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drawing

Three studies of a bearded man on crutches and a woman; the man wearing a high cap and long cloak, at l holding his hand out to a woman giving alms. 1632-4 Pen and brown ink

AN221586001001

© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: Gg,2.252

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 22
Benesch 1973 327
Royalton-Kisch 2010 7 (Rembrandt)

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
1632-1634 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)


Description
Three studies of a bearded man on crutches and a woman; the man wearing a high cap and long cloak, at left holding his hand out to a woman giving alms. c.1632-1634
Pen and brown ink; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
Verso: see Inscriptions.
No watermark.

Inscriptions
Inscription Content: A mark or number (resembles ‘ō’) in pen and brown ink, lower left, probably cut from a longer number such as 200 or 210 - see cat. no.33 (Gg,2.251); Cracherode’s initials (see provenance below) lower right;* verso, in graphite: ‘43 [in a circle]’.
*The ‘ō’ seems to be in the same ink as the framing lines. The ink of the drawing is a little warmer in tone, while the ink of Cracherode’s mark is different again – rather thin and more liquid.


Dimensions
Height: 152 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 28/29mm apart)
Width: 185 millimetres


Condition
Good; a few very small nicks and tears in the borderline, two on the right side, two on the left, and a slim repair along the top edge; a few residual fox-marks; a small, accidental mark in black chalk below the second figure from the right; perhaps a little trimmed: a few lines at the extreme right edge do not belong to the figure on the right and the woman on the left may also have been cut, while at the top a trial of the pen is partly trimmed away. The drawing was presumably once laid down on a washed eighteenth-century mat of the type found on other drawings from Cracherode’s collection, all now in the British Museum.

Curator's comments
Literature: P. Schatborn, in H. Bevers et.al. 'Drawings by Rembrandt and his Pupils: Telling the Difference', exh.cat. The J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2009, cat.no.10.1 (as Rembrandt).

Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.7:
This well-known drawing may belong to the beginning of Rembrandt's Amsterdam period, c.1632-4, a time when the chronology of his pen and ink sketches is difficult to reconstruct as no securely datable example is preserved In favour of such a date is its stylistic proximity to several etchings of this period, including the 'Blind Fiddler' of 1631 (Bartsch 138, Hind 38).[1] To a lesser extent the drawing is comparable to the silver-point 'Portrait of Saskia' in Berlin of 1633 (Benesch 427), which exhibits a similarly dense hatching for the shadows. This, and the exceptional degree of detail in the head and hat of the nearest figure, are not paralleled in Rembrandt's later work, although the style of his drawings in the period c.1635-8 remains superficially analogous. For example, the cursory sketch of a woman on the left of the present sheet resembles her counterpart on the left of the Berlin drawing, 'The Naughty Boy', usually dated c.1635 (Benesch 401),[2] and similarities exist with the Berlin studies (Benesch 140-41) for the 'St John the Baptist preaching' of c.1634-5 (Bredius 555, Corpus A106). In a study in New York (Benesch 336, Pierpont Morgan Library) for the same painting, it seems that the same model was employed. Yet all these drawings are more fluid in style and less concerned with detail than the present sheet, which should therefore probably be dated before them, c.1632-4. The possibility that it was made as early as the Leiden period, admitted by several writers (see Lit. below), should however be rejected on the basis of comparisons with drawings that were certainly made prior to the artist's move to Amsterdam.[3]
The purpose of the drawing is uncertain. The varied poses of the same model, the rapid notation of the alms-giving woman on the left and the incisive details suggest that it was made from life.[4] In a general way, the study can be related to Rembrandt's many etchings of beggars made at the beginning of the 1630s, which may have been inspired by Jacques Callot.[5] A pupil's drawing in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 328) of a figure resembling that on the right of the present sheet is presumably based on it or on another similar study, now lost.[6] The two figures on the left (the beggar and woman) were etched by Cecilia Lucy Brightwell, in reverse.

NOTES:
[1] As first noted by Hofstede de Groot in 1906 (see Lit. below).
[2] Benesch justifiably compared the woman in the present drawing with the head of one of Lot's daughters in a drawing in Weimar (Benesch 128), which he dated c.1636 but which may be earlier.
[3] See the sheets referred to under cat. nos.1, 2 and 3 (Gg,2.253; T,14.8 and Oo,9.95).
[4] Perhaps surprisingly, Schatborn, 1994, p.22 suggests that the drawing was made from the imagination rather than from life.
[5] E.g. Hind nos.7-16, 37-9 and 41 (respectively Bartsch nos.164, 173, 163, 160, 174, 179, 165, 151, 162, 172, 327, 138, 302, 366). The pose of the central figure is comparable to that of Tobit in the etching of c.1629, Bartsch 153, Hind 74.
[6] Rejected by Henkel (Amsterdam, 1942, no.82) and Schatborn (Amsterdam, 1985, no.104). Described as a pupil's copy of c.1636 by Loevinson-Lessing, 1971, under no.28.

LITERATURE (as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated):
Bürger, 1858, p.401 (early); Vosmaer, 1877, p.602 (possibly by Eeckhout); Michel, 1893, p.581, repr. p.533; Seidlitz, 1894, p.122 (early); Lippmann, I, no.111; Kleinmann, III, no.35; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.919 (c.1631; compares etching and painting of this year, 'The Blind Fiddler', Bartsch 138, Hind 38, and the onlookers in the 'Simeon in the Temple' in The Hague, Corpus, I, no.A34, Bredius 543); Baldwin Brown, 1907, pp.26 and 117, repr. pl.3; Exh. Paris, 1908, p.52, under no.122 (quotes Hofstede de Groot's 'rapprochement' with Bartsch 138, Hind 38); Saxl, 1908, pp.233-4 (woman possibly Saskia; compares 'Peasant in high Cap, Bartsch 133, Hind 164, of 1639); Wurzbach, 1910, p.418 (as Hofstede de Groot, 1906); Hind, 1912, I, p.55, repr. pl.XV; London, 1915, no.22 (c.1630-35); Stockholm, 1920, p.29, repr. fig.32 (compares HdG.1609 in Stockholm [not in Benesch]); Hell, 1930, p.21, repr. fig.4 (early 1630s); Hind, 1932, p.49, repr. pl.XXV; Benesch, 1935, p.24 (c.1636; with reminiscences of earlier period); Amsterdam, 1942, p.42, under no.82 (see n.5 above); Poortenaar, 1943, no.82, repr. (c.1630); Poortenaar, 1943[I], repr. p.63; Rosenberg, 1948/64, I, p.149/250-51, repr. fig.212 (Leiden period; beggar subjects inspired by Callot); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.327, repr. fig.367/ 401 (c.1636); Rosenberg, 1956, p.69 (early 1630s); White, 1962, pl.17 (c.1636); Slive, 1965, I, no.113, repr. (c.1633); Haak, 1976/74, no.19, repr. (c.1636); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.163; Amsterdam, 1985, p.106, under no.48, n.7 and pp.211-12, under no.104, repr. fig.104a (c.1636; notes other studies of old men and beggars from all stages of Rembrandt's career; see n.5 above); Schatborn, 1994, p.22 (a model sheet of varied poses, possibly drawn 'uit het hooft'); Schatborn, 1996, p.222 (second half of 1630s); New York, 1999, p.212, under no.67, repr. fig.67.1 (compares Lehmann collection drawing, Benesch 260); Rosand, 2002, p.230, repr. fig.215 (momentum of graphic creation visible in the relationship between the figures); Berlin, 2006, p.180, under no.53 (sees compositional analogies with later drawing in Berlin, Benesch 1141).


Subject
disabled (all objects)


Acquisition date
1799

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Probably Neyman sale, Paris, 8 July, 1776, lot 685 (with cat. no.36): ‘Deux feuilles contenant chacune trois études de différents vieillards avec bâtons, exécutées de même’ [i.e. in pen and bistre], sold for 18 francs; bequeathed by the Rev. C. M. Cracherode, 1799 (L.6O6).


Exhibition History
1899, London, no.A7 (c.1631-6);
1938, no.22 (c.1630-35);
1956, p. 15, no.2;
1984, BM, 'Rembrandt and the Passion', No 3;
1992, BM, 'Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle', no.8, repr. in colour;
2004, April-June, Vienna, Albertina, 'Rembrandt', no.36, repr.
2006, BM, 'Rembrandt: a 400th anniversary display'
2009/10 Dec-Feb, Los Angeles, J Paul Getty Museum, Rembrandt and his pupils


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