- Museum number
Portrait of Admiral Maerten Tromp (head only); turned slightly to right, looking to front, wearing falling collar. c.1650-53
Black chalk, with black chalk framing lines.
Verso: see Inscriptions.
Watermark: ‘IHS’, the letters ‘PB’ below ( as 1885,0711.276 of c.1663)
- Production date
- 1650-1653 (circa)
Height: 236 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 23/26mm apart)
Width: 180 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Probably a study for the picture by Lievens in the Rijksmuseum (see Hind). The dating of the present work to the early 1650s is supported by the appearance of a signed and dated portrait drawing of 1652 showing the Admiral three-quarter length resting his left hand on a table (sold as anonymous at Marion Antique Auctions, MA, USA, 10 October 2020, lot 389). The pose and non-military uniform of the figure in this newly emerged drawing differ markedly from that of the Rijksmuseum painting and it seems unlikely that the two are directly related, so it could be a finished work in its own right or a polished study for another portrayal of the Admiral.
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Jan Lievens, cat. no.10:
Maerten Harpertzoon Tromp (1597-1653) was one of the most celebrated heroes of the Dutch navy. Born at Brielle, he entered the navy in 1624, being promoted to lieutenant-admiral in 1637. Two conclusive victories over Spain and Portugal in 1639 secured his reputation. In the early 1650s his exploits in the Anglo-Dutch war were less successful, and he was shot dead in action in the English Channel on 29 July 1653. He was buried in Delft. His second son, Cornelis (1629-91), was also a famous admiral.
The present drawing evidently portrays Tromp in his last years (perhaps soon before his death in 1653). Although possibly drawn from life, it seems from the style to be later, and may depend on a now lost drawing, dated 1652, that was recorded in the Mayor and Roupell collections. At all events the present work appears to have been used, albeit with some differences, for Lievens' posthumous painted portrait of Tromp, now in the Rijksmuseum, which shows him three-quarter-length in armour. This is believed to date from rather later than 1653, and is one of several portraits of Tromp by Lievens now known or recorded. The later date is supported by the watermark, which is identical to that on a drawing of around 1663 in the British Museum by Lambert Doomer (here cat. no.12; 1885,0711.276).
An etching after the present drawing was made in 1800 by Johannes de Frey.
 William Mayor Collection catalogue, 1875, p.134, no.649; R.P. Roupell sale, Frankfurt, 6 December, 1888, lot 66.
 Inv. A838; Sumowski, 'Gemälde', III, 1983, no.1296, repr. Canvas, 134 x 101 cm.
 Schneider, 1932/73, p.152, no.265.
 Ibid., nos.265a-f. Schneider also mentions the print by Cornelis van Dalen, and a medal by Jan Loeff, which is probably based on the engraving.
 Hollstein, XI, p.79, no.11 (see 1836,0811.344 and 1868,0808.2587).
'British Museum Reproductions', III, 1893, no.6; London, 1915, p.85, no.7, repr. pl.LIII (for painting in Rijksmuseum); Van Dyke, 1927, p.104 ('later manner'); Schneider, 1932/73, no.Z.73 (etched 1801 by Frey; provenance before Ploos van Amstel; version in Mayor and Roupell collections); Henkel, 1935, p.245 (compares supposed portrait of Rembrandt by Lievens then in Welcker collection [now Leiden Prentenkabinet, inv.AW1; Sumowski 1756xx]); Hollstein, XI, p.79, under no.11; Sumowski, 1979 etc., VII, 1983, no.1609, repr. (based on the lost version; made at time of the painting in Rijksmuseum and the basis for other depictions of Tromp by Lievens - see above); Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-9, no.116, repr. (c.1652)
This drawing was issued as a coloured facsimile by the British Museum in 'Reproductions of Drawings by Old Masters in the British Museum', Part III, Published by the Trustees, in 1893 where it was number VI and described there as 'Jan Livens, Portrait of Admiral Tromp.'
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1974 July-Dec, BM, Portrait Drawings, no.111, repr.
2008/9 Oct-Jan, Washington, NG of Art, Jan Lievens (1607-1674)
2009 May-Aug, Amsterdam, Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Jan Lievens (1607-1674)
- Good; some surface dirt (partly covered cosmetically); the verso ink inscription shows through slightly on the recto.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- J. de Bosch; his sale, Amsterdam, de Bosch, Yver, et al., 5 October, 1767, Portfolio D, no.253, bt Mettayer, f.14-5s; Cornelis Ploos van Amstel (L.3002-4); his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley et al., 3 March etc., 1800, kunstboek DDD, no.12, bt Josi, f.12; sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley, Pruyssenaar, et al., 22 March, 1802, kunstboek Y, no.46, bt La Boucher, f.49; Sir Francis Baring;* John Sheepshanks (L.2333); purchased with his collection through Messrs Smith, 1836.
* As recorded by Hind (London, 1915, no.7), an impression in the British Museum of the print by Cornelis van Dalen (Hollstein 157) after the related painting by Lievens is inscribed: ‘the drawing in the collection of Sir F. Baring, now in the British Museum’.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number