Rembrandt van Rijn, The Bend in the Amstel, a drawing

The Netherlands
around AD 1650

This scenic location on the Amstel River at Kostverloren House is situated a few miles south of central Amsterdam. It was a favourite haunt of seventeenth-century Dutch artists. Rembrandt drew it at least six times.

Here he has used a reed pen with brown ink and brown wash. Some white heightening is visible on the gable of the house at far right. The paper itself was prepared with a light brown wash thinly applied in broad strokes. The brown washes of the drawing stand out particularly well against this paper colour. The darker washes are in the foreground around the dug-out, strongly shaded by the tree on the right. Paler wash with parallel hatching colours the bank of trees in the background to suggest the depth of the scene. Over the top of the trees appears the tower of the house. On the left are the outlines of a building and a boat on the river.

It may be that in using prepared paper and creating a balanced composition, Rembrandt regarded the drawing as a finished work of art in its own right. The varied depths of the shadows and details of the foliage are so vivid they may have been sketched from first-hand observation, although it is uncertain whether it was made out-of-doors.

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More information

Bibliography

M. Royalton-Kisch, Drawings by Rembrandt and his, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)

Dimensions

Height: 145.000 mm
Width: 213.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1984-1-10-9 (Benesch 1266)

PDO13987

Purchased with contributions from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the George Bernard Shaw Fund

Location

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