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drawing

A woman standing with a candle; almost WL standing to front, looking r. c.1631 Pen and brown ink and brown and grey wash, heightened with white

AN223020001001

© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1895,0915.1268

Bibliographic reference
Benesch 1973 263a
Hind 1915-31 51
Royalton-Kisch 2010 6 (Rembrandt)
JCR 796

Location:
Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

Materials
paper (all objects)
Techniques
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Drawn by Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
Date
1631 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)


Description
A woman standing with a candle; almost whole-length standing to front, looking right. c.1631
Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash, heightened with white; ruled framing lines in pen and dark grey ink.
Verso: see Inscriptions.
Watermark: posthorn in a crowned shield, 'WR' below.

Inscriptions
Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, in graphite: ‘2438. C.H.’ and ‘796’; lower left, in pen and brown ink, much faded: ‘Van heer Broedery [?]’ and some numbers in graphite, now indecipherable.


Dimensions
Height: 181 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 25mm apart)
Width: 132 millimetres


Condition
Generally good; some tears repaired, left; top right corner made up; lower right, a patch finished in warmer brown wash, which reappears near the candle, on the woman’s breast and in a slipped stroke by her left eye; these touches may be later; the rest of the wash, though unusual in Rembrandt’s work, appears to be original.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.6.
Although usually dated to the mid- or late 1630s, the drawing exhibits stylistic features typical for Rembrandt's Leiden period. The looping and jagged character of the line resembles, for example, the draughtsmanship in cat. nos.2-3 (T,14.8 and Oo,9.95). In the light of such analogies it seems reasonable to adhere to the traditional attribution.
The drawing appears to be an independent work rather than a study. It cannot be related to any of Rembrandt's paintings or etchings, nor can the model be identified.[1] From the dress it seems unlikely that the figure was intended to represent a personality from the bible or history and it is uncertain whether she stands near a well or some other architectural feature.[2]

NOTES:
[1] The idea that the model is the same as in cat. no.16 (1895,0915.1270), as proposed in Exh. London, 1895 (see above), is not convincing.
[2] A well was proposed in Exh. Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2, no.37.

LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated):
Robinson, 1869/76, no.775/796; Lippmann, IV, no.77; Kleinmann, II, no.42; Graul, 1906/24, no.17/26, repr.; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.913; 'Drawings in the British Museum', 1912, III.4; London, 1915, no.51 (c.1630-40); Stockholm, 1920, p.82 (compares 'Indian Woman', Stockholm, Benesch 450); Paris, 1933, p.60, under no.1314 (compares drawing of similar subject in Louvre, no.1314, repr. pl.XCVI [also repr. Exh. Paris, Louvre, Cabinet des dessins, 1988-9, no.83, as Flinck]); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.263a, repr. fig.289/310 (c.1635); Rosenberg, 1956[I], p.68 (c.1638-40); Slive, 1965, II, no.526 (c.1637-40); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.136; Schatborn, 1994, p.20 (strangely neglected sheet; shows Carravagist influence; perhaps a subject in view, such as the maid in a 'Denial of St. Peter'); Giltaij, 1995, p.96 (perhaps by a follower of 1640s).


Acquisition date
1895

Acquisition name
Purchased from Col John Wingfield Malcolm (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Edward Vernon Utterson (L.909) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Sir John Charles Robinson (L.1433) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Malcolm of Poltalloch (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
E. V. Utterson (L.909; not identifiable in his sale, 1857); J.C. Robinson (L.1433); John Malcolm of Poltalloch; purchased with his collection, 1895.


Exhibition History
London, 1895, no.378b (same model as cat. no.20, 'doubtless a servant in the artist's house');
1899, no.A60;
1938, no.51 (c.1630-40);
1956, p.8, no.10;
London, 1992, no.6, repr. in colour (dates to c.1631, Leiden period);
1996-7, BM, Malcolm Collection, (not in catalogue);
2001-2, Kassel-Amsterdam, no.37, repr. and under no.36 (exhibited only in Amsterdam; c.1630; as Exh. London, 1992; figure perhaps standing near a well);
2001-2, Edinburgh-London, no.8 (as Exh. London, 1992).
2004, Vienna, no.26, repr. (anticipates style of Rembrandt's drawings in later 1630s).
2016-2017 16 Sep-23 Jan, Paris, Musee Jacquemart-Andre, Rembrandt Intime


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