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Subject: The Naughty Boy
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, touched with white bodycolour, the outlines indented for transfer (in a dull fashion) by Joannes Jacobus Bijlaert (see further below); ruled framing lines in pen and dark brown ink.
Inscribed in brown ink by a later hand, lower left: “Rembrant”.
207 x 142.
COMMENTS: One of Rembrandt’s most celebrated genre studies: the woman apparently scolds the child for having taken a bite from a forbidden morsel, probably a piece of bread, which is caught by the artist as it falls to the ground like the knife of Abraham in Rembrandt’s painting of The Sacrifice of Isaac, of 1635, in St Petersburg (Bredius 498; Wetering 136). The old woman behind a half-door raises an admonishing finger, while two other children stand bemused at the threshold. The child’s expression, wriggling posture and raised left hand with curled fingers clasping the air, are so originally depicted that the scene was clearly observed from life rather than based on precedent. A similar child seems to appear in Benesch 0218 and in the etching of The Pancake Woman, of 1635 (see Fig.a), and perhaps also in Benesch 0092. The sense of movement is enhanced by the broken outlines, especially in the shoulders of the mother. One suspects that Rembrandt was not intending to represent a grandiose theme, or one of the five senses (such as Hearing), but nothing can be ruled out completely.
Among the documentary drawings there are comparisons to be had with Benesch 0092, Benesch 0142 and Benesch 0164. The use of wash in the skirt and the faces of the children resemble their equivalents in the foreground and background of Benesch 0315. Taking these and the other connections mentioned above into account, a date c.1635 seems likely, as has usually been proposed in the past.
There is a copy in Budapest and another in Hamburg, probably by Jan Boursse. Arnold Houbraken made an etching after the drawing, decked out by him with a landscape background, and there is an etching of exactly the same size as the original by Joannes Jacobus Bijlaert, who indented the Berlin original to make his print.
Condition: Good; a few minor stains (near the left foot of the “mother” and at top left corner.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (similar to L.1610; inv.3771, formerly 2611)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.515 (c.1635; used for painting of Ganymede [Bredius 471; Wetering 137]); Vosmaer, 1877, p.600 (as Vosmaer, 1868); Amtliche Berichte, 1884, col.xxix (acquisition report); Bode, 1888, p.160; Lippmann, I, 9; Michel, 1890, pp.43-44 and 46-47; Michel, 1893, p.574; Von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.140 and under no.1386 (if authentic, c.1635; probably a copy after Budapest drawing; child reminiscent of Dresden painting and etching of the Pancake Woman, Bartsch 124); Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.36, repr. (c.1635); Bode and Valentiner, 1907, under no.1; Saxl, 1908, p.228 (c.1636); von Térey, 1909, under no.17; Springer, 1910, cols 152-56; Berlin, 1910, no.268 (c.1635); Hind, 1912, I, pp.56-57 (Berlin and Budapest drawings both authentic); Hofstede de Groot, 1912 (as in 1906); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.129; Bode, 1915, cols 225-26; Neumann, 1918, p.25, no. 82; Stockholm, 1920, pp.77-78, under no.IV, 35, repr. fig.95 (Berlin and Budapest drawings both copies); Graul, 1924, no.13; Kauffmann, 1926, p.175 (c.1634-35); Berlin, 1930, I, p.234, repr. II, pl.167; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.241; Lugt, 1931, p.59, under no.2611 (Berlin drawing original; Budapest drawing a copy); Graul, 1934, no.9 (mid-1630s); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.781 (c.1636); Benesch, 1935, p.22 (c.1634-35); Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.76; Wichmann, 1940, no.28; Weski, 1942, pp.18-19 (c.1635-36); Schinnerer, 1944, no.51 (c.1636; Berlin and Budapest drawings both possibly copies); Benesch, 1947, no.67, repr. (c.1635); Rosenberg, 1948, p.147; Winkler, 1951, pp.116-17 (c.1635); Benesch, 2, 1954/73, no.401, repr. fig.409/485 (c.1635; copies in Budapest and Hamburg; follows connection made by Hofstede de Groot, 1906, with Dresden Ganymede; notes possible Jan van de Cappelle provenance [see note 6 below] compares Benesch 0401 and Benesch 0274); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.57 (c.1635); Benesch, 1960, no.12, repr. (c.1635); Sumowski, 1961, p.6; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.27; Great Drawings, 1962, no.577; Scheidig, 1962, p.41, no.32; Slive, 1965, no.9 (c.1635); Clark, 1966, pp.15-17, repr. fig.14 (observed from life in same attitude as Michelangelo’s Ganymede); Hamann, 1969, pp.53, 57 and 448 (c.1636); Haak, 1974, no.14 (c.1636); Schatborn, 1975, p.17 (child similar to infant ‘pleurant’ on tomb of William the Silent in The Hague); Bernhard, 1976, p.131 (c.1635); Clark, 1978, pp.45-46; Mielke, in Achenbach et al., 1980, no.31; Schatborn, 1981, p.3, no.25 (provenance); Vogel-Köhn, 1981, pp.25-28; Bruyn, 1983, p.52, repr. fig.1; Haak, 1990, pp.124-25 (c.1635); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.133 (c.1638; comparing Benesch 0274 and Benesch 0403); Schatborn, 1993, pp.168-69 (developed from a scene observed from life); Bevers, Kupferstichkabinett, 1994, no.IV.59 (c.1635); Grohé, 1996, p.108; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, p.235 (provenance); Starcky, 1999, pp.52-53 (c.1635); Bevers, 2000, p.72; Exh. Bremen, 2000-2001, under no.72; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.52, repr. (c.1635); Budapest, 2005, under no.233 (copy in Budapest); Berlin, 2006, no.13, repr. (c.1635; same child in Benesch 0092 and Benesch 0218 and presumably based on earlier models – see Schatborn, 1975 – and images of Venus Punishing Cupid; notes pentimento in old woman’s right arm; compares Benesch 0445, also for formal elements; Benesch 0092 and Benesch 0313 also compared for style and for the child’s head; etchings by Bijlaert, who indented the drawing, and Houbraken); Slive, 2009, pp.86-89, repr. fig.7.10 (c.1635 [see also n.1 below]); Corpus, 5, 2011, p.39, detail repr. fig.39 (suggests Rembrandt followed Dürer’s rules of proportion in the child here and in general); Hamburg, 2011, 2, under no.861 (Jan Boursse probably made the copy in Hamburg, inv.22085); Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, p.14, repr. fig.4 (copied by Jan Boursse [in Hamburg inv.22085] who probably owned the drawing); Wetering/Corpus, 6, 2015, p.544, under no.131, and p.677, under no.309, (Rembrandt gave the babies he drew and etched in and around 1635 [Benesch 0401-0403 and Bartsch 125] the head:body ratio of 1:4, probably emulating Dürer; mentions copy after the drawing by Jan or Jacques Boursse); Van de Wetering, 2016, p.114, repr. fig.92 (as Wetering/Corpus, 6, 2015); Schatborn, 2019, no.238, repr. (c.1635).
PROVENANCE: Jacob de Vos, sen.; his sale, 1833, p.71, lot 4; Jan Six van Hillegom; his sale, Amsterdam, 15 December, 1851, no.156; Jacob de Vos, jun.; his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, Muller Van Pappelendam & Schouten and Van Gogh, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 406; acquired by the present repository in 1884, probably through C. Muller.
 Schatborn, 1975 and Bevers in Berlin, 2006, point to the use of sculpture and other sources by artists to depict extremes of emotion in children, models that might well also have been known to Rembrandt, especially the weeping child or pleurant at the tomb of William The Silent in The Hague. But Benesch 0401 seems to have been inspired by a more immediate and spontaneous observation. See under Benesch 0342 for a possible source for the child: among the six children of Hendrick van Uylenburgh and his wife Maria van Eck. Unless, as is suggested by Slive, 2009, p.87, the falling object is the child’s shoe.
 See Budapest, 2005, no.233, repr.. It was etched by Joseph Schmidt in his Recueil d’Estampes (and might therefore be by Schmidt?).
 See Hamburg, 2011, no.861.
 As noted by Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.140.
 As noted by Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.13.
 Jan Boursse’s name is written as the author on the verso of the copy in Hamburg (see above). He owned a number of drawings by Rembrandt, perhaps including the Berlin drawing (see Hamburg, 2011, II, no.861). In this case, the Berlin drawing was probably sold after his death in 1671. Jan van de Cappelle (1624-79) owned an album of 135 Rembrandt drawings depicting the life of women and children (see under Benesch 0194), which has led to the suggestion (Schatborn, 1981, p.12) that he owned the present work. He may have acquired these drawings from Boursse. A provenance from Ploos van Amstel is given in the Berlin inventory of 1884, followed by Bock and Rosenberg in Berlin, 1930, p.234. However, Lugt, 1931, p.59, correctly described the provenance as doubtful and there is no Ploos van Amstel collector’s mark.
First posted 26 September 2018.
Subject: A Woman and Five Children
Medium: Pen and brown ink; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower left: “Rembt” [?] (see under Benesch 0113).
152 x 197.
COMMENTS: It is uncertain how many different children modelled for Rembrandt’s drawing: the mother holds up or dandles a baby, entertained by a little girl; the three other children towards the left may have been modelled by one or (more probably, to judge from the presence of headgear in the two leftmost children) two or three other children.
The style belongs generically in the mid-1630s, although any links with the documentary drawings are not close – perhaps Benesch 0140 is nearest. Yet the attribution is secured by analogy with several other, albeit non-documentary sheets of the mid-1630s, such as Benesch 0234 (the running child and the small children in the centre here), Benesch 0282 (in which the shading is comparable to the figure on the right here) and Benesch 0343 (the right-hand group once again). The little girl on the right resembles in style and pose the old woman in Benesch 0391, while the child is dandled in a comparable way in the black chalk drawing, Benesch 0309.
The drawing has in the past been associated, perhaps optimistically, with the 1635 etching of The Pancake Woman (Bartsch 124; NH 144 – see Literature below).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: D Bremen, Kunsthalle (inv.1876), formerly (currently Moscow, Pushkin Museum).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1935, p.23; Von Alten, 1947, p.18, repr. fig.19; Benesch, 1947, no.66, repr.; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.402, repr. (c.1635; compares Benesch 0401 and Benesch 0403); Bernhard, 1976, p.133, repr.; Vogel-Kӧhn, 1974/1981, no.10, repr.; Sumowski, 1979, etc., VIII, under no.1838x; Corpus, 3, 1989, p.83 (general relationship with genre elements in Berlin grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching [Bredius 555; Wetering 110]); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.I, pp.195-95, repr. fig.10c (perhaps related to the etching, The Pancake Woman, of 1635 Bartsch 124; NH 144); Exh. Bremen, 2000-2001, p.12, repr. fig.6 and p.175, no.A22, repr. (c.1635); Corpus, 5, 2011, p.40, repr. fig.38 (argues that Rembrandt, here and elsewhere, followed proportions of child as described by Dürer); Corpus, 6, 2015, p.544, under no.131 (c.1635; Rembrandt gave the babies he drew and etched in and around 1635 [Benesch 0401-0403 and Bartsch 125] the head:body ratio of 1:4, probably emulating Dürer); Van de Wetering, 2016, p.114, repr. fig.91 (as Corpus, 6, 2015); Schatborn, 2019, no.233, repr. (c.1635).
PROVENANCE: Frits Lugt, from whom acquired by exchange, 1924.
 See under Benesch 0194 for the album of Rembrandt drawings owned by Jan van de Cappelle depicting the lives of woman and children, to which the present drawing may in theory have belonged.
First posted 30 September 2018.
Subject: A Woman Reassuring a Child Frightened by a Dog
Verso: Two Studies of a Woman Carrying a Child
Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched with white under the arm of the child; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink; verso: black chalk.
Inscribed verso, lower right, in black chalk: “J.5155”
103 x 102 Watermark: none; chain lines: 26h.
COMMENTS: The drawing on the recto clearly shows Rembrandt’s common habit of making the lightest possible indications of the forms before firming them up with more decisive lines, seen especially in the heads of the mother and child. The immediacy of the characterisations suggests that he had observed (or just observed) the scene from life, perhaps moments before he made the drawing. The mother appears to have returned from the market with a duck, its head dangling out of the basket.
A more elaborate version of the scene, Benesch 0411, takes over the poses of the two figures on general terms and works them up in more detail, with additional elements, such as the protective helmet worn by the child. The basket, now containing vegetables, is placed on the step to the right and the breed of dog has been changed to one resembling a greyhound. Similar animals appear with the goddess Diana in Benesch 0116. It has been suggested that Rembrandt may have had a specific iconography in mind, but this must remain a matter for speculation.
For style, the recto compares with the refinement seen in Benesch 0427 of 1633, in which the shading on the right is also similar. Dogs and mothers with children appear in some numbers in the Berlin grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching (Bredius 555; Wetering 110, where dated 1633-34) and the sketch could have formed part of the preparatory material for that work, although the figures are not replicated there.
The verso is inseparable in subject, technique and style from a fragmentary sheet now in Stockholm (Benesch 0403A, qv). Its analogies with red chalk works of c.1635-37, such as Benesch 0277, suggest that it may be slightly later than the recto.
The recto was etched by Ignace-Joseph de Claussin (1766-1844) with the date 1636 added in a later state (Figs. a-b). Although a collector, some of whose etchings were made after drawings he himself owned, it is uncertain whether Benesch 0403 belonged to him.
Condition: Good; trimmed from a larger sheet, as the verso reveals, and the square format is unusual for Rembrandt (and for sketch-sheets generally).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
Date: c.1633-34 (verso c.1635).
COLLECTION: F Paris, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection (L.1028; inv.5155).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1947, no.65, recto repr.(c.1635); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.403, repr. figs 446/482 [recto] and 448/483 [verso] (c.1635; compares for style Benesch 0401-2 and Benesch 0403A; and for subject the slightly later drawing, Benesch 0411); Exh. Paris, 1957 (no catalogue); Exh. Paris, 1965, no.92; Exh. New York-Boston-Chicago, 1972-73, no.84, recto repr. (c.1635); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, no.84, recto repr. pl.XIX (c.1635); Schatborn, 1975, pp.12-14, repr. fig.6 (drawn from recent memory – ‘van onthout’); Bernhard, 1976, p.132, repr. recto (c.1635); Schatborn, 1981.I, pp.1 and 3, and no.23, repr. (c.1635); Vogel-Köhn, 1981, no.24, repr. recto and verso (c.1635-38); White, 1984, pp.73 and 208, repr. fig.51 2022 ed., pp.70-71, repr. fig. 52; Exh. Washington-Chicago-Los Angeles, 1985, under no.77 (mid-1630s); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.49, n.5; Corpus, 3, 1989, p.83 (general relationship with genre elements in Berlin grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching [Bredius 555; Wetering 110]); Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.133 (comparing Benesch 0274 and Benesch 0401); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, under no.10, n.10; Exh. London, 1992, under no.40 (De Claussin print – see above); Exh. Stockholm, 1992-93, under no.137 (on the verso – c.1635); Schatborn, 1993, pp.167-68 (drawn from recent memory – ‘van onthout’ – and worked up in Benesch 0411); Van Berge-Gerbaud, 1997, repr. p.70 (c.1636); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, no.3, repr. (c.1636); Royalton-Kisch, 1998, p.622 (perhaps as early as 1633, comparing Benesch 0427); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.54, verso repr. fig.112; and under no.55 (c.1636; exh. only in Edinburgh); Van Eck, 2001, p.586; Exh. Vienna, 2004, under no.43, repr (c.1636); Schatborn, 2004, p.36, repr. pl.9; Budapest, 2005, under no.202 (c.1635-36); Exh. Budapest, 2006, p.29; Exh. Dresden, 2006, p.25, repr. fig.8; Exh. Paris, 2006-7 (no catalogue); London, 2010 (online), under no.35 (as Exh. London, 1992); Paris, 2010, no.3, repr. (c.1635-36; notes by Lugt connect with subject of Benesch 0411; both drawings include a step; the Budapest work a ‘second version’; iconography possible included concepts such as Prudence or Obedience; compares Benesch 0140-41; copy etched not by Laurentz but de Claussin); Corpus, 5, 2011, p.38, repr. fig. 37 (argues that here and elsewhere, Rembrandt followed proportions of a child as laid out by Dürer); Exh. New York, 2011, p.88, repr. (c.1635-36); Exh. Paris, 2011, no.7, repr. fig.2; Corpus, 6, 2015, p.544, under no.131 (Rembrandt gave the babies he drew and etched in and around 1635 [Benesch 0401-0403 and Bartsch 125] the head:body ratio of 1:4, probably emulating Dürer); Van de Wetering, 2016, p.115, repr. fig. 90 (influence of Dürer’s book on proportions on those of the child here, and elsewhere); Exh. Leeuwarden-Kassel, 2018-19, pp.69-70, repr. fig.67; Schatborn, 2019, nos 227 [verso] and 236 [recto], repr. (c.1635); Fondation Custodia online: https://collectiononline.fondationcustodia.fr/bronnen/drawings/detail/b821c978-f3b8-25d3-a77b-4151488e9f91/media/4ff45302-2030-836b-fd8b-4d22f47dce65?mode=detail&view=horizontal&q=rembrandt%20Benesch&rows=1&page=30&sort=order_s_preferred_artist%20asc [last updated June 2020; accessed 13 August 2022].
PROVENANCE: H. Roland and G. Delbanco (dealers), from whom acquired by Frits Lugt (L.1028), 15 February, 1937.
 See Schatborn in Paris, 2010, no.3.
 Schatborn, loc. cit., compares the documentary drawing, Benesch 0142 recto, of c.1633-34 but dates the present drawing c.1635-36. He hints on a connection with the types of figures found in the Berlin grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching (Bredius 555; Wetering 110, where dated 1633-34).
 An impression in the British Museum shows the print in the earlier state, undated state (Fig.a; 1895,0915.1423). Schatborn notes another print, formerly ascribed (by Benesch, 1954/73) to Johann Daniel Laurentz but which he attributes to De Claussin. As well as copying from the present sheet, it includes motifs from (or close to) Benesch 0155, Benesch 0190, Benesch 0194, recto and verso, Benesch 0385, Benesch 0677 and Benesch 0678, as well as from other sketches which are now unknown.
 For an album of drawings of woman and children that belonged to Jan van de Cappelle and to which in theory this drawing may have belonged, see Benesch 0194. The drawing could possibly have belonged to De Claussin – see further n.3.
First posted 8 October 2018.
Benesch 0403A (Benesch Addenda 5)
Subject: A Woman with a Child in her Arms, seen from behind
Verso: A Man’s Head in Profile to Left
Medium: Black chalk. The verso with later work by another hand in grey wash and with the tip of the brush in grey.
Inscribed in red chalk, upper left: “ No.8”; numbered on the verso in pen and brown ink, lower right: “1820” (by Sparre) and “206” (by Mariette, crossed out).
53 x 60. Watermark: none; chain lines: 26.
COMMENTS: See the comments to Benesch 0403 verso, to which this drawing is stylistically and technically inseparable. The subject and composition are close to Benesch 0228, which seems to be somewhat later in date. Later still is the similar mother with a child on the right of the etching, The Triumph of Mordechai, of c.1641 (Bartsch 44; NH 185).
The verso of the present sheet was catalogued by Hofstede de Groot in 1906 as by Rembrandt, though strangely he omitted mention of the recto (which he would have called the verso). The grey wash is clearly later, and reminiscent in this respect of Benesch 0745. It has been pointed out that the chalk outlines have also almost all been strengthened with the tip of a brush, undermining the quality of the work as a whole and, apprised of this fact, there seems to be little reason to doubt that the original black chalk thumbnail sketch is by Rembrandt himself. Unusually, the style of the verso appears to be later than the recto, from the mid-1640s like Benesch 0745. A lesser date gap between the recto and verso is a feature of the related drawing, Benesch 0403.
Condition: Good; it is clear from the recto that the sheet was cut to privilege the verso.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
Date: c.1635 (verso c.1646).
COLLECTION: S Stockholm, Nationalmuseum (L.1638; inv.2018/1863).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1578 (lists verso only); Stockholm, 1920, no.IV, 44 (the verso a school work); Sumowski, 1956, pp.233-4 (c1639-40 [the recto]; attributes recto to Rembrandt; compares figures in Triumph of Mordechai, Bartsch 44; NH 185 ); Benesch, VI, 1957, Add 5, repr. fig.1713 (c.1635; compared Benesch 0403 verso); Benesch, II, 1973, no.403A, repr. fig.484 (as Benesch, 1957); Vogel-Köhn, 1971, no.25; Exh. Stockholm, 1992, no.132, repr.; Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, p.9; Paris, 2010, under no.3; Magnusson, 2018, no.6, repr. recto and verso (compares Benesch 0370 and for subject, Benesch 0228); Schatborn, 2019, nos 228 [recto] and 229 [verso], repr. (c.1635).
PROVENANCE: Roger de Piles?; Pierre Crozat (Mariette, p.101); Count Carl Gustav Tessin (1695-1770; List, 1739-42, p.46v; Cat., 1749, livre 15, no.55); 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.1820), whence transferred to the Royal Museum and then in 1866 to the present repository.
 As noted by Sumowski, 1956 (see Literature above).
 Magnusson, 2018, no.6 (online at https://docplayer.net/21364460-Rembrandt-harmensz-van-rijn-leiden-1606-amsterdam-1669.html, accessed 26 October 2018).
First posted 27 October 2018.
Subject: A Bedroom with a Woman in Bed (Saskia)
Verso: Inscriptions only.
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink and wash, touched with white bodycolour, on paper prepared light brown; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
Inscribed verso lower centre in pen and brown ink: “a 42” and lower right, in graphite: “HDG.1299” [the number in Hofstede de Groot, 1906]
177 x 241. Watermark: none; chain lines: 25v.
COMMENTS: The woman is likely to be Saskia, represented perhaps soon after giving birth: a wicker nursing couch is on the floor beside the bed for the use of a nurse. A similar couch was depicted in a painting attributed to Esaias Boursse now in the Grohmann Museum, Milwaukee School of Engineering (Fig.a).
For the subject, compare for example, Benesch 0426, which however shows a different room and is drawn in a more disciplined manner, more like a work of art in its own right. It may date from somewhat later. Closer is Benesch 0413, a sadly reworked drawing, the attribution of which to Rembrandt has been questioned (though I am inclined to retain it). The style and the technique of iron-gall ink on paper prepared with brown wash suggests a date c.1638-39 (see under Benesch 0157), the period during which Rembrandt and Saskia’s first daughter (and second child), Cornelia, lived and died (baptised 22 July, 1638 and buried 22 days later, on 13 August 1638). At that time Rembrandt and Saskia were living at a house called the Suijkerbackerij (“Sugar Bakery” or “Confectionery”) on the Binnen Amstel, into which he had moved before the end of 1637, and in which he remained until May 1639, when he took possession of the house on the Breestraat – the present Museum het Rembrandthuis.
Benesch 0255, in which the model is seen from close to, may have been made at around the same time. A similar situation is seen in the apparently earlier drawing, Benesch 0282. Comparison has also been made with an emblem illustration designed by Adriaen van de Venne for Johannes de Brune’s “Emblemata of Zinne-werck”, published in 1614 (emblem XIII on p.101). But there seems to be no reason to believe that Rembrandt here had an emblematic riddle or meaning in mind when he made the drawing.
For the subject and a possible early provenance with Jan van de Cappelle, see also under Benesch 0194.
Condition: Generally good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum (L.2228; inv. RP-T-1930-53).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, II, 96; Exh. The Hague, 1902, no.50; Exh. Leiden, 1906, no.74; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no. 1299 (c.1635-40); Exh. Paris, 1908, no.399 (1635-40); Saxl, 1908, p.342; Schmidt-Degener, 1908, p.101; Hofstede de Groot, 1909, no.34; Hofstede de Groot, 1912, p.71 (c.1635-40); Amsterdam, 1913, p.12; Exh. Amsterdam, 1913, no.73; Exh. Leiden, 1916, no.15 (c.1635); Seidlitz, 1917, p.253 (not Rembrandt); Exh. Paris, 1921, no.61; Becker, 1923, no.25 (1635-42); Valentiner, 1923, pp.277-78, repr. fig.1 (c.1635); Benesch, 1925, p.31, reprinted 1970, p.89; De Lint, 1930, pp.97-98, repr. Fig.53; Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.53 (c.1635); Hind, 1932, p.125; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.697 (c.1636; low vessel also appears in Benesch 0282); Benesch, 1935, p.22 (1635); Exh. Chicago, 1935-36, no.30 (c.1636); Amsterdam, 1942, no.24, repr. pl.15 (c.1639); Van Gelder, 1946, VI, p.24, repr. p.15 (c.1636); Exh. Dortmund, 1949, no.57 (c.1639); Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, no.61 (c.1635); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.404, repr. fig.463/486 (c.1635; shows house in Nieuwe Doelenstraat); Van Eeghen, 1956, p.144; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.54 (c.1636-37); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.77 (c.1635-40); Goldstein, 1956, p.46, repr. and p.132 (1636); Gantner, 1964, p.142, n.2; Descargues, 1965, repr. p.199 (detail); Redeker, 1965, p.26, repr.; Slive, 1965, no.328 (1636-39); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.11, n.1; Exh. Amsterdam, 1967, no.2; Gerson, 1968, p.479, repr. fig.d; Haak, 1968, p.129, repr. fig.197; Munich, 1973, p.156, under no.1099; Rosenberg, 1973, pp.105-6; Bernhard, 1976, p.135 (c.1635); Clark, 1978, p.76, repr. fig.75; Amsterdam, 1985, no.11, repr. (1638, July, just prior to birth of first Cornelia); Exh. Amsterdam, 1987-88, no.18; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.I, p.80, repr. fig.20b; Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, under no.9, repr.; Starcky, 1999, p.17; Dudok van Heel, 2000, pp.23 and 26, repr. fig.38; Westermann, 2000, pp.146 and 149, repr. fig.91; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.77, repr. (c.1638); Exh. Dresden, 2004, pp.184 and 214, under no.103; Exh. Amsterdam, 2006, pp.41-44, repr. fig.35 (1638; uncertain if Saskia; influence of Johannes de Brune emblem designed by Van de Venne); Exh. Paris, 2006-7.I, p.15, repr. fig.6; Broos, 2012, pp.114-15, repr. fig.29; Amsterdam, 2017 (online), accessed 28/10/2018 (as Amsterdam, 1985); This Catalogue Online, 29 October 2018; Exh. Dresden, 2019, p.140, repr. fig.33 (c.1638); Schatborn, 2019, no.307 and p.143, repr. (c.1638).
PROVENANCE: Jan Pieter, Count van Suchtelen, St Petersburg (L.2332; not individually described in his sale catalogue, Paris, Blaisot, 4 June, 1862); Remigius [Remy] Adrianus van Haanen, Vienna; his student, Hermine Lang-Laris, Munich (1900), from whom purchased in 1900 (with nine other drawings) by Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, by whom presented in 1906 to the present repository with usufrucht until 1930.
 Sold Sotheby’s, London, 26 April, 2007, lot 40. See also Thornton, 1978, p. 204, repr. pl. 198.
 See Strauss and Van der Meulen, 1979, , p. 146, 1637/7 (17 December 1637, documenting the sale of Rembrandt’s copperplate of Abraham and Hagar to Samuel d’Orta), a contract in which he states that he is living on the Binnen Amstel. Rembrandt still gave the Binnen Amstel address in his seventh letter to Constantijn Huygens in February, 1639 (op. cit., 1639/6). On 5 January, 1639, he purchased the present Rembrandthuis, and was to take possession of it on 1 May of that year (op. cit., 1639/1).
 As noted by Valentiner, II, 1934, no.697.
 See Exh. Amsterdam, 2006, pp.41-44.
First posted 29 October 2018.
Subject: Saskia in Bed, a Maid or Nurse Seated Beside Her
Verso: See inscriptions.
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, heightened with white and with some later grey wash; ruled framing lines in pen and greyish brown ink.
Inscribed recto in pen and brown ink: “4983” and lower right, in blue ink: “80”; verso, in violet ink below: “Inv. No.1402” and in graphite: “W”, “HdG 418” and “Rembrandt”
227 x 164. Watermark: Strasburg lily in a crowned shield (cut); chain lines: 27-29h (but not straight).
COMMENTS: In this astonishingly vivid representation, presumably of Saskia, Rembrandt characterises his wife with great economy. Her expressive facial features are rendered with remarkable accuracy and parsimony, with minuscule open circles worthy of a miniaturist depicting the focus of her gaze. Her head propped up on her hand in what was a commonplace indication of melancholy (though whether that was Rembrandt’s intention here is debatable, as with Benesch 0250), she is accompanied in the foreground by a maid or nurse, though there is no sign of a child. The maid and the outer surroundings are broadly executed, creating a balanced repoussoir for the scene.
Having drawn the main figure and the bed with some care in pen and brown ink, the drawing was worked up with wash. First, this was subtly applied, creating shadows chiefly on and just above the figure; subsequently, darker and more forceful, vigorous strokes, often supplanting the underlying work in pen, delineated the maid and her shadow, as well as and strengthening the effect of the curtains. Yet broader accents, now mostly with the flat of the brush at the top and to the right, suggested a canopy and a further curtain and/or post to the right. As noted above, this creates a dark repoussoir that enhances the balance of the composition. The drawing’s remarkable luminosity is somewhat undermined by some touches of grey wash in the lower section of the sheet, which appear also in the chair in an attempted clarification of its structure.
For the date, among the documentary drawings, the sketch for the etching of the Great Jewish Bride of 1635 (Benesch 0292) exhibits a comparable diversity of touch, from the subtler touches in and behind the head of the figure to the more sweeping lines in the drapery. At this period, Rembrandt and Saskia were living in the Nieuwe Doelenstraat and the drawing may depict Saskia when she was either pregnant with or had recently given birth to their short-lived first son, Rumbartus (baptised 15 December, 1635; buried 15 February, 1636). It might be objected that Saskia looks somewhat older than her then 23 years, but the stylistic evidence is less persuasive for a later date. It should also be noted that in Benesch 0404, which is datable later and was probably drawn in Rembrandt’s house on the Binnen Amstel, the light enters from a window near the top end of the bed, whereas here it comes from behind the spectator. This argues against dating the drawing in the period when the artist and Saskia lived in the Binnen Amstel house, between 1637 and 1639 (see further under Benesch 0404).
Condition: Generally good; trimmed above and below; some later grey wash (on which see further above); stains in top corners.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: D Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung (L.2723; inv.1402).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Munich, 1884-93, no.47a; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.418 (c.1636; compares the etching, Bartsch 369; NH 177); Lippmann, IV, 5; Saxl, 1908, p.534; Neumann, 1918, p.119, repr. fig.41; Neumann, 1918.I, no.85, repr. (the nures a later addition); Stockholm, 1920, p.52; Graul, 1924, p.7; Benesch, 1925, p.31; Kauffmann, 1922, pp.126-27; Paris, 1933, under no.1186; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.699; Benesch, 1935, p.22; Prinz, 1945, p.39; Benesch, 1947, no.62, repr.; Münz, 1952, II, p.86, under no.175; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.405, repr. fig.461/488 (c.1635; compares Benesch 0282 and Benesch 0289, and the repoussoir to Benesch 0406); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, no.55; Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.79; Van Eeghen, 1956, p.145, repr.; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.9; Munich, 1958, no.83; Pont, 1958, p.63; Rosenberg, 1964, p.239, repr. fig.199; Slive, 1965, II, no.443; Exh. Munich, 1966-67, no.16; Haak, 1969, p.129; Munich, 1973, no.1099, repr. pl.307; Exh. Munich, 1983-84, no.73; Baudiquoy, 1984, p.138; Corpus, 3, 1989, p.83 (general relationship with genre elements in Berlin grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching [Bredius 555; Wetering 110]); Exh. London, 1992, under no.19 (comparing position of the nurse in Benesch 0286); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.43, repr.; London, 2010 (online), under no.15 (as Exh. London, 1992); Exh. Munich Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.17, repr. (compares Benesch 0425; woman not necessarily Saskia; probably drawn in the Binnen Amstel house, 1637-39; compares Benesch 0282 as a variant); Exh. New York, 2012-13; Exh. Dresden, 2019, no.26.4, repr. (c.1638); Schatborn, 2019, no.297, repr. (c.1637).
PROVENANCE: Elector (Kurfürst) Carl Theodor (1724-1799), Munich.
 For other examples, see Ozaki, 1984 and cf. Benesch 0244.
 They moved into the house on 1 May 1635 (Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, no.1635/1) and still lived there in February 1635, as Rembrandt mentions it his first letter to Constantijn Huygens (ibid., 1636/1).
 See Benesch 0194 for a possible earlier provenance in an album owned by Jan van de Cappelle.
First posted 31 October 2018.
Subject: Figures at a Doorway
Verso: laid down on a 19th-century blue card mat.
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink with brown wash, corrected with white, on paper prepared with brown wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown (bistre) ink.
Pen and brown ink; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
Inscribed upper right in brown ink with an ‘f’-like symbol, perhaps a collector’s mark.
240 x 189. Watermark: none visible; chain lines: horizontal (distance apart uncertain)
COMMENTS: Despite the drawing’s condition, the abstract effect of the light remains extraordinary and must have been the major focus of Rembrandt’s attention. Striking contrasts are engendered by the bright illumination as it floods through the doorway and transforms two of the figures into shadowy masses, which in turn cast further patches of darkness onto the floor and walls. The immediacy of the drawing suggests that Rembrandt made it from life. A bearded man stands beyond the threshold, and despite the fact that he was only cursorily outlined and then subsequently erased, perhaps with a stroke of a wet thumb, his pensive frame of mind is well characterised. Equally, the nearer, seated woman, observed from behind as a monolithic form, seems fully described as she enjoys the sunlight, which glances off her cap, and perhaps busies her hands with some embroidery. The figure beside her, perhaps a child if not a woman seated on a chair (in which case she is perhaps Saskia), gazes out to an unseen part of the horizon, where on the right a group of houses was added after the standing man had been erased. The woman standing on the right, at first sketched in an upright pose, was revised to bend forward a little, so that she interacts with the other figures more closely, though still looking out of the door. The poetry of the moment is enhanced by this correction, and strengthened by the setting: the darkness within the door-frame imparts a sense of almost menacing gloom as it checks the flood of light penetrating the interior. Rembrandt revisited this concept when he portrayed his friend Jan Six in his etching of 1647 (Bartsch 285; NH 238).
Benesch 0407, represents a similar situation, with three women and a child at a doorway. But while that sketch appears to date from the 1640s, the present drawing is datable through its use of iron-gall ink to c.1638-39 (see under Benesch 0157). In style it closely resembles some of the documentary drawings in this medium, in particular Benesch 0423 recto and verso. The iron-gall ink is acidic and has not only corroded the paper but also discoloured from black to brown. Some of the effects of the drawing have therefore altered – some of the boldest lines have turned a ghostly grey, while others have spread into the sheet as if it were blotting paper. Yet the drawing retains its power, whether in its individual characterisations or in its overall, abstract effects, which are brushed in with meltingly suggestive streaks of ink of a kind that were only fully re-evoked 250 years later, in drawings and monotypes by Edgar Degas.
A similar mise-en-scene, enhanced with brown wash in equally stark chiaroscuro, was employed in a follower’s drawing of Pilate Washing his Hands that was on the Swiss art market in 2015.
Condition: The iron-gall ink has corroded the paper and in places discoloured to greyish white, like mildew; the corrosion has caused a large crack in the back of the foreground chair and two sections of the paper at the left edge have become torn, the lower one separated.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: Private Collection CH, Geneva (Krugier; inv.4841).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, III, 19; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.739; Valentiner, 1907, no.780, repr.; Exh. Paris, 1908, no.413; Neumann, 1918, no.13; Meder, 1923, repr. fig.316; Bode and Valentiner, 1925-34, no.2, repr.; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.780, repr (c.1636; erroneously as in Musée Bonnat, Bayonne); Benesch, 1935, p.23; Benesch, 1947, no.61, repr.; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.406, repr. (c.1635; erroneously as in Bayonne; compares Benesch 0407 and 0408); Exh. Paris, 1956, no.134; Marx, 1960, repr. fig.43; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.27; Slive, 1965, no.351, repr.; Exh. Paris, 1970, no.152, repr.; Benesch, 1970, p.89; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.27, note 1; Corpus, 3, 1989, p.83 (general relationship with genre elements in Berlin grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching [Bredius 555; Wetering 110]); Exh. New York-Geneva, 1990-91, no.1, repr.; Exh. Berlin-Venice-Madrid-Geneva-Paris-Munich, 1999/2007; Exh. Paris, 2002, no.54, repr. (c.1639; entry by MRK); Exh. Munich, 2007 (entry by Holm Bevers), no.46, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.300, repr. (c.1638).
PROVENANCE: Thomas Hudson (Lugt 2432); Joshua Reynolds (Lugt 2364); Earl of Aylesford (Lugt 58); his sale, London, Christie’s, 17-18 July 1893, lot 268; Léon Bonnat (Lugt 1714); Martine, Comtesse de Béhague; Marquis de Ganay; his sale, Monaco, Sotheby’s, 1 December 1989, lot 71, bt by the present owner.
 The label of the framer is on the backing board: P. Galès, 1088d de Courcelles.
 Sale, Zurich, Koller, 27 March, 2015, lot 3423, repr. (pen and brown ink with brown wash, 180 x 185). As pointed out by Bevers in the catalogue, the drawing is based on one in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout by Bevers, 2010, p.57, repr. fig.22 (not in Berlin, 2018).
 For a possible early provenance in an album owned by Jan van de Cappelle, see under Benesch 0194.
First posted 3 November 2018.
Subject: Three Women and a Child by a Door
Verso: See Inscriptions.
Medium: Pen and brown ink; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
Inscribed verso: upper right, in graphite: “ deVos 424” (the lot no. in the De Vos sale, 1883); lower left, in blue crayon: “30”; lower centre, in graphite: “H.17” (the Amsterdam, 1942 cat. no.); lower right, in graphite: “1194” (the Hofstede de Groot cat. no.)
233 x 178. Watermark: Strasbourg lily in a shield, surmounted by a crown, the letters PR below (see Amsterdam, 1985, cat. no. 27, repr. p. 237); similar to Ash and Fletcher 1998, variant E´.a., p. 201 (1637-1654); Churchill, no. 378 (1636); Hinterding, Strasburg lily-E-a (1635); Laurentius 472 (1648); chain lines: 22-23v.
COMMENTS: For the subject, compare Benesch 0406. Benesch 0408, though not by Rembrandt himself, depicts a comparable situation.
The style varies between the highly detailed, seated old woman and the loosely-drawn child in the foreground. While, like the subject, the style, especially in the more carefully worked old woman, has affinities with drawings of the mid-1630s, the date to which it has often previously been assigned – cf. Benesch 0409 and Benesch 0411, for example. Yet there are also links in the remainder of the drawing with Rembrandt’s more liquid handling of the 1640s, as in the documentary drawings Benesch 0388, Benesch 0500a, Benesch 0759 and Benesch 0762a, and some commentators have preferred to place the drawing as late as the mid-1640s. However, the watermark is identical to that found on Benesch 0300 (qv), so that on balance, a date c.1639-40 appears most likely, despite the disparity of styles employed in the two drawings.
Condition: Lightly foxed; a stain at the top left corner.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum (L.2228; inv. RP-T-1889-A-2056).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, II, 25; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no. 1194; Saxl, 1908, p.337; Kleinmann, I, 1913, no.41; Stockholm, 1920, p.52; Freise, Wichmann and Lilienfeld, 1921, no.1194; Wichmann, 1924, p.780 (by Maes); Benesch, 1925, p.31, reprinted 1970, p.89 (1634-35); Valentiner, II, 1934, no. 779, repr. (c. 1636); Benesch, 1935, p.23 (1634-35); Exh. Chicago, 1935-36, no.29; Exh Worcester, 1936, no.28; Exh. Amsterdam, 1939, no.14 (c.1641); Wichmann, 1940, p.16, no.29 (c.1636); Amsterdam, 1942, no. 17, repr. pl.10 (c. 1635; old woman resembles Rembrandt’s mother); Poortenaar, 1943, pp.27-28, no.86; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no. 407, repr. fig.457/490 (c. 1635; compares Benesch 0406, Benesch 0408 and for style, Benesch 0409); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.65 (c.1635-40); Exh. Brussels-Hamburg, 1961, no.51; Slive, 1965, no.242 (c.1635-40); Fuchs, 1968, p.13, repr. fig.13 (c.1635-40; from life); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no. 63 (c.1640); Van der Waals, 1969, p.102; Exh. Paris, 1970, under no.152; Kiel, 1971, p.164; Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, no.89 (c.1640); Exh. Milan, 1970, no.13 (c.1638); Exh. New York-Boston-Chicago, 1972-73, no.89 (c.1640); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, no.89 (c.1640); Bernhard, 1976, p.104 (c.1635); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VIII, under no.1821x; Amsterdam, 1981, under no.12, n.6; Vogel-Köhn, 1981, no.20 and pp.9, 16, 37-39 (c.1635-38); Exh. Amsterdam, 1983.I, no.76; Amsterdam, 1985, no. 27, repr.(mid-1640s); Exh. Vienna-Amsterdam, 1989-90, no.42, repr. (c.1645); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.I, p. 19, repr. fig. 11; Amsterdam, 2001, no.50, repr.; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no. 101, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 2006, pp. 62-63, repr. fig.56; Verdi, 2014, p. 161, repr. fig. 143; Amsterdam, 2017 (online; accessed 4 November, 2018; as Amsterdam, 1985); Schatborn, 2019, no.362, repr. (c.1640).
PROVENANCE: Jacob de Vos, Jbzn (1803-78)1 his sale, Amsterdam (C.F. Roos et al.), 22 May 1883 sqq., no. 424, with fifteen other drawings, as school of Rembrandt, fl. 480, to J.H. Balfoort (active 1853-83), Utrecht, for the Vereniging Rembrandt (L. 2135); from whom, fl. 5,049, with 166 other drawings, to the museum (L. 2228), 1889 (purchased with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt, L.2135).
 For a possible early provenance in an album owned by Jan van de Cappelle, see under Benesch 0194.
First posted 5 November 2018.
Subject: Two Women and a Man by a Door
Medium: Pen and brown ink, with brown and dark brown wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink (mostly cut away).
Inscribed verso in pen and brown ink: “Rembrand v. Ryn” and “G”
222 x 145. Watermark: Strasburg Lily with initials PR (cf. Laurentius 473-74, c.1649-50).
COMMENTS: In style the drawing is close to Benesch 0302 and quite probably by the same hand – once again, the handling is reminiscent of Ferdinand Bol though at one remove, too distant to attribute to him. As with Benesch 0302, the subject depends on Rembrandt’s drawings of domestic figures from the mid-1630s onwards, but the style emulates Rembrandt’s liquid handling of the 1640s. The setting appears to depend on Benesch 0407. The watermark is suggestive for the date.
Condition: Tired and with some spotting; a re-attached section at the lower left; the darker wash could be a later addition by another hand.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: NL The Hague, Bredius Museum (inv. T 90-1946).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. The Hague, 1915, no.19 (owned by Bredius); Mededelingen, 1922, p.132; Knuttel, 1926, pp.38 and 46, no.143; Valentiner, II 1934, no.778, repr; Benesch, 1935, p.23; Benesch, 1954/73, no.408, repr. (c.1635; setting as Benesch 0407); The Hague, 1957/79, p.54; The Hague, 1980, p.162, no.T 11, repr. (style of Rembrandt); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Acquired by Abraham Bredius by 1915 (see Exh. The Hague, 1915); bequeathed by Abraham Bredius (1855-1946) to the present repository.
First posted 2 January 2019.
Subject: The Pancake Woman
Medium: Pen and brown ink; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink over black chalk.
Inscribed verso, lower left, in a nineteenth-century hand, in brown ink: “Rembrandt et Compie”; lower centre, in graphite: “de Vos 425” [the lot no. in the 1883 De Vos sale – see Provenance]; above that (with the sheet turned upside down), in graphite: “deGr.1198” [Hofstede de Groot , 1906, cat. no.].
108 x 144. Watermark: none visible; chain lines: horizontal, perhaps 25mm apart (not clear).
COMMENTS: The drawing is usually related to Rembrandt’s etching of the same subject of 1635 and dated by association to around the same time (Fig.a; Bartsch 124; NH 144). Yet the analogies are not especially close, insufficiently so to admit the drawing into the canon of Rembrandt’s ‘documentary’ drawings as a preparatory study for the etching. Some previous writers have dated the drawing later, to around 1640 (see Literature).
In the etching, there are no less than nine figures as well as a dog and a cat, but no tussling boys, no young lad digging deep into his pocket and straining his jaw to pay – the dominant motif in the drawing, magisterially depicted as he raises his knee and ankle, the better to fish out a coin – while the pancake woman herself, who bears little facial or sartorial resemblance to the drawn figure, is seen in fuller profile and is seated on a stool rather than a chair. Neither is she reversed in the etching, as might be expected, particularly as both drawing and etching show her cooking left-handed. (No previous writers appear to have noticed this fact, so perhaps art-historians rarely cook pancakes.) As the characters in the etching are precisely characterised and often worked up in some detail, even in the first state (see Fig.a; in the second state the woman is worked up in yet greater detail, as also the figure immediately beyond her, as well as the cat and the basket), it is quite possible that it was made from life, but the many and crucial differences suggest that the drawing was made on a completely different occasion.
Indeed, to judge from the style, the drawing could well be later than the 1635 etching, perhaps even from the 1640s: a raft of later drawings displays analogies in style. For example, the liquid handling resembles such documentary drawings as Benesch 0482 and Benesch 0500a of 1640 and 1641 respectively. Of the non-documentary works, from the late 1630s one might compare Benesch 0093 of c.1636-38, while Benesch 0189 of the mid-1640s also has analogies in the fluid outlines and in the abbreviated legs and body of the child. Although a date in the mid-1630s, close to the 1635 etching, cannot be entirely discounted, the style speaks for a somewhat later date. Rembrandt’s genre studies of the mid-1630s are generally less free and painterly (compare Benesch 0327, including the woman on the left).
Rembrandt’s ‘pannenkoekenbakster’, especially the etching, has often been compared with the print of the same subject by Jan van de Velde (Fig.b; Hollstein 48). There she appears in profile to right, as in Rembrandt’s etching, but in other respects the analogies are not close to the print or the drawing, least of all in its strong chiaroscuro and indoor setting. A print of a Pancake Woman after Adriaen Brouwer by Theodoor Matham (Fig.c) is slightly closer to the drawing: the woman is more stout but the print includes her chair; it also reminds us that Rembrandt owned “Een stuckie van Ad. Brouwer sijnde een koekebacker” (A small piece [painting] by Ad. Brouwer being a pastry cook).
In the many other representations of this subject in Dutch seventeenth-century art, the woman (it is nearly always a woman) almost invariably holds the pan with her left hand and the knife or spatula in her right. In the etching, her left-handedness is unremarkable, as the image was reversed in the printing process. In the drawing, on the other hand, we have to surmise that Rembrandt drew a left-handed woman, one who, as we have seen, bears little resemblance to the woman in the etching. In the drawing, the contrast between youth and old age is striking, but whether Rembrandt intended to make this an iconographic element is uncertain. The child and dog in the etching inspired the same motif in Benesch 0112 (qv). Other drawings of the same period but by pupils or followers depict pancake-women, including Benesch C19 (which could be by Govert Flinck), Benesch C20 and Benesch 1153 (as discussed by White, 1969, p.157).
Condition: A small portion missing top right, where backing visible, with associated damage.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
Date: 1640? (or 1635??).
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum (L. 2228; inv. RP-T-1891-A-2424).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Waagen, IV, 1857, p.215 (in James collection); Brunet, 1866, p.260 (as Waagen, 1857); Lippmann, II, 86; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no. 1198 (c. 1635); Nijhof, 1906, B.10; Saxl, 1908, p.341 (c.1635); Rentsch, 1909, p.28; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, under no.131, p.24 (1635); Kauffmann, 1919, p.43, n.19, repr. fig.10 and pp.45 and 56, n.45 (c.1640); Stockholm, 1920, p.51; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1921, no.42, p.8; Hind, 1923, under no.141; Weisbach, 1926, p.165; Berlin, 1930, under nos 1136, 2315, 2316 and p.235; Paris, 1933, p.26, under no.1180; Graul, 1934, no.12 (c.1635); Valentiner, II, 1934, no. 760, repr. (c. 1635); Benesch, 1935, p.23 (1635); Wichmann, 1940, p.16, no.22 (c.1635); Heppner, 1941, pp.72-73, repr. fig.8; Amsterdam, 1942, no. 16, repr. (c.1635); Benesch, 1947, no.56 (c.1635); Exh. Basel, 1948, no.6 (c.1635); Van Gelder, 1949, p.207; Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, no.59 (1635); Münz, 1952, under no.257; Benesch, 2, 1954/73, no. 409, repr. fig.455/492 (1635; related to etching); Wegner, 1954.I, p.253; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.31; under no.27; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.262; Trautscholdt, 1961, pp.187 and 192, n.9 (iconographic connection with Jan van de Velde, Buytewech and Brouwer); Slive, 1965, no.318 (c.1635); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.62, repr. (c.1640; relates to 1635 etching but not a direct preliminary study; done from life; cf. subject by Jan van de Velde, Buytewech and Brouwer, referring to Trautscholdt, 1961); Hollstein, 1969, under no.B124 (1635); White, 1969, p.157, repr. fig.228 (1635; describes changes to etching and notes other appearances of pancake-women in works of the period); Dittrich, 1970, p.287, no.3; Exh. Paris, 1970, under no.147; Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, under no.87 (1635); Amsterdam, 1972, p.100, under no.B124 (1635); Exh. New York, 1972-73, no.88 (c.1640); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, no.88 (c.1640); Bernhard, 1976, p.157 (1635); Broos, 1977, p.104; Exh. Boston-St Louis, 1980-81, under no.72; Vogel-Köhn, 1981, pp.10, 17 and 29-30, no.8 (c.1635); Schatborn, 1981.I, p.29, no.28 (c.1635); Bruyn, 1983, p.57 (connection with Brouwer); Exh. Amsterdam, 1983.I, no.75; Exh. Philadelphia-Berlin-London, 1984, p.xlix and p.163, n.4, repr. fig.82; Amsterdam, 1985, no. 6, repr.; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.I, p.194, n.5, repr. fig.19b; White, 1999, p. 176, fig. 238; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, under no. 28, repr. fig. c; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, p. 128, under no. 47, repr. fig. 109; Exh. Rome, 2002-03, pp. 126-27, under no. 28, repr. fig. b; Exh. Amsterdam, 2006, pp. 54 and 58, repr. fig. 52 (c.1635; [with fine understanding of Rembrandt’s powers of observation here]); Slive, 2009, p. 93, repr. fig. 8.1 (1633-37); Corpus, 5, 2011, p. 41, repr. fig. 42 (on Rembrandt’s interest in children and their proportions, influenced by Dürer); Schatborn, 2011, p.319, repr. fig.68 (not a direct preliminary study and therefore not a documentary drawing); Exh. New York, 2016, p.37, repr. fig.23; Exh. Paris, 2016-17, no. 31, repr.; Amsterdam, 1917, hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.collect.28125 [accessed 11 January 2019]; Schatborn, 2019, no.235 and p.143, repr. (c.1635; women and children common in genre studies).
PROVENANCE: Edward James (see Waagen, IV, 1857, p.215); Jacob de Vos Jbzn (L.1450); his sale, Amsterdam, Roos et al., 22 May and following days, 1883, lot 425, as school of Rembrandt (“Dessins divers. Lot de sept pièces. A la plume et lavés de bistre”?), all bt R.W.P. de Vries (dealer), f.180, for the Vereniging Rembrandt (Rembrandt Society), from which acquired by the present repository, 1891.
 See Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011 (and the introduction to the present catalogue).
 Hollstein 148 and Exh. Boston-St Louis, 1980-81, no.61. The print is perhaps based or inspired by a design by Willem Buytewech, by whom a similar drawing is in Leipzig (see Exh. Paris-Rotterdam, 1974-7, no.37).
 Hollstein 34, as pointed out by Luijten in Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001 under no.28.
 Strauss and Van der Meulen, 1656/12, no. 1. There is also a painting of a Pancake Woman formerly attributed to Brouwer but now regarded as the work of a follower in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. John G. Johnson Collection (inv.680 – see John G. Johnson collection. Catalogue of Flemish and Dutch paintings, Philadelphia, 1972, p. 13). As a precedent, Schatborn, 2017, points to a print by Pieter van der Heyden after Hieronymus Bosch which includes an elderly woman, seen from the side, making waffles (Hollstein 25).
 Other representations include a painting by Gerrit Dou of c.1650-1655 (Florence, Uffizi); a drawing attributed to Govert Flinck from the Regteren Altena Collection (his sale, London, Christie’s, 10 December, 2014, lot 172, repr.); a painting by Jan Miense Molenaar (Haarlem, Frans Hals Museum); a painting by Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingelandt (sale, New York, Christie’s, 29 January, 2014, lot 28); a painting by Quiringh van Brekelenkam (sale, London, 7 July, 2017, lot 195); and a painting by Pieter Gerritsz. van Roestraten (The Hague, Museum Bredius)
 An exception, again ascribed to the school of Brouwer, is also in Philadelphia (inv.681; ibid. [see n.3 above], p.13-14).
 The only exception I have found is in the background of a painting by David Teniers, The King Drinks, in The Prado, Madrid (inv. P001797).
 Boeck, 1953, remains the classic discussion of right and left in Rembrandt’s prints, but while on p.218 he mentions the etching, he does not remark on the left-handed cook.
First posted 24 January 2019.
Subject: A Woman in Bed and a Nurse
Verso: Blank (except Stroganoff mark, L.550).
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink (partly trimmed away).
178 x 147.
COMMENTS: Despite analogies of the situation seen in Benesch 0405, only in the hatching at the lower right and in the curtains, especially at the upper right, does the drawing resemble Rembrandt in style (compare for the hatching the documentary drawing, Benesch 0292 and for the curtains, Benesch 0281 and Benesch 0282). The wash at the lower right is boldly applied in the manner of Benesch 0303 and, therefore, might in my view be an addition or correction by Rembrandt, perhaps also with some of the hatching and other wash. Overall, however, despite a certain verve, the slackness and lack of structure in the two figures and the chair appear far removed from Rembrandt, as do the overly dark and crude horizontal strokes on the bed between the two figures. The drawing could be by a pupil working alongside Rembrandt at or around the same time as he made Benesch 0405, though overall the liquid handling seems more redolent of the mid-1640s. In several respects – the pockets of hatching and loose treatment of the figures – the drawing is reminiscent of Govert Flinck but an attribution to him or another pupil does not appear fully tenable.
Condition: Generally good, though with spotting and foxing.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (possibly retouched by Rembrandt with wash).
Date: c.1635-36 or (more probably) later.
COLLECTION: NL Groningen, Groninger Museum (inv.1931-193).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Amsterdam, 1913, no.74; Teding van Berkhout, 1913, no.20; Exh. Leiden, 1916, no.65; Von Seidlitz, 1917, p.254, no.L65; Exh. The Hague, 1930, I, no.93; Exh. Groningen, 1931, no.94; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.698; Benesch, 1935, p.58; Exh. Groningen, 1952, no.65; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.410, repr. fig.465/493 (c.1636; the scene the same as Benesch 0405, but later; compares Benesch 0301-4); Exh. The Hague, 1955, no.41; Groningen, 1967, no.58, repr. p.184 (doubtful and close to P. Koninck in style; Van Regteren Altena suggested the drawing made by candlelight); Berlin, 2018, under no.141 (same hand as Benesch 0303 and close to Benesch 0425); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: William Esdaile (no mark); his sale, London,, Christie’s, 18 June, 1840, lot 1046 (the foregoing according to Groningen, 1967, and earlier writers but it is exceptional for an ex-Esdaile drawing to have neither his nor Thomas Lawrence’s mark); Count G. Stroganoff (L.550); Colnaghi’s, London (dealer); A. Strölin, Paris (dealer); Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, by whom bequeathed to the present repository in 1914 (with usufruct till 1931).
 Benesch 0303 was compared by Bevers in Berlin, 2018, under no.141 (rejecting both drawings).
First posted 26 January 2019.
Subject: A Woman with a Child Frightened by a Dog
Medium: Pen and brown ink; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
Inscribed in graphite, lower right: “Rembrant”
182 x 145. Watermark: none; chain lines: 28h (11-12 laid lines/cm).
COMMENTS: The drawing relates in subject to Benesch 0403 and in format, subject and style to Benesch 0401. It is a likely candidate to have been in the album of drawings of the lives of women and children that belonged to the artist Jan van de Cappelle (see under Benesch 0194). At more of a tangent is the motif of a child and dog in the etching of 1635, The Pancake Woman (Bartsch 124; NH 144, see under Benesch 0409).
The nib of the pen is finely cut so that the lines are often of uniform strength, lending the drawing something of the quality of an etching made in one bite. This, combined with the pockets of finely executed parallel hatching and the interest in detail, relates it in style to Benesch 0120, believed to date from 1638. This is somewhat later than the present drawing is usually dated (c.1635-36), but I can see no objections to placing it in this period. A comparable, elderly woman looking out of a window appears in the etching of The Expulsion of Hagar of 1637 (Bartsch 30; NH 166) and a date of c.1637-38 is therefore proposed here.
The drawing is rightly regarded as an extraordinary tour-de-force of characterisation, not just of the child and other characters, but also of a momentary situation. Benesch 0403 recto appears to have been made as a prelude to this drawing, in which the composition is elaborated and the hound changed to a beast of more alarming proportions to heighten the drama. The woman’s basket, empty in Benesch 0403, is here replete with vegetables, suggests that she and the child are freshly returned from the market. The pentimento in the mother’s left hand, which originally held the child further back, adds to the sense of movement, as does the alteration in the position of the child’s right foot.
Etched by Joseph Schmidt.
Condition: Good; some foxing, mostly at upper left.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: H Budapest, Szépművészeti Múzeum (inv.1589).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Weigel, 1805, no.7610; Dutuit, 1885, p.87; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1387 (c.1635); Térey, 1909, pl.18; Meller, 1915, lx, no.2; Weisbach, 1926, repr. fig.28; Berlin, 1930, p.234; Exh. Budapest, 1932, no.146 (follower of Rembrandt); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.782, repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.23; Benesch, 1938, p.46; Exh. Budapest, 1950 (Rembrandt?); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.410, repr. fig.460/494 (c.1636; compares Benesch 0403 and greyhound to Benesch 0116; head upper right’s geometry compared with Benesch 0401-0402; entrance is to a cellar); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, suppl. No.44a, repr. fig.74; Exh. Budapest, 1965, no.44; Exh. Budapest, 1967, no.97; Exh. Vienna, 1967, no.76; Scheidig, 1969, p.42, no.34; Exh. Leningrad (St Petersburg), 1970, no.82; Haak, 1974, pp.18 and 20, no.17, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, under no.84; Vogel-Köhn, 1974, no.23; Schatborn, 1975, pp.12-13, repr. fig.7 (Van de Cappelle album); Bernhard, 1976, p.186; Gerzi, 1976, p.26, no.41; Exh. Paris-Antwerp-London-New York, 1979–80, under no.68; Vogel-Köhn, 1981, pp.23 and 213, repr. fig.23; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.49, n.6; Exh. Washington-Chicago-Los Angeles, 1985, no.77; Gerszi et al., 1988, no.77; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, under no.10, n.10; Exh. Stockholm, 1992-93, under no.137; Schatborn, 1993, pp.167-68 (worked up from Benesch 0403; cf. Michelangelo’s Bruges Madonna and Rembrandt’s Ganymede [Bredius 471; Wetering 137); Exh. Budapest, 1999, no.89; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.55 (1636); Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.43; Budapest, 2005, no.202, repr. (c.1635-36); Exh. Budapest, 2006, p.29, and no.35, repr. p.30 (c.1635-36); Schatborn, 2019, no.237 and pp.17 and 143, repr. (c.1635; Benesch 0403 a preparation; women and children common in genre studies).
PROVENANCE: Count Nowohratsky-Kollowrath; Prince Nikolaus II Esterházy (1765–1833; his inv.28.11 as Rembrandt; L.1955 and L.1956), whose collection acquired in 1871 by the Országos Képtár (National Gallery/Landesbildergalerie, Budapest, L.2000), from which transferred to the present repository, which opened in 1906.
 Benesch rightly compared the dogs to those in Benesch 0116.
 In his “Recueil d’Estampes d’après les Desseins originaux qui se trouvent à Prague dans la Collection du François Antoine Comte Nowohratsky-Kollowrath” of c.1800.
First posted 29 January 2019.
Subject: A Child Trying to Walk Between Two Standing Women; a sketch of a head
Verso: See Inscriptions.
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash and some later (posthumous) grey wash on paper prepared light brown; ruled framing lines in pen and grey ink.
Inscribed verso in graphite: “de Vos 424” and (lower right): “523”; lower left in blue crayon: “31”
170 x 128. Watermark: none; chain lines: 24-25v.
COMMENTS: The subject, with a child making some early steps, relates to such drawings as Benesch 0391, Benesch 0421-22 and Benesch 1169, and to the etching of the Male Nude, Seated and Standing of around 1646, which has a child in a baby-walker in the background (Bartsch 0194; NH 233).
But in contrast, the style relates to Benesch 0732 and 0732a, connections that somewhat undermine the attribution to Rembrandt. When the drawing was rejected by Schatborn in 1985, I concurred at the time, but his tentative attribution to Carel Fabritius still remains to my mind problematic. Comparisons to support the idea were made with drawings such as Benesch 0500 and Hofstede de Groot 1168 (Amsterdam, 1985, no.62; Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, no.16); but although these drawings are certainly not by Rembrandt, they share with the present work no more than a general simplification of the outlines but they lack the sense of structure seen here. In addition, they are (a) only tangentially connected with Fabritius’s work – there is no direct relationship with any of his paintings – and (b) not persuasively linked with the present work either.
Indeed, the analogies with Rembrandt’s own works are as close: the head at the top left of the sheet resembles those outlined in this way in the documentary drawings, Benesch 0142 verso and Benesch 0157 (upper left), as well as in Benesch 0406 (Figs.a-b show two of the details referred to). The latter is also similar in its bold outlines, as are Benesch 0207, Benesch 0292, Benesch 0405 (in the seated figure), Benesch 0300 and Benesch 0381, for example. In Benesch 0412, many of these stronger lines are in a less dark, slightly warmer brown ink than the pen lines and appear to have been drawn with the tip of the brush. The overall effect – of these stronger interventions in particular – is undermined by the later grey wash additions in the hand and skirt of the woman on the left, at the back of the head of the woman on the right, and in the child and its shadow.
Comparison should also be made with the documentary drawing, Benesch 0763, in which the head and face of Sylvius resemble the two women here in the approximation of the pen outlines and in the parallel hatching seen in the heads. Both drawings also contain contrasting, bold, strong lines and touches, whether outlines or pentimenti (for instance, correcting the breast of the woman on the left with a touch that also resembles that in such drawings as Benesch 0289) that share an exceptional confidence and breadth. As noted above, there is an underlying sense of structure, for example in the firm, geometrical corrections to the skirt of the woman on the left, which is unmatched in any of the school drawings.
In the light of these conflicting signals, I am not currently minded to detach the drawing wholly from Rembrandt, as the connections with Fabritius appear, if anything, weaker. On the other hand, most of Rembrandt’s drawings also seem to differ (cf. Benesch 0606, for example, with figures of approximately the same scale). It may be that the drawing was begun by a pupil, possibly Fabritius, and then amplified by Rembrandt with the stronger lines in a slightly paler ink, and possibly adding the head at the top left. This hypothesis, though somewhat ungainly, has the merit of explaining most of the analogies with Rembrandt’s work that we have noted. A date c.1640-45 is proposed, contemporary with Fabritius’s time in Rembrandt’s workshop, but also reflecting the similarities with Rembrandt’s drawings in iron-gall ink made in c.1638-39 (see under Benesch 0157).
Condition: Good, though with some light foxing and slight staining, especially in the lower left corner and from a vertical strip that must have traces of glue or else been restored at the top right; the grey wash is later and matches the ink in the framing lines.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (Carel Fabritius??), retouched by Rembrandt?
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum (inv. RP-T-1889-A-2057).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, II, 83; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1195 (a pair to HdG 2059 [Benesch A63; Rijksmuseum inv. RP-T-1889-A-2057]); Baldwin Brown, 1907, p.141; Saxl, 1908, p.341; Rentsch, 1909, p.46; Neumann, 1918, p.120; Kauffmann, 1919, p.56, n.48 (c.1640); Stockholm, 1920, p.52, repr. fig.60 (1640-50); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1921, no.39 (after 1650); Wichmann, 1924, p.780 (Maes); Weisbach, 1926, pp.611 and 616; (1650s); Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.250 (c.1639); Hind, 1932, p.31; Paris, 1933, under no.1186, p.30 (1635-40); Benesch, 1935, p.23 (1635); Exh. Amsterdam, 1939, no.10 (c.1639); Amsterdam, 1941, no.21, repr. pl.13 (1638-39; refutes connection with Benesch A64 made by Hofstede de Groot, 1906, as papers different); Exh. Dortmund, 1949, no.56 (c.1638); Exh. Rome-Florence, 1951, no.73 (c.1642); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.412, repr. fig.468/496 (c.1636; undoubtedly by Rembrandt; compares outlined head at top left with Benesch 0406 and left figure with Benesch 0115; also compares Benesch 0311, 0312 and Benesch 0415); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.102 (c.1641); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.83 (c.1635-40); Exh. Washington-New York-Minneapolis-Boston-Cleveland-Chicago, 1958–59, no.65 (c.1642; may show Tityus); Slive, 1965, no.315 (c.1635-40); Bernhard, 1976, p.168 (c.1636); Amsterdam, 1981, under no.6, n.4; Vogel-Köhn, 1981, no.63 and pp.51 and 57; Amsterdam, 1985, no.65, repr. (attributes to C. Fabritius, 1640s; compares style, which is thought to express form poorly, with other drawings he attributes to Fabritius, including Benesch 0506, Benesch 0702, HdG 1158, 1168 and 1277 and Rijksmuseum inv. RP-T-1881-A-115); Exh. Amsterdam, 2006, p.62, repr. fig.58 (c.1641-43; probably C. Fabritius); Schatborn, 2006, p.138, n.22; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Jacob de Vos Jbzn; his sale, Amsterdam, Roos et al., 22 May 1883 and following days, lot 424, as school of Rembrandt, with five other drawings, bt Balfoort, fl. 480, for the Vereniging Rembrandt (L. 2135; according to an inscription on the drawing); on loan from the Vereniging Rembrandt to the Rijksmuseum (L. 2228), 1883; purchased with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt with 166 other drawings, 1889.
 Amsterdam, 1985, no.65. Benescxh 0412 is not mentioned in Schatborn, 2006.1.
First posted 4 February 2019.
Subject: A Bedroom with a Woman Reclining in Bed, with a Child
Verso: Laid down on a grey card with red ink framing lines and a grey wash strip.
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, and later grey wash prepared pale pinkish brown.
Inscribed lower left, in pen and black ink: “Rembrandt”; on the recto of the mat, lower right: “97”; on the verso of the backing mat, in graphite (nineteenth century?): “Je, soussigne, expert, ayant eu souvent en main [?]/ des dessins de Rembrandt, declare le present episode/ d’interieur comme authentique/E. Julien 12 rue Sauguier-Paris” and, also in graphite: “515.27/Hyge ne”[?]; on the former mount, in curatorial files, in graphite: “The signature is probably added by another hand, / although the drawing is unquestionably by Rembrandt” , and in brown ink: “Very remarkable drawing by Rembrandt about 1635 / made after Saskia when she was expecting a child; in the / [illeg] the large basket used in Holland for child birth. W. R. Valentiner” and in graphite: “Study of Rembrandt’s wife and hi[hidden behind label]not guaranteed to be by Rembrandt” and in graphite: “Rembrandt Original Drawing representing his wife and child in their bedchamber”
185 x 238. Watermark: Strasburg Lily (French mark close to Churchill 544, 1640); chain lines: vertical (distance apart uncertain).
COMMENTS: See the notes to Benesch 0404, to which the present drawing is similar in technique, style and composition. The woman is again probably intended to represent Saskia. But the present drawing has been ruined by extensive and insensitive later additions in grey wash. It flattens the forms, undermines the spatial recession and undermines the quality both generally and in most of the details. The tall wicker chair on the right was misconstrued and made into a doorway.
Benesch illustrated the two drawings on adjacent pages and the comparison lays bare the superior quality of Benesch 0404, even allowing for the condition problems of Benesch 0413. In the now reclining woman , her heavily outlined arm and chin harden the posture. Some of the refined details of the bed (the corner pillars, the swing of the curtains towards the left) are either omitted altogether or seem harsher. For these reasons the drawing has not been published as by Rembrandt since the mid-1980s.
Other changes to the composition include the addition of above-mentioned chair on the right and the replacement of a low bedside table on the left with what appears to be a chair set further to the left in an alcove. This last detail is drawn in a manner that seems so characteristic of Rembrandt that his authorship cannot be dismissed out of hand: there is no hint of the leaden style characteristic of the copyist or imitator. If one adds to this the bravura confidence of the vertical pen lines on the left and of the wash in brown in the curtains, as well as the compatibility of the face of the child with the face of the woman in Benesch 0404, we find more than enough stylistic compatibility in both the drawings to retain Benesch 0413 for Rembrandt.
That is not to say that there are features that many would choose to cite to undermine the attribution, as mentioned above. Clearly this is far from a Rembrandt masterpiece – one reason, perhaps, for the interventions by a later hand. But in the face of such close analogies between the authentic parts and Benesch 0404, the separation of these drawings into two distinct hands does not stand to reason.
I include some details for comparison to help readers make their own assessments. As Fig. g I include a detail of the book from the Louvre’s Portrait of Anslo (Benesch 0759), a documentary drawing, which on the right-hand side has an identical ‘tick’ on the profile of the right page to that seen in the back of the chair in Fig.c.
Condition: Loss at top left; light foxing; grey wash later (see above).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt (much reworked by an inferior hand).
COLLECTION: USA Cambridge (Mass), Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Art Museum (inv.1961.151).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner, 1923, pp. 277-282, repr.; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.696, repr. (c.1635); Hind, 1932, pp.125-26, repr. pl.101 (late 1630s); Exh. New London, 1936, no.78, repr; Cambridge, Mass., 1940, I, no.522, repr. vol.II, fig. 268; Exh. New York (The Century Club), 1947; Tietze, 1947, no. 66, repr.; Exh. Worcester, 1948, no.49; Exh. New York (Wildenstein & Co.), 1950, no.29; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.413, repr. (c.1636; child probably Rumbartus; compares strong outlines to Benesch 0412 and Benesch 0436); Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 1954, no.47; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.33, repr.. pl.28 (c.1638-39); Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 1965-66, no.22, repr.; Exh. New York, 1966-67, no.22, repr.; Tümpel, 1977, p.89 (c.1642; wash by a later hand); Slive, 1978, pp. 454-55, repr. p. 455, fig. 4; Exh. Cambridge (Mass.), 1984 (no catalogue); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.11, n.1 (not Rembrandt); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, under no.77; Schatborn, 2017 online (hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.28131 accessed 5 February 2019); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Nathaniel Hone (L.2793); Marsden J. Perry L.1880); with Duveen Brothers, New York, from whom acquired by Meta and Paul J Sachs in 1924; given to the present repository in 1961.
First posted 12 February 2019.
Subject: Two Women, One Seated with a Child
Verso: Blank – see Inscriptions.
Medium: Red chalk. Traces of black chalk or graphite framing lines on the sides only.
Inscribed verso, in graphite, lower right: “114”; on the mat in graphite: “8716” [the inventory number] and “24”
177 x 132. Watermark: no.”4” with below what looks like a 3-leaf clover in a sphere; a vertical line to right of the 4, attached to it, so that it resembles an “H”; chain lines: 25-27h; laid lines: 12/13 per cm.
COMMENTS: This is a slight and perhaps in some ways unprepossessing sketch, but Benesch’s comparisons with Benesch 0277 and Benesch 0308 are apposite and convincing, and the drawing should be dated with them c.1636-37. Cf. also Benesch 0280d and, especially for the vertical parallel hatching, Benesch 0437 verso. Red chalk is used in a comparable way in the documentary drawings, Benesch 0142a and Benesch 0161 verso (in which the seated figure at the lower left is in a comparable pose), also suggesting a date in the same period.
Condition: Generally good, though somewhat discoloured overall.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: P Wroclaw, Ossolineum (National Ossoliński Institute; inv. 8716).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.414 repr. (c.1636; compares Benesch 0277 and 0308); Exh. Warsaw, 1956, no.114, repr. fig.65; Gerson, 1956, p.283; Sumowski, 1956/57, p.255; Sumowski, 1961, p.6; Radojewski, 1972, p.174; Exh. Warsaw, 1976, no.69, repr.; Exh. London-Birmingham-Dublin-Cambridge-Cardiff, 1980, no.74, repr. fig.73; Exh. Warsaw-Gdansk, 1980, no.76, repr. fig.46; Exh. Braunschweig-Veste Coburg, 1981-82, no.79, repr.; Exh. Kansas-Milwaukee-Montreal, 1993-94, no.68, repr.; Exh. Wroclaw 1998, no.24, repr.; Exh. Warsaw, 2006, no.2, repr.; Kozak and Tomicka, 2009, no.2, repr. (c.1635); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Prince Henryk Lubomirski; transferred by him in 1823 to the Lubomirski Museum, formerly in Lwow (Lviv; inv. 8716).
 There is a nineteenth-century blue mat with a grey wash strip and three black ruled lines.
 The many comparisons are made in an attempt to counter the drawing’s rejection by Schatborn, which in my view is unwarranted.
 Because of the subject the drawing is a candidate for the album owned by Jan van de Cappelle – see under Benesch 0194.
First posted 19 February 2019.
Subject: Two Seated Women with a Child
Verso: blank (see inscriptions)
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash (the latter in two tones, one somewhat greyer); ruled framing lines in a different brown ink (partly on the backing paper, which protrudes beyond the original sheet above and below). Inscribed on support sheet attached to verso, in pen and brown ink, lower left: “Rt m” and in graphite (partly on the original sheet) towards the left: “Cl-V” (?) and below (largely erased): “12, 2A” (?)
135 x 115. Watermark: none; chain lines: 26h.
COMMENTS: The profile of the face of the older woman on the right is comparable to the figure in the window in Benesch 0411, while the style is reminiscent, as Benesch suggested, of Benesch 0342 and Benesch 0343. Yet whether in the details or the general style, there is by turns a lack of precision (as in that profile), a disarray in the forms and an inconsistency in the lighting, with some random or overly strong shadows, that make an attribution to Rembrandt appear unlikely. The rigid cross- hatching between the figures is also un-Rembrandtesque. Yet the interaction between the protagonists is well understood, with the mother listening to the older woman, perhaps the grandmother, while the child turns away towards a figure off stage to the left (which may have been cut away – see under condition below).
The drawing’s qualities of line resemble the study given to Ferdinand Bol of Hagar at the Well on Her Way to Sur (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv. RP-T-1930-27; Sumowski 89) and an attribution to him seems plausible. Both drawings should probably be dated towards the end of the 1630s, when Bol was working in Rembrandt’s studio.
The fragment of a figure at the left edge, who casts a shadow onto the skirt of the ‘grandmother’, suggests that the sheet has been trimmed.
There is an etching after the drawing by Carl Ludwig Stieglitz (Leipzig, 1727-1787), inscribed: “St. D’après le dessin de Rembrandt”? (recorded by Benesch).
Condition: Cut at the left, where there was probably a third figure; otherwise good; a secondary support sheet is attached to the verso, cut to reinforce the edges of the primary support (see further under Inscriptions above).
Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol?
COLLECTION: Private collection.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lugt, 1921, p.443 under L. 2367 (as ‘la grandmère’).
Benesch, 1954/73, no.415, repr. (c.1636; compares Benesch 0342 and Benesch 0343); Exh. New York, Schaeffer Galleries, 1954, p.6; Exh. Middeltown, Conn., Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, 1955 [according to next item]; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.22, repr. pl.18 (c.1634-36; praises the characterisations); [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Exh. Yokohama-Fukuoka-Kyoto, 1986-87, no.41; Exh. Paris, Salon du dessin (B. Peronnet, catalogue no,6), May, 2022, where bought by a private collector.
PROVENANCE: Gottfried Winkler [probably his sale, 16 October, 1815, among lots 1410-1500, which are not indicidually described]; Freiherr C. Rolas du Rosey; his sale, Leipzig, 5 September, 1864, lot 4778, as Rembrandt (as from Winkler collection); Nicolas Massaloff (or Mossoloff; L.1802); Samuel Solomonovitch Scheikevitch, Paris (L.2367-68); his sale, Amsterdam, Muller, 15-18 June, 1908, lot 484 (fl.1150); Schaeffer Galleries, New York (their catalogue, 1954, p.6); Kate Schaeffer, New York; Mrs Hans S. Schaeffer; given by her in 1983 to her daughter, Cornelia Bessie; her sale, New York, Christie’s, 28 January, 2021, lot 60 repr. (as circle of Rembrandt); with Benjamin Peronnet (dealer), Paris, 2022 (his catalogue, no.6, repr.), from whom purchased by a private collector.
 In Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.22, Haverkamp-Begemann records “The Grandmother” as the traditional title of the drawing.
 I am grateful to Benjamin Peronnet for studying the drawing with me and showing me the verso in Paris, at the salon du dessin (19 May 2022 – see the photograph), and helping to update the provenance and literature information via his catalogue (see provenance).
First posted 28 February 2019 (see n.2).
Subject: A Quack Addressing a Crowd from a Platform
Verso: See inscriptions.
Medium: Pen and brown ink, touched with white bodycolour; ruled framing line in pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite: “ #”, “3554”, “L.G”; “Th”, “Rembr.” “ke[…]ynos”, “30a”
200 x 147.
COMMENTS: Quacksalvers must have been a common sight in the markets and fairs of the seventeenth century. In 1635, Rembrandt made an etching of one (Bartsch 129; NH 145) and in other drawings by or attributed to him, we find quacks or actors in similar guises – for example, in Benesch 0294a, Benesch 0297, Benesch 0417 and Benesch 0418 recto. The latter appears to be a fragment but depicts the main figure in the same style and in a similar pose to the present drawing, though with alterations to his hat and to the parrot, which lurches forward over his shoulder. It was likely made as a rehearsal towards the present drawing. Benesch 0417 (qv), by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, may show the same scene from the other side.
The quack stands on a platform wearing an elaborate hat as well as carrying his parrot, and counts the benefits of his medicines on his fingers. In this he resembles the figure on the lower right of the documentary drawing of elders in dispute for the grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching, Benesch 0141 of c.1633-34 – an unusual echo for Rembrandt. Below him is a table decked out with his wares, on which a boy in the foreground is leaning, his knapsack on the ground beside him. Further figures beyond pay attention or observe the two banners on the right, the nearer one with a human figure, the other indeterminate. The quack will hope to dupe his onlookers into becoming customers, including the infirm woman standing with the aid of a crutch on the left.
To judge from other seventeenth-century representations of quacks, the nearer banner probably mapped out the parts of the body with the various ailments that the quack claims he can cure. Such a banner was referred to as a ‘map of his miracles’ in R. Versteegen’s book, Scherp-sinnighe Characteren, published in Antwerp in 1622, with an interesting aside about how artists also deceive: “De caert van zijn Mirakelen hanght ghemeynlijck achter zijnen rugghe, / ende daer van is den Schilder meerder Meester als den Quacksalver” (The map of his miracles commonly hangs behind his back,/ and here the painter is a greater master than the Quack) – indeed, the iconography of the quack could serve as a general warning against deceptions of every kind, including painting and acting.
The attribution of the drawing has always been accepted, although it is not easy to attach it stylistically to Rembrandt’s other drawings. Among the documentary sheets. Perhaps the closest in style is Benesch 0164 of 1638, but only in the legs of the figure of Adam towards the left, drawn almost as if constructed of simple cylinders with zigzags for knees, as is the case with the quack here. (A comparable left leg is on the right of Benesch 0398.) The face of the old woman on crutches is drawn with a simple vertical stroke with a small triangle for the nose, much as we see, for example (and in reverse), in the figure on the right in Benesch 0423 verso of c.1638-39, while the hands of the quack himself resemble Joseph’s lowered right hand in the same drawing (as also the maid’s in Benesch 0395). The extraordinary verve of the diagonal shading in the parasol and the lower centre resembles that in somewhat earlier documentary sheets, such as Benesch 0445 of 1635, as well as in (the non-documentary) Benesch 0293, the verso of which also has links with the present work in the vertical shading. The iconographically related drawing mentioned above, Benesch 0297, is also comparable in style. These analogies suggest the drawing should be dated c.1636-37, though it has to be admitted that the stylistic links are weaker than one would ideally like. Indeed, the quack’s ‘fishmouth’ anatomy resembles figures in several drawings attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, such as Benesch 0138, Benesch 0147 and Benesch 0162 (in which Boaz’s hands are similar); and the above-noted echo of the figure in the earlier sketch for the grisaille (Benesch 0141) is also somewhat exceptional for Rembrandt and more characteristic of his pupils. The crowd in the distance beyond the quack also has links with the crowd in Benesch 0108, now also attributed to Van den Eeckhout, where one of the figures is similarly corrected with white bodycolour. For these several reasons, I have in the past entertained the idea that Benesch 0416 could possibly be by Van den Eeckhout. But the sheer zest and quality of the drawing overrides these concerns and, according to our method (on which see the Introduction), there can be times when a drawing stands somewhat apart, not only from the documentary drawings, but also from the general run of Rembrandt’s work.
Condition: Perhaps slightly trimmed on the left, where the image continues beyond the framing line; otherwise good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ 5268).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.576; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.135 (includes J.D. Böhm provenance); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.125; Valentiner, 1925-26, pp.271 and 273; Weisbach, 1926, p.170; Berlin, 1930, p.233, repr. pl.167 (c.1636); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.251 (c.1636); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.750 (c.1635); Benesch, 1935, p.28 (c.1637); Wichmann, 1940, no.18 (c.1635); Weski, 1942, p.19 (c.1635-36); Benesch, 1947, p.25, under no.89; Rosenberg, 1948, p.149; Winkler, 1951, pp.114-15; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.416, repr. (c.1637; compares Benesch 0297 but the main figure more abstract in concept); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.71 (c.1636); London, 1961, under no.186 (c.1640); Exh. Berlin, 1968, no.3 (c.1635-37); Bernhard, 1976, p.209; (c.1637); Broos, 1977, p.104; Albach, 1979, pp.4 and 7; Exh. London, 1983, under no.11; Exh. Berlin, 2002-3, no.76 (c.1637-38); Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.41, repr. (c.1637-38); Berlin, 2006, no.19, repr. (c.1637-38; compares for style Benesch 0095, Benesch 0097, Benesch 0293 and Benesch 0445; for subject relates to print by Jan van de Velde after Buytwech, Hollstein 136, and to Benesch 0294a and Benesch 0418; rejects Benesch 0417); Slive, 2009, p.94, repr. fig.8.2 (c.1637); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.15.1; The Present Catalogue, 2014, under Benesch 0181; Exh. Paris, 2016-17, no.35, repr. (c.1636; notes Benesch 0294a also of a quack, and Rembrandt’s etching [see n.1 here]; states that The Present Catalogue, under Benesch 0181 [posted in 2014], doubts the attribution, which it does not [!]); Schatborn, 2019, no.259 and p.143, repr. (c.1636).
PROVENANCE: Collection G.D. (according to Berlin, 1930 and Benesch); illegible collector’s stamp, verso, probably that of J.D. Böhm (either L.271 or L.1442); Wilhelm Koller, Vienna (L.2632); his sale, Vienna, A. Posonyi, 5 February, 1872, lot 200; Adolf von Beckerath (his list no.57) with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.
 See Gaskell, 1982 and Honig, 1996. Examples of depictions of quacks include a print by Johann Theodore de Bry after Pieter de Jode of 1596 from his Emblemata Saecularia series (Hollstein 240-287); an off-set of a drawing by Jan van Goyen, dated 1631, in the Rijksmuseum, Amsyterdam (inv.RP-T-1978-73; Beck, 1972-91, no. 99, repr.); two treatments of the subject by Jan van de Velde after Willem Buytewech (Hollstein 136 and 139), which may be roughly contemporary with the present drawing, one from the set of market scenes discussed by Honig, 1996 and usually dated c.1620; a painting by Gerrit Dou of 1652 now in Rotterdam (Fig.a), which shows the figure in a comparable guise to Benesch 0416 with his parrot and standing under a parasol, his wares – together with a monkey – on a table in front of him (see Exh. Washington-London-The Hague, 2000–01, no.19, repr. and Gaskell, 1982); an etching by Cornelis de Wael of the 1640s (Hollstein 11); 2 etchings, of 1648 and 1654 by Adriaen van Ostade (respectively Bartsch/Hollstein 43 and 48); and two etchings by Rembrandt’s pupil Constantijn van Renesse (Hollstein 7-8, the latter dated 1649), the first depicting two stages, the first showing a performance by the commedia dell’arte with a quack beyond under his parasol and with a large banner, while in Hollstein 8 the focus is on the quack under his parasol, but the print also depicts two boys similarly leaning on a table in the foreground.
 R. Versteegen, Scherpsinnighe Characteren, Antwerp, 1619, np but p.88 when viewed online via the following link: https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=XqqIjv8du6MC&hl=en_GB&pg=GBS.PA16 [consulted 6 March 2019]. For a discussion of the iconography of the quack, with further literature, hinging around the painting by Gerrit Dou mentioned in the previous note, see the literature cited in n.1 and also Exh. Washington-London-The Hague, 2000–01, no.19 and pp.19-20 and 35.
 Bevers, 2010, p.58, figs.25-27, illustrates examples of this characteristic in Van den Eeckhout’s drawings, from Benesch 0147, Benesch 0138 and from a later drawing by the artist, of Gideon’s Sacrifice (Braunschweig, inv. Z 242; Sumowski 601). I remember the late Hans Mielke looking at the drawing with me in 1988 and remarking on the quack’s “Fischmund”?.
 In an email to Gregory Rubinstein and Peter Schatborn of 16 May 2007, in which I however stated that I had not yet fully worked through the idea of an alternative attribution to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout.
 Bevers, in Berlin, 2006, records an illegible mark; Hofstede de Groot records J.D. Böhm as a previous owner, so I have conflated these two references.
First posted 7 March 2019.
Subject: A Quack Addressing a Crowd
Verso: see Inscriptions.
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, with white bodycolour. Inscribed verso, in graphite: “6” (and with other more recent numbers)
188 x 166.
COMMENTS: See the comments to Benesch 0416, which shows the same or a very similar view from the other side. The two drawings may well be contemporaneous. But that Benesch 0417 is by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout becomes reasonably clear from a comparison with, for example, Benesch 0138 and perhaps especially, Benesch 0147. Details from the latter are here juxtaposed in illustrations, revealing that they share a delicate, geometrical touch with somewhat simplified heads and facial expressions (based on the bisected ovals drawn by every artist student as the basis for their studies of the human head).
The mother and (defecating) child in the foreground were added later with a more vigorous touch. While it might be tempting to see here an intervention or correction by Rembrandt, as the foreground space would otherwise have been empty, the somewhat geometrical forms appear to be more characteristic of Van den Eeckhout.
More speculatively, the paunchy figure on the right resembles Willem Ruyter, the actor drawn several times by Rembrandt and his pupils (see under Benesch 0120). He may have learnt some tricks of his trade from the performance of the quack.
Condition: Good; slight staining and loss at top right corner.
Summary attribution: Gerbrand van den Eeckhout.
COLLECTION: GB London, Courtauld Gallery, Samuel Courtauld Trust (Seilern Collection, inv. D.1978.PG.186).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.318 (c.1637); Lippmann, IV, 22; Lugt, 1915.I, p.111, repr. pl.26; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, III, 1925, no.126; Valentiner, 1925-26, p.270; Weisbach, 1926, repr. fig.38; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.749; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, 1947, no.89, repr; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.417, repr. (c.1637; compares Benesch 0416 and Benesch 0418 recto); London, 1961, no.186, repr.; London, 1971.I, p.59; Exh. London, 1983, no.11, repr.; Exh. London, 1983, no.54, repr. (later than Benesch 0416); Bevers, 2005, p.469 (Van den Eeckhout); Berlin, 2006, under no.19, n.3 (as Bevers 2005); Bevers, 2010, p.43, repr. fig.4 (Van den Eeckhout); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.15.2, repr. (Van den Eeckhout, c.1637-40); Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, under no.13, n.5 (Van den Eeckhout); [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; Sluijter and Sluijter-Seiffert, 2020, p.294, repr. fig.20 (unaware of the present catalogue; not Van den Eeckhout).
PROVENANCE: Dresden, Friedrich August II (L.971); with Wildenstein, New York (cat. 1950, no.32) and A. and R. Ball, New York, 1950; Count Antoine Seilern, by whom bequeathed to the present repository, 1978.
First posted 19 March 2019.
Subject: A Quack
Verso: Head of an Old Woman, profile to left, sketched twice
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
102 x 86.
COMMENTS: See the note to Benesch 0416. This slighter sketch was probably a preliminary attempt at the figure seen there. The vertical line at the top coincides with the edge of his banner. To judge from the lines that extend to the edge of the sheet, the drawing may once have been larger.
The verso differs in style and seems to be earlier, from the Leiden period – compare Benesch 0195, of c.1628-29.
As with Benesch 0416, with which the style of the recto compares well, none of the comparisons between the recto or the verso with the documentary drawings is entirely satisfactory. For the recto, with its skeins of lines, trailing almost like string, one might point to the Ruth and Naomi of 1638 (Benesch 0161 recto), but the Quack was probably sketched a little earlier, and is assigned here, like Benesch 0416, to c.1636-37.
Condition: Good, though probably trimmed (see above).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
Date: c.1636-37 (verso c.1628-29?).
COLLECTION: Canada, Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner, 1925-26, p.272; Berlin, 1930, under no.5268; Valentiner, II, 1934, nos.751A-B, repr. (compares verso to Benesch 0419 verso; Benesch, 1935, pp.28 and 15; Benesch, II, 1956/73, no.418, repr. (c.1637; in 1973 ed.: later copy/fake was offered at Sotheby’s, London, in 1973, repr. The Times, 19 January, 1973); Sumowski, II, 1979, under no.521xx (discusses De Claussin etching); Exh. Toronto, 2000; Berlin, 2006, under no.19, n.2; Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, p.115, repr. fig.15a; Schatborn, 2019, nos 258 [recto] and 260 [verso], repr. (c.1636); Sluijter and Sluijter-Seiffert, 2020, p.298, n.52 (unaware of the present catalogue; compares Benesch 0138 et al.).
PROVENANCE: John, Lord Northwick; his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 1-4 November, 1920, lot 176 and 5-6 July, 1921, lot 95 (unsold); E.G. Spencer-Churchill; The Earl of Harewood; his sale, London, Christie’s, 6 July, 1965, lot 135, bt Herbert Bier (dealer), London; purchased in 1965 by R. Fraser Elliott, from whose estate presented to the present repository, 2005.
First posted 21 March 2019.
Subject: Peasants Brawling in an Inn
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, with white bodycolour; a later grey-brown wash tone added overall (with some isolated touches also); ruled framing lines from the mat decoration in pen and black ink.
160 x 220.
COMMENTS: The drawing’s subject-matter, which as Benesch noted relates to Rubens and Brouwer (one might many add others, from Pieter Brueghel to Jan Steen and the Van Ostades, via Adriaen van de Venne), connects with other tavern-scenes, such as Benesch 0100 verso, Benesch 0394 and Benesch 0398. While this potentially links the subject with the Prodigal Son, to the popular medieval and later theme of Anger (Latin, ‘Ira’), one of the Seven Deadly Sins, as well as emblem-book style warnings against it (and against alcohol, which induces it) and its consequences, could also be motivating factors behind the depiction of a tavern fight. Yet a daggers-drawn brawl such as we see here could simultaneously be viewed with wry, patrician amusement by the socially elevated and respectable.
The drawing appears to have suffered some damage from over-exposure to light and to have been reworked overall in greyish-brown wash by a later hand. There is also a tear that runs up near the knee and up to the dagger of the armed man on the left, and the white bodycolour in the trousers of the man towards the right may have been tampered with. These problems undermine the visual impact of the composition, but its extraordinary strengths may still be appreciated:
To the left, acting like a solid bookend, a man with a knife in his raised left hand seems to be restrained by another (his posture somewhat akin to that of the figure sketched in oil paint at the top left of Benesch 0154). Behind, sketched in lightly on the extreme left, a further figure raises a chair as a weapon. In a flurry of movement, a woman rushes towards the knifeman, her arms spread wide, as she tries to intervene between him and his opponent to the right. The latter, his dagger raised in his right hand and with an expression of immeasurable fury, lashes out in every direction, with his legs splayed and the ham fist of his left hand punching towards the face of a woman standing behind him. Another figure on all fours cowers at the lower right corner. Behind the foreground frieze of figures, a number of other participants and spectators are delineated, three at a window towards the left, two in the centre – one with an angry expression, the other defensively carrying a chair – and another woman to the right of centre, who advances towards the right, turning her angry face back towards the miscreant. She counterbalances the motion of the woman with her arms spread open, and her movement is made yet more palpable by the swing of the keys on her chain (perhaps she is the innkeeper’s wife).
The complex interactions depict the chaos of the scene incredibly vividly. Yet the figures are seamlessly bound into a single structure by a rhythmic pattern: a sweep of movement originates in the raised arm on the left, travels through the woman with her arms outstretched, on through the arms of the man who lashes out, and further to the head of the woman under attack on the right; the latter’s arms – as she attempts to restrain the knifeman – spin the movement all the way back through the composition. Balance is provided by the figure crouching in the lower right corner.
These extraordinary qualities alone speak for the drawing’s retention under Rembrandt’s name. No other pupil or follower had such capacities for invention. Stylistically, however, the evidence for the attribution is somewhat less overwhelming. Nonetheless, there are links with a number of drawings from around the mid-1630s into the 1640s, including those illustrated here for comparison:
The figure at the lower right-hand corner has parallels, especially in the head, in the figures in the centre of Benesch 0095 of 1635-37 (see Fig.a, right) and Benesch A35 of c.1644 (Fig.a, centre; the drawing is described under the Not in Benesch tab). There are also links with the brawling boys on the right of Benesch 0409 (the Pancake Woman).
The description of the sweep of the arms and legs of the knifeman on the left resembles the butcher in Benesch A18 of c.1635 (Fig.b; the drawing is described under the Not in Benesch tab).
The background figures at the window, particularly the one on the right, resemble the sketchily drawn head in Benesch 0133 of c.1634-35 (see Fig.c). The uppermost of these heads resembles that in Benesch A35 illustrated in Fig.a, centre.
Below the nearer arm of the woman near the right edge, there is an almost calligraphic passage of dark, liquid shading that appears to end, on the right (above the head of the crouching figure), with a gesture resembling the number ‘3’. This replicates the shading in the centre of the documentary drawing for the etching of the Great Jewish Bride, Benesch 0292, of c.1635 (Fig.d, right) and is also found in the lower left figure of Benesch 0340 of c.1634-35, in the cap and in the seam of his shoulder (see Fig.d, left).
The head of the main figure to the right of centre is stylistically close to that of the nearer butcher in Benesch 0400, perhaps particularly in the description of the hair and the ear. (see Fig.e). These two drawings also have other similarities.
These comparisons are more convincing than any with drawings by Rembrandt’s pupils, the nearest being Ferdinand Bol, whose liquid style echoes what we see here. But his grasp of form in such a lively sketch, quite apart from his powers of invention, his less persuasive characterisations and the quality of his figure-grouping, never approach the strength, sophistication and variety seen here. For these reasons the drawing is retained fully as by Rembrandt. The comparisons noted above, as well as others with the documentary drawings, suggest that it was made between c.1635 (the dates of Figs. a, c, d, e and f) and the mid-1640s (the time of the Star of the Kings, Benesch 0736), but the majority of the analogies speak for a date c.1635. Benesch also drew attention to similarities with the Berlin sketch after Leonardo’s Last Supper of 1635 (Benesch 0445), to which one might specifically add the analogies in the pose of the apostle on the left, in reverse, to the armed man on the right in the present work, with his neck craned out to its full extent. This congruity exists despite the drawing’s anticipation of the liquid style seen more frequently in the 1640s.
Such a study of anger might have been made in this period – in the manner of background research – as Rembrandt depicted the same emotion in his painting of Samson Threatening his Father-in-Law of c.1635 (Bredius 499; Wetering 140). Compare also the pose, especially of the legs (apart from the right calf), of the knifeman on the left, and the wide-eyed expression of the knifeman on the right, with their counterparts as soldiers at either side of the painting in Frankfurt of the Blinding of Samson of 1636 (Bredius 501; Wetering 148). The pose of the fleeing Delilah also resembles that of the woman rushing forward with her arms raised. A comparable interest in scenes of violence and commotion is also present in two etchings of 1635, the Christ Driving the Money-Changers from the Temple (Bartsch 69; NH 139) and the Stoning of St Stephen (Bartsch 97; NH 140).
Condition: the sheet is light-struck and has later greyish-brown wash; a repaired tear runs from the lower edge up near the knee of the armed man on the left, and through his dagger; the white heightening appears to be rubbed, especially in the trousers of the figure with a knife to the right of centre (where the whites may have been strengthened by a restorer).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: F Montpellier, Musée Fabre (inv. 827.1.6).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.583 (early); Benesch, VI, 1957, Addenda A2, repr. and II, 1973, no.418A, repr. fig.502 (c.1637; compares Rubens and Brouwer for subject and Benesch 0445 and Benesch 0097 for style); Benesch, 1961, no.29, repr.; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Given by The Comte d’ Adhémar to the present repository, 1827.
 See Royalton-Kisch, 1988, p.105 and Kromm, 2010, both with further literature.
First posted 4 April 2019.
Subject: Soldiers Playing Cards in an Interior
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
110 x 142.
COMMENTS: Benesch described the drawing as lost but knew it through a negative in the RKD (Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague; negative no.11862). It was there attributed to Philips Koninck, although in the De Clercq collection it was ascribed to ‘Teniers’.
While Benesch was correct in including the sketch in Rembrandt’s orbit – he compared Benesch 0398 and Benesch 0399, not least for their subject-matter – the handling here appears too wooden for Rembrandt himself. In style it resembles Govert Flinck’s Joseph in Prison, now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (Fig.a; Sumowski 948b). In this his characterisations are also almost as effective as they are here. Benesch specifically praised this aspect of the present drawing (in 1964): the soldier about to play and concentrating on his disappointing hand, the dejected figure next to him (with a hat added as an afterthought) and the keen anticipation of the figure in profile on the left. Compare also Flinck’s drawings such as Benesch 0065 recto and verso, Benesch 0084 and Benesch 0111-0112. Like these drawings the present work probably dates from the late 1630s, and might coincide with Rembrandt’s treatment of the same subject as the Getty drawing in Benesch 0423 verso and the related study, not in Benesch but now also in the Getty Museum (described under the ‘Not in Benesch’ tab).
Summary attribution: Govert Flinck.
COLLECTION: Private Collection, NL, Descendants of S. de Clercq.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1964, p.117, repr. fig.15 [reprinted Benesch, 1970, p.254, repr. fig.223] (c.1637; compares Benesch 0364); Benesch, 1973, no.418B, repr. fig.505 (c.1637; original lost but known through RKD photo; was in De Clercq collection ascribed to ‘Teniers’; compares Benesch 0398 and Benesch 0399; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: The Hague, S. de Clercq.
 Inv.2007.5. Pen and brown ink with traces of black chalk. 114 × 135mm. See Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.7.2, repr. and Schatborn. 2010, p.38, n.78.
 The architect, Samuel de Clercq (1876-1962). I am grateful to Terry van Druten at the Teyler Museum for forwarding the image (previously only a black and white photograph was available) and updating me on the whereabouts of the drawing (posted 21 January 2022).
First posted 7 April 2019.
Subject: A Pedlar with a Woman and Child
Verso: Sketch of the Head of an Old Woman, profile to left
Medium: Pen and brown ink with later grey wash; verso in pen and dark-brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite: “S.H. yes”
134 x 130. Watermark: indistinct, but there may be a mark near the bottom of the sheet; chain lines: 27v.
COMMENTS: The recto may show a pedlar with a small caged animal such as a marmot. The drawing on the recto has been much reworked and extended in pen and grey ink and grey wash. Yet the penmanship of the remainder still seems far in style from Rembrandt, the mother and child seeming especially caricatural. The lines are generally of the same with and pressure throughout, and the hatching is also pedestrian. There are some stylistic links with Benesch 0418B and the drawings compared with it (qv), but an attribution to Govert Flinck can only be very tentative in this case. However, the drawings may date from the same period, c.1638-39.
The verso also militates against an attribution to Flinck, but could be by another hand to the recto, as the penwork is considerably more lively. There are similarities with drawings of Rembrandt’s Leiden period c.1630 (cf. the flicked penwork and pointed features in Benesch 0023 and Benesch 0195 recto), but not close enough to revert to an attribution to Rembrandt himself without some considerable hesitation. The object on the left of the verso, which resembles part of a bench if viewed from the side, has yet to be convincingly identified.
The verso was etched by De Claussin in combination with Benesch 0419 and Benesch 0546.
Condition: Generally good.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (recto Govert Flinck??; verso Rembrandt??).
Date: Recto: c.1638-39; verso c.1630-31?
COLLECTION: USA New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Robert Lehman Collection; inv. 1975.1.798).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner, 1925-26, pp.272-75; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.752, repr; Benesch, 1935, p.15 (1632-33); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.419, repr.figs.472-473/503-503 (c.1637; compares Benesch 0416 and Benesch 0417, and verso to Benesch 0418); Van Gelder, 1961, p.151, n.24; Exh. New York, 1976, no.21; Exh. New York, 1979-80, nos 25a and b, repr.; Exh. New York, 1991; New York, 1999, no.78, repr. (school of Rembrandt); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Earl of Warwick (?); Thomas Halstead (?); probably Sir Francis Seymour Haden; with Duveen Brothers; Mrs. Alexander Hamilton Rice; Dr. Alexander Hamilton Rice; Mr. and Mrs. Louis H. Silver; with M. Knoedler and Co., from whom acquired by Robert Lehman, by whom presented to the present repository, 1975.
 As suggested in New York, 1999, no.78.
 Noted by Sumowski, 1979 etc., II, under no.521xx. He states that there is a photograph of the print in the RKD, The Hague.
First posted 10 April 2019.
Subject: A Woman and Child with a Man in a Chair
Medium: Pen and brown ink.
148 x 128.
COMMENTS: The drawing is of poor quality, which becomes clearly evident if we follow Benesch by comparing Benesch 0360. The hesitant lines, perhaps in the shading and in the child’s hands and feet especially, suggest that it may be a copy after a lost work, either by Rembrandt or one of his pupils – there are qualities that might speak for either Govert Flinck or Ferdinand Bol.
Condition: uncertain but when last photographed there were clearly some spots and minor stains, in particular near the head of the man.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (after Rembrandt??).
COLLECTION: Private collection, Paris.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Valentiner, 1923, pl.118, repr. fig.11; Exh. Raleigh, 1959, no.78; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.420, repr. (c.1636-37; compares Benesch 0360; child Rumbartus); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Berlin; W.R. Valentiner; Dortmund, H. Becker; with Boerner, Düsseldorf, 1972; sale, London, Christie’s, 12 April, 1983, lot 160, repr. (attributed to Rembrandt); sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby Mak van Waay, 15 November, 1983, lot 232, repr. (Rembrandt), where acquired by the present owner’s father.
First posted 14 April 2019.
Subject: Two Women Teaching a Child to Walk, one bending over and pointing
Verso: blank; see Inscriptions.
Medium: Red chalk on rough grey paper. Inscribed verso, in graphite: “b” (perhaps for British Museum mounter who mounted the drawing on the same board just below Benesch 0422, which is inscribed “a”. This was possibly done at the time of the 1912 exhibition).
103 x 128. Watermark: none; chain lines: 21v.
COMMENTS: According to the Robinson 1868 sale catalogue (see Provenance below) and also Michel, 1893 (see Lit. below), this and Benesch 0422 were on a single sheet. Michel gives the measurements 265 x 262 mm. If both were now rejoined (naturally, keeping the chain lines in the paper vertical as they are now), the largest measurement would be 206 mm but it is impossible to reconstruct their original positions: they could have been above one another or beside each other. Looking at the chain and laid lines, and at the shadowing caused by variations in the thickness of the paper, the reconstruction in Fig.a is possible, but no more than that (Fig.a). The sketch on Benesch 0422 trails off the sheet at the lower right corner and it is also possible that it was the motif towards which the woman on the left of Benesch 0421 was originally pointing, but there is no certainty. Assuming that Michel’s record is accurate, the sketches must have been divided while in George Salting’s collection but before the Royal Academy exhibition of 1899, when they were separate.
The drawings, presumably made from life, are not easily assigned a date. Of all Rembrandt’s datable studies in red chalk, the closest stylistic comparisons are provided by the New York drawing after Leonardo’s ‘Last Supper’ of c.1635 (Benesch 443), the ‘Study for St John’ of the same period in the Princes Gate collection (Benesch 142A) and by the sketches – presumably not done from life – at the bottom of the sheet of studies for the ‘Entombment’ in Amsterdam (Benesch 152). None of these is similar enough to the present sheet to allow a precise dating. That proposed here, c.1635-7, is therefore somewhat conjectural. Other chalk drawings of women with children to which the present sheets have been compared (see Lit. below) differ in being on ordinary pale cream laid paper, and they do not provide a secure starting-point for a date. Nor are they especially similar in style.
The motif is a common one in the drawings of Rembrandt and his circle (see, for example, Benesch 1169). In Rembrandt’s own etchings, a standing child held by its mother appears in ‘The Hog’ of 1643 (Bartsch 157, NH 215) and one learning to walk is seen in the background of the ‘Young Man seated and standing’ (Bartsch 194, NH 233) of c.1646. In these, as in the British Museum’s drawings, the child wears a protective hat of a common type to prevent injury from falls. Yet the drawings are not directly connected with any other work. They may have belonged to the artist Jan van de Cappelle, whose inventory of 1680 includes a portfolio of 135 drawings by Rembrandt that depicted the life of women and children.
Condition: Good; small stains centre left edge and bottom centre; small loss made up lower right edge; presumably cut from a larger sheet (see further under Comments).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: GB London, The British Museum (inv.1910,0212.187).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.585 (ex Robinson coll.; describes with Benesch 0422 as a single sheet measuring 265 x 262 mm [see Comments above]); Exh. London, 1899, no.154 (2); Lippmann, III, no.74b; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1127; Exh. London, 1910, p.5, slope III; Wurzbach, 1910, p.419; Exh. London, 1912, no.166b (compared with Benesch 1169); London, 1915, no.5 (c.1635-40; compares Benesch 0308 in Vienna of similar subject); Exh. Madrid, 1934, p.77, under no.1 (compared with [school] drawing of similar subject in Madrid, Benesch 1162); Benesch, 1935, p.41 (c.1647-50; compared to Benesch 0751 in Vienna); Exh. London, 1938, no.5; Hamann, 1948, pp.54-5, repr. fig.36 (c.1635; the woman on right Rembrandt’s mother); Rosenberg, 1948/64, I, p.147/236, repr. fig.198; Benesch, 2, 1954/73, no.421, repr. fig.479/507 (c.1637; compares ‘Team of Horses’, Benesch 0461, Amsterdam, and chalk studies of elephants in Vienna of 1637, Benesch 0457-8; also, under Benesch 0308, to other studies of similar motifs, Benesch 0302, 0308-9, 0411-12 and 0422); Exh. London, 1956, p.15, no.10; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.68, under no.61 (c.1635-7; compares chalk studies of same subject, Benesch 0278, Benesch 0309 and Benesch 0422); Rosenberg, 1956, pp. 127-8, repr. fig.23 (c.1640); White, 1962, repr. pl.18 (c.1637); Slive, 1965, 2, no.409, repr. (c.1640); Rosenberg, Slive and ter Kuile, 1966, p.65, repr. Pl.46A (as if of 1640s); Sumowski, 1971, p.127 (compares study of similar motif formerly in Blumenreich coll., Berlin [not in Benesch], repr. fig.6, which he dates later, c.1645); Amsterdam, 1981, p.41, under no.6 (as Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, and Benesch, 1954/73); Schatborn, 1981.1, no.16, repr. (c.1637); Vogel-Köhn, 1981, p.55 and no.55, repr. (c.1639-40); Exh. London, 1984, no.5 (1630s); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.65, (compares – as Benesch 1954 – subject to school drawing in Amsterdam, Benesch 0412, which he attributes to C. Fabritius); Exh. London, 1987.I (no cat.); Corpus, 3, 1989, p.83 (see n.1 below; general relationship with genre elements in Berlin grisaille of St John the Baptist Preaching [Bredius 555; Wetering 110]); Schneider, 1990, p.229 (c.1634-40; example of portrayal of emotions); Exh. London, 1992, no.16, repr.; Slive, 1995, p.77, repr. fig.91 and p.113 (c.1635-40; mentions record of ‘vrouwenleven’ drawings); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.56, repr. (c.1635-37); Rosand, 2002, pp.230-33 and pp.241-2, repr. fig.219 (on the ‘gesture’ of drawing and its temporal implications; on the viewer’s active decoding of the lines; more exuberant in use of space than Rembrandt’s later drawings); Exh. London, 2006, (no cat.); Schwartz, 2006, p.76, repr. figs 126-7; Slive, 2009, pp.85-86, repr. fig.7.7 (c.1635-37); London, 2010 (online), no.13, repr. (c.1635-37); Exh. Poole-Hull-Belfast-Santa Fe-Providence, 2016-18, p.67 no.28 (with Benesch 0422), repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.270 and pp.19 and 144, repr. (c.1636; many depictions of this subject; relates to iconography of the etching with a Nude Seated and Standing, with a child learning to walk in the background, which has been interpreted as referring to practice [Bartsch 194; NH 233]).
PROVENANCE: J. C. Robinson; his sale, Paris, 7-8 May, 1868, lot 62 (with Benesch 0422 but then still on one sheet: “deux admirables esquisses sur la même feuille”; no measurements given); bequeathed by George Salting, 1910.
 The sketch of a head on the verso of Benesch 142A – not reproduced by Benesch – also offers analogies with the head of the woman in Benesch 0422. In Corpus, 3, 1989, p.83, a loose connection between the present drawing and Benesch 0422 and the Berlin painting of ‘St John the Baptist preaching’ of c.1634-5 (Bredius 555; Wetering 110) is suggested.
 Placed at the end of 1635 or early 1636 by Schatborn in Amsterdam, 1985, no.7.
 As can be seen from the Literature, the drawings have usually been dated in the 1630s but in 1935 Benesch placed them as late as c.1647-50.
 Related pedagogic imagery employed in emblematic literature and elsewhere seems too far removed from the drawings to warrant discussion in the present context. The reader is referred to Emmens, 1964, pp.154ff. and to Bedaux, 1982 (1983).
 See under Benesch 0194.
First posted 15 April 2019.
Subject: A Woman Teaching a Child to Stand
Verso: blank – see Inscriptions.
Medium: Red chalk on rough grey paper. Inscribed, verso: in graphite: “a” (see under Benesch 0421)
78 x 75. Watermark: none; chain lines: 21v.
COMMENTS: See the comments to Benesch 0421.
Condition: Good; cut on the right.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: GB London, The British Museum (inv.1910,0212.186).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.585 (see Benesch 0421); Exh. London, 1899, no.154 (1); Lippmann, III, no.74a; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1125; Exh. London, 1910, p.5, slope III; Wurzbach, 1910, p.419; Exh. London, 1912, no.166a (compared with Benesch 1169); London, 1915, no.4 (c.1635-40); Benesch, 1935, p.41 (c.1647-50); Exh. London, 1938, no.4; Hamann, 1948, p.54, repr. fig.35 (c.1635); Rosenberg, 1948/64, p.147/236, repr. fig.197; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.422, repr. fig.477/508 (c.1637; compares Benesch 0308, Vienna, and 0309, Fodor coll., Historisch Museum, Amsterdam); Exh. London, 1956, p.15, no. 10 (with Benesch 0421); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.68, under no.61 (c.1635-7; compares Benesch 0278, Benesch 0309 and Benesch 0421); Sumowski, 1971, p.127 (as for Benesch 0421); Amsterdam, 1981, p.111, under no.6; Schatborn, 1981[I], no.15, repr. (c.1637); Vogel-Köhn, 1981, pp.55-6 and no.54, repr. (c.1639-40); Exh. London, 1984, no.4, (1630s); Exh. London, 1987 (no cat.); Corpus, 3, 1989, p.83 (as for Benesch 0421, qv); Exh. London, 1992, no.17, repr. (c.1635-7); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.57, repr. (c.1635-37); Exh. London, 2006 (no cat.); London, 2010 (online), no.14, repr. (c.1635-37); Exh. Poole-Hull-Belfast-Santa Fe-Providence, 2016-18, p.67 no.28 (with Benesch 0421), repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.271 , repr. (c.1636).
PROVENANCE: J. C. Robinson; his sale, Paris, 7-8 May, 1868, lot 62 (with Benesch 0421 but then still on one sheet: “deux admirables esquisses sur la même feuille”; no measurements given); bequeathed by George Salting to the present repository, 1910.
First posted 15 April 2019.
Subject: The Artist Drawing from the Model
Verso: Joseph expounding the Prisoners’ Dreams
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink with (on the recto only: with brown wash and touched with white), on paper prepared with brown wash. Inscribed verso in pen and black ink, “248.” [the inventory number].
188 x 164. Watermark: none; chain lines: 23h.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, as the recto is related, in reverse, to Rembrandt’s unfinished etching, the Artist Drawing from the Model (Bartsch 192, NH 176; see Figs a-b for the first and second states). The drawing is usually dated c.1639 because of its stylistic and technical proximity to the Study for the Portrait of Maria Trip (Benesch 0442): both are executed in iron-gall ink, a medium which Rembrandt seems to have favoured in c.1637-39. By association, the print is now usually dated to the same year, although its date and attribution have aroused controversy in the past.
In the drawing, the artist is represented as left-handed, suggesting that an allowance was made for the reversal in making the print, in which he appears right-handed. The outlines are not indented for transfer to the copper plate and it is possible that the study, like Benesch 0442, which it resembles so closely in style, was made as a project for the etching’s completion rather than before work had commenced on the copper plate. The contrast in handling with the preparatory pen-and-ink sketch of Jan Cornelisz. Sylvius (Benesch 0763) for the etched portrait of 1646, which is more freely drawn and must have preceded work on the plate, also supports the idea that the present sheet was not preparatory but made after the etching had been begun. The outline indications on the copper, clearly visible in the first state (Fig.a), were made in drypoint rather than etching and are surprisingly tentative for Rembrandt, almost inexplicable had he been following a preparatory study. In the print several features remain unresolved, in particular the length of the nude’s legs. Two sets of feet are drawn in the etching, and in the second state (see Fig.b) the platform is consolidated beneath the lower pair. The drawing, probably executed after the second state, revises the elevation of the platform to coincide, more convincingly, with the upper feet. It also simplifies the foreground by the elimination of chairs and other studio props, shows a more clearly defined position for the artist himself and completes the shading of the lower half of the composition. Rembrandt was therefore probably working on the drawing while studying a counterproof of his etching (which would have been in the same direction as the image, both in the sketch and on the copper plate itself). Counterproofs of the second state survive in Cambridge and Vienna (according to New Hollstein; none are recorded of the first state).
The suggestion that the print was left unfinished intentionally in order to instruct Rembrandt’s pupils in the elaboration of a composition, while possible, is highly speculative. The existence of progressive states also argues against this supposition, as does the drawing, in which the design is complete. It may be that Rembrandt abandoned the composition for aesthetic or technical reasons.
Iconographically, the recto and the related print can be compared with a slightly later etching by Rembrandt, the Man Drawing from a Cast of c.1641 (Bartsch 130, NH 192). In the present case, an allegorical intent seems probable, one that involved the visual arts: the contents of the studio represent painting, drawing and sculpture. The nude holds a palm and the room is decorated with weaponry. These and other details are often clearer in the etching, in which the composition encompasses a slightly broader view than the drawing, which has suffered from the acidic action on the paper of the iron-gall ink. The print includes a table behind and a chair in front of the artist, a second chair to the right of the model and (in the first state only) a press in front of the canvas. In the eighteenth century, as Yver, 1756, first recorded, the print was entitled ‘Pygmalion’. This identification has been revived and a convincing connection made with a print of this subject by Pieter Feddes van Harlingen (Fig.c; Holl.21, repr.). It has also been argued that the print is an allegorical glorification of the art of drawing: the studio, of a standard type, would represent Pictura, the model Venus with the palm of honour. Further analogies have been noted between the nude and the figure of Victory, also holding a palm, in Jacopo de’ Barbari’s engraving of Fame and Victory (Fig.d; Bartsch 18). The print’s unfinished state, so the theory holds, would therefore be an expression of the fundamental importance of drawing, a revelation of the working methods of Rembrandt’s art. Yet according to Ovid (Metamorphoses, X, 243-97), the legendary King Pygmalion of Cyprus was making a statue of Venus, not Victory, when it was transformed into a living creature; and the pose of Rembrandt’s nude resembles well-known antique statues of Venus, including the Venus de’ Medici (now in the Uffizi but from the Villa Medici in Rome) and the “Venus Felix” in the Vatican (inspired by the lost Aphrodite of Knidos by Praxiteles), both of which inspired admiration in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Fig.e). The “Venus Felix” holds both her drapery and her head in much the same attitude as the figure in Rembrandt’s print. It seems reasonable to suppose that Rembrandt was aware of the relationship between his image and classical precedent, at least in general erms, and also with the Pygmalion story, and that his allegory may have involved the well-worn theme of the transformation of ‘Natura’ (the nude) into ‘Ars’ (represented by the artist and his canvas, and perhaps also the sculpture). But his precise intentions, especially in including the palm of victory, remain unclear.
The subject of the verso, from Genesis XL, 1-20, was treated by Rembrandt in a much later drawing in the Rijksmuseum of the early 1650s (Benesch 0912). The purpose of the present sketch is unknown. The composition shows the baker responding to Joseph’s speech while the butler listens passively, roles that are reversed in the Rijksmuseum drawing. Their head-dresses – the butler’s feathered cap and the baker’s flat cap – and to some extent the design of the composition and the interior, suggest that Rembrandt knew Lucas van Leyden’s print of the same subject (Bartsch 22), further details of which are used in the Amsterdam version. Joseph stands at the base of a spiral staircase, a motif often encountered in Rembrandt’s work (see Benesch 0113 verso and Benesch 0392). Another drawing of the subject, now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (inv. 95.GA.18 – see under the ‘Not in Benesch’ tab) and likewise executed in iron-gall ink, was presumably made immediately after the present sheet. It repeats the three main figures, with a second version of the baker sketched above. Joseph is shown with his left arm raised, following the correction in the British Museum’s sketch. The baker and butler are more fully described and the pose of the latter, now bareheaded, is altered radically, being half turned to face the spectator.
Rembrandt’s treatments of the subject inspired several images by his pupils, including Benesch 1001 by Willem Drost and the anonymous school drawing, Sumowski 1082xx (as attributed to Aert de Gelder).
The recto was etched by Jan Weissenbruch in Vosmaer, 1877, opposite p.282.
Condition: Generally good; the paper cracked along an old vertical crease, lower left, across the ankles of the model and near the artist’s left hand; perhaps trimmed on all but the left side, as suggested by a comparison with the related etching; the surface abraded to left on the recto and lower left and right of verso; the iron-gall ink has run, considerably obscuring the details in parts, particularly on the right-hand side of the recto; it may also have darkened, even recently, to judge from the reproduction in Lippmann I, 110 and Hamann, 1906 (see Literature).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv. Gg,2.248).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bürger, 1858, p.396; Middleton, 1877, p.18; Vosmaer, 1877, pp.VI, 283 and 545, with etched repr. of recto by Weissenbruch opposite p.282 (c.1646-8); Middleton, 1878, p.269, under no.284 (c.1647); Dutuit, I, 1883, p.213, under no. 189 and iv, 1885, p.86; Michel, 1893, pp.324-5 and 581 (c.1647); Seidlitz, 1894, p.121 (1640s); Seidlitz, 1895, p.117, under no.192 (c.1647); Lippmann, I, no.110; Exh. London, 1899, no.A51 (placed with drawings of c.1646); Kleinmann, IV, nos.15-16; Valentiner, 1905 p.46 (c.1647; recto shows Hendrickje); Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.73, repr.; Hamann, 1906, p.300, repr. (c.1647? [the reproduction valuable for studying details of the drawing now obscure]); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.939 (recto c.1647 and for the etching; the verso c.1635); Schmidt-Degener, 1906, p.112 (nude based on Jordaens’ Allegory of Fertility, Brussels); Singer, 1906, p.276, under no.219 (the print by a pupil); Baldwin Brown, 1907, p.146; Exh. Paris, 1908, p.60, under no.164 (c.1648, for etching); Saxl, 1908, p.233 (not necessarily Hendrickje, refuting Valentiner, 1905); Becker, 1909, pp.38-9, repr. Pl.1 (verso discussed; focus on drama of a single moment); Saxl, 1910, pp.42-3, the recto repr. fig.3 (subject ‘Pygmalion’; influence of etching of this subject by Pieter Feddes and of Jacopo de’ Barbari’s Fame and Victory); Veth, 1910, pp.142-3, repr.; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; Hofstede de Groot, 1912, p.71, repr. (c.1635-40; compares Benesch 0404); Hind, 1912/24, I, p.62/31, and under no.231, repr. pl.XXVIII/IX (late, 1648 or later; in reverse to etching which he believes by Rembrandt unlike many earlier writers); Hofstede de Groot, 1915.1, p.91; London, 1915, no.69, the verso repr. pl.VII (as in Hind, 1912); Neumann, 1918, p.107 (agrees with HdG); Graul, 1920, p.38, under no.205; Seidlitz, 1922, p.176, under no.192 (the print c.1648; follows Saxl, 1910, and Valentiner, 1905); Graul, 1924, no.42, recto repr. (c.1650); Valentiner, 1, 1925, no.108, repr. (the verso only; c.1645 or earlier, c.1640/41; the recto also probably before 1642); Benesch, 1925.1, p.124, reprinted 1970, p.50, the verso repr. fig.86 (end of 1630s, when an abrupt change in style); Bauch, 1926, pp.62-3, n.44 (based on some graphic reproduction of Capitoline Venus); Weisbach, 1926, p.65 and p.616, n.1 (not drawn from nature; not based on Feddes as Saxl, 1910, suggested, nor on Capitoline Venus, as Bauch, 1926, thought, as only discovered later [N.B. the Capitoline Venus differs little from the Venus de’ Medici discussed above]); Van Dyke, 1927, pp.51 and 58, recto repr. pl.VII (by Bol, as also the etching; the verso for Bol’s painting in Schwerin [since rejected by Blankert, 1982, no.D1] and related to his drawing in Hamburg of same subject, Sumowski 101); Hind, 1932, p.40 (relates to Benesch 0713); Paris, 1933, p.27, under no.1181 (lists other drawings of the studio); Benesch, 1933-4, p.299, the verso repr. fig.248, reprinted 1970, p.118, fig.86 (Rembrandt eliminates subsidiary detail by this period); Valentiner, 2, 1934, no.800, repr. (the recto only; c.1640; the figure of the artist added c.1665, when the etching made [a now rejected theory based on the identification of the print with one mentioned by Titus in the document Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, no.1665/6, q.v.]); Benesch, 1935, p.28 (1639; compares verso with Benesch 0170); Benesch, 1935.I, p.264; Exh. London, 1938, no.69; Benesch, 1947, no.101, repr. (1639; compares Benesch 0442; female fig. inspired by Lastman and Pynas); van Guldener, 1947, p.43 (as Rembrandt?) and p.45 (as not Rembrandt); Hamann, 1948, p.333, repr. fig.229 (c.1647?; nude resembles Capitoline Venus); Münz, 1952, 2, under no.339, repr. pl.24b (both drawing and print by Eeckhout, early 1640s; artist shown using a perspective apparatus); Boeck, 1953, p.203 (in reverse, like most drawings for etchings); Benesch, 1954/73, 2, no.423, repr. figs.481-2/509-10 (as in 1935 and 1947; further compares Benesch 0171; verso also compared to Benesch 0351 verso and Benesch 0144, the hands to Benesch 0381, and Benesch 0382); Biörklund and Barnard, 1955, p.74, under no.BB39-2; Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, p.20, under no.40 (c.1639 for etching); Exh. London, 1956, p.9, no.7; Exh. Vienna, 1956, p.58, under no.192; Exh. Warsaw, 1956, p.109, under no.177 (Eeckhout); White, 1956, p.124, repr. fig.34 (rejects Münz’s 1952 attribution); Sumowski, 1956-7, p.258 (verso not Rembrandt and compared [not convincingly] to Widener collection school drawing, V.17, now National Gallery, Washington); Drost, 1957, p.179 (compares Elsheimer); Gerson, 1957.1, p.148 (c.1639-40; rejects Münz, 1952; as Hind, 1932, relates to Benesch 0713, which Gerson dates c.1636; the artist represented not necessarily a self-portrait); Sumowski, 1962, p.30, n.26 (refutes Münz, 1952); White, 1962, repr. pl.24 (c.1639); Emmens, 1964, pp.159-63; Erpel, 1967, no.136, repr. (c.1639-40); Slive, 1965, I, no.112, the recto repr. (c.1640); White, 1969, 1, p.160 n., p.162 and p.178, repr. II, fig.239 (recto only; a study of layout and lighting for the etching); White and Boon, 1969, 1, p.92, under no.B192; Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, under no.104 (tentatively supports Münz, 1952); Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.73, under no.116; Slatkes, 1973, p.259 (c.1641; perhaps significant that etched Man Drawing from a Cast, Bartsch 130, NH 192, was also made at this time; follows Emmens, 1964, but sees Pygmalion imagery as related; the model resembles statuette in engraving of 1578 by Cornelis Cort after Stradanus, Art Academy, Hollstein 218, repr.); White, 1973, p.138 (patterns of light differ in etching); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. pp.254-5; Ember, 1979, p.115 and p.124, repr. fig.27 (perhaps by B.G. Cuyp and influenced his painting of the Liberation of St Peter in Kassel); Amsterdam, 1985, p.24, under no.10, n.7 and p.92, under no.42 [verso only] (c.1639; groups with other sheets in same ink – see above; verso: compares Benesch 0912 of same subject and notes inspiration of Lucas van Leyden and influence on Rembrandt’s pupils); Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-6, no.55, repr. (reproduction exhibited; follows Emmens, 1964); Exh. Paris, 1986, p.123, under no.62; Schatborn, 1986, pp.18-19, repr. fig.1 (not from life; based on Jacopo de’ Barbari; follows Emmens, 1964; see also nn.3 and 5 above); Sumowski, Gemälde, IV, 1989, p.2600, under no.1738 (‘attrib. to’ Rembrandt; verso inspired painting of the subject by Victors in Rijksmuseum); Exh. Amsterdam, 1991, p.128 (made in same direction as Jacopo de’ Barbari’s print); Exh. London, 1992, no.27, repr. (c.1639; drawing not preparatory to but a plan for the completion of the etching; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.1, pp.206-8, repr, fig.15d (follows Exh. London 1992); Royalton-Kisch, 1993.1, pp.181-82 (as Exh. London, 1992); Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.71, repr. fig.12, 160, n.5, and 174, repr. p.178, fig.c.; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, p.157, under no.75, repr. fig.118; Malibu, 2001, p.139, under no.48, verso repr. fig.48a; Exh. Boston-Chicago, 2003-4, pp.154-5; Budapest, 2005, p.216, under no.208 (compares Benesch 0713); Berlin, 2006, p.73, under no.15, p.76, under no.16, p.88, under no.20 and p.197 (compares Berlin drawings, Benesch 0171, Benesch 0180, Benesch 0178 and Benesch 0203); Sluijter, 2006, p.285, repr. p.283, fig.259 (as Exh. London, 1992, agrees that Rembrandt’s first intention was to complete the etching); Exh. Paris, 2006-7.II, p.159, under no.60, repr. fig.105; Paris, 2008, p.342, under no.149 (see n.3 above); Sonnabend, 2009, p.74, repr. fig.13 (not possible to fathom why Rembrandt left the related etching unfinished); Slive, 2009, pp.113-15, recto repr. fig.9.9 (c.1639); Exh. Los Angeles, 2009-10, no.7.1 (the verso), repr.; London, 2010 (online), no.24, repr.; NH, II, 2013, p.46, under no.176 (suggests retouched impression of the 1st state of the etching in the British Museum [1895,1214.111] may also have been made to preview the composition’s completion); Corpus, 5, 2011, pp.212-13, repr. fig.154 (importance of shadow here and in related etching); Exh. Amsterdam, 2016, no.45, repr. p.144 (the etching perhaps left unfinished intentionally); Exh. Denver, 2018-19, p.80, repr. fig.16; Schatborn, 2019, nos 59 [verso] and 334 [recto] and p.18, repr. (c.1639).
PROVENANCE: Bequeathed by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode to the present repository, 1799.
 See under Benesch 0157.
 The etching is now generally accepted as Rembrandt’s work. Together with the drawing, which has been known to fewer writers, it was generally placed after c.1645 until Benesch, 1923, p.1011, n.14, although Seymour Haden also dated the print c.1639 in Exh. London, 1877, no.62 (but believed the etched part to be by Ferdinand Bol, an attribution followed by several later scholars). A summary, with literature, is in Münz, 1952, under no.339. The chronology proved awkward for Hofstede de Groot, 1906, and Valentiner, 1925 and 1934, who attempted to differentiate the dates of the recto and the verso (see Lit. below). New Hollstein (NH) places the etching c.1639.
 See Schatborn, 1986, for the idea that the etching was made as a model for the elaboration of a composition. He also notes the lack of indentations in the drawing. Hinterding (in Paris, 2008 – see Lit. below) notes that the etching plate was only printed a few times before languishing for ten years or more prior to being reprinted – a reason to suspect that Rembrandt was initially displeased with the result. NH, in a cryptic note, suggest that the touched impression of the first state in the British Museum (inv.1895,1214.111) was also attempting to finish the composition, but the retouhing only affects areas that are largely complete – the sculpted bust at the upper right.
 As noted by Slatkes, 1973.
 Schatborn, 1986, saw that there is a peacock, symbol of Pride, on the table.
 White, 1969, thought the press a linen press. Slatkes, 1973, thought it of the screw-down type for pressing (not printing) paper.
 By Saxl, 1910.
 First noted by Saxl, loc. cit.
 Emmens, 1964, pp.159-63.
 See Haskell and Penny, 1981, pp.323-8, nos.87-8, repr. figs.172-3. Probably coincidentally, frontal views of both statues were published by Francois Perrier in 1638, just one year before Rembrandt’s print and drawing. The pose of the nude also resembles, in reverse, Benesch 0137, in which the figure is again seen from the front. Benesch 0713 is still closer, described as a school drawing corrected by Rembrandt by Schatborn in Amsterdam, 1985, p.114, n.9 and by Gerzi in Budapest, 2005, p.216, no.208.
 For a further discussion of the iconography see Bevers in Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-2, pp.206-8, no.15.
 See Amsterdam, 1985, no.42.
 The sheet, which has been prepared with brown wash, measures 200 x 187. The left section, containing the figure of Joseph, is on a separate piece of paper, pasted onto the original sheet after the other figures had been sketched (see Malibu, 2001, no.48).
 See London, 2010 (online), no.114 as anonymous Rembrandt school. Several other sheets are reproduced by Valentiner, I, 1925, nos.107-12.
First posted 16 April 2019.
Subject: Pastoral Scene: a flute-player and two figures with sheep
Medium: Pen and brown ink, the further figure in a hat and the landscape in a darker ink. Inscribed lower right in graphite: “117” and on mat in graphite: “kat 117” and lower right: “8718” and “32”
125 x 124 . Watermark: foolscap with 5 bells; two bells on top of head as well as 2 dangling. 3 balls below with ‘C’ or ‘D’ just above them; chain lines: 24h; laid lines c.16/cm.
COMMENTS: The nearer figure, seen from behind, appears to be female.
Although the grouping is impressive and compact, with fluent links and interrelationships between the figures, the style of the drawing cannot be connected with documentary or secure Rembrandt drawings. The zigzag at the right edge resembles shading by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout and in many respects the style, with its focus on outlines rather than modelling, is close to Benesch 0181 (a comparison noted by Benesch) and for this reason we catalogue it here under the same rubric (Rembrandt? [Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??]); but the breadth of the strokes in the tree on the right and the foreground sheep (and elsewhere) suggests the drawing might date from the early 1640s. Sumowski also thought of Van den Eeckhout. It should be remarked that the further figure and the landscape background are in a darker brown ink, but there is no reason to suppose that two hands were at work on the same sheet.
Condition: Generally good; some dirt/staining near the edges, especially top right corner.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt? (Gerbrand van den Eeckhout??)
COLLECTION: P Wroclaw, Ossolineum (inv.8718).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.424, repr (c.1639; compares for style Benesch 0181-82); Exh. Warsaw, 1956, no.117; Sumowski 1956/57, p.260 (Van den Eeckhout); Scheidig, 1962, pp.45 and 79, repr. fig.50; Exh. Wroclaw, 1998, no.34, repr.; Exh. Warsaw, 2006, no.30, repr. (Van den Eeckhout, 1660s); Kozak and Tomicka, 2009, no.31, repr. (Eeckhout, late 1660s); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Prince Lubomirski; formerly Lwow (Lviv), Lubomirski Museum.
First posted 17 April 2019.
Subject: Sketch of Saskia in Bed, and a Nurse
Verso: Slight Sketch of a Standing Man in a Cloak, with a pen trial
Medium: Pen and dark brown ink, rubbed with the finger; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed verso in graphite, upper right, withthe inventory number: “5491” and lower left: “H.d.G. 527. Val. 700” and below, in a different hand: “Nach R”
189 x 151. Watermark: top of a crowned shield with lily; chain lines: 26-28h.
COMMENTS: Iconographically, the drawing related to Rembrandt’s many studies of Saskia in bed from the 1630s (see, for example, Benesch 0281A and Benesch 0282) as well as to Benesch 0426 of c.1640-41, on which more below. In its more liquid and free style, Benesch 0425 seems to belong to the 1640s, although Rembrandt did sometimes anticipate this style, as in the documentary studies, the Great Jewish Bride of 1635 (Benesch 0292) and the Entombment (Benesch 0482). If from the 1640s, like Benesch 0426 (qv), it may show Saskia and a nurse around the time of the birth of Rembrandt’s short-lived daughter, Cornelia (baptised 29 July, 1640; died 12 August, 1640; another short-lived daughter named Cornelia was baptised on 22 July, 1638 and died two weeks later) or his son, Titus (baptised 22 September, 1641). At all events it could have formed part of the album of drawings of women and children noted under Benesch 0194.
The drawing has been questioned as by Rembrandt on the grounds that it is awkward (‘onbeholpen’), for example, in the face of the woman in bed, while Rembrandt usually focussed on faces and their expressions; and that quite possibly a pupil here followed the Lugt drawing, Benesch 0426, omitting various details; and finally because the foreground figure is so unclear that one cannot see what she is doing with her hands (whereas the Lugt drawing shows her doing handiwork – perhaps sewing).
However, these objections are not persuasive. There are many analogies with Rembrandt’s own drawings: for the seated figure, one might compare the lower left figure in Benesch 0391, the foreground figure in Benesch 0407 and the nurse in Benesch 0707 recto. The style of drawing also resembles the seated figure towards the left of the documentary drawing of the Star of the Kings (Benesch 0736), with its comparable loops near the knees. And that we cannot ascertain what she is doing with her hands is not unusual, as with the nurse in the Munich drawing of a similar subject, Benesch 0405.
The face of the woman in bed is certainly somewhat wooden in expression, but on this scale one might compare the rudimentary faces in Benesch 0100 recto (apart from Christ’s), Benesch 0188, the face of the child in Benesch 0382, which is similarly shaded, as well as such drawings as Benesch 0404 and Benesch 0423 recto and verso.
Is the drawing awkward? To my eye there is an exceptional confidence about the manner in which the scene is sketched out, with broad lines rapidly delineating much of the sheet (the foreground figure and the top of the bed and the canopy). These bravura strokes and the shading with the finger are not prepared with any underdrawing, yet they show no signs of hesitation – quite the contrary. Nor does the drawing resemble sketches by Rembrandt’s pupils. Thus it can resume its place as a rapid study made in preparation for the composition we know through Benesch 0426 (qv). The two canopies and the fall of the drapery on the bed are similar and indeed clarified in the more detailed and finished drawing.
The slight sketches often found on Rembrandts versos frequently surprise us by their variety and unusual styles, and might be worth a separate study, the present example being no exception. It is as if the artist was either caught off-guard or making a false start which he rejected. In the present case, we seem to have a figure – probably an actor – holding a sword and wearing a long cloak. There are some stylistic links with the figure at the top of Benesch 0142 verso, with the slight sketch of a Man with a Parasol on Benesch 0199 verso and perhaps especially with the actors recorded in Benesch 0293 verso. This provides an argument for dating the drawing to c.1638, when so many other drawings of actors were made (see under Benesch 0120), rather than the 1640s, but on balance we prefer to date it with Benesch 0426 c.1639-40.
Condition: Generally good, though somewhat faded and discoloured.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: D Weimar, Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar, Schlossmuseum (inv.5491).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.527 (c.1636; compares Munich drawing, Benesch 0405); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.700; Benesch, II, 1954/73, repr. fig.425/512 (c.1639; compares Benesch 0426 – perhaps made at same sitting); Scheidig, 1976, no.42; Exh. Weimar, 1981, p.103, no.408, repr. p.66; Exh. Amsterdam, 1999, p.89 (not Rembrandt: too ‘onbeholpen’ [awkward], as in the face of the woman in bed, whereas Rembrandt usually focussed on faces; quite possibly a pupil here followed the Lugt drawing, Benesch 0426; foreground figure so unclear one cannot see that she what she is doing, whereas the Lugt drawing shows her doing handiwork); Paris, 2010, under no.10 (as Exh. Amsterdam, 1999); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
 See Exh. Amsterdam, 1999 (entry by P. Schatborn and L. van Oosterzee).
 For example, the versos of Benesch 0008, Benesch 0022, Benesch 0056, Benesch 0090, Benesch 0096, Benesch 0161, Benesch 0180, Benesch 0183, Benesch 0195, Benesch 0351, Benesch 0379, Benesch 0391, Benesch 0437, etc..
First posted 20 April 2019.
Subject: Saskia in Bed and a Seated Maid
Verso: See Inscriptions; also some brushstrokes in brownish grey ink (same colour as the recto)
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and (probably later) grey wash, touched white and with red and black chalk. Inscribed verso, lower left, in pen and black ink: “R.56”
142 x 177. Watermark: none; chain lines difficult to see.
COMMENTS: The drawing is rightly regarded as a high point among Rembrandt’s many studies of Saskia in bed, though more for the sheer quality of the draughtsmanship than for its psychological insight into her condition. Its degree of finish suggests that it was intended as a work of art in its own right, although it could have been a modello for a print or painting. But no related work in these media is known. Benesch 0425 was probably a first sketch for the design as it shows many of the same features – even the fall of the drapery on the bed is similar. But here the room and the details of the figures are worked up: the fireplace to the left, with herms on either side, the canopies above it and above the bed are clarified, the panelling below the bed, the door to the right and the chair, with its x-frame legs (a southern European type and design). Near the right edge, a deep shadow is cast, probably by a tall shutter or screen by the window. The figures are also more detailed, especially the maid or housekeeper – she seems to have a chatelaine’s bunch of keys (or a bobbin) and possibly a cushion by her side and feet. Detailed interiors are not often found in seventeenth century drawings, although Benesch 0392 might be an earlier example by Rembrandt, as well as Benesch 0404. His approach here resembles that found in a drawing by Willem Buytewech and in prints or book-illustrations, such as those designed by Adriaen van de Venne. At all events, the drawing could originally have formed part of the album of drawings by Rembrandt depicting the lives of women and children, noted under Benesch 0194.
For the date, the terminus post quem is provided by the interior, as it shows the back room or hall (“agtercaemer offte sael”) of the present Museum het Rembrandthuis, the house on the St Anthoniesbreestraat (now Jodenbreestraat) which Rembrandt acquired early in 1639. The terminus ante quem is the death of Saskia on 4th June 1642, based on the reasonable assumption that the drawing shows Saskia in bed. This leads to the further notion, given the presence of a servant, that the drawing was made around the time of the birth of Rembrandt’s short-lived daughter, Cornelia (baptised 29 July, 1640; died 12 August, 1640; another short-lived daughter named Cornelia was baptised on 22 July, 1638 and died two weeks later) or else his son, Titus (baptised 22 September, 1641). But the accoutrements of childbirth are missing here: there is no nursing couch, for example, like that shown in Benesch 0404 (qv). Saskia could be holding a child but this is uncertain – the object she seems to hold in the crook of her arm might be a bowl or basket. Any date between 1639 and 1642, therefore, becomes admissible.
Although the drawing is executed in bistre ink, in style it relates reasonably closely to the iron-gall ink drawings Rembrandt produced in 1638-39 (for which see Benesch 0157), such as the documentary drawings Benesch 0423 recto and verso and Benesch 0442. Although less detailed, they describe atmospheric perspective in an interior with equal mastery. The parallel hatching in the central figure of Benesch 0423 verso and to the right of Maria Trip in Benesch 0442 resembles that above the bed (allowing for the spread of the ink in the iron-gall drawings and for the more definite shadows required in both the documentary sheets), while at the top left of Benesch 0423 recto, the vertical striations of scumbled brushwork are similar to the topmost section of Benesch 0426, in the canopy above the bed (and there is a comparable use of the tip of the brush in Benesch 0392). No closer analogies may be made with later drawings by Rembrandt, which is why the drawing is here dated c.1639-40, in which case it was made soon after Rembrandt and his wife moved into their new home.
The grey wash, so often a later addition when found in Rembrandt’s drawings, appears in this case probably to be his own work. Broadly and even boldly applied, it tones down areas that might otherwise have appeared too light, including the chimneypiece and the door behind Saskia and in the drapery on the bed as well as her hands, adding to the overall pictorial harmony. The touch of red chalk at the base of the further herm was probably made for the same purpose, as also the black chalk by the top of the right bedpost.
Finally, the drawing appears to have inspired some designs by Rembrandt’s pupils, including drawings by Samuel van Hoogstraten. A comparable scene is depicted in the same media in a drawing in Munich, which is probably a pupil’s variation. It includes a nursing-couch and a figure seated at the fireplace with another servant standing nearby, warming herself.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: F Paris, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection (L.1028; inv.266).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Amsterdam, 1921-22 (no catalogue).; Valentiner, 1923, p.279, repr. pl.114, fig.5 in colour (c.1640; represents the present Museum het Rembrandthuis; same room in Benesch 1156); Benesch, 1925.1, p.31, reprinted Benesch, 1970, p.89; Exh. London, 1929, no.621 (Commemorative Catalogue, 1930, p.210); Holmes, 1930, p.210, no.621, repr. pl.cvi; Graul, 1934, p.61, no.25, repr. (c.1640); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.701, repr (c.1640); Benesch, 1935, p.22 (1634-35); Exh. Brussels, 1937-38, no.70, repr. pl.xlvi (c.1640); Henkel, 1938, p.44, repr. fig.1; Schinnerer, 1944, p.31, no.58, repr. (c.1640); Hennus, 1950, repr. p.112; Lugt, 1952, p.50, repr. p.41; Benesch, 2, 1954/73, no.426, repr. fig.480/513 (c.1639; same house represented in Benesch 1156; style compared with Benesch 0168; probably same sitting as Benesch 0425); Lugt, 1955, p.82, repr. fig.6; Exh. Paris, 1957 (no catalogue); Sumowski, 1957, p.59; Benesch, 1960, p.149, no.32, repr. (c.1639); White, 1964, p.59, repr. (c.1639); Brion et al., 1965, pp.90-91, repr. fig.53; Exh. Paris, 1965, no.88, repr. pl.xxxiv; Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.11, n.1 (late 1630s); Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.58, repr. (c.1640); Sutton, 1969, p.425, repr. fig.11 (c.1639); Van der Waals, 1970, p.103, repr. fig.6; Bernhard, 1976, II, p.251, repr. (c.1639); Exh. Oslo, 1976, p.16, under no.34; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1976, pp.362-63, repr. fig.14 (c.1639); Roberts, 1976, pp.3 and 9, repr. pl.16 (c.1639); Exh. New York-Paris, 1977-78, no.88, repr. pl.71 (c.1639 or shortly thereafter); Bailey, 1978, p.85, repr. (c.1639); Clark, 1978, pp.75-76, repr. pl.76; Fryszman, 1978, p.345; Amsterdam, 1981, under no.38, repr. fig. b (not later than 1642); Vogel-Köhn, 1981, pp.47, 49 and 51, repr. fig.17 (c.1639); Kitson, 1982, under no.23, repr. fig.23 (c.1640); White, 1984, pp.88-89, repr. pl.71 and p.209, n.71 (c.1639); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.11, repr. fig.11a and under no.14, n.2 (c.1640-41; identifies as present-day Rembrandt House); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, no.20, repr. (c.1640-41); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.461 (grey wash could be later); Zantkuil, 1993, p.355A (1639); Broos, 1996, p.161 (c.1640-41); Exh. Copenhagen, 1996, p.42; sale catalogue, New York, Sotheby’s, 29 January, 1997, under no.124; Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-98, p.xxi, no.9, repr. p.xii (c.1640-41); Logan, 1999, p.68 (as Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992); Schama, 1999, p.503, repr. (c.1639); Exh. Amsterdam, 1999, p.89, repr. (c.1641); Exh. Amsterdam, 1999-2000, p.35, repr. fig.16 (c.1641); Van Ham, 2000, p.103, repr. fig.5 (c.1641); Exh. Bremen, 2000-2001, under no.35, repr. fig.b (c.1640); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.38, repr. (1640-41; exhibited only in London); Fock, 2001, p.62, repr. fig.31 (c.1639-40); Exh. Munich-Amsterdam, 2001-2, p.36 and p.98, under no.17; Westermann, 2001, p.70, repr. fig.104 (c.1639-40); Gilboa, 2003, p.143, n.61; Tissink, 2003, repr. p.42 (c.1642); Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.46, repr. fig.12 (c.1640-41); Exh. Dresden, 2004, under no.103, n.5; Exh. Curitiba, 2004, p.24, repr. fig.xv; Exh. Brussels, 2005, under no.10, n.2; Blanc, 2006, p.26, repr. (c.1635-40); Montijn, 2006, p.39 repr. (c.1641); Roscam Abbing, 2006, p.38, repr.; Schwartz, 2006, p.135, repr. fig.232; Wilkie-Potshuma de Boer, 2006, p.11, repr. (1642); Exh. Paris, 2006-7.I, no.19, repr. and pp.16, 22 and under no.66, n.5 (c.1640-41); Müller-Schirmer, 2007, p.76, repr. fig.4; Müller-Schirmer, 2008, pp.66-67, repr. fig.8; Van de Wetering, 2008, p.93, repr. fig.127; Slive, 2009, p.82, repr. fig.7.2 (c.1639-41); Paris, 2010, no.10, repr. (c.1640-41; grey wash not later; compares Benesch 0500a and Benesch 0759; see further below at notes 3, 6 and 8); Exh. New York, 2011, p.89, repr. (c.1640-42); Exh. Paris, 2011, n.14; Bevers, 2012, p.402 (grey wash later); Heijbroek, 2012, pp.129-130, repr.; Exh. Paris, 2011, no.14; Wetering/Corpus, 6, 2015, under no. 173, repr. fig.5 (see n.6 below); Amsterdam, 2017 (2018), online [http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.28131] (as Amsterdam, 1985); Manuth et al., 2019, pp.86-87 and p.93; Schatborn, 2019, no.364 and pp.19 and 143, repr. (c.1641; served as a model for Hoogstraten); Manuth et al., 2019, pp.86-87 and 93; Fondation Custodia online, last updated March 2021: https://collectiononline.fondationcustodia.fr/bronnen/drawings/detail/d484927f-40df-94fe-aa9e-f580838987d3/media/e130dc4d-f819-e813-c29e-fa31d4ba6815?mode=detail&view=horizontal&q=rembrandt%20Benesch&rows=1&page=23&sort=order_s_preferred_artist%20asc [accessed 7 August 2022].
PROVENANCE: William Esdaile (L.2617 and Suppl.); his sale, London, Christie’s, 18-25 June, 1840, lot 1046 bt Geddes, £1-3-0; John Heywood Hawkins (L.1471 and Suppl.); his sale, London, Sotheby’s, 29 April, 1850 and following days, lot 1025 bt Colnaghi, £2-11-0; Mrs A. Bellingham Smith, 1918; E. Parsons and Sons, London (cf.L.2881 and Suppl.), from whom purchased by Frits Lugt (L.1028), 10 May, 1919.
 Compare, for example, Benesch 0255, Benesch 0280a, Benesch 0281, 0281A, 0282, 0283, Benesch 0286, Benesch 0289, Benesch 0379 verso, Benesch 0404, Benesch 0405, Benesch 0413 and Benesch 0425.
 As noted by Fock, 2001.
 As pointed out by Schatborn in Paris, 2010. For the Buytewech, see Hamburg, 2011, no.188 (inv.21773). For Van de Venne, see the New Hollstein. Schatborn also points to the drawings (a) in Munich, which shows a similar chimneypiece but without the herms, and also with the bed but with a nursing couch and a cradle (Munich, 1973, no.1148, repr. and Exh. Paris, 2006, under no.19, repr.); and (b), as Benesch first noted (1954), in Copenhagen, in which the herms are visible, seen from the front and with women at a table to the left, but the bed is barely visible at all (Benesch 1156, Exh. Copenhagen, 1996, no.14).
 As noted under Benesch 0404, on 5 January, 1639, the artist purchased the present Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam on what was then the Breestraat (now the Jodenbreestraat), and took possession of it on 1 May of that year (Strauss and Van der Meulen, 1979, 1639/1). The drawing was used as the basis for the latest restoration of the room, which was described in the 1656 inventory of Rembrandt’s possessions as the “agtercaemer offte sael” – back room or saloon (ibid., 1656/12).
 Ibid, 1642/3. The figure in the drawing is of course not certainly identifiable as Saskia because of its scale.
 See n.4 for the date. Schatborn, in Paris 2010, compares Benesch the documentary drawings Benesch 500a and Benesch 0759 respectively dated 1641 and 1640, but the style is less close. Van de Wetering, Corpus, 6, 2015, under no. 173, repr. fig.5, compares the interior in the 1640 Louvre painting of the Holy Family with St Anne (Bredius 563; Wetering 173).
 As supposed also for this drawing by Logan, 1999.
 One, of the Death of the Virgin, now in the Fondation Custodia, Paris (Sumowski 1126x), was mentioned in this context by Schatborn in Paris, 2010, where it is cat. no.94, repr..
 Inv.1414Z; Munich, 1973, no.1148 as “Rembrandt?”; repr. by Schatborn in Exh. Paris, 2006-7, under no.19, fig.35.
 See under Benesch 0253, n.2, but as the drawing does not feature in the catalogue of the Andrew James sale, London, Christie’s, 28 April, 1873, lots 61-112, it probably did not belong to him.
First posted 24 April 2019.
Subject: Portrait of Saskia van Uylenburgh in a Straw Hat
Verso: Laid down
Medium: Silverpoint on vellum prepared with a pale, greyish cream ground. Inscribed in silverpoint below by the artist: “dit is naer mijn huijsvrou geconterfeijt / do sij 21 jaer oud was den derden / dach als wij getroudt waeren / den 8 junijus / 1633”? [this is portrayed after my wife / when she was 21 years old on the third / day after we were married / 8th June / 1633]
185 x 107 (arched top).
COMMENTS: A highlight among all Rembrandt’s drawings, the style ranging from the needlepoint accuracy of his rendition of the face to the broader touch in the body. This is a documentary sheet because of the lengthy inscription written by Rembrandt himself, describing the drawing as of his wife, Saskia, and dating it the 8th June, 1633. Saskia is shown in almost pastoral garb, with flowers in her hat and holding a rose in her right hand. Her left supports her head in a manner comparable to her pose in the etching of her made a few years later, in c.1637, in the Three Studies of Female Heads, in which her expression is more careworn (Bartsch 367; NH 162). Here she gazes back at her husband replete with love and tenderness. Rembrandt’s ability to render the emotions so palpably that we partake of them, and to catalyse our own feelings, verges on the miraculous.
That the inscription below is by Rembrandt has never been doubted and is clear from comparing it with the handwriting on Benesch 0257 of 1634 and also in his letters to Constantijn Huygens (beginning with that written in February 1636.
Rembrandt’s wife, the short-lived Saskia van Uylenburgh, was baptised on 2nd August 1612, married Rembrandt on 2nd July 1634 (but on 22nd June 1634 according to the Julian calendar then still in use in Friesland, where the marriage took place) and died in Amsterdam on 14th June 1642. Thus there are three ‘mistakes’ in Rembrandt’s inscription (“this is portrayed after my wife when she was 21 years old on the third day after we were married / 8th June 1633”): she would not yet have been his ‘wife’ (huijsvrou) in 1633; they were married (getroudt) not in 1633 but in 1634; and Saskia turned 21 only on 2nd August 1633, almost two months after the date on the drawing. There has to be an explanation, but none of those proffered so far is entirely convincing.
Indeed, the anomalies have led to several competing theories: firstly, that the inscription was added substantially later and Rembrandt made at least one and possibly more errors. This hypothesis seems inherently unlikely, and a comparison with Rembrandt’s later handwriting, for example in the inscriptions of 1652 on both Benesch 0913 and Benesch 1278, is not compelling, while samples of his handwriting from the 1630s appear similar. Secondly, the possibility that Rembrandt simply wrote 1633 instead of 1634 has also been mooted: on 8th June 1634, the first banns of the wedding would probably have been published and this would mean that the drawing was made three days after this, on 11 June 1634 (although no document exists to confirm the posting of the banns, the first banns were normally posted two Sundays before the wedding ceremony). Yet the separate lines given over to the date, which is separated from the preceding part of the inscription by a drawn line and a new indentation, strongly suggest that the “den 8 junijus / 1633” was the actual date of the drawing.
There is physical evidence on the drawing to suggest that it was framed at an early date, thus it was likely to have been displayed in the artist’s home(s), and it seems almost unimaginable that Rembrandt would not have corrected the date if it were wrong (perhaps encouraged by Saskia). That he was not averse to making such corrections is shown by both Benesch 0057 and the related proof of the etched Self-Portrait in Paris, in both of which Rembrandt adjusted his age. The most logical conclusion is that he simply rounded up Saskia’s age: she was in her 21st year and was about to become 21 in any case; and that the drawing was made three days after they announced their engagement, so that Rembrandt, with the word “getroudt”, abbreviated “ondergetroudt”.
While the objections are valid, it seems preferable to this writer to retain the date written on the sheet at face value. It is unusually specific for a Rembrandt drawing. To apply a modern and academic mindset to documentary and orthographic practices of the seventeenth century may also be a mistake. (Or the sixteenth, for those au fait with the problems surrounding Titian’s date of birth, or, somewhat later, with Shakespeare’s spelling of his own name.) But on balance it seems likely that Rembrandt made this and his other surviving silverpoint drawings (Benesch 0341 and Benesch 0466, qqv) on a trip to Sint Annaparochie in Friesland in June, 1633. He may have joined Saskia there for the baptism, on 2nd June, 1633, of her niece, Sophia van Loo, the daughter of her sister Hiskia, for which Titia van Uylenburgh (see Benesch 0441) acted as a witness. To judge from the date on the drawing, Rembrandt and Saskia became officially engaged a few days later, on 5th June, 1633, just three days before the drawing was made. Part of the raison d’être for the trip may have been for Rembrandt to meet Saskia’s relatives, ones that he had not yet encountered in Amsterdam.
The technique of silverpoint was prominent in the fifteenth century until the end of the first quarter of the sixteenth. A metal point, often of silver, is used to make lines on a surface prepared with a toned mixture, often of finely ground ash-bones and glue. Here the vertical brushstrokes of the ground’s application are visible (although the sheet may originally have been bound and/or brushed horizontally). Many of the technique’s early practitioners employed it with a similar, pale greyish-coloured preparation, including Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Gerard David, Lorenzo di Credi, Filippino Lippi, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and also Albrecht Dürer and Lucas van Leyden, both of whose works were assiduously collected by Rembrandt. It was regularly used closer to his time and in the Netherlands by Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617). The colour of the preparation resembles that of Benesch 0341 and Benesch 0466, but is here cleaner. Slight variations within a single sketchbook can also be caused by differences in the prepared ground and it remains possible that all three sheets were originally in a single sketchbook prepared for silverpoint, or gathered in a drawing ‘tablet’ (‘tafelet’), a small folder into which several prepared sheets could be sewn, and easily replaced by other sheets whenever needed. Although the notion that silverpoint was somehow always a ‘precious’ medium, employed mainly for finished works of art in their own right, is common, this is not the case, as is testified by many examples, including Rembrandt’s use of it in such informal sketches as Benesch 0341 and Benesch 0466. But in the present case the drawing, though of modest dimensions, was detailed and successful enough to take on an independent life as a work of art in its own right.
It is also often assumed that silverpoint cannot be erased, but this is not entirely true – the sheets can even be re-coated with a new ground. Rubbing gently with a damp finger can also erase or weaken existing lines. In Benesch 0427, the ground may have been retouched in the top of Saskia’s hat and in the lower left corner, where the ground looks cleaner, but this could be due to the interventions of a later restorer. For Rembrandt’s use of vellum in his drawings, see further under Benesch 0433.
Saskia’s life and her relationship to Rembrandt have been studied in detail. She was the daughter of a respectable and well-to-do family – her father was a burgomaster of Leeuwaarden. Her mother died when she was only seven and her father when she was twelve, and she was subsequently raised by her older sister, Hiskia van Uylenburgh and her husband Gerrit van Loo in Leeuwaarden and for a time the area of Het Bildt in North Friesland, in a village called Sint Annaparochie. Late in 1632, she moved to Leeuwaarden and early the following year she probably travelled to Amsterdam with the painters Govert Flinck and Jacob Backer, to stay with her cousin, Hendrick van Uylenburgh. The latter was employing or acting as an agent for the young Rembrandt, and Saskia presumably met him at this time. They married in Sint Annaparochie in 1634 (vide supra) and produced several children, but only the last-born, Titus van Rijn (1641-1668), survived into adulthood. She regularly modelled for Rembrandt for his paintings, etchings and drawings, not least for the many touching drawings he made of her in bed, often when in confinement or with their infant children. She died aged 29 on 14th June 1642 and was buried five days later.
Condition: Generally good; the ground may have been retouched at an early date above the hat and in the lower left corner; slightly cracked and dirty at the edges, perhaps from an old frame, tape or mount; presumably trimmed slightly on all sides.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*.
Date: 1633 (1634??).
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv.1152).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Bürger, 1864, p.78, n.1 (referring to Vosmaer’s ‘discovery’); Vosmaer, 1868, pp.52-53 and 434 (see n.10 below); Vosmaer, 1877, pp.131-32 and 501; (see n.10 below); Lippmann, 1882, no.47; Springer, 1883 (not Rembrandt; wrong year of marriage, not Saskia, not Rembrandt’s handwriting); Lippmann, I, no.6; Michel, 1890, pp.44 and 46; Michel, 1893, p.573; Von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121; Bode, 1897, pp.83-84; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, pp.xxxvii-viii, no.99 (inscription possibly a later addition); Hofstede de Groot, 1906.I, no.30 (as in 1906); Bode and Valentiner, 1906, pp.25 and 81; Berlin, 1910, no.267; Hind, 1912, I, p.58; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.89 (as Hofstede de Groot, 1906); Bode, 1915, cols 221-22; Neumann, 1918.I, no.34, repr.; Neumann, 1918, p.118; Meder, 1919, p.97 (from a sketchbook?); Neumann, 1924, p.81; Weisbach, 1926, pp.46 and 603; Van Dyke, 1927, pp.6-8 and 77 (Flinck; inscription probably by Rembrandt); Berlin, 1930, I, p.230, repr. II, pl.162; Byam Shaw, 1930, p.57; Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.226; Lugt, 1931, p.59; Hind, 1932, pp.79 and 143-44, repr. pl.liii; Paris, 1933, under no.1150; Graul, 1934, no.7 (inscription authentic but later); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.672, repr.; Benesch, 1935, pp.15 and 18; Wichmann, 1940, p.12 (as Graul, 1934); Poortenaar, 1943, no.2; Tolnay, 1943, repr. fig.194; Schinner, 1944, no.2; Benesch, 1947, no.21, repr.; Rosenberg, 1948, p.12; Möhle, 1949, pp.33-34 (as Graul, 1934); Winkler, 1951, pp.112-13; Benesch, 2, 1954/73, no.427, repr. fig.483/514 (as Graul, 1934); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.32; Rosenberg, 1956, p.127; Benesch, 1957, pp.11-12; Benesch, 1963, p.15, no.8, repr.; Rosenberg, 1964, p.21, repr. pl.19; Descargues, 1965, pp.89-91; Müller, 1965, p.24; Slive, 1965, no.6; White, 1964, p.28; Exh. Berlin, 1968, no.1; De Meyere, 1968, pp.85-86; Hamann, 1969, pp.32, 34-35, 46 and 69; Haak, 1974, pp.32-33, no.1, repr.; Broos, 1975-76, p.212, n.43; Bernhard, 1976, p.80; Tümpel, 1977, pp.50 and 52; Clark, 1978, pp.68-70; Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, no.1633/3 (recording the inscription as a document); Achenbach, Anzelewsky, Dreyer, Mielke et al., 1980, no.33, repr.; Broos, 1983.I, pp.16-17, repr. fig.11 (on inscription and chronology); Broos, 1984.I, p.40, repr. fig.11 (on chronology); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.32; Exh. West Palm Beach-Pensacola-Little Rock-Springfield, 1985-86, pp.11 and 15; Corpus, 2, 1986, pp.107, 331, 360 and 365 (questions of the date of the inscriptions; Saskia not the model for the 1633 painting of Bellona [New York, Metropolitan Museum, Bredius 467, Wetering 101]; not specifically the model for the painted 1633 Bust of a Young Woman [Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Bredius 94; Wetering 98]; by comparison Saskia probably was represented in the painted 1633 Bust of a Young Woman Smiling [Dresden, Gemäldegalerie, Bredius 97; Wetering 94); Exh. Amsterdam, 1987-88, no.9; Rotterdam, 1988, under no.11; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, under no.12; Exh. Amsterdam, 1989, p.180-81; Corpus, 3, 1989, p.146, under no.A111 (Rembrandt used himself and Saskia, loosely, as models, but without any special intent, in the c.1635 painting of the Prodigal Son in the Tavern [Dresden, Gemäldegalerie] Bredius 30; Corpus 3, A111, vol. VI, no.135); Exh. Amsterdam, 1989, p.180, repr. (Vosmaer’s rediscovery of the drawing in Berlin); Haak, 1990, pp.92-93; Royalton-Kisch, 1990, p.135 (all Rembrandt’s silverpoint studies should be dated 1633); Exh. Washington, 1990, under no.1; Grimm, 1991, pp.57-58; Van de Wetering, 1991, pp.219-21 and 223 (the drawing part of an erasable sketchbook; perhaps intended for a print, possibly to be paired with s self-portrait); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, II, p.29, no.3, repr. and under no.12, repr fig.12b; Exh. London, 1992, under no.8; Berlin, 1994,, no.IV.57; Van de Wetering, 1997, pp.47, 65 and 70-71; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, pp.327-28; Sell, 1998, p.52; Starcky, 1999, pp.34-35; Exh. Amsterdam- London, 2000-2001, under no.29; Broos, 2001, pp.33-35; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, pp.11-12 and 56; Van de Wetering, 1991, p.221, repr. fig.8 (tafelet drawing – see further above); Groeneweg, 2001-2002, pp.15-18; Broos, 2003, pp.41-42; Tümpel, in Vignau-Wilberg (ed.), 2003, p.171, n.1; Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.46; Broos, 2005, pp.80 and 87; Berlin, 2006, no.5, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 2006, pp.9 and 39, repr. fig.4; Roscam Abbing, 2006.2, pp.18-19, repr.; London, 2010 (online), under no.7 (comparing Benesch 0327); Broos, 2009.1, pp.50-51, repr. fig.6; Slive, 2009, p.16, repr. fig.2.4; Exh. Washington-London, 2015, p.157, repr. fig.10 (c.1633); Exh. Dresden, 2019, no.22, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, no.629 and pp.18, 19, 305 and 403, repr. (1633; follows Berlin 2006 in stating the preparation different to the landscape silverpoint drawings; silverpoint on parchment; one of many drawings of Saskia, both as portraits and as genre pieces; date is that of their engagement; detailed face, sketchy style of the remainder); This Catalogue online, 30 April 2019; Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, pp.72-73, repr. fig.93 (recto).
PROVENANCE: Jeronimus Tonneman; his sale, Amsterdam, 21 October, 1754 and following days, Konstboek N, no.67, bt Hendrick de Winter (dealer); by 1811 probably in a Berlin collection; Daum collection sale, Berlin, 21 January, 1811, p.28, lot 734 (according to F. Lugt); Adam Gottlieb Thiermann (see Lugt, 2434); acquired by the present repository in 1861.
 The ground was apparently applied using predominantly vertical strokes (as seen with the sheet in its current portrait direction).
 For the documentary drawings, see Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011. Benesch 0427 forms something of an exceptional case, as all the other drawings regarded as documentary are either signed by Rembrandt or closely related to other works by him. Benesch 0427 is neither.
 Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, no.1636/1.
 For drawings inscribed by Rembrandt, see Schatborn and Dudok van Heel, 2011. A few more are listed in Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011. Rembrandt’s letters are all reproduced in Gerson, 1961. Many are illustrated online at:
 Groeneweg, 2002 (especially pp.16-17). In an article in Het Financieele Dagblad, 9 November, 2002, Gary Schwartz took issue with Groeneweg’s theory, as also with Broos, 2002. Groeneweg replied in the same newspaper on 30th November, summarising her arguments, to which a response by Schwartz was appended, standing by his objections.
 I noted this possibility in 1988 but see Bevers, in Berlin, 2006.
 See Broos, 2005 and Broos, 2012.
 Frank I. Mather, “When was Titian Born?,” Art Bulletin, xx, 1938, pp.13-25.
 Broos, 2005 (repeated in Broos, 2012).
 See Exh. Washington-London, 2015. The idea that Rembrandt here employed a ‘tafelet’ was promoted by Van de Wetering, 1991. But his theory that the sheets were often recoated with ground and reused has not been substantiated (and from the experience of the present author in printrooms, seems unlikely).
 Dürer’s and Goltzius’s silverpoint drawings are frequently equally informal. The idea that it was a precious medium results only from the relatively low survival rate of such minor sketches compared with more finished ones (see Exh. Antwerp-London, 1999, pp.31ff.).
 Van de Wetering, 1991, pp.214, 219 and 223.
 See especially Broos, 2012.
 The children were Rumbartus (1535-36), Cornelia (1638), another Cornelia (1640) and finally Titus (1641-1668), who was to marry a niece of Gerrit van Loo, Saskia’s ward. There may have been other, unrecorded pregnancies that ended prematurely, making it difficult to date the drawings of her securely.
 As noted by Gero Seelig, who pointed out the existence of the print of 1811 after the drawing by the Berlin artist Johann Friedrich Bolt (see Berlin, 2006).
 As well as being described c.1840 in Thiermann’s inventory (see Lugt 2434) he also mentioned it in his annotated copy of Bartsch. Both are in the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (see Berlin, 2006, under no.5, n.2, in which Bevers points out that Vosmaer’s boast that he discovered the drawing among the ‘apocrypha’ of Rembrandt in the Kupferstichkabinett, and that he was the first to identify the sitter as Saskia, seems improbable (see Vosmaer, 1868, pp.52-53 and ibid., 1877, pp.131-32).
First posted 30 April 2019.
Subject: Seated Woman Holding a Letter, full-length
Verso: See Inscriptions
Medium: Black chalk, heightened with white chalk on paper prepared (on the recto only) brownish-yellow; ruled framing lines in black chalk. There is very little white, some of which (in the neck) is probably from a later restoration; ruled framing lines in black chalk. Inscribed verso, in graphite, lower left, perhaps c.1900: “ R.F.H.n:11.40” and “F.Bol. 21732”
266 x 191 (the rounded corners have been made up). Chain lines: 21-23v; laid lines: c.16/cm..
COMMENTS: The drawing apparently entered the Hamburg collection in 1863 as by Ferdinand Bol, but was brought into the fold of Rembrandt chiefly by Otto Benesch (see under Literature and Provenance). Since the turn of the millennium, almost every possible objection has been raised to the newer attribution, and Bol’s name resurrected as a likely alternative attribution.
The concerns expressed are that, for Rembrandt, (a) the modelling and underlying structure are too insecure, (b) the head and facial expression too indefinite, (c) the hands too uncharacteristic and (d) that the left, shaded part of the background is a later addition by another artist (which Benesch already believed). On top of that, it is held that (e) the short sleeves of the costume were fashionable only from much later, c.1647-50, making an attribution to Rembrandt in c.1633 – the date proposed by Benesch – impossible.
Further confusion was sewn because of the drawing’s stylistic analogies with the study of Lot, now in Frankfurt (Benesch 0082, see Figs d-e), which with its prominent date of 1633 led not only to the belief that the present drawing must also be from that period, or even that year, but also that, like Benesch 0427, it must depict Rembrandt’s wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh. But now that the Lot (Benesch 0082, qv) has been redated, with good reason, to c.1630-31, the question of the attribution requires a thorough reassessment. Hence the length of this catalogue entry.
Let us start with objection (e) concerning the date of the costume, as if it indeed dates from c.1647 or later, the drawing could not possibly be by Rembrandt; it has practically nothing in common with his style from the later 1640s onwards. But even a cursory search of portraits by Anthonie van Dyck, Michiel van Mierevelt and Cornelius Janssens (Cornelis Johnson) reveals that shorter sleeves were already in vogue at least from 1628, sometimes combined with a flat lace ruff as here (see Figs.a-c). Van Mierevelt’s painting of the Winter Queen (Fig.a), is especially revealing in the present context, as it is dated 1628 and can only have been painted in the Dutch Republic – the artist was working in Delft and the sitter was living in nearby The Hague, where he had joined the painter’s guild and become Principal Painter to the Prince of Orange, Frederick Hendrick, in 1625.
Where the drawing of Lot is concerned (Benesch 0082, see Fig.d), the date change to c.1630-31, rather than 1633, is a significant adjustment (see the catalogue entry for Benesch 0082); and its analogies with the present drawing are too marked to be dismissed lightly. To begin with, they suggest fairly convincingly that the shaded section to the upper left of Benesch 0428, far from being a later addition by another hand, is by Rembrandt, a view supported by further comparisons with, for example, Benesch 0006 verso, Benesch 0046, Benesch 0090 and Benesch 0196 (see Figs.e.1-6). Not only is the diagonal shading in the centre of the shaded wall in Benesch 0428 (Fig.e.1) entirely compatible (with Figs.e.2-6), but the trails of lines in the same general area closely resemble those descending to the right of Lot (compare Figs.e.1 and e.6 as well as the lower right of Fig.e.2). There is another closely comparable passage of shading at the lower right of Benesch 0276. The lower part of the left background shading, just above the table, becomes more even or subtle, conforming entirely to the style of hatching that appears on the left of Benesch 0021 (see Figs.f-g).
If the point seems laboured it is for a purpose: for if the background shading is by Rembrandt, as I believe these comparisons reveal, then the remainder of the drawing (apart from the top corner additions) falls into place as his work, as I hope the discussion below reinforces. There is, however, a divergence between Benesch 0428 and the Lot (Benesch 0082) in the quality of the shading in the draperies. In the Lot, the application of the chalk is less smooth. But the difference at least partly reflects the artist’s subject, on the one hand depicting silks in the woman’s portrait and, on the other, rough, worn clothes in the Lot. The angle of the fall of light is also more oblique in the Lot. These factors led the artist to employ a more variegated touch in the latter. But the underlying principles nevertheless remain the same: the darkest and often heaviest outlines are frequently reinforced and interrupted, while some other, equally dark strokes within the drapery simply cut across the shading, ignoring rather than following the implied underlying modelling. This latter characteristic is already found in many of Rembrandt’s red chalk drawings of old men from 1630-31, the period of the Lot, such as Benesch 0020, Benesch 0037, Benesch 0040 and Benesch 0041. A detail from the latter is here illustrated as Fig.h.3, alongside details from Benesch 0428 and Benesch 0082 (Figs.h.1-2), in order to demonstrate this trait, which is also seen in Benesch 0196 (especially near the knees). These strong, often longer strokes thus take on a decorative, ornamental or calligraphic quality.
For parallels with the smoother shading in the clothes, we may point to a somewhat later example from 1635, the black chalk background added at the upper right of the touched proof of the 1635 etching of Johannes Uytenbogaert (see Figs.i-j; the etching is Bartsch 279; NH 153; see further on this work under the ‘Not in Benesch’ tab). The resemblance is close, and the etched proof also contains added chalk lines in the curtain above the sitter that, like those in the draperies of Benesch 0428, cut across the underlying parallel shading.
Another stylistic feature of Benesch 0428 is a plethora of sharp, dark accents, seen for example along the lower edges of the sleeves and around the figure’s midriff. This effect is repeated in a similar fashion under the sleeves in Rembrandt’s drawings of the Leiden period, c.1630-31, illustrated here in Figs.k.1-3 (respectively Benesch 0428, Benesch 0040 and Benesch 0037), and the style remains, at the very least, compatible. (The contrasts are stronger in Benesch 0428 [Fig.k.1] as the other two drawings are in red, rather than black chalk.)
Further arguments in favour of the attribution to Rembrandt may be adduced, as well as refutations of some previously held notions: the simply-drawn mouth, with one emphatic line to mark the division of the lips and another shorter stroke below, has been described as typical of Bol (see Leja, 2004), but it is a shorthand we encounter in many drawings by Rembrandt, including Benesch 0250, Benesch 0276, Benesch 0300, Benesch 0395, Benesch 0407 (especially the woman inside the door) and Benesch 0442. While it appears in pupils’ drawings as well, it cannot be used to undermine the attribution to Rembrandt or to assign it to a particular pupil. Another argument that favours Rembrandt is the fact that the drawing is on paper prepared with a yellowish tone, as found in a number of drawings by Rembrandt’s teacher, Pieter Lastman, as well as in a cluster of works by Rembrandt dating from c.1626-1631 (Benesch 0007, Benesch 0020, Benesch 0039 and Benesch 0041, and two drawings that are Not in Benesch, the Horse Lying Down and the Bust of an Old Man, both of c.1626). But a yellowish preparation is not encountered in drawings by Rembrandt’s pupils, including Ferdinand Bol.
It is true that the character of the sitter here is less sharply defined than in many other Rembrandt drawings (though by no means all). But the study is clearly primarily focussed on the drapery and the overall lighting, so this is not surprising. The same may be said for many other studies which are not doubted, including some documentary drawings, for example, the Standing Man in Benesch 0012, the figure of Abraham in Benesch 0090, St John the Baptist in Benesch 0142a, or the figure of Adam in Benesch 0164. This is because Rembrandt’s focus was elsewhere, whether on the fall of the light, the posture, the interaction of the protagonists or, as in the present case, the drapery. Neither are strictures of characterisation imposed on the figures in Benesch 0196, Benesch 280a (the child), Benesch 0292 or Benesch 0379 verso.
The sitter’s hands have also given rise to complaints, but they seem unjustified (see Figs. k.1-3 and Figs.o.1-3): in the light of the quality of the hands in many other drawings there is no firm reason to doubt that they are by Rembrandt: Benesch 0021 is perhaps an especially compatible example for the sitter’s left hand (Fig.o.2), with its more sketchy realisation. The right hand (see Fig.o.1) is in fact extremely fully realised here, and the firm outlining as well as the touches of shading in the arm are close to the nearer arm of Benesch 0021 (compare Figs o.1-2). That hands are often not Rembrandt’s main focus is clear from numerous drawings such as the documentary sheets, Benesch 0142A and Benesch 0152, as well as from the non-documentary Benesch 0429.
The conclusion that the drawing is by Rembrandt becomes inevitable once the background is seen to be his work, as it clearly is. In addition, the drawing seems to be an experiment: Rembrandt’s earliest commissioned portraits of women date from 1632, and he would have faced the challenge of depicting a voluminous black dress in a portrait for the first time in paint. If Benesch 0428 dates from only slightly later than the Lot, it may be placed precisely in this period, c.1631-32.
To search for some kind of Mozartian perfection in every stroke of a Rembrandt drawing, or for a smooth consistency of approach, is to misunderstand his purpose in making most of his drawings in the first place: to use the sheet as a testing-ground to try things out, to experiment, to dare, to adjust and readjust and, sometimes, to leave something unresolved (or even to fail). Benesch 0428 is not a signed or finished work. It is a working drawing, probably made with a finished portrait painting (or etching) in mind. As noted above, it is not only a study of drapery, but also a study of the light, and the background shading above the table is part of that exercise, the illumination raking across the wall and its shadows providing a compositional balance to those at the lower right of the sheet.
The attribution to Ferdinand Bol should now wither on the vine. His work often seems vacuous of expression and loose of modelling. But the chief problem for its promoters is that Benesch 0428 looks unlike any drawing that may be assigned to Bol with any degree of credibility. As for the sitter, there is a generic resemblance to Saskia (see Benesch 0427 and Benesch 0429) but the identification must remain uncertain, and the overall appearance of the figure here seems more matronly or mature. It might be thought that she is in mourning, but black veils and clothes were not limited to the bereaved, as may be seen in Rembrandt’s painted portrait of Oopjen Coppit of 1634 (Bredius 342; Wetering 120b).
Condition: The rucking of paper along or near the contours appears to be original, as if caused by creases in the paper or even by a stylus underdrawing (that it was been caused before the drawing was made seems probable, as the chalk generally skips over them, although it may possibly be that the ‘scratches’, if that is what they are, were caused ‘scratching out’ – see further above); there are patches of foxing at upper centre and to the left; the rounded top corners have been made up and darkened and the framing lines around these corners are more lightly drawn than on the rest of the sheet; other creases or old folds.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: D Hamburg, Kunsthalle (L.1328; inv.21732).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, 1933-34, pp.295-296, repr. fig.246 [reprinted 1970, p.115, repr. fig.84]; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.428, repr. fig.484/515 (c.1633; represents Saskia; the vertical corner of the room and the hatching to the left of it an addition; style relates it to Benesch 0082; also compares Benesch 0429; the ‘adumbrations’ [first outlines?] comparable to Benesch 0196); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.22; Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.67; Exh. Munich, 1957, no.6; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.27; Exh. Hamburg, 1967, no.72, repr. fig.63; Bernhard, 1976, no.72, repr.; Corpus, 2, 1986, p.557, under no.A101, repr. fig.5 (perhaps a first idea for the Portrait of Oopjen Coppit of c.1634 [Bredius 342; Wetering 88b]); Exh. The Hague-San Francisco, 1990, pp.383-85, repr, fig.3 (relates to Woman with a Fan of 1633 [Bredius 341; Wetering 88b]); Grimm, 1991, p.50, repr. fig.72; Exh. Hamburg, 1994-95, no.96, repr. (compares with Ottawa ‘Esther’ [Bredius 494; Wetering 100); Exh. Hamburg-Bremen, 2000-2001, pp.11, 12 and 27, repr., fig.8 and no.5, repr.; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.24, repr. (c.1633-35; compares ‘Great Jewish Bride’ etching of 1635, Bartsch 340, NH 154 and paintings of Wom
an with a Fan and of Oopjen Coppit [vide supra] but the short sleeves suggest a later date late 1640s/early 1650s [according to M. de Winkel] – for sleeves see Honthorst’s 1650 portrait of Amalia van Solms as a Widow [Berlin] and 1647 Group Portrait of Frederick Hendrick, Amalia van Solms and their Children [Amsterdam]; compares Benesch 0429 and believes the strong pentimenti, e.g. in the skirt and sleeves, may show Rembrandt correcting a pupil’s drawing; probably not Saskia; perhaps a pupil’s work corrected by Rembrandt); Leja, 2004, pp.22, 45-46 and 51-56, repr. fig.44 (c.1640-41, an early work by Ferdinand Bol with Rembrandt characteristics, based on the latter’s “Esther” in Ottawa [ Bredius 494; Wetering 100); Corpus, 4, 2005, p.146; Hamburg, 2011, no.123, repr. [also online] (attrib. to Ferdinand Bol; modelling too flat and anatomical structure too weak for Rembrandt); Exh. Amsterdam, 2012, no.11, repr.; [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Georg Ernst Harzen (L. 1244; NH Ad:01:02, fol. 8 as “Ferd. Bol”: “Eine Dame von Stande, schwarz gekleidet sitzt an einem Tisch, einen Brief in der Hand haltend. Kreide u Bister 126.96.36.199”; “NH Ad: 02: 01, S. 244”); bequeathed by Harzen 1863 to the “Städtische Galerie”, Hamburg, whence transferred to the present repository after its opening in 1869.
 Illustrated in chronological order are (Fig.a) Michiel van Mierevelt’s Portrait of Elizabeth Stuart (The Winter Queen), dated 1628 (sold with its pair, the Portrait of Frederick, the Winter King, London, Sotheby’s, 9 December, 2015, lot 27 – see http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/old-master-british-paintings-evening-sale-l15036/lot.27.html [accessed 8 May 2019]); (Fig.b) Cornelius Janssens’s (Cornelis Johnson’s) Portrait of An Unknown Woman (Elena Lee, Lady Sussex?) of 1630 at Boughton House and (Fig.c) Anthonie Van Dyck’s Portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria of c.1636-37, now in a private collection in New York (Barnes, De Poorter, Millar and Vey, 2004, no.IV.123).
 Stefes noted this quality in the present drawing in her catalogue, Hamburg, 2011 (see Literature).
 As noted in the relevant entry, some authors attribute the Seated Old Man to Jan Lievens, also a Lastman-pupil (see the “Not in Benesch” tab).
 Broos, in Exh. The Hague-San Francisco, 1990, pp.383-85, saw a direct link with the Woman with a Fan of 1633 (Bredius 341; Wetering 88b). Although the proposition is tempting, the relationship does not appear to be direct. Other authors have rightly seen analogies in other early works by Rembrandt, but wrongly deduced that the drawing is a pupil’s derivation from them. Many of them are in any case history subjects rather than portraits, and Benesch 0428 was clearly made with portraiture in mind (see under Literature: Exh. Hamburg, 1994-95; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001; Leja, 2004).
 In this catalogue, Stefes records objections to the attribution to Rembrandt by Holm Bevers (2003) as well as Peter Schatborn and Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann (both at a conference in 2008).
First posted 17 May 2019.
Subject: Saskia Seated in an Armchair, three-quarter length
Verso: Three Studies of a Sleeve
Medium: Red chalk, heightened with white on pale brown paper; ruled framing lines in pen and dark brown ink. Inscribed verso in pen and brown ink: “LP 6106”
COMMENTS: The identification of the sitter as Saskia seems convincing on the basis of a comparison with Rembrandt’s etched Self-Portrait with Saskia of 1636 (Bartsch 19; NH 158). Her face in the Berlin silverpoint portrait of 1633, Benesch 0427 (qv), is also compatible.
The relationship with the etching is close enough to suggest that Rembrandt referred to the drawing when making it, though not that it was specifically made as a preparatory study. Yet the image is not in reverse. One speculative possibility is that Rembrandt could have made a counterproof of the drawing and worked from that, which might explain the evenness of the drawing’s surface, as if it had been pressed. The master sheet in a counterproof is also usually dampened, a possible reason for the water stains at the top right and near the centre right edge of the recto, and the further staining on the verso (and for the discoloured condition generally).
The style and technique resemble other drawings of the mid-1630s, including the documentary sheet, Benesch 0009 recto of c.1635, as well as the Self-Portrait in Washington, Benesch 0437 recto (cf especially the loop at the lower left here and those behind the neck and shoulder in the Self-Portrait). The touch includes, characteristically, some firm lines but overall the touch is lighter and more feathery than usual.
The verso has been little discussed. The sleeve, shown three times, appears to be from the same costume as the recto, with the similarly pinched or gathered cuffs, but with the arm hanging limp. The right hand that emerges from the central sleeve is outlined with a precision and delicacy that is difficult to match among Rembrandt’s other red chalk figure drawings.
The subject of a seated woman places the drawing among possible candidates to have once been in the album of drawings of the lives of women and children owned by Jan van de Cappelle (see under Benesch 0194).
Condition: Overall somewhat worn and flat; the brown tone appears to be discolouration, perhaps caused or exacerbated by damp (see above) and acidity.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: F Paris, Musée du Louvre (L.1886; inv.22913, formerly NIII33952; Louvre MS inventory, vol.IX, p.394).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1877, p.597; Reiset, 1878, no.542; Lippmann, I, 161a; Michel, 1893, p.587, repr. pl.45; Seidlitz, 1894, p.120 (represents Saskia); Graul, 1906, no.8, repr.; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.623 (c.1636; used for etched Self-Portrait with Saskia, Bartsch 19; NH 158); Bruel, 1908, p.462; Saxl, 1908, p.238; Kleinmann, 1913, V, pl.49; Lumet and Rambosson, 1913, III, repr. pl.13; Alinari, repr. pl.332; Fierens, 1929, repr. pl.12; Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.232; Paris, 1933, no.1150 (c.1634-36, compares painting of Sophonisba of 1634 [Bredius 468; Wetering 128] and etchings Saskia with Pearls in her Hair of 1634 [Bartsch 347; NH 136] and Studies of the Head of Saskia and Others of 1636 [Bartsch 1365; NH 157]); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.684, repr.; Benesch, 1935, pp.15 and 18; Exh. Paris, 1935, no.138; Benesch, 1947, no.22, repr.; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no. 429, repr. fig. 486/516 (c.1633; Saskia; undulating lines like Benesch 0083); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.262; Slive, 1965, II, no.169; Exh. Paris, 1970, no.137; Exh. Paris, 1988-89, no.12, repr. (compares Benesch 0427 for portrait); Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.23, repr. (c.1633-34); Exh. Paris, 2006-2007.I, no.12, repr.; Schatborn, 2019, nos 279 [recto] and 280 [verso], repr. (c.1636).
PROVENANCE: Pierre Defer (art dealer), from whom purchased by the present repository in 1844.
First posted 22 May 2019.
Subject: Self-Portrait Sketch
Medium: Black chalk, touched with pen and brown ink, with later grey wash. Inscribed lower left in pen and brown ink (by Gaillard de Longjumeau): “R.” Inscribed on recto of the mat: “REMBRANDT / LE PORTRAIT DE REMBRANDT DESSINÉ / PAR LUY ET QUI EST L’ORINAL [sic] DE SON / FAMEUS PORTRAIT 100ll”; inscribed on verso of the mat with the coat-of-arms of Gaillard de Longjumeau and the letter “G” and “RAMBRANDT” [sic] and in graphite: “EC HOLL Portrait de / l’Artiste / INV 63 aug. 925.”
110 x 110. Watermark: none visible; chain lines: 28h; laid lines c.12/cm.
COMMENTS: The drawing, despite its lively facture, seems unprepossessing for several reasons: it lacks precision and seems overly loose, not grasping the form in such details as the chin and neck; there is a curious and unsightly, slipped line in the mouth; and it has an indecipherable shape in the lower right corner (perhaps a palette, as Benesch thought, but possibly just shadow).
The sketch has been connected with two paintings by Rembrandt, the Louvre Self-Portrait Bareheaded of 1633 (Bredius 18; Wetering 96) and the figure leaning forward in the grisaille of Joseph Telling his Dreams in the Rijksmuseum of c.1634 (Wetering 108). But in fact there is a plethora of painted and etched self-portraits from these years which connect in their bust-length format with the present drawing. Among the closest is the underpainting (as revealed by X-radiography) of the Self-Portrait at Windsor Castle, which although dated 1642, seems to have originated in c.1633 (Bredius 37; Wetering 189).
However, one of Rembrandt’s etched self-portraits of the period has direct links with Benesch 0430, the Self-Portrait in a Cap and Scarf of 1633, illustrated in reverse in Fig.a (Bartsch 17; NH 120). The outline of the cap is close to identical here. There is also a vertical touch in the nearer shoulder that coincides with the tassel in the etching. Yet the drawing appears too free and lively to be a mere copy or derivation from the etching (or from any other prototype). Neither does it resemble works by Rembrandt’s pupils of tjhe 1630s, such as Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck. So could it be an original, preliminary sketch for the etching, or a study made while executing the print in order to clarify aspects of it?
At least two stylistic comparisons join with some other reasons to suggest that the latter is indeed the case. First, the zigzag in the nearer cheek is entirely characteristic of Rembrandt, as seen, for example, in the documentary drawn offset, Benesch 0083a (see Fig. b for a detail). This on its own is not sufficiently persuasive, but the motor movements of the hand in the artist’s hair, as it cascades from the cap down towards the left, is also close to Rembrandt, as in a passage on the right of the documentary drawing of Diana, Benesch 0021 (see Fig.c for a detail). This passage also resembles Benesch 0437 recto in the lowest trails of Rembrandt’s hair, falling behind his shoulder, as well as the clump of foliage in the sky above Susannah in Benesch 0448. The extra-heavy line between the eyes has analogies in the woman in Benesch 0278 and is of interest in studying the etching: in the print, the level of the artist’s further eye (Fig.d – the eye on the spectator’s right when viewing the illustration) was originally shown higher but adjusted by adding a new, lower edge to the eyelid, which cuts across the upper part of the eyeball. The other eye was also given a minor adjustment lower. These alterations were not entirely successful (the further eye in the etching seems too low) but they provide a logical framework for the drawing’s existence.
After all, the outline of the cap, though fluently drawn, follows the etching closely, as does the depiction of the scarf around his neck and falling down his back behind (quite apart from the above-mentioned tassel). The bust in the drawing is not shadowed and attention was chiefly given to the face and, in particular, to the level of the eyes. The etching is an experiment in depicting a shadowed face, the chiaroscuro being broadly indicated in the drawing; but the problems with the eye adjustment seem to have been the prompt for the artist to turn to another sheet of paper to sketch out and rehearse the difficulty. The comparison between the drawing and the etching provides a clear logic for seeing Benesch 430 as an autograph sketch made while Rembrandt worked on the plate in order to assess the repercussions of this adjustment.
Thus despite the unprepossessing initial impact of the drawing, which is exacerbated by the posthumous addition of grey wash, there are sound reasons, both stylistic and in relation to the etching, to accept it as an autograph work; and as we have noted, there are no comparable drawings by any of Rembrandt’s pupils.
Condition: Generally good, though the grey wash is later; minor spots and stains; a pinhole at top right corner.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: F Marseille, Musée des Beaux-Arts (inv. D63).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Marseille, 1908, no.925; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.662; Benesch, 1935, p.15; Benesch, 1947, no.24, repr.; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.430, repr. (c.1633; artist holds a palette; compares Benesch 0428-9 and Louvre Self-Portrait of 1633 [Bredius 18; Wetering 96); Biörklund and Barnard, 1968, p. 58 (relates to etching, Bartsch 17; NH, 120); Exh. Paris, 1970, no.136; Exh. Marseille, 1971, no.27, repr.; Macandrew, 1972, p.151, figs.5-6 (on provenance); Corpus, 1, 1982, p.172 (preparatory for the etching of 1633, Bartsch 17; NH 120; relates lighting scheme to early painted Self-Portrait now in Amsterdam, Corpus A14; Wetering 20); Corpus, 2, 1986, p.294, under no. A66 (relates to the brother leaning forward in Rijksmuseum grisaille, Joseph Telling his Dreams, Bredius 504, Wetering 108, and to etching Bartsch 17; NH 120); Corpus, 4, 2005, pp.146-47, repr. fig.89 (as Corpus, 2, 1986; drawing and etching not necessarily self-portraits); Berlin, 2006, under no.17, n.1 (attribution plausible); Schwartzlist 301, 2010 (related to etching, as Biörklund and Barnard, 1968); Lugt online, February 2015, under no.4648 (for provenance [accessed 23 May, 2019]); [Not in Schatborn, 2019]; This Catalogue online, 26 May 2019 (c.1633); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.74 and under no.19, repr. (c.1633).
PROVENANCE: P.J.L. de Gaillard de Longjumeau; seized after the French Revolution; École des Beaux-Arts, Marseille; in 1870 transferred to the present repository.
 The former connection by Benesch, 1954/73, the latter by Corpus, 2 1986 (see Literature above).
 See the discussion in Corpus, 4, pp.206-208. The works in question (i.e., those that show the artist bust-length, turned to the side, usually with his face in three-quarter view, are two in the Louvre, one noted above, the other the 1633 Self-Portrait in a Beret and Gold Chain (Bredius 19; Wetering 97); the Berlin picture of c.1633-36, later reworked (Bredius 23; Corpus C56 [as by Flinck]; Wetering 146); the Windsor Castle painting of c.1633 noted above; the recently rediscovered 1634 Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes (Corpus, 4 pp.132-44 and Add.2; vol. VI, no.122); the 1634 Berlin Self-Portrait in a Cap and Fur-Trimmed Cloak Motion (Bredius 21; Wetering 123) the 1640 Louvre Self-Portrait over another begun c.1634; and the Kassel Self-Portrait in a Helmet which appears to be wholly or largely a studio work (Corpus A97; not accepted in Vols.4 or 6).
 Biörklund and Barnard, 1968, p. 58, first made the link with this etching.
 See MacAndrew, 1972, p.151.
First posted 26 May 2019.
Subject: A Woman Standing in a Flat Cap, profile to left, half-length
Medium: Pen and brown ink in two shades (paler in the hat and some retouches in the torso) with brown wash, rubbed with the finger; traces of rule framing lines in pen and dark brown ink (at top and to right).
115 x 90.
COMMENTS: The drawing appears to have been derived from Rembrandt’s celebrated painting, the Portrait of Saskia, now in Kassel (Fig.a). The painting (for which see also Benesch 0217A) was begun in c.1633 but completed only in 1642, the year of Saskia’s death. Some time after this, a variant was painted in Rembrandt’s studio (see Fig.b; now in Antwerp) and the present drawing may have been made at around the same time. Another drawing based on the Kassel painting is in the Albertina and attributed to Govert Flinck (Fig.c).
The differences to the Kassel picture that both drawings exhibit suggest that they were based on the Kassel painting before it was completed, and to some degree they echo what can be made out in X-radiographs of the picture. Benesch 0431, as well as lacking the plumage in the hat, shows the dress as if buttoned at the collar and spreading outwards like a cloak, deviations from the picture neither of which appear to have been presaged in the underpaint. But while the line of the clothing at the lower left is close to what may be observed on the painting’s surface, the hat extends on the right, an area where it was subsequently painted over in the oil. The Albertina drawing (Fig.c) also coincides with the underpaint in showing the head turned slightly and in omitting the fur-trimmed cloak; also, the bodice has a rising edge at the shoulder and this coincides on the left with some white accents in the X-radiograph near the contour of the shoulder; and the pear-shaped eardrop seen in the Vienna drawing also appears there (according to Corpus, loc. cit.) but was later altered to another form. It thus appears that the Albertina drawing was made at some point before Benesch 0431.
In style, Benesch 0431 seems less directly descriptive or trenchant than is to be expected of Rembrandt and the lines become tangled rather than efficiently communicative (compare Benesch 0246 verso). An attribution to Ferdinand Bol has been proposed and the proximity in handling to Benesch 0285a supports this contention (note also the rubbing with the finger used near the shoulder). Compare also Benesch 0125 and Benesch 0415, as well as Bol’s drawings of the Messenger of God Appearing to Joshua (Sumowski 90) and his Self-Portrait (Louvre, Sumowski 107). These comparisons suggest a date c.1640-45, the period to which the painting in Antwerp probably belongs (Fig.b). Whether that variant, our drawing and the study in the Albertina (Fig.c) were together part of a studio exercise made around the time of Saskia’s death in 1642 (or somewhat later) might be a possibility.
One curious aspect of Benesch 0431 is the paler ink with which the drawing seems to have been begun, in the hat and the underdrawing of the torso (there is no overlap from the head below the cap). This warmer ink resembles that employed in the Albertina drawing (Fig.c).
Condition: Severely foxed, otherwise good; slightly trimmed at left and below (to judge from the framing lines).
Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol.
COLLECTION: CH Basel, Kunstmuseum (inv. 1978.562; as “attributed to Ferdinand Bol/?after Rembrandt”).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. Amsterdam, 1913, no.66; Exh. Leiden, 1916, no.3; Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.95; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.674; Benesch, 1935, p.16; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.431, repr. (c.1633-34; Saskia, for painting in Kassel [Bredius 101; Wetering 95]; compares Benesch 0395); Corpus, 2, 1986, under no.A85, p.431, repr. fig.8, and p.438, Copy 2 (attributed to F. Bol; derived c.1640 from the then still unfinished painting in Kassel); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Count Antoine François Andreossy; presumably his sale, Paris, 13-16 April 1864; Émile Galichon; his sale, 1 June, 1910 bt C. Hofstede de Groot; his sale, Boerner, 4 November, 1931, n.180; Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett, 16. Kunst-Auktion, 25-27 November, 2952, lot 880; Dr August Meyer, by whom bequeathed to the present repository, 1978.
 Bredius 101; Wetering 95. For Saskia, see under Benesch 0427.
 The picture has been reduced in size and later largely repainted, apparently losing the signature and date of 1642 recorded in the inventory of Valerius Röver’s collection between 1734 and 1750 (see Corpus, 2, 1986, p.438).
 See Corpus, 2, under no.A85 and vol.VI, under nos.95 and 269.
 Sumowski 947x (as Flinck). See Corpus, 2, 1986, pp.431 and 438 (copy 1). Neither drawing suggests a knowledge of the drawing in the Teyler Museum (inv. A 053a, formerly attributed to Titian but now as Giovanni Luigi Valesio) that was seen by Kronig, 1914 as an inspiration for the Kassel painting (see Corpus, 2, 1986, p.437, under no. A85; I am grateful to Carel van Tuyll for sending me his text on the drawing for his forthcoming catalogue of the Italian Drawings in the Teyler Museum).
 Corpus, 2, 1986, pp.431 and 438.
First posted 28 May 2019.
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown wash, heightened with white; ruled, thin, framing lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed lower right in pen and brown ink with J.C. Robinson’s mark (L.1433); verso, lower left, in red ink: “No 2741” ( Goll van Franckenstein’s number, L.2987); in graphite: ”K.d.Z. 1533” [the inventory number]; and in black chalk (18th century): “het Portret van / Rembrandt / door hem / Zelf geteekent”
126 x 137.
COMMENTS: The drawing has attracted its fair share of controversy, apart from the universally accepted fact that it represents Rembrandt himself. But its date has proven contentious, with opinions varying between the late 1620s and the end of the 1640s, an unusually wide span. Looking at the artist’s wrinkled face, the later date looks plausible, when he would have been 40 years old or more; but in terms of style and technique, the best analogies are with works from no later than around 1636 – when Rembrandt became just 30 – and with many from earlier still. In addition – and partly as a result – the autograph status of the drawing has been called into question and the suggestion made that it is a portrait of Rembrandt by one of his pupils. So we return, as so often, to the fundamental questions of (a) whether Rembrandt made the drawing; (b) when it was made; and (c) if possible and more speculatively, why.
As the drawing is neither signed nor directly connected with another work by Rembrandt, the question of style is the most decisive ingredient for the first question. In this respect, the visual evidence is not straightforward. We may start with the positive-negative argument: that the drawing does not resemble any drawings that we know by any of Rembrandt’s pupils. But it has to be admitted that the similarities with Rembrandt’s own works are not so clear-cut as to place the authenticity of the drawing beyond all question. On balance, however, the attribution does seem highly probable and its style provides – to answer question (b) – a probable date, c.1633-35, for the reasons outlined below.
The medium of pen and brown ink with brown wash, with some white heightening, is so common in drawings by Rembrandt and his pupils as to provide no guidance. Yet one might remark on the discipline of the line in the head, especially in the eyes and the shadowed side of the face on the left. The pupils of the eyes, with their piercing focus, are placed definitely and judiciously, albeit giving the impression that the sitter looks slightly to the left of the viewer. Also noteworthy are the subtlety of the white heightening, the delicacy of the shading (see the few parallel lines in the ear to the left), the unruly hair (cf. again, Benesch 0054), which looks as if it is wet, the thin fluidity of the background wash and, overall, the lack of any hesitation in any part of the drawing.
The concentrated dots for the eyes (which bring Picasso to mind) are also a hallmark of the early self-portrait sketches in London and (especially) Amsterdam (Benesch 0053-54), as well as the later ones in Rotterdam and Vienna (Benesch 1176-77). The Amsterdam drawing also shows the eyes looking slightly askance, though this time to the right of the viewer rather than the left. Also comparable are the eyes in the figure on the right of Benesch 0219, in Benesch 0250, in the figure on the left of Benesch 0339 and in Benesch 0427-28.
The drawing of the lips, with a single, definite, ‘m’- shaped line, which simultaneously defines the upper lip and the division between it and the lower lip, is also comparable to Benesch 0054, as is the description of the lower lip, the almost scumbled chin, and the lower part of the nose (see Fig.a). Similar traits are also found in Benesch 0340, where the mouth and chin of the central figure and the eyes as well as the shading down the side of the face are close to the figure at the centre left edge.
The emphasis on using the blank paper for highlights, for example, in Rembrandt’s collar, with areas of white fully circumscribed by outlines (with further “white line” effects in the artist’s chin and near his temple on the shadowed side), reveals an approach similar to that found in the Burchard Grossmann album drawing, Benesch 0257 of 1634, not least in the cheek and beard (see Fig.b) , as well as in the autograph version of Benesch 0124, in the sketch at the upper left of the original sheet (see the detail in Fig.c; the drawing is discussed under the ‘Not in Benesch’ tab). In Benesch 0145, the same emphasis on the whites appears in several areas, particularly in the figure standing just to the left of centre (see, for example, the edge of his raised collar). The same effect occurs in Benesch 0400, alongside other stylistic analogies, such as the parallel, diagonal shading to the right, and the description of the details of the heads, diminutive though they are (and of a type encountered again in Benesch 0418A). The shading to the extreme right of Benesch 0432 also resembles that on the right of Benesch 0099 of c.1635.
Further analogies may be observed between our drawing and Benesch 0273, in the chin and Jowell, and Benesch 0275, in the face and hands. The artist’s curious, extended hand resembles that of the girl in the centre of Benesch A10 (see the detail in Fig.d; the drawing is discussed under the ‘Not in Benesch’ tab); and the background wash seems characteristic of Rembrandt, bringing to mind the lower right of the documentary drawings, Benesch 0252 of 1634 (where the analogies extend to the use of the wash in the drapery) and Benesch 0292, of 1635, as well as with Benesch 0365 and Benesch 0441.
These stylistic similarities are cumulatively more than adequate to attribute the drawing to Rembrandt. The anomalies may be explained, at least in part, by the very unusual description of the light, which enters from the right rather than the left – something Rembrandt rarely tried out, whether in paintings, drawings or prints. The rare exceptions include the Portrait of Jacques de Gheyn III, of 1632, the figures to the left of Christ (the light radiates out from the centre) in the painting of The Descent from Cross, of 1632-33, and the grisailles – intended to be to be reversed – of Christ and his Disciples, of 1634, and Christ before Pilate, also of 1634. It may be that Rembrandt turned to the mirror to make a special study of the right-to-left fall of the light while working on compositions such as these.
As noted above, the style seems earlier than the wrinkled or furrowed face of the portrait would imply. But again, we can find early wrinkles in Rembrandt’s brow in the painted Louvre Self-Portrait with a Gold Chain of 1633 (Fig.e; Bredius 18; Wetering 96), which also explores every incipient surface dent and hollow in the artist’s face. Combined with the stylistic comparisons made above with Rembrandt’s drawings, we arrive at a probable date of c.1633-35.
Two final questions, the first of which has engendered discussion. The object hanging on the wall has been read as either a cap or a palette (see Hofstede de Groot, 1906 and Benesch, 1954 in Literature below). The edges appear too soft or slack for a palette and at the top left of the object there seems to be a hook or nail rather than a hole for the artist’s thumb, so on balance it appears to be a cap. Secondly, the furrow between the artist’s eyes, found in the vast majority of Rembrandt’s self-portraits, is on the ‘wrong’ side for a mirror image (it emanated from the artist’s left eye, so should here be on the left of the drawing rather than the right). One suggestion has been that Rembrandt employed a double mirror, which is possible, but equally plausible is the thought that Rembrandt simply ‘corrected’ the reversal as an experiment. More importantly, however, at this date, c.1633-35, Rembrandt’s self-portraits show that the furrow in question was not at all prominent, and many show no signs of it at all. For example, it does not appear in the 1632 Self-Portrait in the Burrell Collection, Glasgow (Bredius 17; Wetering 66) or the 1634, Self-Portrait in Motion in Berlin (Bredius 21; Wetering 123). The direction of the furrow is also unclear in the Louvre Self-Portrait with a Golden Chain, mentioned above (Fig.e; Bredius 18; Wetering 96) and in the unfinished self-portrait etching of c. 1635 (Bartsch 2; NH 133). Thus, if the drawing is to be dated in these years, the furrow is not an issue.
One unusual aspect of the drawing is that it seems to show Rembrandt with wet hair. The other self-portraits of the 1630s show him with a bushy mane of curly hair rather than the shorter, tighter locks seen here. We can only speculate as to why this is the case – perhaps Rembrandt was thinking about such subjects as the Baptism of Christ or of the Eunuch. His informal, open-shirted attire has also been deemed worthy of remark.
Condition: Generally good; stains to upper left and lower right corner.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (L.1607; inv. KdZ 1553; formerly 186-1880).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1835, no.72; Amtliche Berichte, 1881, col.xxxxiii (c.1635); Lippmann, 1882, no.150a (c.1635); Lippmann, I, 1; Michel, 1893, p.573; von Seidlitz, 1894, p.121 (1640s); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.98 (c.1645; a cap on the wall); Saxl, 1908, p.228 (c.1629 or shortly after); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.88 (c.1629); Graul, 1918, no.5; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.663 (c.1645); Berlin, 1930, p.230, repr. pl.162 (c.1635; compares etchings Bartsch 18-19; NH 134/158, and paintings Bredius 18, 22, 23, 25, respectively Corpus, 6, 96; 2, A97; 6, 146; 6, 134); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.255 (c.1638); Benesch, 1935, p.15 (c.1632-33); Wichmann, 1940, no.50, repr. (c.1645); Pinder, 1943, p.79, repr. p.75 (c.1648); Benesch, 2, 1954/73, no.432, repr. fig.488/519 (c. 1634; a palette on the wall; etched by De Claussin; follows Exh. Berlin, 1930; compares Benesch 0257); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.47 (c.1635); Scheidig, 1962, p.40, no.24, repr. (c.1635); Slive, 1965, no.1 (c.1635); Erpel, 1967, pp.27 and 41, no.58, repr. (c.1635-36); Bernhard, 1976, p.97 (c.1634); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, no.4, repr. (c.1633); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1991-92, p.460 (c.1633?); Starcky, 1999, pp.36-37, repr. (c.1634); Exh. London-The Hague, 1999-2000, no.47, repr. (c.1636); New York, 1999, under no.71 (c.1634); Van de Wetering, 2002, p.41, n.7; Corpus, 4, 2005, p.xxxix and pp.155-56, repr. fig.110 (c.1645; attribution questionable; fold between eyes originates on the wrong side for a self-portrait; p.xxxix states that this is the only drawn self-portrait for which Rembrandt posed); Berlin, 2006, no.17 (c.1636; refutes Corpus, 4, 2005 and compares with Benesch 0340 main figure and etched Self-Portrait with Saskia, Bartsch 19; NH 158; suggests Rembrandt used a double mirror that reversed the position of the vertical crease between his eyes); Slive, 2009, p.6, repr. fig.1.7 (c.1636; open shirt anticipates Goya); Schatborn, 2019, no.631 and p.403, repr., detail repr. p.21 (c.1636).
PROVENANCE: Johann Goll van Franckenstein (L.2987, with his number, verso); Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); William Esdaile; his sale (through S. Woodburn), London, Christie’s, 4 June, 1860, lot 755; Andrew James; his sale, London, Christie’s, 28 April, 1873, lot 61, bt Colnaghi, £2-18s; J.C. Robinson (L.1433) by whom sold to the present repository in 1880.
 By Van de Wetering in Corpus, 4 (see Literature above).
 The similarity of the mouth with Benesch 0054 and in other respects with Benesch 0340 were remarked upon by Bevers in Berlin, 2006 (see Literature).
 Respectively Bredius 162; Wetering 68; Bredius 550; Wetering 107; Benesch 0089; Wetering 111; and Bredius 546; Wetering 112.
 This is a chief argument of Van de Wetering’s for questioning the drawing (see Corpus, 4, 2005 in Literature above).
 Bevers, in Berlin, 2006 (see Literature above).
 By Slive, 2009, p.6, who compares Goya’s Self-Portrait in the Prado of 1815.
First posted 13 June 2019.
Subject: Portrait of a Seated Man in an Armchair (Willem Jansz. van der Pluym?)
Verso: Blank, apart from Aylesford’s collector’s mark (L.58; see Provenance).
Medium: Red and black chalk (sometimes oiled, for darker accents), with pen and black ink and brown and grey wash, on vellum prepared with a white ground; ruled framing lines in pen and black ink. Inscribed below by the artist, in pen and black ink: “Rembrandt. f. 1634.” This is written over an earlier signature and date, starting some 50mm further to the left (and slightly higher), most of which is visible under infra-red light (see Fig.a) and reads as follows: “Rembrandt. f. 164 […]” [the final digit unclear]
373 x 272 . Watermark: none (vellum).
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, because of the clearly authentic inscription below. However, as with some other Rembrandt signatures (for example, Benesch 0057 and the related work in Paris, discussed under the ‘Not in Benesch’ tab), there are issues to resolve: the handwriting is unusual in that it imitates the style of Rembrandt’s painted signatures as applied with a brush, with each character separated, and differs entirely from his usual cursive signature when using a pen as here. It is, in effect, a fictive, ‘painted’ signature and conforms in style to those found on his oil paintings from 1633 onwards. As noted above, the visible “Rembrandt. f. 1634.” is written over an earlier (slightly more cursive) signature and date, starting some 50mm further to the left (and slightly higher), most of which is visible under infra-red light, and although the first version of the name reads the same, the third digit of the date is clearly a “4” rather than a “3”; while the final digit is unclear (see Fig.a and n.2).
There are other reasons for believing that the third digit should indeed be a “4”: the fictive frame has no close parallels in Rembrandt’s work of the 1630s but is almost identical to those on his paired portraits of 1641 of Nicolaes van Bambeeck and Agatha Bas (respectively in Brussels and the British Royal Collection [Bredius 218; Wetering 187a and Bredius 360, Wetering 187b). Indeed, this style of framing device is only found in these years, though Rembrandt usually added an illusionistic touch, with hands or fingers protruding out beyond the “limits” of the frame. The format of the composition also seems to belong to the early 1640s rather than the 1630s, with the chair at an angle to the right and the sitter, in a relaxed rather than dynamic pose, turned in the opposite direction, a solution comparable not only to the portrait of Nicolaes van Bambeeck but also to the etching of Cornelis Claesz. Anslo, which is again dated 1641 (Bartsch 271; NH 197). Another match with the latter is provided by the chair, which appears to be the same one. These compositions anticipate Rembrandt’s more sedate portraits of the 1650s, such as the Clement de Jonghe of 1651 (Bartsch 272; NH 264) and the Jan Lutma (apparently seated in the same chair) of 1656 (Bartsch 276; NH 293).
The type of drawing, worked up as a finished and independent composition, is unusual for Rembrandt, and the style is not easily compared with other drawings by him. He appears to have begun with the head, initially in red chalk only, the medium also used for the chair and frame; but for the cloak and hat, Rembrandt introduced black chalk, the medium that he subsequently used to retouch many other parts of the drawing, most notably in the hair, eyes and eyebrows, beard, much of the drapery, the shading in the back of the chair and to the lower right, as well as in the fictive frame. Wash was also used in these areas, as well as in the background. It seems that Rembrandt used the pen and black (or very dark brown) ink last of all, its use being almost entirely restricted to the architectural frame – no doubt the intention was to darken it in order to create an effective repoussoir. The use of vellum for a drawing is also unusual, especially on this scale (this is among Rembrandt’s largest drawings) but occurs in small format in Benesch 0341, Benesch 0427 and Benesch 0466, as also in Benesch 0844 and Benesch 1288.
Overall, the style seems stilted and stiff for Rembrandt and exhibits less freedom and variety of touch than normal perhaps a result of its being a set piece. Some parts seem unusually tame – for example, in the chair – or somewhat mechanical, as in the delineation of the hands, which appear almost to have been hewn from wood. In the surrounding frame, the penwork has an evenness of touch that, although entirely competent, lacks Rembrandt’s usual economy and his sense of searching for form. Rather, it runs off pat, and overall one might speculate that Rembrandt was here not inventing but copying a lost prototype, probably an oil-painting by himself, now lost. The touch is at its broadest in the cloak: the light strikes the figure from the left, leading to heavy shading to the right of the hat and in the folds beneath his left arm and down the figure’s left (spectator’s right) side. There is also a pentimento at the lower right, where the arm of the chair and the sitter’s cloak were originally placed further to the right. This suggests that Rembrandt may have at times departed from his (putative) prototype.
Some of these characteristics seem close to the two documentary drawings that Rembrandt made of Anslo in 1640 (Benesch 0758-59, qv), in preparation for his etching and painting of the preacher of the following year. Not only is there a coincidence of red chalk (in Benesch 0758), but also of the other media in Benesch 0759. The red chalk in Benesch 0758 is also somewhat deliberate in its application, as here, compared with Rembrandt’s red chalk drawings of the 1630s, which are more free in handling, and the work in pen and ink in Benesch 0759 seems particularly close to what we encounter in the frame here, spinning off the pen with fluency but without Rembrandt’s customarily inquisitive character (notably in Anslo’s chair; see the detail in Fig.b).
Enough reasons, then, to suggest that the underlying signature was correct, and that it may have read 1640 (or possibly 1641, the year of the fictively framed oil paintings mentioned above). This naturally prompts the question as to why “1634” was added later. A definitive answer is not available, but we might allow the speculation that, as with Benesch 0057, the date was changed to reflect the fact that the sitter was shown as he looked in 1634; and, as already noted for separate reasons, the drawing may depend on some earlier prototype, especially for the head. Whether the earlier work was only repeated in part and then adapted seems likely, given the compositional similarities with Rembrandt’s paintings of 1641 and the pentimenti we have noted.
The drawing was presumably made on commission and various identifications of the sitter have been proposed: it has been deemed a self-portrait or a portrait of Maurits Huygens (see Literature below), neither of which appear convincing. In 1977, Van Eeghen published the document with which the drawing is now usually connected: the will of Willem Jansz. van der Pluym (1595/6-1675), dated 22 July 1675, mentions “een tekening van sijn persoon gedaen door Rembrant van Rijn hangende in sijn testateurs voorhuys” (a drawing of his own person done by Rembrandt van Rijn in the testator’s front hallway). However, no other portrait of Van der Pluym may be compared with it and, as Van Eeghen noted, there is a possibility that Rembrandt made other drawings of this kind.
Willem Jansz. van der Pluym was the uncle of Rembrandt’s pupil, Karel van der Pluym, who in turn was the son of Rembrandt’s mother’s niece, Cornelia Cornelisdr. van Suytbroek. Willem Jansz. had a daughter and Rembrandt a sister named Machtelt, so that further family connections may have existed between them. Like other members of the Van der Pluym family, he was a well-to-do plumbing engineer. Living from 1595/96-1675, he would have been around 38-39 years old in 1634 (or between 44 and 46 in 1640-41), all dates that might be plausible for the sitter in the portrait (though perhaps the earlier date would be preferable).
A copy of the drawing, made by C. Josi, was also formerly in the Holford Collection (previously at Warwick Castle). It was used as the basis of the engraved facsimile of the drawing by Ploos van Amstel.
Condition: Somewhat light struck but generally good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
Date: 1640-41 (based on a prototype of 1634).
COLLECTION: USA, Private Collection.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Josi, 1821 (not paginated); Michel, 1893, repr. opp. p.192; Lippmann, I, 127; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1063 (held, wrongly, by some to be a self-portrait; notes facsimile and copy in Warwick Castle); Exh. London, 1921-22, no.29; Meder, 1923, p.171; The Holford Collection, Westonbirt, 1924, no.90; Graul, 1924, no.16, repr.; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.719, repr. (perhaps represents Maurits Huygens); Benesch, 1935, p.21; Benesch, 1947, no.43, repr.; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.433, repr. fig.491/522 (notes copies by Josi and Ploos van Amstel [see further main text below]; Bredius and Valentiner held it as a possible portrait of Maurits Huygens; “the most consummate portrait drawing by Rembrandt.”); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.28a (of Maurits Huygens); Van Gelder, 1957, p.9, no.2, repr. fig.5a (not Maurits Huygens); Benesch, 1960, no.9, repr.; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.8, repr. pl.8; Slive, 1965, no.131; Kai Sass, 1971, pp.90-91, n.82 (rejects identification of the sitter with Maurits Huygens; suggests more likely a portrait of Constantijn Huygens’s brother-in-law, Admiral Philips van Dorp); Van Eeghen, 1977 (publishes document of 1675, describing the drawn portrait of Willem Jansz. Van der Pluym, which hung in the deceased’s hallway (tekening van sijn persoon gedaen door Rembrandt van Rijn hangende in sijn testateurs voorhuys); Sumowski, 1979, etc., III, 1980, under no.609; Sumowski, Drawings, 3, 1980, under no.609; Amsterdam, 1981, p.101; Corpus, 3, 1989, pp.380 and 421 (pose relates to 1640 London painted Self-Portrait [Bredius 34; Wetering 179] and to the Brussels Portrait of Nicolaes Bambeeck of 1641 [Bredius 218; Wetering 187a]); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, London, 1991-2I, p.40, n.10; Slive, 2009, pp.24-26, repr. fig.3.1 (1634); Royalton-Kisch, 2011, pp.98-99, n.11 (documentary drawing); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.330, no.21, repr. (documentary drawing); Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, p.14, repr. fig. 2; Schatborn, 2019, no.630 and pp.18, 19 and 404, repr. (1634; unique case of a commissioned drawing; like a painting; quotes Van Eeghen, 1977); This Catalogue, 12 July 2019; Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, p.73, repr. fig.97.
PROVENANCE: : Jacobus Vollenhoven; Franciscus Fock; Hendrik van Eyl Sluijter; his sale, Amsterdam, Van der Schley, Yver, Roos and De Vries, 21 September, 1821 and following days, portfolio G, no.2, bt Josi, f.205; Christiaan Josi; Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford (L.58; also according to Josi, 1821; the drawing is also listed in the so-called inventory of the Aylesford Collection in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, and is described as from Aylesford’s collection in the Holford sale catalogue); Samuel Woodburn, from whom purchased by R. S. Holford (according to Waagen, II, 1854, p.204); George Lindsay Holford sale, London, Christie’s, 17 May, 1928, lot 1; Mr and Mrs Charles S. Payson; by descent to the present owner.
 William W. Robinson and I examined the drawing together in 2001. I am grateful to him for passing on the notes he made concerning the medium and other details and the infra-red image (emails, 19 August 2018 and 13 July 2019). As he also believes, the wash may partly be due to a later hand: the upper right background, just inside the frame, is articulated by an uncharacteristic and mechanical series of strokes in grey wash; the brown wash in the hat also seems flat and fails to articulate the form with clarity. But this could be due to the fact that Rembrandt may have been copying an earlier prototype, as explained in the main text above.
 See n.1: Robinson thought the last digit might be a “9”. I am grateful to him for providing the IR image.
 For a sample and discussion (up to the year 1642), see Corpus, 1, pp.53-59; 2, pp.99-106; and 3 pp.51-56.
 The portrait of a Girl in Fanciful Costume in Warsaw of 1641 also has a similar frame though not arched above (Wetering 186). The three paintings cited all have illusionistic, protruding hands or fingers. The only comparable, earlier motif is in the retouched etched Self-Portrait in the British Museum, but this is only an arch rather than a frame (Benesch 0057). Corpus, 3, 1989, pp.380 and 421, though still adhering to the 1634 date of the drawing, saw parallels with the London painted Self-Portrait of 1640 [Bredius 34; Wetering 179] and the Brussels Portrait of Nicolaes Bambeeck of 1641 [Bredius 218; Wetering 187a].
 The biographical information is from Van Eeghen, 1977.
 As noted by Benesch, 1954/73.
First posted 12 July 2019.
Verso: See Inscriptions
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and (probably later, but perhaps autograph) grey wash and tip of the brush in dark grey. Inscribed verso, lower centre, in pen and brown ink by an early hand: “Heern Maeze” [?]
136 x 114.
COMMENTS: The drawing is hard to judge because of the work in grey and black, which all seems to have been added later, albeit with a verve and confidence that is exceptional in such cases. The additions obscure much of the original work in pen and brown ink with brown wash, especially in the hat, but the underlying drawing remains clearly visible in much of the drawing – in most of the face (though the eyes are retouched in grey) and in the body. The visible parts of the work in brown include areas of parallel hatching (in the face), emphatic shadows under the chin, zigzag shading at the lower left corner, liquid outlines in the body (and defining the left arm and hand), with an almost pure square describing the back of the hand, short strokes indicating frogging down the front of the cloak, embellished with squiggles that resemble the number “3” (in one case reversed) and hooked strokes demarcating the sitter’s right (spectator’s left) shoulder. Even without magnification, these areas are almost fully revealed and the original eyes are also partly apparent, and more so under magnification. The original brown wash is often broad (as in the back of the collar of the cloak and in the upper right background) but is also occasionally dabbed onto the paper using the tip of the brush (as in the nearer cheek).
Are the above stylistic traits present in other works by Rembrandt? Among his documentary drawings, one might turn to the Portrait of Jan Six of 1647 (Benesch 0767): the parallel hatching in the table is similar and the folds in the cloth immediately above the dog’s head are not unlike those in the back of the collar of the cloak. Overall, however, the Six drawing is more painterly in conception, with lines set down with an extraordinary variety of pressure and thicknesses, and with some staccato accents, as in the chair, where the lines seem to have been flicked onto the paper, creating a lively (almost sparkling) visual effect. In general, Benesch 0434 seems more sober in approach and, if by Rembrandt, probably earlier, although the idea of its being a late work appealed to some past commentators.
A comparison with the documentary study for the Great Jewish Bride of 1635 (Benesch 0292) produces closer congruities of style: in the central area (see the detail, Fig.a), the liquid penwork has something of the bravura of the Self-Portrait; but in particular, the description of the shadow below the hand in the centre, one encounters a free zigzag flourish that ends in a calligraphic number “3” and this is seen again a few millimetres below her chin, on her chest. This is an extraordinary replication of the trait we observed in our Self-Portrait.
Another attribute of our drawing, the dabs of wash made with the tip or even the flat of the brush in the nearer cheek, occurs again in some of Rembrandt’s iron-gall ink drawings of c.1638-39, as in Benesch 0757 and in the documentary drawing, Benesch 0168 (in the shoulder and above the knee of the seated woman), a sketch that also includes some light, zigzag hatching in the skirt that is at least comparable to the lower left corner of the self-portrait. The broad use of brown wash, as if the paper had been given an overall tone, is also similar to the iron-gall ink drawings. The grey wash is usually thought to be later, but, as mentioned above, the freedom and strength with which it is applied is exceptional for a later intervention in this medium, such as we find, for example, in Benesch 0413, Benesch 0478, Benesch 0495, and Benesch 0688, and in a number of landscape drawings.
Thus the idea that Rembrandt returned to the drawing at a later date cannot be entirely dismissed, even if at certain points – as in the eyes – the later intervention may not have brought improvements. Perhaps he was initially toying with an idea for a portrait – the Self-Portraits in the Norton Simon Museum of c.1639 (Bredius 32; Wetering 172) and the British Royal Collection of 1642 (here Fig.b; Bredius 37; Wetering 189) have been mentioned as related to the drawing, and in fact the latter includes the tucked-in hand, drawn here with a square. It could be that Rembrandt made the original drawing when preparing this portrait, which is thought to have been begun around 1633 but reconfigured and completed in 1642; and then he could have returned to the drawing much later. In fact – and this appears to have escaped earlier commentators – the tilt of the head, which is extremely unusual for Rembrandt in any portrait, let alone self-portrait, resembles the much later Self-Portrait as St Paul of 1661 (Fig.c. Bredius 59; Wetering 294), not only in the angle of the head but also in the turban, the line of the collar against the neck, and the placement of the artist’s left shoulder and collar.
If we turn our attention to Rembrandt’s drawings of the period of the Self-Portrait as St Paul, i.e., those of the early 1660s, we encounter many similarities with the bold and broad lines in dark grey, as found in the turban – for example, in the looping lines at the sleeve of Homer and at the lower right of Benesch 1066, of 1663 (Fig.d). Some of the work in brown wash (or the tip of the brush in brown) is also comparable, and could have been added at this juncture. Thus we are left with the distinct possibility that the drawing, originally from the mid-1630s (like Benesch 0292), played a part not only in the creation of the 1633-42 Self-Portrait (because of the hand, see Fig.b), but was returned to and became an inspiration for the Self-Portrait as St Paul of 1661 (Fig.c), at which time Rembrandt adjusted the drawing, mostly in grey, focusing especially on the turban, as he worked towards what we find in the 1661 painting. He naturally aged himself in the final oil with the celebrated wrinkled brow and raised eyebrows as well as a slight forward stoop and expanded jowls, and in the drawing he reinforced the outline of the nose, which coincides with the final picture. The alteration to the eyes also conforms with the final result. That the evidence points to the existence of a connection between the two works seems inescapable.
Because of their novelty, the above remarks may attract controversy. But there do seem to be many arguments in favour of them. As already noted, this is a difficult drawing to assess and the unusual combination of media applied at different periods is exceptional, and has led to some disconcertment and to the drawing’s rejection, at one point also by the compiler.
Condition: Some minor spots and stains (probably was once rather foxed); otherwise generally good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
Date: c.1635, reworked c.1661.
COLLECTION: USA New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Robert Lehman Collection; inv. 1975.1.800)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Kann, 1907, II, no.164, repr. (some later washes); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.668 (c.1657); Benesch, 1935, p.23 (1634-35; “das unerhört grossartige Selbstbildnis”); Benesch, 1947, no.78, repr. (c.1636); Pinder, 1950, pp.83 and 89 (1640-41); Benesch, 2, 1954/73, no.434, repr. fig.492/525 (c.1636; as Benesch 0311 and other works of mid-1630s, Caravaggesque); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.262, repr. fig.53 (1640s; relates to Self-Portrait in British Royal Collection, Bredius 37, Wetering 189); Benesch, 1960, no.20, repr. (1636); Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.13, repr. pl.13 (c.1634-36; relates to Norton Simon Self-Portrait (Bredius 32, Corpus C97 [also IV, Corrigenda] and Wetering 172); Exh. Chicago, 1961 (no number; c.1634-36; lent by Mr and Mrs Louis H. Silver); Van Gelder, 1961, p.151, n.24; Genaille, 1963, n.p., repr. (c.1635); Exh. New York, 1964, p.31 (c.1636); Bauch, 1966, p.17, errata slip (follows Sumowski, 1956-57 as perhaps related to Bredius 37, Wetering 189); Erpel, 1967, no.63, repr. fig.32 (follows Sumowski, 1956-57 as perhaps related to Bredius 37, Wetering 189); New York, 1975, p.104, repr. fig.189; Roberts, 1976, p.16, repr. pl.65; Exh. New York, 1979-80, no.22, repr. (also repr. on front cover; drawing has later additions); Logan, 1980, p.58; Sumowski, 1979 etc., IV, 1981, p.1879, under no.17; Wright, 1982, no.7, repr. pl.54 (c.1635); Bonafoux, 1985, pp.78 and 148, repr. (c.1635); Mules, 1985, p.15, repr. (1630s); Exh. New York, 1985; Exh. New York, 1985-86; Buillaud and Guillaud, 1986, repr. pl.720 (1635); New York, 1987, p.84, repr. fig.62 (mid-1630s); New York, 1999, no.71, repr. (reworked original); Corpus, 4, 2005, pp.156-57, repr. fig.112 (Rembrandt?; not related to painted self-portraits); Berlin, 2006, under no.17, n.1 (reworked original of mid-1630s); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Alcide(?) Furby collection (Aix-en-Provence); Rodolphe Kann (Paris); with Duveen Brothers (dealers); Mrs. Alexander Hamilton Rice (Newport and New York); Dr. Alexander Hamilton Rice; Mr. and Mrs. Louis H. Silver (Chicago); with M. Knoedler and Co., New York from whom acquired by Robert Lehman in 1963, by whom given to the present repository, 1975.
 See Literature above (Valentiner, 1934; Sumowski, 1956-57).
 Such as Benesch 1281A and Benesch 1300. Many other drawings by Rembrandt and his followers include later retouches in grey, for example, Benesch 0522; Benesch 0562.
 See Literature above (Sumowski, 1956-57; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960).
 The angle of the head is only found in the following portrait paintings, two of them from the early, Leiden period: Bust of a Man Wearing a Gorget and Plumed Beret, c. 1626 (Bredius 132; Wetering 6); the Self-Portrait Laughing of c.1618 (Bredius -; Wetering 18); one figure, nearest Dr Tulp’s right arm, in the Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp of 1632 (Bredius 403; Wetering 76) and the Self-Portrait as St Paul of 1661 discussed above (Bredius 59; Wetering 294).
 E. Haverkamp-Begemann, in New York, 1999, records that I wrote to him on 16 November, 1989 stating that I thought the drawing might be a portrait of Rembrandt by a pupil of c.1645-45, but this I now rescind. The drawing is not accepted by Schatborn, 2019.
First posted 22 July 2019.
Subject: Portrait of a Young Man in a Flat Cap, his chin on his right hand
Medium: Pen and brown ink; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
138 x 137.
COMMENTS: This arresting, powerfully characterised portrait was in the 1773 Muilman sale considered to be a drawing by Rembrandt of his pupil, Ferdinand Bol. Unfortunately, neither assertion stands the test of close scrutiny. The sitter resembles Bol, who seems usually to have sported a moustache, only extremely vaguely (see Fig.a), while the draughtsman seems different to the Rembrandt we encounter in any drawing that may be ascribed to him with any confidence. Among the documentary drawings, perhaps the closest are the 1634 Grossmann album portrait, Benesch 0257, and the 1635 sketch for the etching, The Great Jewish Bride, Benesch 0292; but despite their comparable breadth, the mannerisms seen here in the lyrically looping outlines as well as in the regular shading in the background seem incompatible. Rembrandt’s (not documentary) Self-Portrait, Benesch 0432, another bust-length portrait on a similar scale and drawn with the pen, might have been expected to provide close analogies, but it does not obviously appear to be by the same artist. Only the searching black dots for the eyes and a certain angularity in the collar, with a “white line” effect below the ear, correspond in any sense. Also unusual for Rembrandt would be the thick closed line at the top left of the head, in the hair (by the figure’s right temple), when the direction of the fall of light would instinctively lead him to create a more open effect.
As stated in the Introduction (and many times also elsewhere in this catalogue), a lack of analogies is not always sufficient reason to dismiss a drawing from Rembrandt’s oeuvre out of hand, especially when the drawing is so self-evidently of high quality. The bold and liquid outlines have qualities in common with drawings by Ferdinand Bol, but his lines have a tendency to drift into incoherence and his characterisations are less sharp or convincing. One commentator has raised the possibility of Govert Flinck as the draughtsman, though remained rightly cautious, given the stylistic gulf between the drawing and any known by Flinck.
On balance we designate the drawing as “School of Rembrandt (Rembrandt??)” to retain the drawing in the “attributed to” section of the catalogue, in order to admit, albeit remotely, the possibility that this incisive portrait sketch might be an uncharacteristic work (executed with an unusually broad-nibbed quill) by Rembrandt. A date c.1635 seems appropriate, given the comparisons noted above. Although the sitter’s head is supported on his arm, there seems no reason to attach the iconography of Melancholia to the drawing, which is usually depicted with this motif.
Summary attribution: School of Rembrandt (Rembrandt??).
COLLECTION: Unknown (formerly London, Victor Koch).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Waagen, 1857, Suppl., p.215 (Self-Portrait of Rembrandt; in collection of Mrs James); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.435, repr. and vol.VI, p.431 (c.1636-37; compares Benesch 0434 and Benesch 0436; sitter has been called Rembrandt or Titus, but is unidentified); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.269, repr. fig.10 (Self-Portrait of Carel Fabritius); Sumowski, 1961, p.6 and 1964.II, p.197, n.18 (retracts Sumowski, 1956-57); Erpel, 1967, p.225, no.128, repr. (c.1636-37; by Rembrandt but not a self-portrait); Bernhard, II, 1976, p.199, repr. (Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IV, 1981, p.1879, no.17 (uncertain attribution; style reminiscent of Flinck); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Dionis Muilman; his sale, Amsterdam, De Bosch, Ploos van Amstel and De Winter, 29 March, 1773 and following days, lot 160 (‘Het portret van Ferdinand Bol, in een nis met een muts op het hoofd, kragtig en uitvoerig met oostind. inkt gewassen. Hoog 8¼, Breed 6¾ duim.’), bt S. Fokke; his sale, Amsterdam, Van der Schley and Belli, 6 December, 1784 (also as a Portrait of Bol by Rembrandt); J. Goll van Franckenstein; Andrew James; Victor Koch.
 Blankert, 1982, no. 60, repr..
 Sumowski, 1979, etc. (see Literature).
 See Schatborn, 2010.
 See under Benesch 0046.
 Not clearly identifiable in his sale catalogue, London, Christie’s 28 April, 1873, but possibly lot 99: “Bust of a Man, three-quarters face”, bt Graves, 5s..
First posted 30 July 2019.
Subject: A Woman with her Arm in a Sling
Verso: See Inscriptions
Medium: Pen and brown ink; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
Inscribed in graphite, verso, centre: “9, a 8314” and lower left “252”
136 x 100. Watermark: unclear (see illustration); chain lines: 22/27v.
COMMENTS: Although the drawing has been rejected from Rembrandt’s oeuvre, this was done without making any direct comparisons with other works. The darker areas, which have at times descended into incoherence or even dark spots (in the eyes, nose and the shadow under the mouth) and the angularity of certain lines, not least the arms and hands, were cited as the main reasons to reject the drawing.
While it is true that Rembrandt usually conveyed visual information more economically, and with fewer revisions, it seems that many – perhaps all – of the darker spots are in fact reworkings, probably by a later hand. The details illustrated here, of the hand and the face, show that the darker touches are tame reinforcements of underlying lines, made without a true grasp of the light or forms. In the hand, for example, a simple “z”-shaped zigzag described the separation of the fingers, but this has clearly been reinforced in darker ink in a mechanical way – two added lines in the upper stroke, and a single added line for the rest. These lines lack the sharp edges we associate with pen-lines and may have been applied with the tip of the brush. This instrument seems even more likely to have been used for the darker touches – blotches, even – in the face, which have a tendency to blot out the underlying subtlety of touch (and which are also illustrated).
From the point of view of style, the drawing is not distant from the documentary drawing, Benesch 0257 (see Fig.a), with its similar thin, underlying pen-lines, for example in the nearer shoulder, and the swelling strokes and repeated lines in the nearer sleeve. Also comparable are the reiterated outlines and the diagonal shading near the collar. There are also general stylistic parallels with the sadly cut fragment at the top of Benesch 0300 (see Fig.b), which again has a swelling line on the left. In this case, there is also a split-nib, “white line” effect resulting from then parting of the nib, which may have been a feature of Benesch 0436 that some of the retouches were intended to mask.
For the angularity of the hand, one may, for example, compare Benesch 0382 recto, Benesch 0416 and Benesch 0423 verso. These make the configuration in the present drawing seem acceptable. Another comparison that reveals further analogies is the documentary drawing, Benesch 0152. Comparing the almost microscopic details (see Fig.c), we find several similarities: in the delicate lines of parallel diagonal hatching; in the blocking out of the mouth, in the surprisingly straight outline of the further cheek and in the right angle that delineates the tip of the nose and the bridge towards the eye to our right.
These analogies with drawings by Rembrandt do not disguise the fact that Benesch 0436 is not of the highest quality. But they reveal why the drawing is here retained as “attributed to Rembrandt” rather than relegated to an – as yet unknown – pupil. Overall, an attribution to him seems possible; and of his pupils, perhaps Ferdinand Bol comes the closest, but less persuasively so (cf. Benesch 0431, for example, where the structure of the figure in three dimensions seems less sound).
Condition: Some stains and spotting, especially around the head and shoulders (probably ‘restored’ foxing).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt?
COLLECTION: NL Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum (L.2228; inv. RP-T-1930-33)
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. The Hague, 1902, no.35; Exh. Leiden, 1906, no.59; Lippmann, III, 41; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1279; Exh. Paris, 1908, no.46; Saxl, 1908, p.345; Hofstede de Groot, 1909, no.7; Exh. Amsterdam, 1913, no.68; Exh. Leiden, 1916, no.40 (c.1643); Hirscgmann, 1917, p.12, repr. fig.5; Seidlitz, 1917, p.253 (c.1640); Exh. Paris, 1921, no.59; Exh. The Hague, 1930, no.43 (c.1643); Exh. Amsterdam, 1932, no.284 (c.1645); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.673 (c.1634); Benesch, 1935, p.23 (1634-35); Amsterdam, 1942, no.28, repr. pl.17 (c.1645); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.436, repr. fig.496/520 (c.1636-37); Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.26 (1636-37); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.256, 260 and 262; Slive, 1965, no.374 (c.1635-40); Bernhard, 1976, p.198 (c.1636-37); Sumowski, 1979, etc., IV, 1981, p.1879, under no.17; Sumwoski, IV, 1981, under no.1838x; Amsterdam, 1985, no.102, repr. (unknown pupil of Rembrandt; over-dark, repeated lines and lack of structural coherence; angularity, e.g. in hands, also uncharacteristic; inspired by Rembrandt’s work of late 1630s); Exh. Copenhagen, 1996, p.55 (as Amsterdam, 1985); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: J.C. Robinson; with Agnew’s (1901); C. Hofstede de Groot, by whom presented in 1906 with usufrucht until 1930.
 It has been suggested that the drawing was executed in reed pen as well as with a quill (Amsterdam, online, accessed 31 July 2019), but I think it unlikely. The artist pressed harder in places which occasionally gives a harsh line that resembles those made with a reed pen.
 Amsterdam, 1985.
First posted 2 August 2019.
Subject: Self-Portrait Wearing a Cap
Verso: Sketches of Heads (perhaps for a Deposition)
Medium: Red chalk. Inscribed verso in graphite, left: “3-N [?] –“; and centre: “het Portrait van / Rembrant /van / hem zelven”
130 x 119. Watermark: possibly a mark, but not legible; chain lines: perhaps vertical (distance apart uncertain).
COMMENTS: As is revealed by the verso, the head on the recto was originally drawn on a larger sheet, with the result that the mise-en-page now appears cramped. It may have been one of several sketches on the same page, and this fact may at least partly explain why the characterisation seems more detached, or less immediate, than in Rembrandt’s other self-portraits. It could be that it was based on or copied from another work in progress, no longer known. The chalk, too, seems to be a little dryer or more recalcitrant than usual, apart from where he moistened it for the darkest touches. Extraordinary is the way the pupils of the eyes are individually denoted by minuscule white highlights (see the enlargement).
Rembrandt appears to have drawn in red chalk at particular times of his career, firstly during the Leiden period from c.1627-c.1631, then in the mid-1630s (c.1633-38), and again in the Portrait of Anslo of 1640 (Benesch 0758), the drawing with which the present sheet was kept in the early eighteenth century, when in the collection of Valerius Röver (see Provenance). From the point of view of style, the touch appears to belong to the mid-1630s. A significant stylistic moment in the drawing are the darker, staccato lines immediately under the collar: these may be compared with Benesch 0057, in which a highly comparable passage of shadow appears again under the collar, with an echo in the nearer shoulder. From the artist’s appearance, Rembrandt seems to have reached his late twenties or his thirties, and his moustache and beard – and his cap – resemble those in the Self-Portrait etching of c.1634 (Fig.a, which shows the etching in reverse, as it was drawn on the copper plate; Bartsch 2; NH 133). The lovelock, an aristocratic accoutrement that suggests that Rembrandt saw himself as socially elevated, also belongs to this period. The artist’s focus seems to have been on his cap, which is unusually highly worked up for a chalk drawing by Rembrandt – as is the cap in the etching, where the brim is treated with a similarly strict series of short hatching-lines (but where a band was left unfinished).
The verso sketches seem likely to have been made in connection with a Deposition of Christ from the Cross, as in Rembrandt’s paintings of 1633 in Munich (Bredius 550; Wetering 107) and 1634 in St Petersburg (Bredius 551; Wetering 126). Neither is especially similar to our drawing, although the heads in the later painting are also close to Christ’s body. It could be that another subject was in view, such as The Good Samaritan, or even a Lamentation (cf. Benesch 0154). The sketch is instructive, as few of Rembrandt’s primi pensieri for a historical or biblical subject in red chalk survive (cf. the documentary drawings Benesch 0142a and Benesch 0161 verso, and the style of the genre study, Benesch 0308).
Given these connections it seems likely that the drawing dates from c.1634-36. Benesch correctly compared the copy after Lastman’s Joseph Distributing Corn in Egypt for the mannerisms of the chalk, Benesch 0446, which may date from 1636 (but which he dated c.1637).
Condition: Good, though with some dirt; old hinge marks on verso; trimmed from a larger sheet, as shown by the verso.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
Date: c. 1634-36.
COLLECTION: USA Washington, National Gallery of Art (Rosenwald Collection, L.1932d; inv.1943.3.7048).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hind, 1920, no.8 (c.1639); Exh. London, 1929, no.574 (and 1930, p.197); Exh. Philadelphia, Art Alliance, 1930; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.662, repr. (earlier than 1639); Benesch, 1935, p.24; Exh. Worcester (Mass.), 1936, no.60; Benesch, 1947, no.81, repr.; Exh. Los Angeles, 1947, p.77, no.1; Van Gelder, 1949, p.207; Benesch, 1954/73, no. 437, repr. (c.1637; compares 1637 Louvre Self-Portrait, Bredius 29; Wetering 170); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.70; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.263; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.28, repr. pl.25 (c.1637-38; as Benesch, compares Louvre Self-Portrait, Bredius 29; Wetering 170, and etched Self-Portrait Bartsch 20; NH 170); Fry, 1962, pp.42-55, repr. fig.5; Great Drawings of All Time, 1962, no.571, repr.; Livermore, 1967, pp.240-245, repr. fig.1; Exh. Chicago, 1969, no.111; Exh. Washington, 1969, no.28, repr. fig.36; Exh. Washington-Denver-Fort Worth, 1977, no.30, repr.; Exh. Washington, 1978, p.54; Exh. London-The Hague, 1999–2000, no.45, repr.; Corpus, 4, 2005, pp.68-69, repr. fig. 24, and pp.103 and 145-48, repr. fig. 91 (discussing types of cap in Rembrandt’s self-portraits, in the present case unusually heavy); Exh. Washington, 2006, p.8, repr. (c.1637); Slive, 2009, pp.6-8, recto repr. fig.1.9 (c.1636-38; compares lost Self-Portrait with Sketchbook [Bredius 47 published a version; see Corpus, 4, 10); Schatborn, 2019, no. 49 [verso] and 632 [recto] and p.403, repr. (c.1637; made during work on a painting or etching but not a direct preliminary study; comparable to the etching Bartsch 2; NH 133; lovelock only worn in aristocratic circles); This catalogue online, 4 August 2019 (c.1634-36); Exh. Leiden-Oxford, 2019-20, under nos.19-21, repr. fig.120 (c.1635).
PROVENANCE: Valerius Röver; C.F.U. Meek; with Colnaghi’s, London; Alverthorpe Gallery; Lessing J. Rosenwald (Lugt Supp.1932d), by whom given to the present repository, 1943.
 As noted by Schatborn, 2019 (see Literature).
 Slive, 2009, pp.6-8, also compared the lost Self-Portrait with Sketchbook (see Literature above), but, for example, the hair, clothes and lighting somewhat undermine the connection.
 As reported in Exh. New York Cambridge, 1960, no.28: J.G. van Gelder noted that although the drawing does not bear Röver’s customary numbers on the verso (L. Supplément, no.2984 a-c), it follows Benesch 0758 in the collector’s inventory, Album 8, no.37: “’t portret van Rembrandt met een muts op’t hooft van hem zelfs met root krÿt getekent”.The number may have been trimmed away (see under Condition).
First posted 4 August 2019.
Subject: Portrait of a Gentleman
Medium: Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash, and some red chalk, heightened with white.
116 x 82. Watermark: unclear; chain lines: 24v.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing by Ferdinand Bol, being a study for his Portrait of a Man now in the Staatliches Museum, Schwerin (Fig.a). The painting is signed and dated 1647. In making the picture, Bol abandoned the foreground balustrade and placed a glove in the sitter’s right hand.
The drawing is a key component of our knowledge of Bol’s draughtsmanship. The combination of several different media together is characteristic of Bol. Compared to Rembrandt, the details, such as the eyes and mouth, are generally less precise and the lines are less directly communicative of shapes. They are also less variegated in strength. The wash is delicately applied, generally adding tone more than enhancing the forms, although Bol may have been hinting at an arch above the sitter. The hand is close to Rembrandt’s hand in the latter’s Self-Portrait, Benesch 0432.
Condition: Generally good, though the sheet has apparently been cut and rejoined.
Summary attribution: Ferdinand Bol*
COLLECTION: P Wroclaw, Ossolineum (inv.8724).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.438, repr. fig.489/521 (c.1637; compares Benesch 0345, Benesch 0360 and Benesch 0440; in 1973 ed. accepts Sumowski’s attribution to Bol); Exh. Warsaw, 1956, no.111; Gerson, 1956, p.283 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Rosenberg, 1956.I, p.69 (closer to Bol than Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.256 and 267, repr. fig.3 (Bol; study for painting in Schwerin [see main text above]); Van Gelder, 1961, p.150 (Bol); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.27 (Bol); Sumowski, 1965, p.122, no.13 (Bol); Gerszi, 1971, p.101f., (Bol); Bernhard, 1976, II, p.216 (Rembrandt, c.1637); Blankert, 1976, p.224, under no.A90 (Bol); Sumowski, 1979 etc., no. 100, repr. (Bol); Blankert 1982, no.99, repr. (Bol); Sumowski, Gem., I, 1983, under no.163 (Bol); Exh. Wroclaw, 1998, no.2, repr. (Bol); Exh. Warsaw, 2006, no.19, repr. (Bol, c.1640); Kozak and Tomicka, 2009, no.20, repr. (Bol, c.1640); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Prince Lubomirski; formerly Lwow (Lviv), Lubomirski Museum.
 As first noted by Sumowski, 1956-57. Inv. 2433 (Sumowski, Gemälde, I, 1983, no. 163, repr.).
First posted 5 August 2019.
Subject: Portrait of a Bearded Man, half-length, to front
Medium: Pen and brown ink; traces of ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
165 x 160.
COMMENTS: The drawing has been dropped from Rembrandt’s oeuvre and included in Ferdinand Bol’s, as the style is regarded as too loose – messy, even – with somewhat incoherent passages of modelling, especially to the right. The connection with Rembrandt’s etching, The Man with the Divided Hat, of 1640 (Fig.a. Bartsch 265; NH 182), has been largely ignored. Yet the 1640s is exactly the period when Rembrandt’s drawing-style enters a more painterly phase, as we see, for example, in the documentary studies for the portraits of Johannes Sylvius (Fig.b; Benesch 0763) and Jan Six (Benesch 0767), which both show similarly loose passages of modelling (and note the tuft of hair by the sitter’s right temple, replicated in Benesch 0439), as does the even later sketch for the etching of St Jerome in an Italian Landscape of c.1653 (Benesch 886). These analogies are as close as any that may be made with Bol’s work (compare Benesch 0438, and the much later 1667 Portrait of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, Sumowski 121a, both ‘documentary’ drawings by Bol). The nearest analogies to Bol are with drawings that may be attributed to him only tentatively, such as the Seated Woman in an Interior (Sumowski 168x), in which the shading near the elbow and the modelling of the right arm have superficial similarities.
Also close to Rembrandt is the convincing characterisation, the fine shading in the forehead and the extraordinarily sharp delineation of the eye, that on the left (the sitter’s right eye) being drawn with a minuscule circle entirely in Rembrandt’s own manner. Finally, there are also clear stylistic links to Benesch A080a, which may also be by Rembrandt (see the Not in Benesch page). For these reasons the drawing is here retained in the “Attributed to Rembrandt” section of this catalogue, albeit with Bol’s name still attached, with an equal degree of caution.
Condition: Generally good.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt? Ferdinand Bol?
Date: c.1645-50 (or later).
COLLECTION: D Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst.
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Falck, 1917, p.123, repr. (Bol); Benesch, 1935, p.24; Falck, 1917, p.123 (according to Benesch); Exh. Copenhagen, 1953, no.56, repr. (Bol); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.439, repr. (c.1637; compares Benesch 0353 and 1637 painting of a Russian [?] in Washington, Bredius 211; Wetering 155); Sumowski, 1956-57, pp.260 and 275, repr. fig.35 (C. Fabritius?); Sumowski, 1957-58, p.439 (Bol); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.27 (Bol); Odlozilik, 1963, p.20, repr. (Rembrandt? May represent Andrzej Rej, Polish envoy ro England, Germany and Denmark); Sumowski, 1965, p.122, under no.12 (Bol); Broos, 1975-76, p.210, n.40; Bernhard, 1976, II, p.203, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1637); Sumowski, 1979 etc., I, no.223x (attributed to Ferdinand Bol, c.1643; compares Bol’s Study of Two Maries, now in Wroclaw, Sumowski 93); Amsterdam, 1981, under no.7, n.4 (compares 1640 etching of Man in a Divided Hat, Bartsch 265; NH 182); [Not in Schatborn, 2019].
PROVENANCE: Freiherr von Eelking; his sale, Cologne, Henkel, 3-4 June, 1902, p.13, repr. fig.146; Amsler & Ruthardt, cat. lxxix, 25-27 May, 1908, no.421; J. Rump (according to Sumowski, 1979).
 Except by Broos in Amsterdam, 1981 (see Literature).
First posted 15 August 2019.
Subject: Portrait Bust of a Boy
Verso: Laid down
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall?) ink, on paper prepared with pale brown wash; ruled framing lines in paler brown ink. Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower right: “1879” [by Sparre] / “Rembrant” [by Tessin] / “43.” [“43.” by Mariette, crossed out] 
126 x 107. Chain lines: horizontal, distance apart uncertain.
COMMENTS: The boy, although in the past identified with Rembrandt and Saskia’s first son, the short-lived Rumbartus (baptised 15 December, 1635; buried 15 February, 1636), seems considerably older than three months. The style conforms to Rembrandt’s drawings of c.1638-39, especially those in iron-gall ink (see under Benesch 0157), which was probably also used here. The pale brown preparation of the sheet is the same as that normally employed by Rembrandt for drawings in this medium.
Among the documentary drawings, compare Benesch 0168 and Benesch 0423 (especially for the penwork) and Benesch 0442 and Benesch 0451 (for the broader lines and wash). Cf. also the Portrait of Willem Ruyter (Not in Benesch, c.1639), Benesch 0281 and Benesch 0339 (the figure on the left) for the use of the tip of the brush.
Numbered sequentially with Benesch 0441 at an early date by Mariette (his nos.43-44), the two drawings are good candidates for having been included in the album of Rembrandt’s drawings of the lives of women and children owned by Jan van de Cappelle (see under Benesch 0194).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: S Stockholm, Nationalmuseum (L.1638; inv. 2080/1863).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Lippmann, III, 10; Valentiner, 1905, p.30; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1592 (c.1655); Saxl, 1908, p.336; Stockholm, 1920, no.IV:13; Benesch, 1935, p.23; Exh. Amsterdam, 1935, no.55; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.444, repr. (c.1637-38; probably portrays Rumbartus [though in 2nd ed, also mentions his opinion th=at it is not Rumbartus, as stated in Exh. Vienna, 1956]); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.93; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.83; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.37 and p.50 (not Rumbartus); Van Eeghen, 1956, pp.144ff.; Benesch, 1960, under no.21; Vogel-Köhn, 1977, no.47; Schatborn, 1981, p.43, and n.151 (see n.1 below); Exh. Stockholm, 1992, no.141, repr. (later 1630s); Slive, 2009, p.14, repr. fig.2.1 (c.1637-38); Schatborn, 2019, no.633 (c.1638).
PROVENANCE: Roger de Piles?; Pierre Crozat (Mariette, p.101); Count Carl Gustav Tessin (1695-1770; L.2985; list, 1739-42, f.68v; cat., 1749, livre 18, no.43 ); 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.1879), whence transferred to the Royal Museum, Stockholm and then to the present repository, 1866.
 See Schatborn, 1981, pp.43-44.
First posted 18 August 2019.
Subject: Portrait of Titia van Uylenburgh
Medium: Pen and brown ink and dark brown ink, with brown wash. Inscribed by Rembrandt in pen and dark brown ink (not precisely the same hue as the darker ink of the drawing), lower centre: “tijtsija van ulenburch / 1639” and by Sarre to the right: “1877” [the 1790 inventory no.], and by Tessin: “Rhimbrand” [with a “t” added at the end by another hand in a greyer ink or graphite] and by Mariette:”44” [crossed out]
140 x 146. Watermark: none; chain lines: 27h.
COMMENTS: Titia van Uylenburgh (1605-1641), Saskia’s sister, presumably came to Amsterdam in 1639, when Rembrandt dated the drawing, perhaps to admire her sister and brother-in-law’s new home on the Breestraat, acquired that year. Although she lived in Vlissingen (Flushing) with her husband, François Coopal, she also came to Amsterdam to stand as godmother at the baptisms of two of their children (Cornelia I in 1638 and Cornelia II in 1640; but not for Rumbartus in 1635 because of the wintery conditions). Her name was memorialised in the choice of Titus’ name at his baptism on 22 September 1642, three months after she died – apparently childless – in Vlissingen on 15 June 1641. Her widower, François Coopal, was Titus’ godfather.
The large scale of the portrait (and its mise-en-page) are somewhat unusual for Rembrandt, who may have been inspired by a drawing by Lucas van Leyden which was probably in his own or another Amsterdam collection (Fig.a). A reliable document of Rembrandt’s style in 1639, the drawing may be compared, for example, with Benesch 0254 (including the wash behind the figure) and Benesch 0757, as well as the Seated Old Man in the Fondation Custodia, Paris (see under the ‘Not in Benesch’ tab). For the darker lines, Rembrandt seems to have reached for a different quill with a broader nib, richly charged with a slightly darker ink.
Numbered sequentially with Benesch 0440 at an early date by Mariette (his nos.43-44), the two drawings are good candidates for having been included in the album of Rembrandt’s drawings of the lives of women and children owned by Jan van de Cappelle (see under Benesch 0194).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: S Stockholm, Nationalmuseum (L.1638; inv. 2078 / 1863).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Vosmaer, 1868, p.521; Michel, 1893, p.260; Upmark, 1893, no.15; Lippmann, II, 15; Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.51, repr.; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1567; Hofstede de Groot, 1906.I, p.66, no.63; Graul, 1906, no.12; Kruse, 1907, p.117; Weisbach, 1910, I, p.168; Schmidt-Degener, 1913, pp.2f. (influenced by a drawing by Veronese); Neumann, 1918, no.35, repr.; Stockholm, 1920, no.III, 1; Neumann, 1922, I, p.258; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.703, repr.; Van Rijkevorsel, 1932, p.156; Benesch, 1935, p.28; Exh. Amsterdaam, 1935, no.45; Benesch, 1947, no.99, repr.; Rosenberg, 1948, I, p.248 and II, p.205; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.441, repr. fig.499/529; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.2, repr. pl.33; Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.95; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.44; Benesch, 1960, no.31, repr.; Exh. St Petersburg (Leningrad), 1963; Slive, 1965, no.232; Exh. Stockholm, 1967, no.273; Benesch, 1970, p.253; Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979,. No.1639/13; Vogel-Köhn, 1977, p.46; Exh. Washington-Fort Worth-San Francisco, 1986, no.89; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, p.282, n.4; Starcky, 1993, p.198, repr. fig.3; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, p.68, repr. fig.17b; Exh. Stockholm, 1992, no.142, repr.; 757: Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, no.87, repr.; Broos, 2005, repr. p.28, fig.6 (on Titia’s family); Slive, 2009, pp.16-17, repr. fig.2.5; Schatborn, 2011, p.320, repr. fig.72; Schatborn and Dudok van Heel, 2011, no.VIII, repr. fig.72; Broos, 2012, pp.35 and 93, repr. fig.viii-I (see n.1 below); Exh. Amsterdam, 2014, under no.32, repr. fig.32d (compares Benesch 0757 Rotterdam and Lugt Seated Old Man Not in Benesch, recto and verso); Schatborn, 2019, no.635 and p.403, repr. (1639; probably drawn by candlelight, with strong chiaroscuro).
PROVENANCE: Roger de Piles?; Pierre Crozat (Mariette, p.101); Count Carl Gustav Tessin (1695-1770; L.2985; list, 1739-42, f.68v; cat., 1749, livre 18, no.44); 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.1877), whence transferred to the Royal Museum, Stockholm (L.1638) and thence to the present repository, 1866.
 For this (perfectly reasonable) suggestion and for other information about Titia, see Broos, 2005 and Broos, 2012, passim. (especially pp.17 and 35).
 The Lucas drawing was owned by Pieter Spiering van Silvercroon (c.1605-1652), on whom see Veldman, 2016.
 Not included by Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, in their list of documentary drawings because other sheets inscribed (but not signed) by him are sometimes the work of his pupils.
First posted 21 August 2019.
Subject: A Study for the Portrait of a Young Woman (Maria Trip?)
Medium: Pen and brown (iron-gall) ink, with brown wash, heightened with white (many writers include red chalk in the description of the media, but the reddish marks appear in fact to be the white heightening discoloured through oxidation); unruled framing lines in the same medium, both in pen and in wash. Inscribed in graphite, lower right, perhaps: “110.”
160 x 129 . Watermark: none; chain lines: 24h.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing, as it served as a study for Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Young Woman (Maria Trip?), now on loan to the Rijksmuseum, which was probably painted in 1639 (Bredius 356; Wetering 184b). Executed in iron-gall ink – typical for drawings of c.1638-39 – the medium makes the traditional dating of the portrait to 1639 likely; it is inscribed on the painting but not by Rembrandt and as Maria Trip was married in 1641, this later date has also been mooted (see Wetering 184b). The dated drawing of 1639 in Vienna after Raphael’s Portrait of Castiglione (Benesch 0451) seems inseparable in style.
The differences between the drawing and the finished painting are few: the study omits the lace cuffs and the rosettes adorning the dress. The collar is more pointed, on the right approaching the sitter’s wrist more closely. To the left, the shoulder appears a little wider. The angle of the head is also slightly altered. The painting’s background is less distinct but includes a herm on the left (partly cut away) with a curtain beyond, not seen in the drawing. The study records the full extent of the composition before the painting was reduced on all sides but the left, either by Rembrandt or at a later date. In the main the painting in its final form follows the drawing, although uncertainty surrounds the significance of the shape, drawn in white with the tip of the brush, by the sitter’s right arm. It could be that Rembrandt contemplated the inclusion of a book or some other attribute at this point.
The general proximity of the drawing to the painting prompted the suggestion that its function was that of a ‘modello’, approved by the patron, rather than a preliminary sketch. This idea receives some support from two further features of the drawing: the unusual presence of an indication of the picture-frame, and the style, which is neater than in most of Rembrandt’s preliminary sketches for his paintings and might indicate that it was for the patron’s inspection as well as for the artist’s own use. X-radiographs of the painting, however, show that the base of the composition was at first arranged differently, with a balustrade running right across the foreground. It therefore appears likely that the drawing was made only after the painting was at a fairly advanced stage in order to rehearse various changes, many of which were subsequently introduced. In effect, the drawing must have been based on the already existing, though incomplete, portrait, and in the length of the collar, the width of the shoulder and the pose of the hand the drawing reflects an earlier stage of the painting as revealed by X-radiography. The fact that much of the drawing is based on the oil might also explain the degree of its stylistic proximity to the other copy Rembrandt drew at this time, the sketch after Raphael’s ‘Portrait of Castiglione’ mentioned above. The inclusion of the picture frame in the British Museum’s sheet might indicate that Rembrandt was already concerned with a possible adjustment to the painting’s dimensions.
The sitter has been identified as Maria Trip (1619-83), the daughter of Elias Trip (1570-1636) and Aletta Adriaens (Dordrecht 1589-1656). The identification depends on the fact that she was an ancestor of the first known owner of the painting in the eighteenth century, Hendrik Maurits van Weede, of Utrecht (1737-1796). In 1641 she married Balthasar Coymans (1589-1657), whose putative portrait by Rembrandt, a pair to the Rotterdam picture, is now in a private collection (Bredius 222; Wetering 184a). After his death, she married Pieter Ruysch, Lord of Wayestein. At her death in 1683 she left six daughters. She was from a prominent Amsterdam family whose members included Jacob Trip and Margareta de Geer, her uncle and aunt, whose portraits by Rembrandt of c.1660 are in the National Gallery, London (Bredius 314 and 394, Wetering 297a-b). At the time of Maria de’ Medici’s state visit to Amsterdam in 1638, the Princess of Orange, Amalia van Solms, lodged at her family’s apartments. This was soon before the portrait was completed and the events may be connected. Her mother was also painted by Rembrandt in 1639 (Bredius 355; Wetering 169; Rotterdam, Willem van der Vorm Foundation, on loan to the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen).
Condition: Good; the white heightening has oxidised a little.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
COLLECTION: GB London, British Museum (inv.1891,0713.9).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1835; Exh. London, 1899, no.A28 (for the 1639 painting); Lippmann, IV, no.88; Kleinmann, III, no.39; Bode, 1897-1906, II, 1900, p.140, under no.274; Bell, c.1905, p.7, repr. pl.X; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.900; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.56, repr. pl.I; Hofstede de Groot, 1916/15, p.386, under no.845; Kramar, 1926, p.37; Weisbach, 1926, pp.271-2, repr. fig.75; Van Dyke, 1927, p.30, repr. pl.II, fig.5 (the painting by Lievens, based on the drawing); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.722, repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.28; Bredius, 1937/35, p.15, under no.356; Exh. London, 1938, no.56; Benesch, 1947, no.102, repr.; Benesch, 2, 1954/73, no.442, repr. fig.493/530; van Eeghen, 1956, pp.166-9 (identifies sitter as Maria Trip); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, p.81, under no.38; Exh. London, 1956, p.8, no.9; Van Gelder, 1961, p.150; White, 1962, pl.15; Slive, 1965, II, no.537 (painting perhaps cut); Bauch, 1966, p.25, under no.498; Gerson, 1968, p.88 and 496 under no.194, repr. p.304, fig.a (shows that the painting has been cut); Haak, 1969/68, p.155, repr. fig.243 (a ‘modello’); Bredius-Gerson, 1969, under no.356; Exh. Amsterdam, 1969, no.54; White, 1969, I, p.162; Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.105, under no.177 (compares etched portrait of ‘Ephraim Bonus’, Bartsch 278; NH 237); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, p.26, under no.56 (compares Benesch 757, Rotterdam, and drawing attrib. to S. Koninck in Institut Néerlandais, Sumowski 1529, here under ‘Not in Benesch’ tab); Exh. London, 1974, no.107; Haak, 1976/74, no.29, repr.; Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.258; Van de Wetering, 1977, p.41, n.44; Dudok van Heel, 1979, p.25 (on sitter, see above); Van de Wetering in Corpus, 1, 1982, p.22, n.42 (example of a drawing made to rehearse a change after a painting had been begun); Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.14 (as Corpus, 1, 1982); Schatborn, 1983, p.458 (frame included perhaps to see how painting would look in its final form); Amsterdam, 1985, p.24, under no.10, n.7; Starcky, 1985, p.262; Rotterdam, 1988, p.66, under no.15 (compared to Benesch 757); Corpus, 3, 1989, pp.318-20, repr. fig.5 (made to clarify changes made when the portrait was at an advanced stage); Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), p.138, repr. fig.20 (see n.3 above); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.1, pp.17-18, repr. fig.17a, and p.92, n.11 (compares Rotterdam ‘Seated Old Woman’, Benesch 757; datable iron-gall ink sheet); Exh. London, 1992, no.26, repr. (as Corpus, 3, 1989); Royalton-Kisch, 1993.1, pp.182-3 (as Exh. London, 1992); Schatborn, 1996, pp.221-2, repr. p.401, fig.4; Van de Wetering, 1997, pp.75-6, repr. p.79, fig.110; Starcky, 1999, pp.70-71, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.72 and 160, repr. p.72, fig.13; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001-2002, no.84, repr.; Berlin, 2006, p.88, under no.20; Slive, 2009, pp.37-38, repr. fig.3.20; Royalton-Kisch, 2011, pp.98-99, n.11; Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, p.336, no.42, repr. fig.30 (documentary drawing); Schatborn, 2019, no.636 and p.404, repr. (c.1639; probably made after painting begun, not unusually for Rembrandt).
PROVENANCE: Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); William Esdaile (L.2617; see under Benesch 0286); his sale, 17 June, 1840, perhaps lot 26: ‘A Lady standing at a Window, bistre washed, with brilliant effect’, bt S. Woodburn, £1-3-0 (no other description in the catalogue matches the present sheet more closely); purchased from Colnaghi’s, 1891.
 For the dating of Rembrandt’s drawings in iron-gall ink, see under Benesch 0157.
 The extent of the cut may have been exaggerated by earlier writers: the angle of the sitter’s nearer arm is more acute in the drawing, so that her hand is placed higher (as noted by Weisbach, 1926, p.272) and further away from the edge of the frame.
 The theory was first suggested by Haak, 1969/68, and followed by Bruyn, 1983 and by the compiler (Royalton-Kisch; 1989 (1990) – see Literature above) in a text written prior to the appearance of Corpus, 3, 1989.
 The X-radiographs, and the theory that the drawing was made as a study for the changes made, published in full in Corpus, 3, 1989, under no.A131 (see also Bruyn, 1983). Some of the above reasoning might suggest that the drawing was a ‘ricordo’, made after the painting, but the minor ‘pentimenti’, e.g. in the left hand and the bannister, suggest otherwise.
 An earlier instance of Rembrandt’s making a careful study after a painted composition had reached an advanced stage is provided by the sketch (Benesch 0008) for the ‘Judas returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver’ (see Corpus, 1, 1982, no. A15). Cf. also Benesch 0423.
 By Van Eeghen, 1956, pp.166-9. See further Dudok van Heel, 1979, p.25. The identification is accepted, with reservations, by Corpus, 3, 1989, p.320 and Wetering 184b.
First posted 22 August 2019.
Subject: The Last Supper, after Leonardo da Vinci
Verso: Slight Sketch of Christ’s Head, from the same source; see also inscriptions
Medium: Red chalk, rubbed with the finger below centre to erase an inscription (NB the chalk appears in places to have been preceded by work with the stylus [e.g. lower right], but this may be due to the sharpness of chalk point); ruled framing lines in red chalk. Signed by Rembrandt in red chalk lower right: “Rembrant f f 10 [?; obscured by collector’s mark]. t:” and inscribed almost completely illegibly lower centre edge (speculatively: “Wt ene in den van […]”); inscribed verso in black chalk, top left (a mathematical addition): “3 – 4 [?] – / – 8 / 1 – 2 – / 1 – 7 – / 17 : 5 – / 19 [or “29”] ––– / –––––– / 42 – 4”; and lower left, also in black chalk: “10” [?18] and some more recent numbers in graphite
363 x 475. Watermark: perhaps one near the centre of the sheet, but very indistinct; chain lines: 27h.
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing because of the signature at the lower right. It is also Rembrandt’s largest known drawing, at 1733.75 cm2 (followed by Benesch 0815 at 1346.6 cm2 and Benesch 0433 at 1014.56 cm2 – the latter being the tallest at 373mm and the largest one on vellum). It copies the composition of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper of 1498 in Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, one of three such studies by Rembrandt, all of which are signed and therefore documentary works (see Benesch 0444 and Benesch 0445). They are discussed together here. Although in the present case, the signature is not entirely typical of Rembrandt, there are insufficient reasons for doubting its authenticity. The sheet of paper on which Rembrandt drew and wrote was on a rough wood surface which at times interrupted the flow of his chalk (and left a clear impression of the wood-grain in the darker, shaded areas to either side of Christ), not least as he wrote his name. In some ways the signature is canonical: the separation of the capital “R” from the letters that follow, the elision of the letters “em” and their separation from the “b” as well as the separate “t” are all common, as is the style of the “f” for “fecit” (cf. Benesch 0082, Benesch 0089 and Benesch 0758, all signed in red or black chalk). But the separation of the b, r, a and n is unusual [the “an”, under magnification, is in fact elided, but appears separate as first glance], as is the spelling of the artist’s name without the penultimate ‘d’, a formula he generally abandoned after 1632.
As was recognised more than a century ago, Rembrandt, who of course never visited Italy, based his drawing on a large engraving, now attributed to Giovanni Antonio Birago, the earliest reproduction of Leonardo’s celebrated fresco (Fig.a). The dog, a spaniel, on the right, introduced by the printmaker and repeated by Rembrandt, confirms the identification. At first, Rembrandt worked with a light touch, completing an initial take on the composition, perhaps best described with the printmaking term as a first “state”of the drawing. Already at this stage, Rembrandt made significant adjustments to Leonardo’s composition: Christ was moved to the left of centre, bringing him closer his followers on the left of the design, who in turn are pressed more closely together, especially the heads of the three apostles on the extreme left. Perhaps to compensate, the two apostles on the extreme right were separated out. Also at this early juncture, Rembrandt abandoned Leonardo’s grand, classical interior in favour of a somewhat shallower space with a flat wall almost immediately behind the figures. The initial indications here are somewhat indistinct, but a circular baldacchino also seems to have been introduced above Christ in this first “state”. This may have been inspired to some degree by another version of the composition that Rembrandt had to hand, a drawing by Pieter Soutman after a Rubens re-interpretation of the Leonardo (Fig.b) that was certainly used as the basis for the British Museum’s drawing, Benesch 0444. This shows drapery descending diagonally adjacent to Christ’s right arm, a motif that might easily have been interpreted as the beginnings of a flourish of drapery above Christ. (For completeness’ sake I also illustrate Leonardo’s original fresco, Fig.c.)
Perhaps more importantly, in the New York drawing’s initial state, Rembrandt introduced a naturalism to the characterisation of the protagonists that is far removed from the almost iron-cast figures in the engraving. This is nowhere more apparent than in the head of Christ and those of the disciples immediately to his left (see the relevant detail illustrations). In the case of Christ, in particular, it is almost as if Rembrandt had posed models in the poses in order to infuse them with greater verisimilitude. This is a quintessential ingredient of Rembrandt’s art and the contrast with his model serves to underline as well as define this quality: Rembrandt’s Christ, less hieratic than Leonardo’s, triggers in the viewer an immediate connection (or, in psychological terms, projection), catalysed by a profound credibility in his portrayal that is rare in art.
Having drawn this initial version, Rembrandt was moved to revise and re-energise the composition: he broadened his chalk tip and increased the pressure on it in order to make numerous subtle yet telling alterations in bold strokes. Christ now sits up almost straight, heightening his serenity. The outlines of the disciples to his right are almost all blocked in with thick lines that simplify their forms and at times distil their expressions to the essentials of surprise, horror, self-justification and bewilderment at Christ’s announcement that one of them will betray him (writ large in Latin on the engraving). Rembrandt also changed the form of the baldacchino, which now echoes the engraving in being approximately the same width as Leonardo’s background wall. He also articulated the background wall in more detail, though not always clearly. Above the disciples on the far right there now appears to be the base of a large pilaster, while the rectangles on the other side could either represent similar motifs or else windows. The background in the engraving shows symmetrical walls receding in perspective to either side that Rembrandt never appears to have followed.
Some of the details, including some of the heads of the disciples, remain in only a rudimentary form and it may have been in order to clarify them that Rembrandt studied the left half of the composition separately, though on the same scale, in Benesch 0444. This too, is a documentary drawing because it is again signed, although the sheet has been trimmed below so that only the tops of the letters R, b, d and t (and perhaps an “f” for “fecit”) remain. Although initially inspired by the New York version, this is the work that is clearly based on the Soutman drawing at Chatsworth – or on a version of it now unknown (Fig.b). Soutman’s work was made in preparation for an engraving, in reverse, the inscription on which shows that it is based on a reinterpretation of Leonardo’s composition by Peter Paul Rubens, a further example of Rembrandt’s emulation of the Flemish painter.
Soutman’s print was made in two plates, the right section of which, in reverse, corresponds with the Chatsworth drawing. This is the section treated by Rembrandt in the British Museum’s sheet, Benesch 0444, in which Christ’s shoulder is cut off at the same point. As noted above, the Soutman-Rubens version (Fig.b) also includes a diagonal stretch of drapery behind the group of apostles adjacent to Christ, which reappears in the British Museum’s drawing, leaving no doubt that Rembrandt employed it as his starting-point.
Like the drawing now in New York, Benesch 0444 underwent considerable changes as work progressed. Rembrandt again began by lightly indicating the outlines of the figures. In general, these outlines replicate those in Soutman’s drawing; traces of the features that were later modified, such as the apostle with raised hands (St Andrew) and the hand extended behind his left shoulder, remain visible. Yet this central area of the drawing, as well as the part occupied by the left-hand figure (St James), were erased with a thin layer of white heightening (which has become transparent with time). The application of the white appears to have been a preliminary to a more general reworking of the sheet that led to several important changes to the layout. While the group next to Christ was reinforced, with only one significant alteration – the sharper angle of Judas’ elbow – the group on the left was changed radically. The central of the three heads originally belonged to the apostle on the left of Soutman’s drawing (St James). Over this figure, after covering a considerable part of it in white, Rembrandt drew the seated apostle on the left, nearest the spectator. After being similarly treated with white, the apostle with raised hands (St Andrew) was entirely recast, being turned away from Christ and with his hands lowered, a change which erased almost all traces of the figure as seen in Soutman’s drawing.
In Rembrandt’s third study, that in Berlin (Benesch 0445, also a signed and dated documentary drawing), which like the New York sheet shows the whole composition, this replacement figure was repeated, albeit with only one apostle remaining to his right. The other was moved to close the gap that had emerged between the two groups in the British Museum’s sketch. The group of three apostles next to Christ is repeated with little change, although Judas’ head is raised slightly, so that it corresponds, more or less, to its position in Rembrandt’s two models. Christ himself is moved to the right of centre rather than the left as in the New York drawing. As he worked on the sketch, Rembrandt again revised some figures considerably, including the head of St James the Less (second from the left) and the figures immediately to Christ’s left. At the extreme right, St Simon is now moved back from the table to expose his whole figure and his chair. And the dog in the New York drawing appears to have morphed into the indications to the left of the signature.
While it has been suggested that further drawings after Leonardo’s ‘Last Supper’ may have been made by Rembrandt, the logical sequence of the three that survive argues that they were made at the same time, i.e. in 1635, when the Berlin drawing was signed and dated. It is the last of the three and the only one drawn in pen and ink, yet its execution remains as exploratory, lively and critical as the first two, with fine initial lines firmed up or revised with stronger touches as work progressed. Rembrandt now omitted the background (although the sheet has been cut above) and presses the figures still nearer to Christ, who remains in his upright pose of serenity. By now Rembrandt has moved far away from Leonardo, replacing the Renaissance master’s controlled modulation of movement and emotion with an explosion of panic, confrontation and hysteria, the ensuing chaos among the fallible disciples contrasting with Christ’s immutable composure. As Kenneth Clark wrote, Rembrandt rearranged the Leonardo into a “baroque free-for-all composition”. He also provided a perfect demonstration of Rembrandt’s celebrated words in his letter to Constantijn Huygens, that he wished to imbue his works with “die meeste ende die naetuereelste beweechgelickheijt” (the most and the most natural movement and emotion). Rembrandt’s early biographer, Arnold Houbraken (I, 1718, pp.212-13) mentions the Berlin drawing and describes it well: “Onder vele die onder die menigte uitsteken is de verbeeldinge van Christus laatste Avondmaal ‘t geen ik by den konstminnenden vander Schelling heb gezien, thans in handen van meergemelden Heere Will. Six, het geen meer als twintig Ducatons waard geschat word, schoon het maar een enkele schets met de pen op papier is. Waar uit men besluiten moet: dat hy magtig is geweest op de beschouwinge der menigerhande gemoetsdriften, zig een vast denkbeeld in te drukken” (Among the many of the large number that stand out is the representation of Christ’s Last Supper, which I saw with the art-loving Van de Schelling, now in the hands of the oft-mentioned Mr Willem Six, which has been valued at more than 20 Ducatoons, even though it is just one single sketch in pen on paper. From it one has to conclude: that he was great in the contemplation of the many emotions, and able to express them clearly).
A later, school drawing in Berlin, probably made in the 1660s, is also based on Leonardo’s composition and has been plausibly attributed to Aert de Gelder. The influence of the composition is felt repeatedly in Rembrandt’s own work from the time he made these drawings in 1635, including in Benesch 0154 (as noted there, and in its preliminary idea, Benesch 0100 recto), in the painting in St Petersburg of the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, of 1637 (Bredius 558; Wetering 151), in which the groups of three figures strongly echo especially Benesch 0445, in the painting in Dresden of Samson Posing the Riddle to the Wedding Guests, dated 1638 (Bredius 507; Wetering 160), the One Hundred Guilder Print of c.1648 (Bartsch 74; NH 239), the painting of the Supper at Emmaus in the Louvre of 1648 (Bredius 578; Wetering 218); the etching of the Supper at Emmaus, dated 1654 (Bartsch 87; NH 283), the painting of the Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis of c.1661 in Stockholm (Bredius 482; Wetering 298) and perhaps even the Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild of 1662 in Amsterdam (Bredius 415; Wetering 299), especially the rising figure on the left who echoes the figure on the left of Benesch 0445, albeit in a less agitated form.
Finally, it is worth remarking that, unusually for Rembrandt, all three drawings after the Last Supper are signed, as also is his copy in black chalk of Pieter Lastman’s painting in Dublin of Joseph distributing Corn in Egypt (Vienna, Benesch 446, dated by him c.1637). Rembrandt’s reasons for signing a higher proportion of his drawn copies than drawings of his own invention are obscure. Perhaps he wished to prevent their attribution to the masters he was copying.
Condition: The partial calculation inscribed on the verso shows that the sheet was cut at the top; the verso has some stains, perhaps from old glue; some minor repaired tears and nicks.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*
COLLECTION: USA New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Lehman Collection (inv.1975.1.794).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Müntz, 1892, pp.203, 206 and 208, repr.; Michel, 1893, repr. in colour opposite p. 406; Hofstede de Groot, 1894, p.178 (c.1635; reports that Kristeller identifies print on which the drawing is based, Bartsch, XIII, p.83, no.28); Kleinmann, VI, no.53; Lippmann, I, 99; Exh. London, 1901, under no. A114 (notes all three drawings, Benesch 443-45); Kristeller, 1901, p.163; Neumann, 1902, pp.436-37, repr. fig.106 (dates more emphatic work to a later period); Graul, 1906, no.25; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.297 (1635; as in 1894; drawing still in Dresden); Michel, 1906, repr. p.74; London, 1915, under no.3 (1630-35; quotes Hofstede de Groot, 1894 [see n.2?? below]; establishes the drawing’s chronological position before Benesch 444-45); Sirén, 1916, p.113, repr.; Neumann, 1918, p.106, repr. fig.34 (bolder work later, from 1650s; follows order established in London, 1915); Neumann, 1919, no.58, repr.; Pfister and Dehmel, 1920, repr. pl 6 in colour (actual size before cleaning, with collector’s mark obliterated); Singer, 1921, no.625, repr. fig.39; Neumann, 1924, pp.469-70; Freise, Wichmann and Lilienfeld, 1925, no.105; Kauffmann, 1926, p.177; Weisbach, 1926, pp.197-99, repr. fig.446; Berlin, 1930, pp.226-27, under no.3769 and p.238, under no.1369 (places first before Benesch 0444 and Benesch 0445; on p.238, refers to Benesch 0443 wrongly as belonging to British Museum; notes relationship to school version of c.1650 in Berlin, inv.1369, repr. pl.177); Hell, 1930, p.111, no.1; Paris, 1931, p.62, under no.1369; Hind, 1932, p.61, repr. pl.xxxix; Van Rijkevorsel, 1932, pp.236-37, repr. fig.293; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.623B (c.1633; initial sketch by a pupil); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (follows London, 1915; all of Benesch 0443 drawn at same time); Goetz, 1941, p.12, no.36, repr.; Poortenaar, 1943, no.40; Benesch, 1947, no.43, repr. (c.1635; entirely by Rembrandt); Hind, 1948, p.89 (identifies print as after Master of the Sforza Book of Hours); Van Regteren Altena, 1948-49, p.14 (postulates existence of further Rembrandt copies of the Leonardo, now lost); Lugt, 1952, pp.40-41; Benesch, 2, 1954/73, no.443, repr. fig.500/531 (c.1635; all the sheet drawn at the same time; architecture foreshadows painting of the Supper at Emmaus in the Louvre of 1648, Bredius 578; Wetering 218); Nordenfalk, 1956, pp.79-80, n.30; Van de Waal, 1956, pp.79-80, repr. fig.12; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.24, under no.36 (follows Benesch, 1947; notes Leonardo influence on Dresden ‘Samson’ and on ‘Claudius Civilis’ [vide supra]); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, p.51, under no.60 (as Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.263; Exh. Paris, 1957, no.122; Krönig, 1957, p.164, n.7; Münz, 1957, pp.221 and 226, n.2; Sumowski, 1958, p.198, repr. pl.70; Exh. Washington-New York-Minneapolis-Boston-Cleveland-Chicago, 1958–59, no.60; Exh. Cincinnati, 1959, no.268; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, no.9, repr. (c.1634-35; executed in two stages; relates to Benesch 0444-5); Life, 48, no.15, 18 April, 1960, p.72, repr.; Maison, 1960, p.105, repr. pl.125; Gantner, 1962, pp.179-84, repr. fig.4 (Rembrandt increases the drama); Scheidig, 1962, p.43, no.45, repr.; White, 1962, pp.12-13; Rotermund, 1963, p.261, repr. fig.216; Exh. New York, 1964, p.27; Gantner, 1964, pp.36-40, repr. fig.12 (full discussion including of later works by Rembrandt that took inspiration from the Leonardo); Slive, 1965, I, no.134, no.19 (the whole sheet drawn at the same time); Clark, 1966, pp.53-55, repr. fig.43 (based initially on the print [Bartsch, XIII, p.83, no.28] but gone over immediately afterwards, after Rembrandt saw a more faithful copy; Benesch 0444 closer to the fresco than Benesch 0443; influence on painting of the Syndics); Maison, 1966, p.105, repr. pl.125; Gerson, 1968, p.86, repr.; Licht, 1968, p.99; Hamann, 1969, pp.78, 152, 406 and 434, repr. fig.110; Van de Waal, 1969.I, p.85; Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969–70, no.100 (bolder work added in 1650s); Campbell, 1971, pp.69, 71, 78-81 and 250-52 (the Leonardo only a point of departure); Steinberg, 1973, pp.309, 386, n.19, and 406-7 (notes that Rembrandt’s and most other copies after the Leonardo do not follow the perspective and background of the original); Heydenreich, 1974, p.71; Van de Waal, 1974 (1956), pp.256-57, repr. fig.13; Szabo, 1975, p.104, repr. fig.187; Broos, 1975-76, pp.210 and 221, n.37 (assimilation of Leonardo and Lastman for later reuse); Haak, 1976, p.18, no.16, repr.; Roberts, 1976, p.11, repr. fig.27; Broos, 1977, pp.105-6; Exh. Washington-Denver-Fort Worth, 1977, no.33, repr. (bolder work added in 1650s); Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, p.598, no.6, repr.; Exh. New York, 1979-80, no.23, repr. (c.1635 begun; reworked late 1640s or early 1650s); Logan, 1980, p.58; Foucart, 1982, p.52, repr.; Slatkes, 1983, p.42, repr. fig.20 (notes Leonardo influence on 1638 Dresden Wedding of Samson, Bredius 507; Wetering 160); Wheelock, 1983, p.293; Exh. Washington, 1983-84, no.15, repr. (all drawn at the same time); Royalton-Kisch, 1984, p.23, n.37 (follows van Regteren-Altena, 1948-9, also noting Chatsworth drawing by Soutman and folios of prints after Rubens in 1656 inventory); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.87, n.5 (perhaps the work of a pupil, corrected by Rembrandt [see further Exh. New York, 1995-96]); Exh. New York, 1985; Corpus, 2, 1986, p.294 (brother leaning on table in Amsterdam grisaille of Joseph Telling his Dreams [Bredius 504; Wetering 108] paraphrases same figure from Leonardo as seen in Benesch 0443 and other copies after Leonardo’s Last Supper); Guillaud, 1986, repr. fig.580; Exh. London, 1987, pp.166 and 168, repr. fig.159; Exh. New York, 1988, no.31, repr. (detailed entry, “one of the most impressive interpretations, if not the most impressive one, by a seminal artist of a fundamental work by another”; refutes Schatborn in Amsterdam, 1985; Rembrandt intensifies drama and psychology in changes to design and individual figures, undermining Leonardo’s symmetry by placing Christ left of centre and not under the middle of the canopy; style all of mid-160s, as comparable to copies after Lastman, Benesch 0446-49; influenced many later works by Rembrandt as noted by Gantner, 1964; Benesch 0089 made before Rembrandt knew the Leonardo); Corpus, 3, 1989, p.254, under no.A123 (on relationship to 1638 Dresden Wedding of Samson, Bredius 507; Wetering 160); Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, pp.275 and 277-78; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2.I, p.52 (signature refers to execution, not design); Exh. London, 1992, under nos.14 and 16 repr. fig.14a (drawing follows Benesch 0443; compares and contrasts Benesch 0421 for date); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, pp.464-5 (Lehman drawing the model for Benesch 0444); Exh. New York, 1995-96, no.56, repr. (c.1633-35; notes revision of Schatborn’s opinion expressed in Amsterdam, 1985 [from letter to the author of 1995]; notes use of red chalk for a number of Rembrandt’s copies after other artists; influence on later work); Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, p.326, repr. fig.8; New York, 1999, no.66, repr.; Royalton-Kisch and Ekserdjian, 2000, p.52; Berlin, 2006, pp.42-4, under no.7, repr., and p.84, under no.18 (compares Benesch 0448 for style); Plomp, 2006.I, pp.11-12, repr. fig.14 (c.1633-35; follows New York, 1999); Slive, 2009, pp.166-68, repr. fig.13.9 (c.1635); London, 2010 (online), under no.11; Corpus, 5, 2011, p.476 (influence of Leonardo on Louvre 1648 Supper at Emmaus, Bredius 578; Wetering 218); Schatborn, 2011, p.296, repr. fig.5; Royalton-Kisch, 2011, pp.98-99, n.11 (documentary drawing); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.31, repr. fig.5 (documentary drawing); Verdi, 2015, pp.85-87, repr. fig.27 (influence in Hermitage painting, The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard Bredius 558; Wetering 151); Exh. New York, 2016, pp.23-24 and no.18, repr. fig.21; Golahny, 2017, p.243, repr. fig.12.7; Exh. Dresden, 2019, p. 49, repr. fig.15; Schatborn, 2019, no.658 and pp.18 and 435, repr. (c.1635).
PROVENANCE: Friedrich August II (1797-1854), King of Saxony, Dresden (L.971; inv.100226); Mr and Mrs Robert Lehman.
 Compare the signatures on Rembrandt’s letters of the 1630s to Constantijn Huygens (Gerson, 1961 and online at http://remdoc.huygens.knaw.nl/ along with many other documents signed by the artist; for his signed drawings, see Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011).
 For more on Rembrandt’s signatures, see under Benesch 0057, n.7.
 Bartsch XIII, p.83, no.28; A.M. Hind, ‘Early Italian Engraving’, V, London, 1948, p.89, no.10. Identified by Kristeller as Rembrandt’s source, according to Hofstede de Groot, 1894, p.178. See further under Valentiner, 1905, in Lit. below.
 As first noted in Exh. London, 1992, no.14.
 See the accounts of the Last Supper in all four canonical gospels, Matthew, XXVI, 24-25, Mark, XIV, 18-21, Luke, XXII, 21-23, and John, XIII, 21-30.
 Chatsworth, inv. No. 677. Red and black chalks, 202 x 515 (Jaffé, 2002, vol.II,, p.242, no.1275). A related Rubens school drawing, showing the whole composition, is at Dijon (repr. in Gantner, 1964, fig.11).
 Schneevoogt, 231. From the 1656 inventory of Rembrandt’s possessions we know that he owned two portfolios with prints after Rubens, perhaps including this one (see Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, 1656/12, folios 34 verso and 35 verso).
 Much (too much…) is made of Rembrandt’s interest in Rubens in Schama, 1999.
 Bevers (Berlin, 2006, p.46) interprets these lines as a kneeling figure, perhaps an alternative idea for a Judas.
 By Benesch, 1954/73 (see Literature above).
 Clark, 1966, pp.53-56.
 Letter of 12 January, 1639 (Gerson, 1961, p.34).
 Inv. KdZ 1369; Berlin, 1930, p.238, no.1369, repr. pl.177; the attribution to De Gelder published by Bevers, 2011.1 and in Berlin, 2018, no.85, repr..
 See Verdi, 2015.
 The fact that Christ is not central in the painting is one of the arguments that Van de Wetering deploys to suggest that the Louvre picture may have been cut at the left, but the analogy with Benesch 0443 would be a counter-argument.
 The influence on the ‘Syndics’ first suggested by Clark, 1966, pp.61-63.
 This interpretation was questioned by Bevers in Berlin, 2006, p.46, under no.7, claiming that Rembrandt signed his own name to show his admiration for the Renaissance master[!] as well as in his own reinterpretations of the design.
First posted 11 September 2019.
Subject: The Last Supper after Leonardo da Vinci, left half
Medium: Red chalk, heightened with white, on paper probably washed pale greyish brown. (The verso is pale cream, and the different tone of the recto does not seem to be the result of discolouration); ruled framing line in pen and brown ink (a remnant down left side only). Signed, lower centre: ‘Rembrandt’ (the upper half – the “R”, “b”, “d” and “t” visible only, the remainder trimmed away)
125 x 210. Watermark: cut, the top of a crown only, similar to many marks, e.g. the Arms of Württemberg, Heawood 485 (1625); chain lines: 22/24v (not straight lines).
COMMENTS: The drawing is discussed under Benesch 0443. As there noted, this is a documentary drawing because of the signature (which is largely cut away below). It is the second of Rembrandt’s three known drawings based on Leonardo’s celebrated composition. For this drawing Rembrandt initially followed one by Pieter Soutman after Rubens’s study of the Leonardo (Fig.b).
Condition: A nearly vertical fold, left of centre; trimmed (see framing lines and signature); a hole top right made up; other minor losses near the edges.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*.
COLLECTION: GB London, The British Museum (inv. 1900,0611.7).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Exh. London, 1835 (see under Provenance below); Lippmann, IV, no.65; Exh. London, 1901, no.A114 (notes versions now in New York and Berlin, Benesch 0443 and 0445); Valentiner, 1905, pp.75-6 (based on print after Leonardo attrib. to Fra Antonio Monza by Kristeller, ‘Rassegna d’Arte’, 1901); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.888 (notes cut-away signature); London, 1915, no.3 (c.1630-35; compares Benesch 0017, then assumed to be from 1630; quotes Hofstede de Groot, 1894 [see Literature for Benesch 0443]); establishes the drawing’s chronological position between Benesch 0443 and 0445); Neumann, 1918, p.109, repr. fig.35 (follows order established in London, 1915); Weisbach, 1926, p.197; Berlin, 1930, p.227, under no.3769 and p.238, under no.1369 (places between Benesch 0443 and Benesch 0445; notes relationship to school version of c.1650 in Berlin, inv.1369, repr. pl.177); Hind, 1932, pp.61-2, repr. pl.XXXVIII (as London, 1915); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.624 (c.1633; follows London, 1915 and Neumann, 1918); Benesch, 1935, p.21 (c.1635; follows chronological order between Benesch 443 and 445 established in London, 1915); Benesch, 1935.I, p.263; Exh. London, 1938, no.3 (c.1630-35); Poortenaar, 1943, pp.19-20 (all versions based on the print noted by Valentiner, 1905; increase in movement over the model); Benesch, 1947, under no.45 (follows London, 1915); van Regteren Altena, 1948-49, p.14 (based on Soutman after Rubens print or preparatory drawing for it unknown to the author); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.444, repr. fig.502/532 (c.1635; follows van Regteren Altena, 1948-9; analyses changes made and postulates existence of further Rembrandt copies of the Leonardo, now lost); Exh. London, 1956, p.16, no.2 (notes Leonardo’s influence on painting of ‘Samson’s Wedding’ and the etching of the ‘Supper at Emmaus’ of 1654 [see under Benesch 0443]); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.24, under no.36 (follows Benesch, 1947; notes Leonardo influence on paintings of the Wedding of Samson and on the Claudius Civilis [see further under Benesch 0443]); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, p.51, under no.60 (as Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956); Exh. Washington-New York etc. 1958-9, under no.60; Gantner, 1959, p.99; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, p.15, under no.15; Gantner, 1962, p.181, repr. p.183, fig.5 (increased drama); Gantner, 1964, pp.40-43; Brion et. al., 1965, p.272; Slive, 1965, II, no.512, repr.; Clark, 1966, p.55, repr. fig.4; (closer to fresco than Benesch 0443; heads of Judas and St Peter given their correct relationship; influence of Leonardo on ‘One Hundred Guilder Print’ [see under Benesch 0443 and also n.13 there]); Bloch, 1967, p.715; Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, under no.100 (later than Berlin version, Benesch 0445); Exh. Berlin, 1970, under no.91 (quotes Rosenberg); Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.143, under no.251 (as Exh. London, 1956; also notes influence on etched ‘Supper at Emmaus’ [see under Benesch 0443]); Campbell, 1971, p.79 and n.36 (the Leonardo only a point of departure; early 1630s?); Steinberg, 1973, p-394, n.1, and p.407 (notes that Rembrandt’s and most other copies after the Leonardo do not follow the perspective and background of the original); Broos, 1975-76, p.210 (copies, corrects and assimilates Leonardo and Lastman for later reuse); Forssman, 1976, p.307; Broos, 1977, p.106; Amsterdam, 1981, p.153, under no.42, n.3; Slatkes, 1983, p.117, n.64 (notes Leonardo influence on painting of Wedding of Samson [see under Benesch 0443]); Exh. London, 1984, no.7; Royalton-Kisch, 1984, p.23, n.37 (follows van Regteren-Altena, 1948-49, also noting Chatsworth drawing by Soutman and folios of prints after Rubens in Rembrandt’s 1656 inventory); Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-86, under nos.48-49 (Rembrandt concentrates on Judas’ covetousness); Exh. New York, 1988, p.115, under no.31; Corpus, 3, 1989, p.254 (loosely related to genesis of painting of the Wedding of Samson [see under Benesch 0443]); Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, pp.275-8, repr. fig.10; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2.I, p.52 (signature refers to execution, not design); Exh. London, 1992, no.14, repr. in colour (much the same as text above); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, pp.464-5 (not based on Soutman’s copy, but on the Lehman drawing); Exh. New York, 1995-6, p.158, under no.56, n.2; Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-8, p.226, repr. fig.37c; New York, 1999, p.208, repr. fig.66.2 (based on the Soutman drawing); Exh. London, 1999-2000 (not mentioned in catalogue); Exh. Milan, 2001; Berlin, 2006, pp.42-4, under no.7, repr., and p.84, under no.18 (as Exh. London, 1992; compares Benesch 0448 for style); Slive, 2009, p.168, repr. fig.13.11 (c.1634); Corpus, 5, 2011, pp.188, repr. fig. 93, 208 and 254 (interest in Leonardo and specifically his influence on the 1638 Dresden painting of Samson’s Wedding [Bredius 507; Wetering 160]); London, 2010 (online) no.11, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 2011, pp.98-99, n.11 (documentary drawing); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.32, repr. fig.8 (documentary drawing); Exh. Glasgow, 2012, p.78, repr. fig.40, and no.30, repr.; Exh. New York, 2016, p.24 and no.19, repr. fig.22; Schatborn, 2019, no.660 and pp.18 and 435, repr. (c.1635).
PROVENANCE: Richard Cosway (L.629); his sale, Stanley, 3rd day, 16 February, 1822, lot 505; Thomas Lawrence (L.2445; the present sheet features on p.43, no.61, of the typescript copy, kept in the British Museum, of a MS list in the Royal Academy of the drawings in Lawrence’s collection before his death); William Esdaile (L.2617; see under Benesch 0286); his sale, Christie’s, 17 June, 1840, lot 45, bt with lot 44 (‘Pilate in the Hall of judgment’) by Woodburn, 10s-6d; Samuel Woodburn’s ‘Lawrence’ sale, Christie’s, 4th day, 7 June, 1860, lot 746, “Rembrandt, Van Rhyn – A portion of the Last Supper, after L. da Vinci”, bt Cockburn, 16s); presented by Miss Kate Radford, 1900.
First posted 13 September 2019.
Subject: The Last Supper, after Leonardo da Vinci
Verso: See Inscriptions
Medium: Pen and brown ink in two tones, one darker, touched with brown wash, white heightening and with traces of red chalk; highly exceptionally, the left half squared in graphite at a later date and the squares numbered 1 to 10; a ruled vertical line in graphite near the right edge is probably also from the same later period. Signed and dated in pen and brown ink, lower centre: “Rembrandt f. 1635.”; and in pen and brown ink with Esdaile’s monogram (L.2617); verso inscribed in graphite with the inventory number
125/129 x 385 (including a 67mm-wide strip added by the artist to the right.
COMMENTS: The drawing is discussed under Benesch 0443. As there noted, this is a documentary drawing because of the signature, which may be compared with many Rembrandt signatures in letters, documents and other drawings. It is the third and last of Rembrandt’s three known drawings based on Leonardo’s celebrated composition. In this drawing Rembrandt moved further away from his models (see Figs a and b; Leonardo’s fresco, which Rembrandt never saw, is Fig.c), creating an explosion of astonishment and emotion among Christ’s disciples as he announces that one of them will betray him.
Probably before creating the drawing, which has been cut along the top (as may be judged not only from the unusual long and narrow format but also from the sketches at the top right corner),and certainly before he reached the area to the right, Rembrandt added a strip of some 67mm, which accommodates the two disciples on the extreme right.
An engraving was made after the drawing while it was in the De Vos collection.
Condition: Somewhat faded and with surface dirt and smudges; as noted above, the sheet has been cut at the top, as suggested by the long and narrow format and the sketches at the extreme top right; Rembrandt added a strip of some 67mm on the right before beginning work in this area (and perhaps before he began the drawing); the paper has flaked in a few places, as in the figure at the left, where Rembrandt gave particularly strong, dark emphasis.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*.
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (L.1610; inv. KdZ. 3769).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Houbraken, I, 1718, pp.212-13 (see under provenance; notes that the drawing is in pen, thus likely referring to Benesch 0445); Houbraken, 1753, I, p.270; Vosmaer, 1868, pp.444 and 508 (in De Vos collection); Exh. London, 1877, p.27 (as Vosmaer, 1868); Vosmaer, 1877, pp.171-72 and 509 (as in 1868); Amtliche Berichte, 1885, col.lxvi (note of acquisition); Michel, 1890, pp.81-82 (Benesch 0445 preceded Benesch 0443); Lippmann, I, 24; Müntz, 1892, pp.196 and 208; Michel, 1893, p.574; Hofstede de Groot, 1894, p.178 (noting the Italian engraving [here Fig.a under Benesch 0443]); Von Seitlitz, 1894, p.119, n.1 and pp.120-21; Valentiner, 1905, pp.75-76; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, p.xiii and no.65 (documentary [“gesicherte”] drawing); Saxl, 1908, p.229; Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1914, no.53; Bode, 1915, col.220; London, 1915, under no.3 (establishes the drawing’s chronological position after Benesch 443-44); Von Seidlitz, 1917, pp.247-49 (signature and date not autograph); Neumann, 1918, no.59; Neumann, 1918.I, pp.94-94 and 109-10; Dehmel and Pfister, 1920, p.12, no.vii; Bredt, 1921, , II, p.69; Neumann, 1924, pp.469-70; Benesch, 1925, p.21; Berlin, 1930, pp.228-29, no.3769, repr. pl.154 (enhances dynamics of other two versions); Valentiner, 2, 1934, no.625, repr.; Kauffmann, 1926, pp.168, 175 and 177-78; Weisbach, 1926, pp.197-99; Van Dyke, 1927 (by Barent Fabritius); Berlin, 1930, pp.226-27, no.3769, repr. pl.154 (enhances dynamics of other two versions); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.235; Lugt, 1931, p.58; Hind, 1932,, repr. pl.xxxviii; Benesch, 1935, p.21; Weski, 1942, pp.14-15; Scinnerer, 1944, no.40; Benesch, 1947, no.46, repr.; Slive, 1953, p.189; Benesch, 1954/73, 2, no.445, repr. fig.501/533 (the squaring by Rembrandt; signature shows the drawing was an end in itself; Rembrandt may have made other drawings after Leonardo’s composition); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.38; Sumowski, 1956-57, p.263; Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, under no.9; Sumowski, 1961, p.7; Gantner, 1962, p.181; White, 1962, p.12; Benesch, 1963, pp.19 and 149-50, no.14, repr.; Gantner, 1964, pp.43-51; Slive, 1965, no.24; Clark, 1966, pp.53-56, repr. fig.46 (rearranged Leonardo into a “baroque free-for-all composition”); Exh. Berlin 1968, no.23; Hamann, 1969, pp.78 and 434; Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, under no.100; Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.91; Campbell, 1971, p.79, n.36; Steinberg, 1973, pp.309 and 406-7; Sciolla, 1976, no.viii; Broos, 1977, pp.106-7; Exh. Washington, 1983-84, no.17; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.87, n.5; Exh. Amsterdam, 1985-86, no.49, repr. (the disciple on the extreme right is a new version of Christ); Tümpel, 1986, pp.161 and 390, under no.17; Exh. New York, 1988, under no.31; Alpers, 1989, pp.182 and 194; Corpus, 3, 1989, p.254, under no.A123 (on relationship to 1638 Dresden Wedding of Samson, Bredius 507; Wetering 160); Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, p.275; Exh. London, 1992, p.15 and under nos.2, 11, 12, 14 and 15; Berlin, 1994, no.IV.60; Sell, 1998, pp.104-6 and 131, n.57; New York, 1999, under no.66; Steinberg, 2001, pp.40 and 264-65, no.46; Kreutzer, 2003, pp.146-47 and 194; Exh. Vienna, 2004, p.41; Berlin, 2006, no.7, repr. (full discussion [credits given above under Benesch 0443]; believes Rembrandt’s signatures were to show his admiration for Leonardo as well as pride in his reformulation of the composition; rightly refutes Benesch’s belief that the squaring and numbering is by Rembrandt); Slive, 2009, p.168, repr. fig.13.12 (never again did Rembrandt tackle the subject); Corpus, 5, 2011, p.188, repr. fig. 94, and pp.208, 209 and 254 (interest in Leonardo and specifically his influence on the 1638 Dresden painting of Samson’s Wedding [Bredius 507; Wetering 160], which however does not have the surging waves of movement through the composition seen in Benesch 0445); Royalton-Kisch, 2011, pp.98-99, n.11 (documentary drawing); Schatborn, 2011, p.296, repr. fig.7 and Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011, no.30, repr. fig.7 (documentary drawing); Exh. New York, 2016, p.24, and no.20, repr. fig.23; Schatborn, 2019, no.659 and pp.18 and 435, repr..
PROVENANCE: Sybrand van der Schelling (according to Houbraken, I, 1718, pp.212-13: Onder vele die onder die menigte uitsteken is de verbeeldinge van Christus laatste Avondmaal ‘t geen ik by den konstminnenden vander Schelling heb gezien, thans in handen van meergemelden Heere Will. Six, het geen meer als twintig Ducatons waard geschat word, schoon het maar een enkele schets met de pen op papier is. Waar uit men besluiten moet: dat hy magtig is geweest op de beschouwinge der menigerhande gemoetsdriften, zig een vast denkbeeld in te drukken); Willem Six (also according to Houbraken); Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); William Esdaile (L.2617; see under Benesch 0286); his sale, London, Christie’s, 17 June, 1840, lot 101, bt Hodgson for Brondgeest (according the British Museum copy), £5-5s; Jacob de Vos, jun.; his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, Muller, Van Pappelendam & Schouten and C.M. Van Gogh, 22-24 May, 1883, lot 368; acquired by the present repository in 1885 (with the accession no.120-1885).
 Many are illustrated in Strauss and Van der Meulen, 1979, the drawings by Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2011; see also under Benesch 0057, n.7.
 Bevers notes (Berlin, 2006, p.46 n.11) that the added strip may have been detached and reattached at a later date, as there are very slight discrepancies in the lines crossing the join.
 According to Benesch, 1954/73 (see Literature above).
First posted 16 September 2019.
Subject: Joseph Distributing Corn in Egypt , after Pieter Lastman (Genesis XLI, 56-7)
Verso: Laid down
Medium: Black chalk with white heightening; unruled framing lines in the same black chalk, by Rembrandt (with two framing lines below); ruled framing lines in pen and black ink. Signed by the artist, lower right: “Rembrand fe” [or possibly “ft”]; the remains of a further inscription at the lower centre edge, now illegible.
317 x 465 (on two sheets, joined vertically c.144mm from the left) . Watermark: none visible; chain lines: horizontal (distance apart uncertain).
COMMENTS: A documentary drawing as it is signed at the lower right. The signature compares well with many by Rembrandt but appears to have been written faster than usual and is somewhat anomalous in that he omitted the final “t” in his name. Variations of this kind are not unusual with Rembrandt, who for example signed his name without the ‘d’ in his copy after Leonardo’s Last Supper in the Lehmann collection (Benesch 0443), and without the ‘t’, as here, in his etching of the Omval of 1645 (Bartsch 209; NH 221). In other respects, the signature seems authentic and characteristic with, for example, the break after the letter ‘m’ and the forward loop of the riser of the ‘b’.
The drawing is based on a painting by Rembrandt’s teacher in Amsterdam, Pieter Lastman, which is dated 1612 (Fig.a). Although Rembrandt reduced the picture to the essential outlines, focussing on the arrangement of the figures and the general distribution of the light and shade, his copy is largely accurate, apart from (a) increasing Joseph’s height in relation to the figures on the upper right, and (b) adjusting the goats, which are moved somewhat to the left in relation to the figures around them. Joseph’s gown is no longer emphatically dark, and Rembrandt also added a second monument in the distance, immediately above the central figure of a man carrying a sack – a minor but unusual deviation. There is a slight gap missing at the vertical join towards the left. One possible explanation is that Rembrandt drew across the gutter of a sketchbook, and that the two leaves were subsequently joined together, although a perfect fit was impossible.
The style belongs with Rembrandt’s other copies or variations after Lievens, Leonardo and Lastman of the mid-1630s (Benesch 0017, Benesch 0443-45 and Benesch 0447-49), but the kind of paper and the black chalk combined with white are again found in the dated drawing of an Elephant of 1637 (Benesch 0457), in which the slightly lumpy texture and fat laid lines of the paper seem identical, providing the strongest clue for the date. Why Rembrandt, in the mid-1630s, should have produced so many drawn copies is uncertain. But, given his focus on the general arrangement of the figures, one possible explanation is that after several years, during the first half of the 1630s, of concentrating on establishing himself as a portrait-painter, he felt a need for renewed instruction and inspiration in composing elaborate history paintings.
The subject, Genesis XLI, 56-7 and was depicted in the same year (1618) as Lastman by Jan Pijnas. Regarded as a prefiguration of Christ’s feeding of the five thousand, in 1618, with the Dutch Republic often compared to the Promised Land of Israel, the connotations may possibly have been connected with the fruits of peace and the dying years of the Twelve Years’ Truce (1609-21). The subject was probably of less significance to Rembrandt than the painting’s qualities as an example of a multi-figured historical composition on a grand scale, concerned with the type of problems of design that faced Rembrandt himself as he received more commissions to paint ‘histories’ in the mid-1630s.
Condition: Somewhat foxed, especially near top and to right, also lower left; the join appears to be inaccurate, so that a very small part of the composition is missing (the cut is supported behind by a vertical strip running to about 45mm either side of the join; see further under Comments above).
Summary attribution: Rembrandt*.
COLLECTION: A Vienna, Albertina (L.174; inv.17559).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Schönbrunner and Meder 1896-1908, no.1099, repr.; Riegl, 1902, repr. pl.xiii; Hofstede de Groot 1906, no.1402 (composition in the style of Rembrandt’s early red chalk drawings, c.1630-33); Freise, 1911, p.257; Freise, 1913, p.610; Hofstede de Groot, 1923-24, p.109; Weisbach, 1926, p.206; Bredt, 1927, p.59; Müller, 1929, p.55, n.1; Rijckevorsel, 1932, p.187; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.634B; Benesch, 1935, p.24; Benesch, 1947, no.82, repr.; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.446, repr. fig.504/534 (c.1637; sees analogies with pen drawings Benesch 0141, Benesch 0147, Benesch 0148 and Benesch 0160; style becomes increasingly freer and bolder as Rembrandt moves towards the right); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.70; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.37, repr. fig.9; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.31; Rosenberg, 1956, p.66; Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.27; Sumowski, 1961, p.7; Gantner, 1964, p.90, n.1; Stechow, 1969, pp.148-9; Exh. Vienna, 1969-70, no.15; Broos, 1975-76, p.212, repr. fig. 23; Exh. Dresden-Vienna, 1978, no.91, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam, 1991, pp.73-75, repr. fig.23; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, p.276; Exh. Amsterdam-Kassel, 2001, pp.140-41, repr. fig.6c; Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.138, repr.; Corpus, 5, 2011, pp.202-3, repr. fig. 133, and p.254 (Rembrandt amplifies distances between fore-, middle- and background compared to Lastman’s original); Royalton-Kisch, 2011, pp.98-99, n.11 (documentary drawing); Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, 2013, no.37, repr. fig.111; Schatborn, 2019, no.656 and pp.17 and 435, repr. (c.1636; importance of Lastman; style becomes freer as he worked [as Benesch 1954/73]); Albertina online [http://sammlungenonline.albertina.at/?query=Inventarnummer=&showtype=record ; accessed 17 September 2019].
PROVENANCE: Austrian Imperial Library (Kaiserliche Hofbibliothek); Herzog Albert von Sachsen-Teschen (L.174).
 Usually read by previous authors as “ft” but appears more like “fe”.
 On Rembrandt’s signatures, see further under Benesch 0057, n.7.
 Seifert, 2011, repr. fig. 130.
 Sold Sotheby’s London, 1964; repr. Exh. Amsterdam, 1991-2.I, p.31, fig.18.
 For example, the series of paintings of scenes of Christ’s Passion, listed under Benesch 0382, n.4.
First posted 19 September 2019.
Subject: The Dismissal of Hagar, after Pieter Lastman (Genesis XXI, 14)
Verso: Laid down
Medium: Black chalk on paper that may have been prepared with white or is well sized.
194 x 150. Watermark: none visible; chain lines: horizontal, distance apart unclear but perhaps 25mm.
COMMENTS: For the subject, see under Benesch 0524. The drawing is a copy after the painting by Pieter Lastman, now in Hamburg, which is dated 1612 (Fig.a). The attribution of the drawing to Rembrandt has never been doubted, not least because of its connection with Rembrandt’s other copies after paintings by his teacher (Benesch 0446 – a documentary drawing – and Benesch 0448-49). Yet the style also seems surprisingly close to Benesch 0012 of c.1629 (Fig.b), so that an earlier date cannot be ruled out. Both works are drawn with emphatic outlines that block out areas of drapery (e.g., the drapery to the lower left of Abraham in Benesch 0447 and the folds falling below the more raised hand on the right of Benesch 0012) as well as minimal indications of the patterns on the cloth.
Rembrandt’s copy of the Dismissal of Hagar focuses on the three main figures and is drawn in even strokes, with only cursory attention paid to the details of the painting. For example, as well as the folds and patterns on the clothes, the facial expressions are barely conveyed. A background figure and the peacock can be made out and a slight indication of the clouds is included at the top right. Overall it seems that Rembrandt was interested in how the three figures were integrated as a symmetrical pattern rather than in their emotional characterisations – in stark contrast to his copies after Leonardo’s Last Supper (Benesch 0443-45). Rembrandt’s own work in all media – paintings, prints and drawings – frequently include figure groups of this kind and he may have found Lastman’s example commendable in this regard. His own etching of 1637 of the same subject (Fig.c; Bartsch 30; NH 166) is a case in point, although entirely recast, to such a degree that it shows no connection with the drawing – perhaps another argument for suggesting that the latter was made significantly earlier.
The subject was immensely popular in the first half of the seventeenth century and, as well as by Lastman and Rembrandt, was treated by many of their contemporaries, including Rubens, Willem Bartsius, and Rembrandt’s own followers, Jan Victors, Barend Fabritius (who reinterpreted the same portion of Lastman’s painting) and Nicolaes Maes. In the northern Netherlands, the tale of the liberation of the Jews became an inspiration during the 80 Years’ War against the Hapsburg yoke (as noted under Benesch 0292, qv.).
Another copy after the same figure group in the painting (without the staffage in the left background, but with a hint of the foliage at the lower right) is in Hamburg, now tentatively attributed to Heyman Dullaert.
Condition: Good; a slight brown stain lower centre and at centre right edge; presumably cut, especially at the right where Hagar’s left hand disappears.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: A Vienna, Albertina (L.174; inv.8766).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Schönbrunner and Meder 1896-1908, VII, no. 795, repr.; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no. 1397 (1645-50; connects with picture then in Lord Denbigh collection, see n.1 below); Müller, 1929, p.57, repr. fig.9; Rijckevorsel, 1932, p.188, repr. fig. 238; Benesch 1935, pp.24 and 29; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.635B; Hamann, 1936, p.472, repr. fig.1; Benesch, 2, 1954/73, no.447, repr. (c.1636; otherwise as Hofstede de Groot, 1906); Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.32; Exh. Vienna, 1969-70, no.16, repr.; Exh. Moscow-Leningrad, 1973, pp.108f., repr; Exh. Sydney, 1977, no.37, repr.; Sumowski, III, 1980, under no.563x; Amsterdam, 1985, under no.40 and n.3; Exh. Munich, 1986, no.47, repr.; Exh. Antwerp, 1987, no.49, repr.; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, p.276; Exh. Amsterdam, 1991-92, p.67, n.15; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam, 1991-92, pp.380-83, n.4, repr. fig.81b; Exh. Linz-Nordico, 1993, no.15A, repr.; Exh. New York, 1997, no.53; Exh. Bilbao-Vienna, 1999, no.26, repr.; Exh. Bremen, 2000, p.52, under no.15, repr. fig.c; Sitt, 2002, p.15, repr. fig.8; Exh. Vienna, 2004, no.140, repr. (c.1637; with essay by M. Sitt on Lastman and – to a lesser extent – Rembrandt, and on the iconography); Verdi, 2015, p.85; Schatborn, 2019, pp.17 and 435 and no.662, repr. (c.1636; importance of Lastman but here only copied the main figures, unlike his other copies after Lastman); Albertina collections online (http://sammlungenonline.albertina.at/?query=Inventarnummer=%5B8766%5D&showtype=record [accessed 23 September 2019]).
PROVENANCE: Kaiserliche Hofbibliothek; Herzog Albert von Sachsen-Teschen (L.174).
 Now in the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco (California) and formerly in the Earl of Denbigh’s collection (Sumowski, Gem., III, p.915 no. 547, repr. in colour; viewable online at https://rkd.nl/explore/images/242003 [accessed 24 September 2019]).
 Inv. 1930-38; Hamburg, 2011, no.267 repr. (and online at: https://www.hamburger-kunsthalle.de/sammlung-online/heyman-dullaert-pieter-pietersz-lastman/abraham-verstoesst-hagar-und-ismael-1-mose# [accessed 23 September 2019]).
First posted 24 September 2019.
Subject: Susannah and the Elders, after Pieter Lastman (Daniel, XIII, 22-23)
Verso: See inscriptions
Medium: Red chalk; ruled framing lines in red chalk; traces of grey wash by a later hand (especially in the figure on the right). Signed or inscribed lower right in red chalk, probably by the artist: “R. f.” and on verso, in black chalk: “verkoft syn vaendrager f – 1 15 – – / en floora verhandelt – 6 – – / f[?]ardynandus van syn werck verhandelt / een ander werck van syn voorneemen / den Abraeham een floorae / Leenderts floorae is verhandelt tegen 5 g” (sold his standard bearer f– 1 15 – – [i.e. 1 guilder and 15 stivers] / and flora sold – 6 [i.e. 6 stivers] – – / f[?]ardinand sold of his work / another work of his undertaking [or: which he intends to make] / the Abraham one flora / Leendert’s flora sold for for f5 [i.e. 5 guilders])
235 x 363.
COMMENTS: Drawn by Rembrandt after a painting of 1612, now in Berlin, by his teacher, Pieter Lastman (Fig.a). The inscribed monogram at the lower right has given rise to significant misgivings and for that reason this is not a documentary drawing. In the present writer’s opinion, the monogram is in all probability autograph, though unusual in not including Rembrandt’s Christian name in full, but just the “R”; this is a habit of his Leiden period, while the drawing appears to be later. Also, the tone of the red chalk of the inscription is affected by some rubbing of the surface and later touches in grey wash, while the roughness of the “f” has also given rise to concern. However, in every other respect the annotation seems of a piece with the rest of the drawing.
The drawing may be seen in the context of Rembrandt’s other drawn copies of the mid-1630s, in particular those that are also after Lastman (Benesch 0446; Benesch 0449, qv). The style is, however, closest to his copy after Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper”, now in New York (Benesch 0443), of c.1635, a date which should, therefore, be ascribed to the present work. Other writers have proffered dates between c.1629 and c.1637, but without convincing stylistic cause. Benesch 0017, Benesch 0136 (especially the hatching and the loop at the top, replicated in the foliage in the centre of the present drawing and also seen in Benesch 0148 verso) and Benesch 0437 are also similar in style.
In the following year (1636), Rembrandt completed the first of his two paintings of the same subject, now in the Mauritshuis (Fig.b; Bredius 155; Wetering 144). It may be that it was in the context of creating this painting that Rembrandt turned to Pieter Lastman’s version for inspiration. In the drawing, Rembrandt adjusted various details to enhance the sense of Susannah’s vulnerability: the old man closest to her is brought still nearer, his right arm now raised higher to avoid disappearing behind her. She, in turn, lowers her right hand to cover herself and now looks directly at the men behind her. The figure on the far right, perhaps startled by Susannah’s refusal of their advances, now places his weight on his back foot. Other, less significant adjustments, include the placement of the palace or temple in the background, now more to the left (and lacking its pediment). The vegetation on the ground no longer spills between the figures, as though Rembrandt wanted to remove any obstacles to the confrontation, and the position of the peacocks is slightly changed, the upper one now apparently agitating its wings (in sympathy with the moment) and the one on the extreme right placed significantly lower. The short forelegs of the sphinx-fountain are lengthened to dangle over the edge of the pool.
The Mauritshuis painting (Fig.b) turns the figure further to the left, but she does keep her right hand lowered, much as in the present drawing. But, typically for Rembrandt, he changes the moment: Susannah, caught unawares, is on the point of registering that something is amiss, expressed by her demeanour and by the awkwardness of her pose. The elders are still almost completely hidden in the bushes. In the Berlin painting of the same subject (Fig.c. Bredius 516; Wetering 213), which was begun shortly afterwards in c.1638 (though not completed until 1647), the elders were fully reintroduced while the background retains important echoes of the Lastman. The elders are reversed in the sense that the one on the right is now viewed head on, while the figure nearest Susannah is now the one in profile (and was of course studied in Benesch 0157, qv.). Susanna is again surprised, in an ungainly pose as she steps into the water, while the elder closest to her already attempts to remove her drapery.
Susannah’s somewhat wooden appearance (like a lay figure) resembles Benesch 0142A recto for St John the Baptist Preaching of c.1633-34. For other representations of Susannah and the Elders, see Benesch 0592, Benesch 0609, Benesch 0977 and the drawing connected with the Berlin painting, Benesch 0590. There are school drawings of the 1630s: Benesch 0159 and the drawing now in Budapest (Benesch A8; in my view probably by Govert Flinck; inv.1523). Other, later, school works include Benesch 0536 and Benesch 0928 (the latter probably by Willem Drost). A painting of the subject, probably by Govert Flinck and also from the late 1630s, is in Berlin. See also the remarks under Benesch 0009, which might have been an idea for a figure of Susanna, with echoes of the Lastman. If so, perhaps it should be dated to the same year as the present drawing.
The autograph inscription on the verso is of considerable significance, as has long been recognised. That it was written by Rembrandt himself has never been doubted and the handwriting is characteristic. It mentions the following works, sometimes with prices, giving us an insight into the value of pupils’ versions of Rembrandt’s paintings: (1.) a Standard Bearer sold for 1 guilder 15 stivers; (2.) a Flora sold for 6 stivers; (3.) an Abraham (presumably Abraham’s Sacrifice); (4.) another Flora; and (5.) yet another Flora by “Leendert” sold for 5 guilders. The Leendert is probably Leendert van Beyeren. The name “Ferdinand” also appears, likely a reference to Rembrandt’s pupil, Ferdinand Bol. His name is associated with the first four works in a general way, although the missing parts of the inscription make this assumption less than watertight. The inscription documents the fact that these two artists were pupils and/or collaborators of Rembrandt, while the works mentioned are probably copies or variations of works by Rembrandt himself.
The first two appear to have been sold for small sums, and were perhaps copies of (1.) the painting of 1636 now in the Rijksmuseum (Bredius 433; Wetering 147) and (2.) either the Flora of 1634 in St Petersburg (Bredius 102; Wetering 125) or the Flora of 1635 in the National Gallery, London (Bredius 103; Wetering 138). Drawn copies after the Standard Bearer and the London version of the Flora, both attributed to Bol, are in the British Museum, and could either be the works concerned or secondary versions. The Abraham (3.) could be after the St Petersburg painting of 1635 (Bredius 498; Wetering 136) and might be the well-known version of 1636 in Munich (Wetering 136, Fig.2) which relates to Benesch 0090 (qv., where the paintings are reproduced). The two further Floras (4.) and (5.), are presumably either the versions of the pictures enumerated here under (2.) above, or perhaps the painted copy of the St Petersburg picture in a private collection in The Hague (repr. Corpus, 2, 1986, p.502, fig.6), or one of the other known copies after the London painting (see Corpus, 3, 1989, p.157, nos.2-7).
The dates of Rembrandt’s originals suggest that the inscription dates from c.1635-36, 1636 being the year of the Standard Bearer, chronologically the last of the Rembrandt designs mentioned. There is, therefore, no reason to believe that the inscription dates from a much later period than the drawing on the recto, as some writers have suggested (see Literature). Bol was Rembrandt’s pupil from c.1635-40, while Leendert van Beyeren (1619/20-1649) may have begun work in Rembrandt’s studio in c.1636 (he is recorded as a disciple of Rembrandt in a document of 1637).
Condition: Good; slightly rubbed and discoloured at both lower corners.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: D Berlin, Staatliche Museen Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (inv. KdZ 5296).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Michel, 1893, p.574; Von Seidlitz, 1894, p.126; Lippmann, II, 20; Von Seiditz, 1900, p.488; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.45 (c.1635; records verso inscription); Hofstede de Groot, 1906.I, no.39 (inscription); Veth, 1906.I, pp.17-18; Bode, 1908, p.107, cols 58 and 62 (c.1635); Amtliche Berichte (Bode), xxx, 1908, p.62; Saxl, 1908, p.336 (c.1633-37; related to painting in The Hague, Bredius 505; Wetering 144); Valentiner, 1908, pp.32-35 (perhaps from a sketchbook); Freise, 1911, under no.44; Freise, Wichmann and Lilienfeld, 1914, no.31 (before 1635); Valentiner, 1914, p.164; Bode, 1915, col.220; Neumann, 1918, pp.104 and 110-12 (c.1634); Kauffmann, 1922, pp.57 and 85, n.1; Hofstede de Groot, 1923-24, p.109 (after Lastman); Kauffmann, 1923-24. pp.73-74 and 80 (c.1633); Neumann, 1924, pp.136 and 471, n.2; Kauffmann, 1926, p.177; Weisbach, 1926, pp.250-51; Bredt, 1927, I, p.185; Van Dyke, 1927, pp.5-6, 44 and 145 (by Lastman); Müller, 1929, p.55, n.1, and p.59; Berlin, 1930, I, p.224, repr. II, pl.149 (c.1630-33; verso inscription perhaps later in date); Exh. Berlin, 1930, no.225 (c.1630-33); Lugt, 1931, p.57; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.632B (c.1633-35); Benesch, 1935, p.24 (c.1636); Wichmann, 1940, no.10 (c.1633-35); Weski, 1942, pp.3-7 and 10-12; Benesch, 1947, I, under no.82 (c.1637); Rosenberg, 1948, p.123 (c.1633-35); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.448, repr. fig.503/535 (c.1637; a free copy); Exh. Berlin, 1956, no.33 (c.1630-33); Sumowski, 1956-57, p.263 (c.1633-35); Benesch, 1960, no.26, repr.; Sumowski, 1961, p.7 (noting problems of dating); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.27 (c.1629); Benesch, 1963, p.20, no.26, repr. (c.1637); Slive, 1965, no.237 (c.1630-33); Exh. Berlin, 1968, no.27 (c.1630-33); Haak, 1969, p.42; Hamann, 1969, pp.155, 330 and 434 (c.1636 or slightly later); Exh. Berlin, 1970, no.35 (c.1633); Imdahl, 1975, passim.; Sciolla, 1976, under no.xvi (c.1637); Broos, 1977, pp.14-16 (mid-1630s); Sumowski, Drawings, I, 1979, p.195 (concerning verso inscription mention of Van Beyeren); Blankert, 1982, p.17, repr. fig.3 (on the verso inscription); Exh. Amsterdam-Groningen, 1983, pp.14-16 and 44 (mid-1630s; discusses verso inscription); Broos, 1983.I, p. 14, verso repr. fig.10 (on verso inscription, a rare document concerning Rembrandt’s pupils; sees recto as an “in memoriam” of his teacher, Lastman); Bruyn, 1983.I, p.209; Broos, 1984.I, pp.39-40, repr. figs.9-10 (mid-1630s; in memoriam to his teacher who was buried 4 April 1633; verso documents Leendert van Beyeren and Ferdinand Bol as pupils at this period); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.36 (starting-point for Benesch 0592); Corpus, 2, 1986, pp.45, 46 and 501 (concerning prices for pupils’ paintings as revealed in verso inscription); Exh. Paris, 1986, under no.41; Exh. Melbourne, 1988, pp.52 and 56, n.31; Exh. New York, 1988, no.30, repr. (c.1635); Corpus, 3, 1989, p.14, verso repr. fig. 2, and pp.57, 106, 156, 200, 227-28 and 230 (on verso inscription which dated c.1636, suggesting prices more likely to refer to drawings than paintings by Ferdinand Bol and others that might be the works mentioned; Lastman’s original Susannah influenced 1636 Mauritshuis painting of her [Bredius 505; Wetering 144]; p.230 suggests the prices must refer to paintings, not drawings[!]); Haak, 1990, p.142 (c.1637); Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, p.276; Exh. Amsterdam, 1991-92, pp.68-71 (c.1635); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92, under nos.25 and 27; Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-92.I, no.11, recto and verso repr. (c.1635-36?); Exh. London, 1992, under no.15 (mid-1630s); Exh. Münster-Amsterdam-Jerusalem, 1994, pp.112 and 119, n.57; Exh. Washington, 1995-96, under no.70 (on verso inscription); Exh. Melbourne-Canberra, 1997-98, no.77, and under no.10 (c.1635); Stechow, 1998, p.27, repr. fig.13 (c.1635; changes from Lastman not always for the better…); Exh. Amsterdam, 1999-2000, p.110 (c.1635); Exh. Hamburg, 2000-2001, p.33; Exh. Edinburgh-London, 2001, under nos 69 and 100; Kreutzer, 2003, pp.80-81 and 191 (c.1636); Exh. Vienna, 2004, pp.42-43 (Schatborn: mid-1630s) and under nos. 32-33 (Bisanz-Prakken: c.1636-37); Exh. Copenhagen, 2006, p.186, repr. fig.9a (Rembrandt trying out solutions to improve on his predecessor); Exh. Hamburg, 2006, pp.78-80; Berlin, 2006, no.18, recto and verso repr. (c.1636); Slive, 2009, p.161, repr. fig.13.1 (c.1636); Corpus, 5, 2011, p.202, repr. fig. 128, and pp. 254 and 338-39, repr. fig.15 (stronger feeling of space than in the Lastman original; sought alternative position for Susannah’s arms); Schatborn and Dudok van Heel, 2011, p.348, no.iii, recto and verso repr. (recording verso inscription; recto signature probably by the artist); Bevers, 2015, p.463, repr.. fig.1 (c.1636; compares Lastman’s painting [here fig.a]); Exh. Berlin, 2015, no.1, and pp.37-38, repr. (c.1635-36; notes the differences with the painting by Lastman; chalk better suited to the large scale copies after Lastman than pen and ink); Verdi, 2015, p.85; Kenney, 2017, p.1; Exh. Amsterdam, 2018, pp.42, 71 and 211 (on inscription; suggests identification of Bol’s etching of Abraham with the mention of such a work); Schatborn, 2019, pp.17 and 435 and no.661, repr. (c.1636; importance of Lastman; compared with the Lastman, Rembrandt heightens the drama, with outstretched arm of old man and Susannah’s defensive gesture).
PROVENANCE: Count Antoine François Andreossy (according to Berlin, 1930, I, p.224); presumably his sale, Paris, 13-16 April 1864; Jean-François Gigoux (also according to Berlin, 1930, loc. cit.); Adolf von Beckerath (1834-1915), with whose collection acquired in 1902 by the present repository in return for a lifetime annuity.
 The reading is based on that in Schatborn and Dudok van Heel, 2011, p.348, no.III, which however transcribes the last word of the penultimate line as “florae” (with one “o”). The prices have often been misread as respectively 15 guilders, 4 guilders and 6 stivers, and 5 guilders (the latter correctly). The lower prices make it more likely that the items mentioned were drawings, not paintings, with the possible exception of the last at 5 guilders. For the word “voornemen”, see the Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal: although often thought to refer to a work already executed by Bol, it seems, rather, that it was a work in hand, or one that Bol was still to execute.
 The reasons for doubt are articulated by Bevers in Berlin, 2006, no.18.
 See Budapest, 2005, no.221, repr.; described as a copy by Sumowski, 1956-57, p.262; see also https://www.mfab.hu/artworks/susanna-and-the-elders-6/.
 Oil on panel, 47 x 35 cm.. Von Moltke, 1965, no.36; Sumowski, Gem., II, 1983, no.619 (as by Barend Fabritius).
 See Sumowski 127x and 128x; London, 2010 (online), Bol nos.1 (Flora) and 2 (Standard Bearer). Another drawn copy after the Standard Bearer was in Dresden but is now missing (according to Corpus, 3, 1989, p.230, no.2). A photograph, of which there is a positive in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, was produced by Adolphe Braun, “Musée de Dresde. Catalogue des dessins reproduits en fac-simile”, 1872, p.16, no.256. Further potentially early versions in oil after the the Standard Bearer are listed by Corpus, 3, 1989, pp.230-31, nos 4, 6, 7 and 8, with references to potentially more copies in old sale catalogues. Another copy, of the head and shoulders only, was sold New York, Sotheby’s, 14 October, 1998, lot 84. Corpus, 2, 1986, p.501, suggest the Flora copy might be a painting recorded in the collection of Adolphe Schloss by Bode and Hofstede de Groot, 3, 1899, no. 190, repr..
 Also repr. Wetering, no.136, fig.2.
 Bol’s apprenticeship is often dated c.1636-40 (Blankert, 1982, pp.16-17; Kok, 2013, pp.46-47).
 In the list of buyers at the Jan Basse sale on 18 March, 1637, Leendert Cornelisz.’s name appears, qualified as “disipel van Rembrant” (Strauss and Van der Meulen, 1979, p. 141).
First posted 18 October 2019.
Subject: Saints Paul and Barnabas at Lystra, after Pieter Lastman (Acts XIV: 8-18)
Medium: Red chalk, with residual framing lines in the same medium; the paper is quite heavy and in tone veers towards pale brownish-yellow (see also under Condition). Inscribed below by the artist in red chalk: “en vrou wyst op een jonck kint” [a woman points to a young child]; verso, in graphite: “24” (then “ff”, or something like it; this inscription could be early)
298 x 444. Watermark: none; chain lines: 28h.
COMMENTS: The drawing, a copy after Pieter Lastman’s painting of 1614 (see Fig.a), is inscribed below in a similar way to the New York copy after Leonardo’s Last Supper (Benesch 0443), but not signed, so that this is not a documentary work (see the Introduction under the “About” tab). Yet the style is so close to that drawing, as also to another of Rembrandt’s copies after Pieter Lastman, Benesch 0446 (qv; see also Benesch 0447-0448), that there can be no doubt about the attribution. Compare also Benesch 0444, especially for the head of the disciple third from the left, mirrored by many of the faces here, and the figures in red chalk in Benesch 0152.
The biblical history (Acts XIV, 8-18) relates that in Lystra, in Asia Minor, Sts Paul and Barnabas healed a lame man, whereupon the locals decided to sacrifice a bull to the pagan Olympian gods, taking the apostles to be Jupiter and Mercury (Zeus and Hermes). The apostles remonstrated with the crowd that had assembled, stating that they, too, were human, in order to prevent the sacrifice. As with Benesch 0446-48, Rembrandt cast a critical eye on his former teacher’s painting and introduced several changes, as well as simplifying the details. Among the more significant adjustments, the two orators on the left have new gestures, and the priest stands a little further from the dais, on the far side of which two new figures linger. There is no sign of the dark, cavernous spaces behind the frieze of figures, and the group holding banners is moved forward, towards the left. The postures of both the kneeling figures and the standing figure on the right in the foreground are adjusted, while in front of the latter, the kneeling old man now turns towards the woman next to him. The background is cursorily indicated, but where Lastman shows an obelisk and a statue, Rembrandt includes two obelisks and no statue, while three figures are introduced immediately below the sacrificial bull. As with Benesch 0433-48, in making his copy Rembrandt seems to have been mainly concerned withe the dynamics of the figure-grouping rather than individual details and expressions, although the woman on the left with the child, and the figures closest to her, are given some attention in this regard.
The inscription below (“en vrou wyst op een jonck kint” [a woman points to a young child]) presumably refers to the woman on the left, with an adolescent boy, whose right hand is clearly pointing in the Lastman, though this is less clear in the drawing.
The sine qua non of representations of the same subject is the version by Raphael of c.1515, one of his set of designs for tapestries in the Sistine Chapel. These were known to Rembrandt through engravings, as we know, for example, from Benesch 0348 after the St Paul Preaching in Athens (see Benesch 0348, Fig.a). In Lastman’s painting, the artist seems to have taken inspiration more from the latter scene than from Raphael’s Sacrifice at Lystra, in the general arrangement of the preacher(s) raised on the left and the crowd to the right, including the kneeling St Dionysius.
Condition: Seems generally good though light struck (partly protected at the edges by a former mount); a patch supports a crack in the paper, bottom centre; the sheet has been folded down the centre but this has affected the verso more than recto; traces of a pale blue backing adhere to the verso; some staining suggests the drawing has been washed, which from the comments of Hofstede de Groot, 1906 See Literature below) seems likely, as he described the drawing as a “Sehr beschädigte Rötelzeichnung”.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: F Bayonne, Musée Bonnat-Helleu (inv.1470; formerly NI 1457).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.671 (very damaged; represents Jephtha and his Daughter?); Martin, 1906, ppp.187-88, repr. (c.1630-33; connects with Lastman’s painting of 1614); Exh. Paris, 1908, no.437; Bayonne, 1925, no.24; Müller, 1929, p.55, note; Valentiner, II, 1934, no.633B, repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.24; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.449, repr. (c.1637; like Benesch 0446, Rembrandt made changes to his model); Exh. Bayonne, I968-69, no.17; Broos, 1975-76, pp.214-16, repr. fig.17 (Rembrandt makes the figures act more as a single entity than in the painting); Exh. Amsterdam-Groningen, 1983, p.37, repr. fig.b; Royalton-Kisch, 1991.I, p.276; Schatborn and Dudok van Heel, 2011, p.368, no.iv, repr. (c.1637); Seifert, 2011, repr. fig. 70; Schatborn, 2019, p.435 and no.449, repr. (c.1636-38).
PROVENANCE: Léon Bonnat (L.1714), by whom presented to the present repository in 1919.
 See Amsterdam, 2007, p.244, repr. fig.167b and Seifert, 2011, repr. fig.68.
 Broos, 1975-76, believes Paul is now “rending his clothes”, following the biblical text.
 Broos, loc. cit., thought the boy had been transformed into a baby but I believe this is probably a misreading of the drawing.
 For Rembrandt and Raphael, see Saxl, I923-24, and Clark, 1966.
First posted 26 October 2019.
Subject: A Young Woman, after an Indian (?) miniature, full-length, holding
out a flower
Verso: Laid down
Medium: Pen and brown ink and brown wash, heightened with white on paper prepared with pale brown wash; framing lines in pen and brown ink. Inscribed lower right, in pen and dark brown ink: “1875.” [by Sparre] and “4” [the 4 crossed out] and on the mat, in graphite, erased: “2076” (the mat is of blue paper, but only a 1cm remnant survives all round).
204 x 148. Watermark: none visible.
COMMENTS: The drawing is much earlier than the well-known series of drawings after Mughal miniatures of c.1656-61 (Benesch 1187-1206, and a few others for which see under the Not in Benesch tab) and in style belongs to the later 1630s. Although Benesch 0314-15 are probably earlier, the discipline of the outlines is here comparable, for example of the arms and legs; but the bolder, confident handling of the skirt – drawn over the underlying body – speaks for a date close to the iron-gall ink drawings of c.1638-39 (for which see under Benesch 0157) and links the drawing to others, such as Benesch 0246 recto and verso, and the passage at the top left of Benesch 0301. This conclusion, based on stylistic similarities, is bolstered by the toning of the paper with brown wash, a typical feature of the iron-gall ink drawings of c.1638-39.
Unlike the later drawings after Mughal miniatures, no close precedent for Rembrandt’s drawing has been found. Yet it appears likely that he was indeed copying an Indian/Mughal original, one that probably dated from no more than a decade or two before his own drawing. Many depictions of court women holding single flowers are known, often wearing diaphanous skirts as here (see Figs.a-b). But none is posed in a closely comparable way – the equivalent Mughal figures usually stand more stiffly upright, without the slight tilt forward that Rembrandt may himself have introduced. As we know from his copies after other artists, his adaptations are rarely literal. It has been suggested that the dress is more Middle-Eastern or Asian than specifically Indian or Mughal.
Condition: Good, with slight foxing and some surface dirt especially lower left.
Summary attribution: Rembrandt.
COLLECTION: S Stockholm, Nationalmuseum (L.1638; inv. NMH 2076/1863).
FURTHER LITERATURE/REMARKS: Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1586 (figure first drawn nude, then clothes added; attribution doubtful); Stockholm, 1920, no.IV, 39 (doubtful); Romdahl, 1921, p.109; Valentiner, 2, 1934, no.656, repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.23; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.450, repr. fig. 509/539 (c.1638; records that Saxl rejected the drawing, while Hind and Valentiner accepted it); Exh. Stockholm, 1956, no.91; Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, no.191; Exh. Vienna, 1956, no.275; Lunsingh Scheurleer, 1980-81, pp.17-18 (costume perhaps not Indian); Slatkes, 1983, p.22, repr. fig.9; Schatborn, 1981, p.53, n.151 (on provenance); Amsterdam, 1985, under no.60, n.12 (one of the few Rembrandt sketches after oriental miniatures that do not bear J. Richardson, sen.’s collector’s mark); Exh. Stockholm, 1992-93, no.140, repr. (as Benesch, 1954/73); Exh. New York, 2017, no.49, repr.); Exh. Los Angeles, 2018, pp.54-55, repr. fig.39 (c.1638; Middle-Eastern/Asian costume, not Indian); Schatborn, 2019, no.666, repr. (c.1639).
PROVENANCE: Roger de Piles? [many Crozat Rembrandt drawings were said by Mariette to have been acquired from de Piles]; Pierre Crozat (Mariette, 1741, p.101); his sale, Paris, 10-13 May, 1741 (lot number uncertain but perhaps 4), bt Tessin; Carl Gustav Tessin (1695-1770; L.2985; his inventory, 1739-42, f.46 verso; 1749 cat., vol. 15, no.4); presented by him in 1750 to King Adolph Frederik of Sweden; his sale, 1777, where purchased by his successor, Gustav III, for the Swedish Royal Library (cat. 1790, no.1875); whence transferred to the Royal Museum, Stockholm (L.1368). whence transferred in 1866 to the present repository.
 As noticed by Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1568.
 See Literature above – Lunsingh Scheurleer, 1980-81 and Exh. Los Angeles, 2018.
First posted 28 October 2019.