecca at the Well, now in the Lugt Collection, that has been assigned to Carel Fabritius.[1]
The style of the drawing is bold and vigorous, but often to rather disappointing effect, with little sense of Rembrandt’s usual economy of line (a lot of lines for nothing). But the facial profile resembles others drawn by Rembrandt (compare the figure in the upper middle of Benesch 0226) and it would be facile to dismiss the drawing out-of-hand, so it is retained here as ‘attributed to’ Rembrandt, and dated c.1638-39 along with his other iron-gall ink sketches.
Condition: old photographs suggest that the iron-gall ink ‘burn’ is significant, and that there was a large stain, centre right, where a first attempt at the camel's head and neck was covered over.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt??
Date: c.1638-39.
COLLECTION: Formerly Dresden, Friedrich August Collection (L.971)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.310 (c.1635); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no.118; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.208, repr. (c.1632-33)
PROVENANCE: Formerly Dresden, Friedrich August Collection (L.971).
[1] Paris, 2010, no.77 (see also Benesch under no.0491). The traditional attribution was to Barend Fabritius, and it does seem to differ significantly in style from Benesch 0491, which has also been given to Carel Fabritius (Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, no.18, repr.). Thus the traditional attribution might possibly be correct.
First posted 15 September 2015

Benesch 0209
Subject: Three Orientals Standing
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall?) ink.[1]
168 x 143. Watermark: none; chain lines: 22-24v.
COMMENTS: On grounds of quality and style the drawing, along with Benesch 0210, is usually rejected as a Rembrandt, and an attribution to Carel Fabritius has been suggested.[2] In my view the latter idea is insufficiently backed up by the drawings so far attributed to Fabritius, although it may have been made in the workshop at around the time that he became Rembrandt’s apprentice in 1640 (and compare Benesch 0679). The style is close to Rembrandt’s own iron-gall ink sketches made at the end of the 1630s, perhaps the closest being Benesch 0207. The loop by the leftmost ankle is particularly Rembrandtesque, and the boldness of style is superficially impressive. The head of the background figure in the centre is realised with great economy. But the overwrought use of the flat of the pen, which achieves only the flattest modelling in the hatching, strongly suggest that this and Benesch 0210 are a pupil’s work, one perhaps of lesser importance than Fabritius. The figure on the right of the present sheet is especially unprepossessing and makes an attribution to Rembrandt especially unlikely (cf. Benesch 0305; but also the figure on the right of Benesch 0667). The two drawings are described here as School of Rembrandt for lack of a better definition, though perhaps it’s not completely impossible that Rembrandt made them, for example while (or soon after) consuming a few pots of beer!
Condition: seems to have suffered in parts from iron-gall ink ‘burn’.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt/Rembrandt??
Date: c.1639?
COLLECTION: Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ 3096)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.145; Berlin, 1930, I, p.244 (manner of Rembrandt); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.137; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Lugt, 1931, p.63; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.208, repr. (c.1632-33); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (not Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 (suggests possibly by Maes); Sumowski, 1979 etc., III, under no..763x (questionable); Exh. London, 1992, under no.30, n.1 (probably by Rembrandt); Haarlem, 1997, under no.324 (school of Rembrandt); Budapest, 2005, under no.218 (school of Rembrandt); Berlin, 2006, p.200, repr. (attributed to Carel Fabritius, along with Benesch 0210); London, 2010 (online), no.27 (as Exh. London, 1992).
PROVENANCE: G. Plach (L.1188); J.D. Böhm; A. Posonyi; Gsell; sale, 14 March, 1872, lot 617.
[1] The paper is not prepared with brown wash, which is unusual in Rembrandt’s iron-gall ink drawings, but in my estimation the ink is probably iron-gall, mainly because the outlines of the central figure, which seem to have eaten into the paper in a manner consistent with iron-gall ink. The pen was probably a quill pen, which as practitioners know can produce results like those we see here and in Benesch 0210.
[2] See Berlin, 2006, p.200.
First posted 16 September 2015

Benesch 0210
Subject: Four Orientals Standing
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink with brown wash, smudged with the finger; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
144 × 123. Watermark: none.
COMMENTS: See the note to Benesch 0209. The shortcomings of the draughtsman are here even clearer.
Condition: good
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt/Rembrandt??
Date: c.1639?
COLLECTION: H Budapest, Szépművészeti Múzeum (inv.1598)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Dutuit, 1885, p.88; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1384 (seems genuine); Terey, 1909, pl.21; Exh. Budapest, 1932, no.133 (follower of Rembrandt); Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.210, repr. (c.1632-33; ‘doubts seem unjustified’, comparing Benesch 0209 and 0211-0212); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (not Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 (suggests possibly by Maes); Haverkamp Begemann, 1961, p.24 (doubtful); Sumowski, 1979 etc., III, under no..763x (questionable); Exh. London, 1992, under no.30, n.1 (probably by Rembrandt); Haarlem, 1997, under no.324 (school of Rembrandt); Budapest, 2005, no.218, repr. (school of Rembrandt, 1630s); London, 2010 (online), no.27 (as Exh. London, 1992).
PROVENANCE: Prince Niklaus Esterházy (L.1965; inv.28. 18 as Rembrandt); in 1870 purchased with his collection for the Hungarian State and subsequently housed in the National Gallery [Országos Képtár] (L.2000), from which transferred to the present repository.
First posted 18 September 2015

Benesch 0211
Subject: Two Orientals in Cloaks, in conversation
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
200 x 145.
COMMENTS: In style and quality the drawing is the equal of many of the iron-gall ink sketches of orientals made by Rembrandt and his pupils in the late 1630s. Nonetheless, the artist seems to have worked hard to surprisingly little effect in the characterisation and even the modelling of the figures. Compared with the documentary drawings in iron-gall ink - perhaps the closest is Benesch 0157 - the result seems incoherent, with many lines failing to convey more than a confused and messy effect and none of them convincingly by Rembrandt. The blocked out figures and the rather rigidly geometrical approach to form (they stand like two giant stone monoliths) is also highly uncharacteristic. Yet certain analogies with Benesch 0242 and 0246 recto prevent me from discounting the attribution to Rembrandt completely. A comparable composition appears in the school drawing, Benesch 0305.
Condition: the iron-gall ink acidity has eaten through the paper with cracks in the feet, cloak and hat of the figure to the left; somewhat spotted and stained.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt/Rembrandt??
Date: c.1639?
COLLECTION: NL Haarlem, Teyler Museum (L.2392; inv.O* 42 [formerly (in 1854 inventory) S 23]).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.511; Vosmaer, 1877, p.596; Michel, 1893, p.592; Haarlem, 1904, no.42; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1323; Wurzbach, 1911, II, p.417 (Elsheimer); Kleinmann, 1913, vi, pl.49; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, p.24, under no.137; Benesch, 1935, p.16 (c.1632-33); Exh. Amsterdam, 1951, no.13 (c.1648); Exh. Haarlem, 1951, no.147; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.211, repr. (c.1632-33; compares Benesch 0201); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 ('doubtful' as Rembrandt; same hand as Benesch 0211a); Haarlem, 1997, no.324, repr. (defends attribution to Rembrandt, not leasst with reference to Benesch 391).
PROVENANCE: Acquired by the present repository before 1822; possibly H. van Maarseveen; his sale, Amsterdam, 28 October, 1793, lot 29: 'een studie van twee beelden; geteekent als boven [in pen and brown ink] door Denzelfden [Rembrandt]', bt Hendriks, f.10.10.
First posted 19 September 2015

Benesch 0211a
Subject: Two Orientals Standing
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall?) ink.
Measurements unknown.
COMMENTS: Probably by the same hand as Benesch 0209 (qv). I have not seen the original, which seems to have been roundly ignored since its rejection by Rosenberg in his 1956 review of Benesch’s catalogue. The figure on the left may have been inspired by Rembrandt’s etching of 1632, The Persian (Bartsch 152, NH 110). In style the artist was emulating Rembrandt’s iron-gall ink drawings of the late 1630s, and may have used the same medium; but compare also Benesch 0682, which has similar shading and lines on the ground, so that the drawing could well be later.
Condition: somewhat spotted and stained.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt
Date: c.1639?/1640s
COLLECTION: Whereabouts unknown (formerly Private Collection Paris, F. Flameng).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.211a, repr. (c.1633; compares Benesch 0211 and 0212); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (not Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 ('doubtful' as Rembrandt; same hand as Benesch 0211); Haarlem, 1997, under no.324 (school of Rembrandt); Budapest, 2005, no.218, repr. (school of Rembrandt, 1630s).
PROVENANCE: unknown.
First posted 20 September 2015

Benesch 0212
Subject: Two Standing Orientals
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash with some red chalk mixed with the ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink lower right: “R” and on verso: “1545” [crossed out] and below the backing paper: “P”
179 x 125.
COMMENTS: As Benesch recognised, the poses of the figures resemble those in Benesch 0211a. The style resembles Rembrandt’s own only cursorily and may be compared with that of his figure studies, such as Benesch 0238 and Benesch 0242, to see the difference. The style echoes the iron-gall ink drawings by Rembrandt of the end of the 1630s, but is more loose and painterly and could date from the 1640s. There are links, in the heavy outlines and rather unruly shading at the upper centre, with drawings attributed to Carel Fabritius - compare, for example, Benesch 0497 and the Rijksmuseum’s sketch of the Adoration of the Shepherds.[1]
Condition: somewhat spotted and stained.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (Carel Fabritius??)
Date: c.1639?/1640s.
COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (L.1886a; inv. RF 29039)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, III, 56; Exh. Paris, 1908, no.418; Saxl, 1908, p.346 (c.1655; compares 1655 Berlin painting of Joseph and Potiphar, Bredius 524, Corpus, V, 22 and vol.VI, 237); Bénédite, 1908, p.112, repr.; Hautecoeur, 1927 (unpaginated); Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.212, repr. (c.1632-33; compares especially Benesch 0207 and 0210); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.68 (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.260 (not Rembrandt; compares Maes); Drost, 1957, pp.160 and 162, repr. pl.154 (compares Elsheimer; Slive, 1965, II, no.389 (Rembrandt; late 1640s); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.26 (Rembrandt, earlier than Benesch 0682; figure on right inspired by G. van Scheyndel print, Hollstein 20; connects with figure to right of Doomer's drawing of the Damplats, Amsterdam, in Van Eeghen collection, Sumowski 421); Paris, 1988, no.283, repr. (c.1635; school of Rembrandt).
PROVENANCE: Gabriel Huquier (L. 1285); Francis Abbot (L. 970); his sale, Edinburgh, 21-26 January, 1894, under lot 384; Walter Gay; given by his widow to the present repository in 1938.
[1] See Amsterdam, 1985, no.62, repr. (Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1168; Valentiner, I, 1925, no.293; not in Benesch). Both drawings are repr. Schatborn, 2006.1, respectively figs 13 and 2. See also Benesch 0498, 0499, 0502a, 0515 and 0521, among many other drawings in the ‘Fabritius’ style.
First posted 20 September 2015

Benesch 0213
Subject: Bust of a Man in a Turban, head turned to right
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink, with white heightening, on paper prepared with brown wash.
136 x 127. Watermark: none visible; laid down on a grey, 18th-century mat associated with the comte de Saint-Morys.
COMMENTS: The flattening effect of the shading has sufficiently disturbed one commentator to lead him to reject the drawing.[1] Certainly the effect contrasts with the way the comparable motif of an Oriental in profile is described in Benesch 0158, also in the Louvre, and probably from the same period. The characterisation also seems less profound and many lines, for example in the figure’s left shoulder, are repeated somewhat aimlessly - although comparable repetitions are found in broader penlines in the documentary drawing, Benesch 0157. Also troubling is the fact that there are few links with any of the documentary drawings made at around the same time (for example, Benesch 0157, 0161, 0168 or 0423, all in the same medium and dating from around 1638-39). Together, these reasons provide some grounds for concern regarding the attribution to Rembrandt.
On the other hand, there are some passages that appear close to other generally accepted Rembrandt drawings – comparisons that have been made before (see Literature):
1. The zigzag shading in the lower right corner is especially close to Benesch 0244.
2. The rather flat shading compares closely with Benesch 0396 and also the boy in Benesch 0223 recto (a drawing which also has similar peripheral zigzags).
3. The turban compares with that on Benesch 0707 verso; compare also the turbaned heads on Benesch 203 verso and 207 verso.
One might add that the drawing remains a tour-de-force of draughtsmanship, apparently executed with great zest and speed. It also seems closer to his work thatn to that of any of the pupils we know about who might come into contention, such as Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. Finally, if we regard the drawing primarily as a study of a turban, the rather wooden characterisation and cursory descriptions in the rest of the sheet become entirely comprehensible. So taking all the above into consideration, it seems correct to retain the drawing as by Rembrandt, though with some hesitation.
Condition: Somewhat darkened but generally good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1638-39
COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (L.1886; inv. 22982 [formerly NIII27780 and MA12628])
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Morel d’Arleux, no.12628/31; Lippmann, III, 12; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.629 (c.1635; then attributed to the school of Rembrandt); Paris, 1933, no.1162 (c.1632-36); Benesch, 1935, p.16; Exh. Paris, 1937, no.108; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.213, repr. (c.1633; compares Benesch 0185, 0244 ‘and related drawings’); Slive, 1965, II, no.344; Exh. Paris, 1970, no.169; Starcky, 1985, p.263; Arquié, Labbé and Bicart-Sée, 1987, p.464; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.20, repr. (compares Benesch 0396, 0223, 0168 and 0707, as well as motif of hand on chest with etching of Man in a Divided Hat, Bartsch 265, NH 182.
PROVENANCE: Charles-Paul-Jean-Baptiste Bourgevin Vialart, Comte de Saint-Morys (1743-1795), Paris; his collection seized by the French state at the Revolution, 1793, and transferred to the Louvre in 1796-97 (Inventaire du Musée Napoléon. Dessins. Vol.9, p.1697, chap.: Ecoles diverses, Dessins en paquets. (...) Numéro: 12628.Idem [[ Maîtres divers /&. Numéro d'ordre dans l'oeuvre du maître: 4. Désignation des sujets: Cent cartons et feuilles, dont quatre cartons à trois dessins, deux à quatre, et seize à deux. 130 [[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] See Schatborn in Exh. Paris, 2006-7, p.1.
First posted 23 September 2015

Benesch 0214
Subject: Two Busts of Oriental Men in Turbans
Medium: Pen and brown ink, with brown wash; some later grey wash; traces of ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed lower right, in graphite: “Rembrandt” and on verso, in graphite: "30 [24]" [the inventory no.]
183 x 142. Watermark: none; chain lines: 24-25v; laid lines: 13/cm.
The drawing is hard to judge and I have spent too many days considering it. Partly this is because it has so many unusual features and combinations for a work by Rembrandt or by one of his pupils: the large scale of the faces compared with the majority of their figure-studies; the unusually broad and unsubtle outlines and shading in many areas, which although combined with finer lines, tend to dominate the overall effect; and the somewhat shallow characterisations – the figure on the right approaches pure, mask-like caricature of a kind that would be exceptional for Rembrandt. The drawing seems to ask: how far can or should we stretch our idea of Rembrandt the draughtsman in order to accommodate it? Perhaps too far.
The thick, crude lines might possibly be explained as later additions. They often strengthen underlying contours drawn with a normal quill pen, as in the three lines at the lower left and the upper circle at the chest of the man on the right. These reinforcements seem to have been drawn with an unusually broad and rigid instrument, such as the ‘wrong end’ of a paintbrush, rather than a quill or even reed pen (though the latter cannot be entirely discounted; but the line-endings are unusually ragged). This conclusion also means that we have almost nothing with which we can compare these lines, beyond the outlines in a few drawings, such as Benesch 0115 and Benesch 0300 and, for the shading, the rather more fluent hatching in Benesch 0215.
To assess the drawing, therefore, we have to focus primarily on the core parts of the image which seem without doubt to be original work rather than additions: the face, turban and head ornament of the man on the left, perhaps including those parts of his cloak draped over his right shoulder (spectator’s left); and the face and upper shoulder of the figure on the right, whose turban may possibly also have been reinforced later (partly to disguise some underlying indications which seem to represent a smaller hat, possibly a fur one).
For the head on the left, one might compare Benesch 0405, in which the delineation of the eyes, with small circles immediately under the lids, and the generally delicate touch are analogous. The hatching around Saskia’s head also seems close to that in and near the beard and turban of the present figure. His beard has much in common with the beard of the head on the right in Benesch 0339, in which the combination of scrolled profiles and some delicate hatching are repeated. The beard also resembles the small sketch on Benesch 0203 verso.
For the more caricatural head on the right there are again analogies with Benesch 0215, although the characterisation is there vastly more subtle and profound than here; and there are ‘moments’ in the drawing which marry well with works by or generally attributed to Rembrandt. Among the documentary drawings, in Benesch 157, for example, the small patch of shading at the wrist of the Elder’s raised hand is entirely comparable with the shading to the right of the beard of the upper figure of Benesch 0214; and, in the nearer knee of the same documentary sheet, there are some almost wilful, broad lines of a kind found repeatedly here (in the potential ‘additions’), although they are now more hesitant and crude. In Benesch 0161, the very fine parallel hatching in the face on the left is not unlike that in the turban of the nearer figure, at both the upper and lower centre (to the right of the jewel). In Benesch 0423 verso, a number of similarly heavy lines occur in the upper background, to left and right.
For the drawing overall, however, one might compare Benesch 0062, 0209, 0210, 0212, 0300, 0305 and 0311, all of which are no longer regarded as by Rembrandt. Why, one might ask, does not the present sheet resemble more closely the style of the comparable image in Benesch 0085? Or the feathered turban ornament the bird tails in Benesch 0456 or even Benesch 0158? Here they seem decidedly hesitant, although pedestrianly accurate; and the drapery is also difficult to parallel in any securely attributed Rembrandt drawing (the cloth and its ornamentation on the left of the drawing have some affinity with the lower register of Salomon’s saddle-cloth in Benesch 0146, which is now attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout).
The answer seems to be that the drawing is almost certainly not by Rembrandt. But it then leaves us with the question as to its true author, which remains hard to surmise. Some of the drawings enumerated in the preceding paragraph have been attributed to Govert Flinck or, in the case of Benesch 0311, to Carel Fabritius, and perhaps the broad lines point more to the latter, if they are indeed original work.[1]
Rembrandt himself depicted turban-wearing men in paintings and etchings from most periods of his career. In the late 1630s, for example, he showed them in his Wedding of Samson of 1638 (Corpus, VI, 160) as well as individually in his King Uzziah Stricken with Leprosy of c.1639-40 (Corpus, VI, 164). Slightly later, from 1642, there is the David’s Parting from Jonathan (Bredius 511, Corpus C84, vol. VI, 188), in which Jonathan wears a turban with a jewel and feather not unlike that seen here (and again in Benesch 0215).[2] It therefore seems possible that the drawing was made in these years – years in which Carel Fabritius as well as many other talented pupils were active in Rembrandt’s workshop. The plumed jewel is apparently based on ornaments worn by senior officials from the Ottoman court and the figure wearing it resembles Abraham in Rembrandt's etching of the Dismissal of Hagar and Ishmael of 1637 (Bartsch 30; NH 166), though he sports no such decoration.[3] The other figure resembles very generally the Portrait of an Oriental, now in Washington of c.1633-34 (Corpus B8 and vol. VI, 99).[4] Such dependencies and echoes of works by Rembrandt from different periods also suggest that the drawing is more probably the work of a pupil or follower.
Condition: not good; repairs to lower corners; paper skinned, especially verso; the drawing may have been washed; the grey wash is later; some light foxing.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (Carel Fabritius??)
Date: c.1638-42
COLLECTION: B Brussels, Musée des Beaux-Arts (inv.4060/3024)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Brussels, 1913, inv.3024; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, 1943, p.23, repr. fig.3 (collected Writings, p.141, repr. fig.110); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.214, repr. (c.1633; compares paintings Bredius 178 and 180; Exh. Brussels, 1967, no.103, repr.; Exh. Geneva, 1969-70, no.103; Exh. Brussels, 1971, no.22; Béguin, 1978, p.320, repr.; Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, under no.253x; Exh. Berlin, 1989, no.8/9, repr. fig.820; sale cat., Amsterdam, Christie's, 11 Nov. 1996, under no.121 (as attributed to Rembrandt); Exh. Brussels, 2006, no.8, repr. (anonymous pupil of Rembrandt; associated with S. van Hoogstraten by Schatborn).
PROVENANCE: J.C.Robinson (L.1433); Adalbert von Lanna (L. 2773); his sale, Stuttgart, H.G. Gutekunst, 6-11 May, 1910, lot 106 as Bol; E.W. Moes; Jean de Grez, whose collection bequeathed to the present repository, 1913.
[1] See Schatborn, 2010.
[2] Benesch, who believed the drawing dated from c.1633, compared two of Rembrandt’s paintings, the Bust of an Oriental Man of 1632, in Munich (Bredius 178; Corpus A73, vol. VI, no.104) and the 1633-34 Washington Man in Oriental Costume (Bredius 180; Corpus B8, vol.VI, no.99).
[3] As noted in Exh. Brussels, 2006, quoting De Winkel in Exh. Dordrecht-Cologne, 1998-99, p.89.
[4] Also noted in Exh. Brussels, 2006.
First posted 28 September 2015

Benesch 0215
Subject: Bust of a Man in a Turban, full face
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink, with some white heightening, on paper prepared with yellowish-brown wash. Ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink [that on the left in graphite]. Inscribed verso with a mathematical formula in graphite, separated by horizontal lines: “_____ / 14 / 4- [this figure only in pen and brown ink] /_____ / 9”; and top right in graphite by Christie’s Amsterdam on the verso debris of an old hinge: “BW762” [this may now have been removed].
165 x 119. Watermark: none; chain lines: 27v.; laid lines: 12-13/cm.
COMMENTS: If one blocks out all the drawing below the shadow under the chin, we are left with a characterisation so profound that an attribution to Rembrandt seems admissible almost on this basis alone; but in addition the style and technique in this upper area are entirely consistent with Rembrandt’s work in iron-gall ink in c.1638-39: the thinner lines underlying the main body of the turban, subsequently strengthened with thicker, bolder contours and modelling, and the economic description of the facial features, resemble such drawings as Benesch 0207, 0242, 0246, and 0250. Compare also the face of the woman at the top right of Benesch 0300.
Among the documentary drawings one might point to Benesch 0157 (the Elder, now in Melbourne), which resembles it in many respects despite the change of scale. Benesch 0158 (the Oriental with a Dead Bird, in Paris) also provides useful pointers: the underlying treatment of the turban is similar and the patch of shading immediately below the chin is replicated at the throat, as well as under the chin of the old woman in Benesch 0218 (such passages abound in Rembrandt, even shading the inside of the well in Benesch 0452). The ornamental plume, so unlike those in Benesch 0312 or 0318, both now rejected from Rembrandt’s oeuvre, comes much closer the bird-tails in Benesch 0456.
But then we have to consider the broadly handled body. Here, as in Benesch 0214, we are almost at a complete loss. Perhaps the first feature to mention is that the hanging tail of the turban is interrupted, and the lower portion, from the neck down, is in broad lines yet reasonably consistent with Rembrandt’s draughtsmanship as seen at the base of Benesch 0157, on the right of Benesch 0237a and in the central areas of Benesch 0237 and 0239. This opens up the possibility that Rembrandt did return to the drawing with a recharged pen. One could also suggest that although the thick shading lines to either side of this resemble Benesch 0214, the effect here is more fluent. But on balance the idea that the drawing was partly completed by another hand seems more probable, and of course this hand could be the one responsible for Benesch 0214.
Condition: apart from some overall slight staining (mostly from old foxmarks), generally good, despite iron-gall acidity in the lines; a patch restored in the area above the figure’s left eye and earring; the white conceivably later (see further the comments above).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt (probably with later additions by another hand).
Date: c.1639
COLLECTION: Private Collection USA, Rhode Island (Middendorf)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1943, p.23, repr. fig.5 [Collected Writings, p.141, repr. fig.111; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.215, repr. (c.1633; compares Benesch 0214); Exh. Brussels, 2005, under no.8, repr. fig.2 (Rembrandt?).
PROVENANCE: Paul Brandt, Amsterdam; with Christie’s Amsterdam in July 1996 [correspondence with the author] and again at Christie’s in London in September 1996 [ditto]; purchased by the present owner.
First posted 5 October 2015

Benesch 0216
Subject: A Bearded Old Man in a High Hat at a Door
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink with brown wash and white bodycolour and, in the upper corners, some later grey wash, on paper prepared in brown wash.
174 x 105.
COMMENTS: While an attribution to Rembrandt himself appears very unlikely, the drawing is intimately connected with his work through its style and the medium of iron-gall ink, used by Rembrandt in c.1638-39. The delineation of the facial features may be compared with the somewhat earlier documentary drawing, Benesch 0336, though seem everywhere weaker. But in the drawing’s favour, the zigzag hatching on the door to the left is similar to Benesch 0394, and the vertical hatching between the man’s hands on the door panel resembles a passage in the lower part of Benesch 0391. The strong vertical lines trailing off at the bottom of the sheet are comparable to many works by Rembrandt himself (see, for example, Benesch 0255 and 0423 verso [especially at the top]).
Yet, as Benesch averred, the links with Benesch 0212, now regarded as certainly not by Rembrandt, are strong. Furthermore, a comparison with the documentary drawing, the Portrait of Maria Trip (Benesch 0442) lays bare the differences as well as the relative malaproprisms of the present sheet, whether in its overall structure or its economy of means; and a similar distance separates the drawing from Benesch 0250, which shows a comparable motif, as also from Benesch 0314. A considerable amount of effort has been used to draw and correct the sheet, with dense shading in the hat and clothing, quite apart from the heavy-handed correction in white bodycolour; but the drawing never reveals Rembrandt’s own qualities (vide the hands), and we are forced to conclude that this drawing is a close imitation of Rembrandt’s style of the mid-to-later 1630s by a pupil in his workshop at the end of the 1630s.[2]
Condition: apart from the later wash, reasonably good.
Summary attribution: Anonymous School of Rembrandt (Attributed to Rembrandt??)[1]
Date: c.1639?
COLLECTION: D Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett (L.1647; inv. C 1418)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Heucher, 1738, p.116 [Bureau XV]; Franke, 1865, port. V, no.25/3 (Rembrandt); Hofstede de Groot, 1890 (MS), no.73; Dresden, 1896-98, viii, no.316, repr. Pl.xvii; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.248; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, p.16, no.54; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.216, repr. (c.1633; compares Benesch 0212 and 0218, and etching of Rat-Catcher [Bartsch 121, NH 111]); Exh. Dresden, 1960, p.10, no.9; Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.74, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2006, no.41, repr. (Ferdinand Bol; compares Sumowski 161x and 184x).
PROVENANCE: Gottfried Wager (d.1725), Leipzig, from whose collection acquired by the present repository in 1728.
[1] When I first studied the original in 1992 I thought the drawing “autograph but not very successful”, and for this reason may include it in the “Attributed to Rembrandt” section.
[2] Attempts to attribute the drawing to Ferdinand Bol are in my opinion not convincing (see Exh. Dresden, 2004 and Exh. Paris, 2006).
First posted 5 October 2015

Benesch 0217
Subject: A Woman Standing in Profile to Left, full-length
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink, with some brown wash, on paper prepared pale brown.
210 x 129.
COMMENTS: Benesch believed that the drawing represents Saskia standing in front of a mirror and holding a piece of jewellery: "she seems to be selecting jewellery from a drawer of her dressing table in order to adorn herself".[1] This seems slightly fanciful and the recognition of Saskia is at least uncertain – the drawing does not in any case appear to be intended primarily as a portrait (cf. Benesch 0427) but as a drapery study. The gesture might suggest any number of chores, from washing hands to carrying a precious object (compare the figure in the centre of Benesch 0081); the woman might be standing at a high ledge or near an open door. Whether a particular action in a genre or even a history piece was foreseen by Rembrandt it seems impossible to divine.
Benesch also pointed out that the iron-gall ink continued, in the twentieth century, to undermine the condition of the drawing, as can be judged from the old Prestel photograph. This has particularly affected the hatching by the woman’s face and breast, which has merged into a less subtle block of shadow. Allowance therefore must be made for the spread of the ink, undermining some of the finer points of the modelling and outlines.
The attribution has become controversial in recent times and a reasonably detailed stylistic analysis is therefore necessary.[2] In style the drawing appears to belong clearly with Benesch 0237, which has not been doubted, where we again encounter not only the exceptionally bold outlines but also the zig-zag shading down the left and below (compare also for this the right side of Benesch 0244 and the drapery held by the model in Benesch 0423 recto). Benesch 0217 also has a passage of characteristic, slightly nonchalant vertical hatching across the upper part of the figure, of a type that is encountered again behind the upper figure in Benesch 0197 and, briefly, in Benesch 0199 and again under the chin in Benesch 0158, between the figures in Benesch 0235 and in the lower drapery of Benesch 237. The bolder lines drawn over lighter ones in the dress are replicated among some of the documentary drawings, including Benesch 0157, to the right of Benesch 0161 and the upper figure in Benesch 0168.
For the head, comparisons may be made with the woman nearest the centre of Benesch 0226, especially with the manner of drawing the hair in tightly curled yet still quite long individual lines. The ornament in her hair appears also to be the same and the drawing could conceivably represent the same model; for the fine parallel shading in the cheek, compare the head and shoulder of Ruyter in Benesch 0235. For the raised hand, compare Benesch 0239, with its similar combination of sharply pointed and looped lines, something we encounter again, though drawn with a finer nib, in the top left figure of Benesch 0194; for the drapery one can point to the lower right of Benesch 0301; Benesch 0406 also has strong lines at the base of the door and skirt on the right.
The drawing is clearly by the same hand as Benesch 0217A, although perhaps not directly related to the painting in Kassel (see under Benesch 217A). Nonetheless the idea that Rembrandt began with this drawing in a progression of ideas for a portrait of Saskia in profile cannot be discounted. The attribution to Rembrandt may cause controversy, but the alternative, that it is by Govert Flinck, depends ultimately on comparisons with drawings such as the Musketeer, now in Copenhagen (Benesch A33; Sumowski 953x), or the Seated Woman, in the British Museum (Benesch A12),[3] which seem so distant from the present drawing that they cannot be by the same hand - they are infinitely more remote from Benesch 0217 than the many comparisons made above with works by Rembrandt. Thus despite some concerns raised by some unusual characteristics (partly exacerbated by the condition of the sheet), the drawing belongs firmly within Rembrandt’s own oeuvre and like the other drawings made with iron-gall ink may be dated c.1638-39. While the characterisation of the figure and some of the modelling may fall short of his finest performances, there are exceptional qualities to the drawing as well; for example, the way the bold lines around the skirt, especially at the bottom, anchor the whole unit of the figure; or the dynamic triangle that boldly denotes the nearer elbow (compare for this kind of abstract dynamic Benesch 0659). It is reasonable to believe that Rembrandt can sometimes surprise us, or even disappoint us.[4] But overall the drawing seems more than sufficiently characteristic of him rather than of any of his followers.
Condition: there is considerable iron-gall ink ‘burn’ which has merged the lines of shading at the top left and elsewhere.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1638-39
COLLECTION: D Bremen, Kunsthalle (inv.744)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.192 (c.1635; Saskia perhaps the model); Bremen, 1907, pp.3-8. no.5, repr.; Pauli, 1911, p.121; Exh. Bremen, 1912, no.632, repr.; Valentiner, 1925/34, ii, no.680, repr. (c.1635-37); Pauli, Prestel-Gesellschaft, I, no.22; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Exh. Amsterdam, 1935, no.40 (c.1637); Von Alten, 1947, p.18, repr. fig.21; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.217, repr. and (1973 only) under no.217A (c.1633; same period as Benesch 0429; compares Benesch 0081, 0217A and 0237; notes iron-gall ink decay has increased in 20th century; see further above); Benesch, II, 1973, under no.217A (with further comments to those made in the 1954 edition); Corpus, II, 1986, under no.A85, pp.431 and 438, under copy 3 (Rembrandt, c.1633-34; basis for Benesch 0217A); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.,22 (compares Benesch 0237); Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001, no.62, repr. (mid-1630s; Saskia?; compares shading in Benesch 0456; was until 1900 inventoried as by Daniel Chodowiecki).
PROVENANCE: J.H. Albers; Bremen Kunstverein (L.295).[2]
[1] See Benesch, 1954/73.
[2] The drawing was among those looted from Germany by Soviet troops at the end of the Second World War. After being deposited at the museum in Baku, Azerbaijan, it was finally returned to the museum via US customs in New York on 19 July 2001, and exhibited at Sotheby’s New York. See further Ann Röver-Kann, writing in the 2004 AsKI Kulturberichte viewable at: http://www.aski.org/portal2/cms-aski-ev--kulturberichte-1986-2004/aski-ev---kulturberichte-104/askiev-kulturberichte-1-2004-kunsthalle-bremen---rueckkehr-verschollener-kunstwerke-das-ende-einer-odyssee-duerers-frauenbad-zurueck.html
[2] As noted in the literature quoted in n.1 and in Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001, no.62, which interestingly states that the drawing was described in the oldest Bremen inventories from before 1900 as by Daniel Chodowiecki (1726-1801), a designation from which it was recued by Pauli.
[3] See also London, 2010 (online), Flinck no.3.
[4] See the discussion of methodology in the introduction (under the 'About' tab).
First posted 28 October 2015

Benesch 0217A
Subject: A Study for a Portrait of Saskia van Uylenburgh, standing, full-length, her face in profile to left.
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink with some brown wash on paper tinted brown.
228 x 152. Watermark: none visible.
COMMENTS: For many of the stylistic arguments in favour of attributing this currently contentious drawing to Rembrandt, see under Benesch 0217, which seems rather obviously to be by the same hand (‘pace’ some previous writers – see Literature below). Benesch 0217 may have preceded the present work although, apart from their stylistic analogies, they are only related in general compositional terms. In fact both could have been developed from yet another sketch by Rembrandt, Benesch 0246 verso, which in particular could have been the springboard for the present work. Benesch 0246 verso may show a pregnant woman, which is certainly the case on the recto (Benesch 0246 recto), and this might have some repercussions, albeit rather speculative ones, for the present work, on which see further below.
Four of the many possible comparisons between Benesch 0217A and drawings by Rembrandt are perhaps sufficiently persuasive to retain it as by Rembrandt (sometimes repeating comparisons made in the case of Benesch 0217). First, for the hatching on the ground and particularly the zigzags in the lower drapery, the lower section of Benesch 0197 seems inseparable; additionally there is a link between the dense cross-hatching in the lower right corner and the shadow on the right of the Portrait of Castiglione after Raphael, Benesch 0451, a documentary drawing. Second, for the finely-wrought looped and hooked movements of a thin pen modelling the drapery, Benesch 0199, especially in the thighs of the figure at the top left. (A comparable approach is found in Benesch 0244 and 0255.) Third, for the left section of the skirt descending in bold strokes but also marked or interrupted by a few somewhat random-looking squiggles to suggest shadow, folds and movement, Benesch 0237 (the drawing that also provides close analogies with Benesch 0217 in this respect). Finally, but equally significantly, the delineation of the hands is entirely characteristic of Rembrandt himself – one might point specifically to the hands in such works as Benesch 0238, 0249, 0253, 0255 and 0281A.
That is not to say that the drawing is in no measure unusual. But as noted in the introduction, this is true of many of Rembrandt’s ‘documentary’ drawings as well; so unusual stylistic and other features cannot be used uncritically as an argument for rejecting this or any other attribution (cf. Benesch 0257, for example, a highly unusual and yet certainly authentic drawing by Rembrandt). In Benesch 0217A, the heavy, almost wilful accents around the back of the shoulders and down behind the figure are uncustomary. Yet they are not wholly divorced from what we encounter behind the figure in Benesch 0237a or on the ground in Benesch 0242, or in the Portrait of Willem Ruyter in the Rijksmuseum (Not in Benesch), or in the background of Benesch 0255. The somewhat spiky treatment of the facial features is also less fluent than normal for Rembrandt, but has some parallels in Benesch 0442 (as does the hair) and Benesch 0451, as well as Benesch 0293 recto. The first two of these also have comparable sharp, straight lines descending near-diagonally from the shoulder towards the lower left to depict the clothing or shirt covering upper chest. Overall, therefore, there is considerable evidence in favour of retaining the attribution to Rembrandt. Comparisons with works by alternative artists, such as Govert Flinck, Ferdinand Bol or Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, are more distant by a large – not to say, unbridgeable - margin.[1]
Another question that has exercised commentators on the drawing concerns the nature of its relationship with Rembrandt’s painted Portrait of Saskia in Profile, now in Kassel (Bredius 101; Corpus A85, vol.vi, no.95). The painting seems to have been begun c.1633 but only completed nine years later, in 1642. The pose is similar, but in the painting Saskia wears a broad-brimmed hat and is shown only half-length, although originally the painting was probably somewhat larger below (vide infra). The hands and fingers are also differently positioned - in the oil the upper or right hand obscures the fingers of the lower, left hand, three of which are visible in the drawing. X-radiographs and infra-red images of the painting further reveal that the fingers of the upper hand originally ran slightly downwards from the horizontal, rather than upwards as here, and that the finger-tips almost touched the first of the pearl bracelets (this is clear in the X-radiograph). In another deviation, the drawing shows the figure holding a flower, which was probably also a feature of the painting at an early stage, although it (or perhaps more than one flower) was later changed into a diminutive green sprig.[2]
In the drawing there are also two dark strap-like forms that descend from the shoulders and converge in a ‘V’ on the hands, while in the painting only the sitter’s right shoulder has such an accoutrement, a fur trim to the cloak (at a steeper angle). At one point in the drawing, this was apparently continued around the back of the shoulders, as in the painting, but then cancelled out by the central of the three dark patches of wash behind the figure; in the X-radiograph of the painting, it seems that this extra piece of the fur was not originally envisaged and the left shoulder at no point seems to have included the ‘strap’, whether in the finished surface or in the X-radiograph and infra-red images of the oil.[3]
Because of these changes, it seems likely that the drawing was either made at an early stage in the painting’s gestation, at least before the change to the hands; or that the drawing was a fresh attempt to grapple with the composition, one that was giving the artist considerable trouble and took him nine years to complete. Whether the painting originally depicted Saskia full-length as in the drawing is thought to be very unlikely, as the wooden panel would have been exceptionally large,[4] but the attention given to the skirt and shadows below - even if they were apparently drawn rather rapidly - suggests that a full-length may well have been a concept that Rembrandt considered as he drew. Unfortunately for the art historian, the first indications over the underpaint in the Kassel picture seem to have been largely covered over and the image broadly recommenced, a procedure which seems to have obscured the underlying details of the composition, even as recorded in the X-radiograph and infra-red images. The Rembrandt Research Project postulated that there may only have been a monochrome initial lay-in of the composition that was later completely painted over.[5] It also worth remarking that despite the fame of the Kassel portrait, in its present state it is in many parts strangely un-Rembrandtesque, as if not only the whole background, which was apparently repainted in the early nineteenth century, but also the elaborate bejewelled collar and even the face were repainted by a disciplined but very different and more mechanical artist than Rembrandt.[6]
The controversy concerning the drawing’s relationship with the picture – and hence the drawing’s attribution - has at least partly arisen because in style it appears to belong to the later 1630s (Rembrandt’s drawings in iron-gall ink are usually dated c.1638-39, which marries well with the style here), while as already mentioned, the painting is thought to have been begun by c.1635 (perhaps in 1633 - one of the reasons many earlier commentators dated this and other drawings to c.1633). But if the above-noted ‘re-start’ on the painting was initiated in around 1638-39 – which is certainly a possibility – then the drawing could simply have been a sketch made by Rembrandt as he returned to the composition at that time. It is self-evidently above all a drapery study rather than a portrait, with a focus on the upper body and on the positioning of the hands. Nevertheless, the drawing must have been developed from the already existing painting. As we have seen, the upper hand in the first or at least an early version of the painting slanted down rather than up, so that the drawing could be seen as part of a fresh approach. The drawing suggests that Rembrandt toyed with the idea of adding a wider cloak and greatly expanding the hanging sleeve on the left of the composition, but again the painting and its underlying layers as seen through the investigative photographs shows no sign of this.
It might be interesting, though ultimately academic, to speculate as to whether Saskia is shown pregnant in the drawing, as the position of her hands – both here and in the painting as also in Benesch 0246 verso as mentioned above - might suggest. But to speculate that she is pregnant would involve the further speculation as to which of the many periods of pregnancy she underwent was depicted here, which would not provide meaningful consequences for dating the drawing; and it has been pointed out that we only know of the pregnancies of Saskia which ended in childbirth (albeit usually followed by the tragically early subsequent deaths of the infants, except in the case of Titus, born on 22nd September 1641) and that there may have been other, unrecorded pregnancies.[7] The flower – finally reduced to a small green sprig in the painting – could have referred to Saskia’s fecundity, albeit with less emphasis than in his painting, apparently using Saskia as his model, of Flora in St Petersburg.[8]
Benesch 0431, attributed to Ferdinand Bol, and a drawing attributed to Govert Flinck in the Albertina (Sumowski 947) appear to be pupils’ derivations based on the Kassel painting.[9]
Condition: generally good, though with a vertical tear from just right of top centre, and some general discolouration.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1638-39.
COLLECTION: GB London, Courtauld Institute of Art (inv. D.1978.PG.405)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1960, no.7, repr. (c.1633; shows Saskia and sees it as the germ of the Kassel painting); London, 1961, no. 405 (J. Wilde noted similarity with Portrait of Saskia in Kassel); Benesch, II, 1973, no.217A, repr. (as Benesch, 1960); Exh. London, 1981, no.142, repr. col. pl.xxi; Exh. London, 1983, no.4, repr. pl.1 (c.1633-34; compares Benesch 0450); Corpus, II, under no.A85, pp.431 and 438, copy 3, repr. fig.9 (not Rembrandt; concoction by pupil of mid-1630s based on his Portrait of Saskia in Kassel and on Benesch 0217 [considered to be by Rembrandt]); Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001, under no.62, repr. fig.a (slightly later than Benesch 0217 and a bridge between it and the Kassel painting).
PROVENANCE: Hugh N. Squire until 1962; P.&.D. Colnaghi, London (their exhibition, June-July, 1962, no.31); Count Antoine Seilern (Princes Gate Collection), by whom bequeathed to the present repository, 1978.
[1] See Schatborn, 2010, for the main comparisons with Flinck, especially figs.11, 12, 29 and 31 (respectively Sumowski 948x, 953x [= Benesch A33], Benesch 0656 and Sumowski 951x). One can also add Benesch A12 (= London, 2010 [online], Flinck, no.3). His drawings nowhere exhibit comparable interior modelling or such bold and vigorous (yet judicious) handling without the calligraphy becoming over-dominant (as in Benesch 0204a).
[2] As suggested in Exh. London, 1983, no.4, the pose might have been inspired by the Mughal miniature copied in Benesch 0450.
[3] The painting is Corpus A85, and the X-radiograph and infra-red images are published in Corpus, II, pp.423 and 425, figs 2 and 3. An early copy/variant, in Antwerp (canvas, 112 x 89.5 cm, Antwerp, Museum voor Schone Kunsten), seems to have been made on the basis of the Kassel painting in the mid-1640s and does not appear to be relevant in the discussion of the present drawing (repr. op. cit, p.433, fig.10, and discussed again in Corpus vol.vi, under nos.95 and 269, where an attribution to Rembrandt himself is not entirely discounted). A great problem is posed by the present condition of the Kassel painting, which seems to have been very largely painted over, even in the face (see further below and n.5).
[4] Corpus, VI, under no.95, quotes the restorers of the Kassel version, who claim that the panel, though cut, could never have been very much taller. I am uncertain as to how one can be so dogmatic about a panel that has been planed thinner, re-set with new edgings and then cradled; but Ernst van de Wetering kindly pointed out to me (email 21 December 2015) that the use of a wooden panel rules out any likelihood that the painting was ever a full-length portrait.
[5] Corpus, II, p.430 (lower right column).
[6] Corpus, II, p.436, notes that: “It may be well to remember that many of Wilhelm's acquisitions were given 'in die Cur' (for treatment) to his court painter and-restorer Johann Georg von Freese (1701-1775) (see C. A. von Drach in: Katalog ... Cassel, 1888,p. xlviii).” Reading the Corpus, ii, catalogue entry, it is clear that the painting was only reluctantly accepted as by Rembrandt at all (see especially pp.429-30), while Van de Wetering in Corpus, vi, p.655, I think correctly suggests that it is very largely repainted, including the face. The painting was in the early 18th century recorded in the collection of Valerius Röver as being dated “Ao 1642”.
[7] An idea developed from Van de Wetering in Corpus, vi, under no.125.
[8] See Bredius 102, Corpus A 93 (vol.vi, no.125, with further literature). The green sprig in the Kassel painting was at one stage tentatively identified as rosemary, which might have been a symbol of remembrance for Saskia, who died in the year of the painting’s completion in 1642 (though rosemary can also stand for fidelity, love and marriage); but it has been described as ‘extremely doubtful’ that it is rosemary by the botanist-cum-art historian, Sam Segal (Corpus, II, p.437). On a practical level and not out of tune with Rembrandt’s practice as recorded by Arnold Houbraken, the reduced size of the twig allows the trompe-l’oeil gold brooch or adornment immediately above it to be shown to the full; more flowers would have obscured it. It may also have been ‘cut short’ like Saskia’s own life (although this would not be a common iconography).
[9] Both drawings are reproduced and discussed by Corpus, II, under no.A85, p.431, figs 7 and 8, alongside the present work (there fig.9).
4 November 2015

Benesch 0218
Subject: Sheet of Seven Figure-Studies Including a Crying Child
Medium: Pen and brown ink, rubbed with the finger and touched with brown wash and, upper right, with white, on paper prepared with brown wash. Inscribed verso in graphite: “Inv.99/1881, K.D.Z. 2316, 228” and “f31-10” and in pen and brown ink by William Esdaile (see under Provenance below): “WE 1835” and “Rembrandt”.
218 x 185.
COMMENTS: Many drawings by Rembrandt have clearly been cut from larger sketch-sheets, but in Benesch 0218 and its near twin Benesch 0219, also in Berlin, we can gain a rare insight into the appearance of such drawings in their original state. Other pen drawings of this type include Benesch 0194, 0226, 0301, 0327, 0339, 0340 and 0360; and Rembrandt also made some sketch-sheet-style etchings, such as Bartsch 367/NH 162 and 369/NH177 of c.1639, the period to which the present drawing probably belongs.[1]
With its satisfying diagonal mise-en-page and its variety of characters, the drawing is reminiscent of leaves from medieval model-books - it seems almost as if the figures had been redrawn from earlier, smaller studies and then re-assembled on the page, with a view to the overall compositional effect.[2] Yet a number of factors suggest that the figures, who are individually all profoundly characterised, were all sketched directly from nature. First, the etchings mentioned above are in some cases equally self-consciously arranged, including the two showing heads of women, probably Saskia (Bartsch 365/NH 157 and 368/NH 161), which were clearly also done from nature. Secondly, there is the refined detailing of so many motifs, of hands, fingers, even finger-nails and veins in the man sounding the leper’s clapper: it seems highly unlikely that Rembrandt would replicate or even elaborate an earlier study in such exceptional detail (and in any case no such earlier studies are known). The manner in which the leper’s left hand and the full clapper is preserved by Rembrandt in full by not completing the profile of the back and elbow of the woman in front of him shows that he was drawn before her. Yet the shading below his nearer sleeve suggests that he may have been drawn after the woman at the left and the child.
The varying scale of the groups of figures leads us to a third reason for suggesting that these are sketches directly from nature: the leper and his companion are of wholly different proportions to the larger woman at the left or the man at the top right. The latter holds something in his right hand, perhaps alms for the lepers; yet he in turn is out of scale with the two figures at the lower right, who are apparently engaged in gossip (to judge from the woman’s gesture under her apron, possibly of a lewd nature)[3] at which the man smiles. The snivelling child seems to support itself on a door which infringes the woman’s space and stands on a step which is completely out of any perspectival or other relationship with the woman with the apron. The youngster reaches towards the woman at the left, who seems to descend a step and reaches back towards him. Although she carries a basket, she appears elderly, wears a hood for warmth, and may possibly be blind in her right eye, drawn as a diagonal slit. These two figures were probably drawn first of all.
The fourth reason is that these characters are all drawn with an extraordinary immediacy and spontaneity of touch. Not a single stroke suggests a copy, with its characteristic deliberation or flatness of line; all remains completely alive rather than pre-planned. When Rembrandt made copies, the result is more cursory (cf. the copy after Raphael’s Castiglione, Benesch 0451 as well as after Leonardo, Benesch 0443-0445). And finally we have the evidence of the written sources in corroboration, above all Arnold Houbraken, who had consulted some of Rembrandt’s pupils and relates that Rembrandt believed that the artist should wherever possible always followed nature directly – which must have applied in particular to his figure and landscape sketches.[4]
The drawing has a great deal to tell us about Rembrandt’s capacities as a draughtsman: the variety on one sheet, from the open, unfinished figure on the left, where movement is suggested by a superficially untidy, inexact web of lines (especially around the upper torso), to the miniaturistic treatment of the leper with the clapper, whose every sinew seems revealed; the preference for shading either vertically or diagonally, with only rare deviations from an approximately 45˚ angle; the shading lines that are often as evenly spaced as in a silverpoint drawing by Raphael or Leonardo; the variety of movement and gesture with heavier accents applied not only in denser lines for shadow, but also in pressure on the pen as found either in the bold passages of the woman on the left, or as corrective accents in the figure at the top right; shading also allows particular features to come forward in space –the apron and hand of the woman at the lower right, and the nearer arm of the woman above her,’brought forward’ optically by shading above it. Psychologically, too, the drawing penetrates deeply - and individually - into lives of suffering as well as moments of pain and pleasure. All these characters are apparently dropped casually on the page, where, however, they combine to form a highly original and satisfying unity. In all, the drawing confirms the place of Rembrandt as one of the very highest achievers in the realm of art.
As an iron-gall ink drawing, it is likely to date from c.1638-39 and apart from Benesch 0218 may be compared for style with many drawings made in the same medium, including Benesch 0203 recto, 0223 recto, 0230, 0231 and 0249. Cf. also two drawings that are not in Benesch, the Sketch for Joseph Interpreting the Dreams of the Butler and Baker, now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, where the contrast in styles between the rapidly drawn Joseph and the more detailed Baker and Butler bears some resemblance to the arrangement here, and for the fine use of the pen at this period, the Bust of a Youth in a Turban (London art market). None of these are ‘documentary’ drawings, and among the latter perhaps Benesch 0161 and 0168 provide the closest analogies; but the more detailed touch in Benesch 0218 is exceptional and of a refinement and delicacy that is usually reserved by Rembrandt for his etchings.
For the motif of a woman with a recalcitrant infant, one might point to the earlier genre scene, the Disobedient Child (Benesch 0401).
Condition: slightly trimmed, otherwise generally good, with some small brown spots (upper centre, upper right, below the child and below the figure on the left) and a small loss at top right. The face of the figure at top right has been damaged where the touch of white flowed into the ink.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1638-39
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett SMPK (inv. KdZ 2316)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Amtliche Berichte, ii, 1881, col.lxxxiii (acquisition listing); Lippmann, I, 2; Michel, 1890, p.51; Michael, 1893, p.573; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.157 (c.1635); Graul, 1906, no.11; Saxl, 1908, p.228 (as HdG, 1906); Berlin, 1910, no.269; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.148; (as HdG, 1906); Berlin, 1930, p.235; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.243 (as HdG, 1906); Lugt, 1931, p.60; Benesch, 1935, p.16 (c.1632-33); Wichmann, 1940, no.27 (as HdG, 1906); Benesch, 1947, I, no.38, repr. ii, fig.38 (c.1633-34); Benesch, 1954/73, ii, no.218, repr. (as Benesch 1947; links with a large group of ‘studies from nature’ as also with Benesch 0060 [surprisingly]); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.60 (as HdG, 1906); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.129 (1630s); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.44 (mid-1630s); Scheidig, 1962, p.41, no.30; Haak, 1974, no.10 (as Benesch, 1947); Sciolla, 1976, under no.xii; Vogel-Köhn, 1981, pp.32-34, no.12 (c.1635); Amsterdam, 1981, under no.92, repr. fig.92a (c.1638; thematically related to Benesch 0222); Bruyn, 1983, pp.52 and 58, repr. fig.2 (as Benesch, 1947); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.92 (c.1638); Exhibition, Amsterdam-Vienna-New York-Cambridge, 1991–92, p.106, repr. fig.2; Exh. London, 1992, under no.25 (c.1639); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, under nos.1 and 6 (as Benesch, 1947); Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.38, repr. (late 1630s); Berlin, 2006, no.21, repr. (c.1638-39; compares as well as Benesch 0219 especially Benesch 0226 and 0233; child based on statuette in Rembrandt’s collection).
PROVENANCE: Marquis de Lagoy (L.1710); William Esdaile (L.2617 recto and verso); his sale, London, Christie’s, 17 June, 1840, lot 48, bt Bale, £1-15-0; Charles Sackville Bale (L.640); his sale, London, Christie’s, 9-14th June, 1881, lot 2418; acquired via the dealer A. W. Thibaudeau by the present repository in 1881 (acquisition no.99-1881).
[1] See also Bartsch 363/NH 115 of c.1631-32, Bartsch 366/NH 33 of c.1631, Bartsch 365/NH 157 Bartsch 368/NH 161 of 1636 and Bartsch 370/NH 261 of 1651.
[2] As has been hinted by recent writers, including in Exh. Vienna, 2004.
[3] Already noted by Bevers in Berlin, 2006; or is this just our own projection, and she is merely keeping her hand warm or guarding her purse? She resembles the woman above her to some degree but not closely enough to be certainly the same.
[4] For example in the much-quoted passage, Houbraken, 1718-21, p.262: “Van deze meening was ook onze groote meester Rembrant, stellende zig ten grondwet, enkele naarvolging van de natuur, en alles wat daar buiten gedaan werd was by hem verdagt” (Of this opinion also was our great master Rembrandt, giving himself the ground-rule of solely [working from] nature, and everything which deviated from this was viewed by him as suspect). Of course one could argue that a copy based on a drawing that was made from nature might still fit in with Rembrandt’s preference. But for the other reasons enumerated above it seems improbable in this case.
First posted 13 November 2015

Benesch 0219
Subject: Mosaic of Studies of Nine Figures, with Sketches for a Vertumnus and Pomona
Medium: Pen and brown ink, occasionally rubbed with the finger or touched with a semi-dry brush in brown wash and with some traces of white bodycolour, on paper prepared with brown wash. The drawing has been cut into fragments and is now made up of seven pieces of paper stuck down on a backing sheet, of which five have been rejoined to their original contiguous state, while two (at upper left) remain dislocated. There is a remnant of a ruled framing line at the left edge of the fragment to lower left. The ‘original’ backing-sheet was replaced in 1996 but the arrangement of the fragments was retained exactly.[1]
178 x 184 (the backing sheet); 173 x 174 (current largest dimensions of the original sheet). Inscribed on verso of the ‘original’ backing sheet (on which see above) by William Esdaile in pen and brown ink: “ WE” and “1835” and by another hand in graphite: “2315, Inv.100/1881” .
COMMENTS: The drawing, cut and then reassembled from fragments, belongs at least superficially to the same model-book pattern discussed under Benesch 0218 (qv). The loose pen-style of the woman on the left of the latter is also close to what we see here at the lower left, although the exacting detail in the leper in Benesch 0218 is never matched in Benesch 0219 – the drawings provide some instruction in Rembrandt’s stylistic variety at any given moment. Yet the two drawings, both in iron-gall ink, must date from the same period, c.1638-39.
What distinguishes the present drawing from the model-book is that two figures, at least - those at the lower left - represent Vertumnus and Pomona from Ovid’s Metamorphoses (chapter xiv):[2] The god of the seasons, Vertumnus, disguises himself as an elderly woman and tricks Pomona into conversing with him; he seduces her by relating a story of unrequited love. The subject was common in seventeenth century art and depicted by artists in Rembrandt’s immediate circle, including Ferdinand Bol (see further below). The duck-like head on a snake-like neck might also belong to the scene.
The model for Vertumnus, shown with a turban and with a lecherous expression as he speaks to the rather caricatured Pomona, resembles in general terms the elderly woman depicted in the upper left fragment, who is paired with another, younger woman; possibly these two figures are in the same guise, but here ‘Pomona’ looks out at the viewer and the old woman wears a flower-pot-style hat, like the figure at the lower right and the smaller head immediately above it. The facial resemblance between these figures (especially the flower-pot wearers at upper left and third down on the right) argues in favour of the idea that the sketches were made from nature rather than from the imagination, as has been claimed.[3] The figure at the lower right carries what appears to be a scythe of a type often shown in other depictions of Vertumnus and Pomona.[4]
While the other female head in the centre of the sheet could have been intended for the same scene in some way, either as Vertumnus or a third figure, the two men at the upper right must have been thought of in another context. That at the top right seems caricatured, though in a gesture of pleading or prayer, while the figure on the extreme right resembles the man on the centre left of Benesch 0340.[5] Both could have been onlookers at a spectacle.
Condition: apart from the cutting and reassembling, generally good. See further under medium above.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1638-39
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (KdZ 2315)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1835, no.83 (described as 'on one sheet' - perhaps before the parts were separated and rejoined); Lippmann, I, 18; Michel, 1893, p.573; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.159 (c.1635); Saxl, 1908, p.229 (c.1638); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.150 (c.1636); Neumann, 1918.I, no.47 (lower section perhaps for a Philemon and Baucis); Stockholm, 1920, under no.11,8 (c.1635); Berlin, 1930, i, p.235, ii, repr. pl.170 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.244 (c.1635); Wichmann, 1940, no.26 (c.1635); Schinnerer, 1944, no.24 (c.1635); Benesch, 1947, I, under no.38 (c.1633-34); Benesch, I, 1954/73, no.219, repr. (c.1633-34); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.50 (c.1635); Slive, 1965, no.18 (c.1635); Fuchs, 1968, p.13, repr. fig.12 (c.1635); Sciolla, 1976, under no.xii; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.92 (c.1638); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.18 (c.1635-38); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-Lonsdon, 1991-92.I, under no.8; Starcky, 1999, pp.40-41 (c.1633-34); Berlin, 2006, no.22, repr. (c.1638-39; studies all from imagination; compares esp. figure centre right with Benesch 0340).
PROVENANCE: Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); purchased through Samuel Woodburn from Lawrence’s estate in 1835 by William Esdaile (L.2617); his sale, London, Christie's, 17 June, 1840, lot 83, bt Bale with lot 82 ('Abraham supplicating God in favour of Sodom') £5-5-0; Charles Sackville Bale (L.640); his sale, London, Christie’s, 9-14 June, 1881, lot 2424, bt A. W. Thibaudeau, from whom purchased by the present repository in 1881 (acquisition no. 100-1881).
[1] See Berlin, 2006, no.22.
[2] As first suggested by Neumann, 1918.I, no.47, and followed by Benesch, 1954/73, no.219.
[3] See Berlin, 2006, no.22; cf. also the remarks under Benesch 0218.
[4] See the painting of 1644 by Ferdinand Bol now in Cincinnati (inv. 1957.212; Sumowski, Gem. I, no.84, repr., with references to two further versions by Bol); also Benesch 0165 and Benesch 0553, now also ascribed to Bol.
[5] As noted by Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.22.
First posted 19 November 2015

Benesch 0220
Subject: Head of a Bearded Old Man in a Cap
Medium: Pen and dark brown ink.
63 x 61.
COMMENTS: The drawing belongs with Benesch 0221, with which it shares the same provenance since the 18th century. Both are drawn in dark brown ink of the same hue. Yet Benesch 0220 is more precise, while Benesch 0221 is more liquid in handling and connects in style more clearly than the former with drawings of the 1640s (see under that number). Yet as we know from the documentary drawing of Two Men in Conversation (Benesch 0500a), two heads on the same sheet and drawn together can be remarkably different in style and degree of detail.
Benesch 0220 has some similarities with a number of works by or attributed to Rembrandt’s pupils, for example, the head of Abraham in the Dismissal of Hagar and Ishmael (Benesch 0524; London, 2010 [online], no.75 as ‘attributed to’ Rembrandt, with comparisons to Bol) and to a lesser degree the so-called Jacob and Rachel also in the British Museum (Benesch 0528; London, 2010 [online], no.74 as ‘attributed to’ Rembrandt, with comparisons to Flinck). Another revealing comparison is with the single Head of a Man on the verso of the ‘documentary’ drawing, the Star of the Kings in the British Museum (Benesch 0736 but the verso not illustrated; London, 2010 [online], no.38, with the illustration of the verso); although similarly posed and with a beard, the style seems rather distant.
Yet, to counterbalance this, the head of the father in the Return of the Prodigal Son, now in Haarlem (Benesch 0519), never doubted as Rembrandt’s work, has many stylistic and conceptual features in common with the Berlin Head (Benesch 0220): The emphatic lines over the bridge of the nose and in the profile of the shoulder are close in their description, and the quality of the modelling is not markedly inferior in Benesch 0220. The vertical hatching on the shoulder resembles that in the lower figure in Benesch 0241.
Two studies of heads that are, however, yet more controversial in attribution, Benesch 0674 and 0675, are also not far removed from these drawings.
Like Benesch 0221, this is a slight drawing, hampering a definitive judgment, but on the basis of the above evidence it cannot be dismissed out of hand and is retained here as ‘attributed to’ Rembrandt. As with Benesch 0221, most commentators now ignore or reject the drawing, but on the basis of our comparisons an attribution to Rembrandt seems to me quite likely.
Condition: Good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt?
Date: c.1640-45.
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett SMPK (inv.5250)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.116; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no. 105; Berlin, 1930, I, p.232, Inv.5250; Exh. Berlin, 1920, p.46; Benesch, 1935,p.16; Benesch, 1954/73, no.220, repr. (c.1633); omitted from Berlin, 2006.
PROVENANCE: John Bouverie (c.1722/1723-1750) (L.325); Francis Seymour Haden; probably his sale, London, Sotheby's, 15 June, 1891, part of lot 575: "Three Studies of Heads (one not by Rembrandt) pen and bistre. From the collection of E. Bouverie", bt Deprez, £8-10s; Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.
First posted 5 December 2015

Benesch 0221
Subject: Head of a Man in a Turban, profile to right
Medium: Pen and dark brown ink, touched by a later hand in grey wash
55 x 54.
COMMENTS: See the remarks to Benesch 0220, with which the present work shares the same provenance since the early eighteenth century. As noted there, the documentary drawing of Two Men in Conversation (Benesch 0500a), for example, reveals that two heads on the same sheet and drawn together can be markedly different in style and degree of detail.
The style, here more liquid than in Benesch 0220, seems to belong to the 1640s, as is suggested by various comparisons, including with the documentary study of an Old Man Led by a Woman (Benesch 0185; Louvre) of c.1645-48 for the Hundred Guilder Print. In the Louvre drawing, the head on the upper left of the sheet has a loop under the ear that marks the pivot of the jaw – also seen in Benesch 0184, another sketch used for the same etching - and this ‘trick’ is repeated in Benesch 0221. The latter also resembles the turbaned head of the man in the right in the Two Men in Conversation of 1641 (Benesch 55a). So the drawing may date from around 1640-45. Other drawings that seem close in style include Benesch 0670, 0677 and 0678. Two studies of heads that are however more controversial in attribution, Benesch 0674 and 0675, are also not far removed from Benesch 0220 and 0221.
Like Benesch 0220, this is a slight drawing, hampering a definitive judgment, but on the basis of the above evidence it cannot be dismissed out of hand and is retained here as ‘attributed to’ Rembrandt. Most commentators now ignore or reject the drawing, but on the basis of the above comparisons an attribution to Rembrandt seems to me quite likely.
Condition: Good (apart from later grey wash additions), though affected by damp, especially at the back of the head, probably at an early date, so that some lines have spread.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt?
Date: c.1640-45.
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett SMPK (inv.5249)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.115; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, no. 104; Berlin, 1930, I, p.232, Inv.5249; Exh. Berlin, 1930, p.46; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, 1954/73, no.221, repr. (c.1633); omitted from Berlin, 2006
PROVENANCE: John Bouverie (c.1722/1723-1750) (L.325); Francis Seymour Haden; probably his sale, London, Sotheby's, 15 June, 1891, part of lot 575: "Three Studies of Heads (one not by Rembrandt) pen and bistre. From the collection of E. Bouverie", bt Deprez, £8-10s; Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.
First posted 6 December 2015

Benesch 0222
Subject: An Elderly Woman Giving a Drink to a Child
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared light brown.
73 x 120. No watermark; chain lines: 25h.
COMMENTS: The drawing has been compared with several other drawings by Rembrandt both to support and refute its attribution (see under Literature below). The key comparison, it seems to me, is with the figure of Pomona at the lower left corner of Benesch 0219: the same rather abstracted tangle of lines is used to describe the torso, although here there are more lines used to no greater security of modelling. The headdress takes these qualities to a further extreme, while the child and cup are also drawn with little or indeed even less success in conveying a sense of structure. Yet the face of the woman, with its severe but characterful expression, emulates Rembrandt very closely: note the line by the side of the nose and mouth that describes the edge of the cheek together with a few dashes and dots in and around the cheek itself, used in the same way in the profile heads of women in Benesch 0218 and 0223, for example. The fine parallel shading across the eyebrows has links with the left-hand figure in the documentary drawing of Ruth and Naomi (Benesch 0161 recto) and also with other drawings of the iron-gall ink period, c.1638-39, such as Benesch 0235 and 0242.
In the light of these comparisons the attribution to Rembrandt cannot be dismissed entirely. The drawing seems far from the style of Rembrandt’s pupils – perhaps the nearest is Govert Flinck in such drawings as Benesch 0656 [1] – and too spontaneous to be seen as an imitation, even by such a close associate. The modelling and characterisation of the face also seem more particularised. Yet there are also sufficient reasons, especially the generally uneconomical and untidy modelling, to relegate the drawing to the ‘attributed to’ section of this catalogue.
Condition: Good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt?
Date: c.1638-39.
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum (L.2228; inv.RP-T-1897-A-3478)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, II, no.28a; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1193; Saxl, 1908, p.337 (c.1632); Kauffmann, 1919, p.56, n.45 (c.1640); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1921, no.37 (rather early); Amsterdam, 1942, no.15, repr. pl.7 (c.1635; compares Benesch 0223 and 0234); Benesch, 1954/73, ii, no.222, repr. (c.1633-34; compares Benesch 0218 and 0219); Slive, 1965, no.245 (1633-35); Sumowski, 1971, p.125 (c.1634); Exh. New York-Paris, 1977-78, under no.86, n.2 (as Benesch); Amsterdam, 1985, no.92, repr. (school work; second half of 1630s; ink and paper as Rijksmuseum’s Saskia Sitting by a Window [Not in Benesch; inv.RP-T-1930-51]; described as ‘messy’ and compared unfavourably especially with Benesch 0218).
PROVENANCE: Hendrik Valkenburg; his sale, Amsterdam, Tersteeg and F. Muller, 2 February, 1897, part of lot 156 (‘lot d’estampes et de dessins anciens’), bt Valk for the present repository, f.68.20.
[1] See London, 2010 (online), attributed to Flinck, no.9 and Schatborn, 2010, pp.28-29.
First posted 2 January 2016

Benesch 0223
Subject: A Blind Elderly Woman Led by a Boy, and a beggar boy
Verso: A Bearded Man in a High Fur Hat
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink, partly corrected in white (in the central figure of the boy) on paper prepared with pale brown wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink (bistre); inscribed verso in pen and brown ink by William Esdaile: “1835 WE” and “Rembrandt”
183 x 169. Watermark: none; chain lines:23-24h.
COMMENTS: A characteristic example of Rembrandt’s informal figure sketches from the late 1630s, drawn in iron-gall ink. Among the closest comparisons are those with Benesch 0218-19 and, among the documentary drawings, with Benesch 0161 and 0168.
The characterisation of the old woman, whose face is depicted in the greatest detail and profoundly characterised, seems to have been the main focus of Rembrandt’s attention. That the boy was drawn later is revealed by the reserve on his shoulder for the woman’s left hand. The boy was also given a tall hat, reminiscent of the paper crowns worn at Epiphany, and it seems that Rembrandt blotted out the crown of head, with its curly hair, with white, which has now become transparent again.[1] He carries a bag or basket, dangling from his right elbow, a feature also of the rapid sketch of a boy (with straight hair, though similarly clad) at the lower right, whose left arm is outstretched with second bag. Both boys cast a shadow on the wall of an unseen building (a step is indicated in the larger sketch) and it seems likely that Rembrandt was depicting beggars receiving alms at a door.
The slight sketch on the verso, drawn with an especially fine nib, has been compared with the left-hand figure in Benesch 0687[2] and with the penwork in Benesch 0230.[1]
Condition: generally good; a few minor spots and stains.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1638-39
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Statliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv.3772)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.515; Vosmaer, 1877, p.601; Amtliche Berichte, 6, 1885, col.LXVI (acquisition report); Lippmann, I, 23; Michel, 1893, p.574; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.141 (c.1635); Kurth, in Wickhoff, 1906, pp.11-12 (shows Hanna and Samuel); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.131 (c.1635); Berlin, 1930, I, p.234, II, repr. pl.169 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.242 (c.1635); Lugt, 1931, p.60; Benesch, 1935, p.16 (c.1632-33); Benesch, 1947, I, under no.38 (c.1633-34); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.223, repr. (c.1633-34; refutes Kurth, 1906; compares Benesch 0218 and related works); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.58 (c.1635); Slive, 1965, no.23 (c.1635); Bernhard, 1976, p.88 (verso c.1633-34); Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.13 and 92 (c.1638); Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.20; Exh. London, 1992, under no.25 (c.1639; compares verso to head on left of Benesch 0687); Starcky, 1999, pp.42-43 (c.1633-34); Van Straten, 2002, p.281; Exh. London-Paris-Cambridge, 2002-2003, under no.45; Berlin, 2006, no.23, repr. (c.1638-39; compares verso, thought perhaps to depict an actor, to Benesch 0230); London, 2010 (online), under no.22 (as Exh. London, 1992).
PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2183 [unusually on recto and verso]); Thomas Hudson (L.2432); Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); acquired from his estate in 1835 by William Esdaile (L.2617); his sale, London, Christie's, 30 June, 1840, lot 51, bt Gaarle, £4-4s; De Kat; his sale, Rotterdam, 4 March, 1867, lot 215; Jacob de Vos, jun. (L.1450); his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, Muller, Van Pappelendam & Schouten and Van Gogh, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 411; acquired by the present repository from the Disconto-Gesellschaft in 1885.[3]
[1] As noted by Bevers in Berlin, 2006.
[2] In Exh. London 1992 and London 2010 (online) – see under Literature.
[3] Holm Bevers informs me (email 7 December 2016) that it is likely that the Disconto-Gesellschaft acquired the drawings at the de Vos sale through an intermediary when the Berlin museums' own budget was stretched.
First posted 17 January 2016

Benesch 0224
Subject: A Beggar in a Wide-Brimmed Hat, holding a stick and walking to right, with a Bust of a Young Woman
Medium: Pen and brown ink. Inscribed on verso of mount, lower left, in graphite: “#136” and centre: “189” [crossed out] and lower right: “D31995”
165 x 115. Watermark: none visible.
COMMENTS: The drawing is among the more detailed studies of Amsterdam street characters in Rembrandt’s oeuvre, partly because it is drawn with an unusually thin nib. This trait makes the drawing difficult to date but the closest analogies are with other ‘thin nib’ drawings from c.1636, such as Benesch 0120, 0223 verso, 0230, 0327 (especially the two figures on the right), 0360 recto, and 0411. But it has to be said that there are also points of comparison with drawings that are thought to date from c.1640-41, such as Benesch 500a (documentary), Benesch 0606 as also with the now often-rejected drawing of Three Studies of an Old Man with a High Fur Cap (British Museum, Benesch 0688). Some passages of shading even resemble Benesch 0891, usually dated c.1652, but the present drawing appears to be significantly earlier. Yet for these reasons the date suggested here is less precise than usual, c.1636-42.
The drawing may have inspired Benesch 0225 and been made at around the same time, probably by a pupil.
Condition: Generally good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1636-42.
COLLECTION: Private Collection, USA Boston (George and Maida Abrams Collection)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Parker, 1931, no.54 (compares to Rembrandt’s Leiden period etchings of beggars); Benesch, 1935, p.16; Van Regteren Altena, 1948, no.20; Exh. London, 1972, no.23; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.224, repr. (c.1633-34; compares Benesch 0223 and 0225); Lugt, 1956, p.375; Exh. Amsterdam-Vienna-New York-Cambridge, 1991-92, pp.12 and 106-7, no.44, repr.; New York, 1999, under no.67; Exh. London-Paris-Cambridge, 2002-3, no.45. repr. (c.1633-34); Exh. Greenwich (Conn.), 2011-12, no.1, repr..
PROVENANCE: Earl of Warwick; Warwick sale, London, Sotheby’s, 17 June, 1936, lot 134; P. Mertens, Portugal; his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 23 November 1971, lot 12, bt Colnaghi; P. & D. Colnaghi, London (dealer; their catalogue, June-July, 1972, no.23, repr. frontis.); Charles Wyzanski, Cambridge, MA, from whom acquired by the present owner in 1978.
First posted 21 January 2016

Benesch 0225
Subject: A Bearded Old Man in a Wide-Brimmed Hat, walking to left
Medium: Pen and brown ink, with grey wash by a later hand; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
128 x 103.
COMMENTS: The drawing is not easy to accommodate in Rembrandt’s oeuvre and I have come close to incorporating it into the ‘Attributed to Rembrandt’ designation. But in my view there are enough common elements with Rembrandt’s own drawings to admit it. The overall effect is severely compromised by the browned condition of the sheet and the considerable later additions, rather crudely drawn in grey wash, which define an arch as if the draughtsman concerned had connected the drawing with the old man in the Hundred Guilder Print (Bartsch 74; NH.239).
Yet looking ‘through’ the damage, one is struck by the fine drawing of the facial features, with some surgically precise parallel shading in the forehead and neck and (in darker lines) in the lappet of the hat. The unhesitating profile of the face, with the squared off nose-tip - close to the documentary drawing Benesch 0336 of c.1634 (a type that is also found in Benesch 0036A and 0087) - seem persuasive. No Rembrandt pupil, such as Ferdinand Bol (the most likely alternative contender), approaches this degree of refinement. The detailed penwork describing the collar resembles Benesch 0314, while the vertical shading at various points in the drapery compares closely with, for example, the shading behind the upper figure in Benesch 0197. For the beard, cf. the documentary drawing, Benesch 0336; the clothes are outlined similarly in Benesch 0143. The looping lines in the outer profile of the further sleeve also have links with Benesch 0161, another documentary sheet.
Superficially the drawing resembles Benesch 0224, though in reverse. In both, a fine nib was used and yet the style and approach varies, arguing that they should probably be assigned to different dates.
Condition: the paper has become brown though light-staining; probably trimmed from a larger sheet; reworked in grey wash by a later hand (see further under Medium and Comments above).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1635-37
COLLECTION: USA San Francisco, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts (inv.1981.2.3)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.235; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.225, repr. (c.1633-34; compares Ben.0218-9, 0223 and particularly Benesch 0238); Exh. San Francisco, de Young, Rembrandt: Selected Prints and Drawings, 1982-1983; Exh. San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor (henceforth CPLH), Recent Acquisitions of the Achenbach Foundation of Graphic Art (henceforth AFGA), 1981-1982, Part 1: 1500-1940, 1983; Exh. San Francisco, CPLH, 1985, p.74, no.29; Exh. Amsterdam-Vienna-New York-Cambridge, 1991–2, p.106, n.2; Exh. London-Paris-Cambridge, 2002-3, under no.45, repr. fig.2 (same model or type as Benesch 0224); Exh. Greenwich, 2011-12, under no.1 (as in Exh. London etc., 2002-3); Exh. San Francisco, De Young, 2013.
PROVENANCE: Cornelis Ploos van Amstel; Jacob de Vos, Jr. (L. 1450), I. Q. van Regteren Altena; Franz Koenigs; Paul Cassirer, Amsterdam; with Colnaghi, London (dealer), 1979; Shaunagh Fitzgerald, Ltd., London (dealer) 1981, from whom purchased 31 December 1981 by the present repository with the Roscoe and Margaret Oakes Income Fund.
First posted 28 January 2016

Benesch 0226
Subject: Head of a Man with Three Sketches of Women Each Holding a Child
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared with brown wash. At top left and bottom right corners, possible remnants of old numbers. Inscribed verso, lower left, by Esdaile: “1835 WE” and “Rembrandt”
188 x 147. Watermark: flail within a chaplet (similar to Churchill 544, 1640 and Voorn 26, 1641)
COMMENTS: A characteristic drawing of c.1639 in iron-gall ink, belonging to the series of sketches of the lives of women (vrouwenleven – see under Benesch 0194). The watermark is the same in Benesch 0246 and in the Youth Walking with a Pole, now in the Rijksmuseum (Not in Benesch; inv.RP-T-1984-119). Benesch 0228 must have been made at the same time. The variety of finish is worth noting, from the merely outlined woman at the lower left (compare the figure outside the door in Benesch 0406) to the more highly realised woman at the lower right. The detailed drawing of the hair of the central figure is significant for underpinning the attribution of Benesch 0217.
Compare the head of a man with his black chalk equivalent in Benesch 0370.
Condition: two repairs along right edge; otherwise generally good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1638-39
COLLECTION: USA New York, Morgan Library (inv. I, 190)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Fairfax-Murray, 1905-12, I, no.190, repr.; Exh. Paris, 1908, no.427; Exh. New York, 1919 (no catalogue); Exh. San Francisco, 1920, no.375; Benesch, 1935, p.24; Exh. Toronto, 1951, Drawings, no.2; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.226, repr. (c.1633-34 comparing Benesch 0194, 0224, 0227 and 0246 verso); van Regteren Altena, 1955.I, pp.118-20; Drost, 1957, pp.160 and 172, no.178; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.20, repr.; Exh. Hartford, 1960, no.77; Vogel-Köhn, 1974, no.3; Exh. Paris-Antwerp-London-New York, 1979–80, no.67, repr.; Schatborn, 1981.I, p.27, repr. fig.26; Amsterdam, 1985, no.13, n.5; Rotterdam, 1988, under no.9; Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 1989-90 (ex. Cat.); Exh. London, 1992, under no.29 (same watermark in Benesch 0393, 0246 and Youth Walking with a Pole in Rijksmuseum [Not in Benesch; inv. RP-T-1984-119], all c.1639; perhaps same woman shown in Benesch 0246 verso); Exh. New York, 1996 (no cat.); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, under no.7; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.79, repr. and under no.58; Exh. Brussels, 2005, under no.9, repr. fig.1 (basis for Benesch 0227); New York, 2006, no.209, repr. pl.19; London, 2010 (online), under no.26 (as Exh. London, 1992).
PROVENANCE: Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); sold with his collection in 1835 through Samuel Woodburn to William Esdaile (L.2617); his sale, London, Christie’s, 17 June, 1840, lot 6, bt Woodburn with lot 5 for 12s; Samuel Woodburn; Lawrence-Woodburn sale, London, Christie’s, 4-8 June, 1860, lot 757, bt Morant, £1-18-0; possibly George J. Morant (fl. c.1860-65) of Hayling, Hampshire and Regent’s Park, London; possibly his sale, London, Foster, 14-16 May, 1862, lot 93, bt Neale, 6s; Charles Fairfax Murray (1848-1919); purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan; inherited by his son, J. Pierpont Morgan, by whom given to the present repository, 1924.
First posted 31 January 2016

Benesch 0227
Subject: Study of a Small Child
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink on paper prepared with brown wash; ruled framing lines in graphite.
68 x 57. No watermark; chain lines: 23h.
COMMENTS: By its very slightness this alluring little sketch is difficult to assess. But at almost every turn the lines lack the fluency of Rembrandt’s pen, while at others, such as the style of the shading under the elbow and in the rump, where the ink is slightly paler, it seems downright uncharacteristic. While it might be tempting to suggest that in these areas the drawing has simply been retouched, the effect of practically all the other lines is harsh, and their even thickness reminiscent of an etching. Perhaps the most successful moment is the profile of the child’s face, with a short stroke to indicate the nose, but here it could have been derived from Benesch 0226.[1] However, because the technique, with iron-gall ink on paper prepared with brown wash, is identical to Rembrandt’s own in c.1638-39, it is likely that the drawing was made in Rembrandt’s studio in these years. Those who might wish to attribute the drawing to Rembrandt himself would take heart from its analogies with Benesch 0229 – a comparison made by Benesch himself – but the handling there is significantly more lively.
It is of interest that the earliest known attribution of the drawing was to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, with whose style the drawing is not wholly incompatible (particularly if he was imitating drawings by Rembrandt). But his known pen sketches lack the attention to detail and the stiff formulations of the pen seen here, so that an attribution to him is far from persuasive.[2] Condition: good, but a fragment.
Summary attribution: Anonymous Rembrandt School (Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??)
Date: c.1638-39
COLLECTION: B Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (inv.4060/1205, marked with smaller variant of L.1834)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Brussels, 1913, no.1205 (Van den Eeckhout); Benesch, 1933-34, p.302, n.9, repr. fig.253 (Rembrandt, c.1632-33); Van Puyvelde and Goldschmidt, 1937, no.13 (1635-40; compares Benesch 0284 and 0670); Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.81, repr. pl.lii; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.227, repr. (c.1633-34; compares especially Benesch 0229); Exh. Brussels, 1962-63, no.167; Exh. Brussels, 1967, no.104, repr.; Exh. Brussels, 1967-68, no.343; Exh. Geneva, 1969-70, no.104; Benesch, 1970, p.281, n.11 (repeating Benesch, 1933-34); Roy, 1970-71, p.57, n.3 (not Van den Eeckhout); Exh. Brussels, 1971, no.23, repr.; Béguin, 1978, p.186; Exh. Brussels, 2005, no.9, repr. (anon. pupil or follower; HdG attributed to Rembrandt in a not on the mount in the 1920s, with which van Regteren Altena concurred similarly in 1970; MRK doubted the drawing orally in 1996; perhaps based on Benesch 0226; perhaps by an artist who had access to Rembrandt’s ‘vrouwenleven’ drawings in van de Cappelle’s collection).
PROVENANCE: Jean de Grez; presented with his collection by his widow to the present repository, 1913.
[1] As suggested by Hautekeete in Exh. Brussels, 2005.
[2] One might compare Benesch 0071 and 0073-75.
First posted 1 February 2016

Benesch 0228
Subject: A Standing Woman with a Child in her Arms, three-quarter length
Verso: laid down on a 20th century mat.
Medium: Pen and brown ink; inscribed lower right in pen and brown ink in an early hand: “R”
99 x 62. Watermark: none; chain lines: uncertain (laid down).
Mat: probably 20th century, white card with a grey wash border.
COMMENTS: A characteristic and lively example of Rembrandt’s penmanship in the late 1630s. Benesch 0226 is close in style (especially the figure at the lower right), though here Rembrandt seems to have used bistre rather than iron-gall ink. The drawing serves as a clear example of Rembrandt’s habit of first making a light sketch in hair-thin lines before finishing it with much broader and bolder work, which in this case he also used to extend the form of the apron and to change the position of the child. Benesch described the woman as a nurse, which seems likely.
Condition: generally good, though probably a fragment
Summary attribution: Rembrandt
Date: c.1638-39
COLLECTION: NL Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (on loan from the Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940 (Koenigs Collection, L.1023a on verso of mat) [Inv. R22].
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.263; Benesch, 1935, p.23; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.228; Van Regteren Altena, 1955.I, p.120; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.45; Sumowski, 1956, p.234, n.2; Drost, 1957, p.172, repr. fig. 176; Rotterdam, 1969, p.21, repr. pl.9; Exh. New York-Boston-Chicago, 1972-73, no.85, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, no.85; Vogel-Köhn, 1974, p.29, no.26; Forssman, 1976, p.310, repr. fig10; Schatborn, 1981.I, no.20, repr.; Starcky, 1985, repr. fig.21; Rotterdam, 1988, no.9, repr. (c.1633-35; compares Benesch 0226).
PROVENANCE: John, Lord Northwick; his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 1-4 November, 1920, lot 177 (with Benesch 0247); his subsequent sale, London, Sotheby’s, 5-6 July, 1921, lot 100 (with Benesch 0247); Comte de Robiano; his sale, Amsterdam, Mensing, 15-16 June, 1926, lot 445 (with Benesch 0247); acquired in 1926 by Franz Koenigs (L.1023a); his collection purchased and given in 1940 by D.G. van Beuningen to the Boijmans Museum Foundation (Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen).
First posted 1 February 2016

Benesch 0229
Subject: A Young Woman, half-length, her left hand to her mouth
Verso: Sketch of a Head
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink. On verso only, ruled framing lines in black ink (partial); numbered by Bonnat top right in pen and brown ink: “26”
79 x 74. Watermark; chain lines:
COMMENTS: The model appears to be a young maid wearing a cap. Although probably trimmed from a larger sheet of studies, the drawing on the recto seems wholly complete in itself. The pensive, hand-to-mouth gesture occurs again at the top right of the etching, Studies of the Head of Saskia and Others of 1636 (Bartsch 365; NH 157), but stylistically the comparison serves only to confirm that the date of the drawing is later, c.1638-39. This is confirmed by its analogies with the the documentary drawings, Benesch 0161 recto and 0168 (the top right figure), as well as with Benesch 0203 recto, 0244, 0246 recto and 0255.
The lively, if incipient study of a head on the verso, apparentl