- Museum number
Portrait of a man, seated, half-length; to left, looking to front, wearing falling collar and mantle, his left arm on the back of the chair. c.1650
Black chalk, partly rubbed with the finger; a horizontal framing line in pen and brown ink 17mm from the bottom, with remnants of similar lines at right and top edges.
Watermark: PF (?) with a cross in an oval (not a match, but cf. Heawood 922)
- Production date
Height: 300 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 40mm apart)
Width: 235 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Jan Lievens, cat. no.8:
The identification of the sitter, the subject also of cat. no.9 (1836, 0811.346), by Zomer on the present sheet as the engraver Jacob Matham (1571-1631) can be discounted both on the evidence of the date of the drawing, made c.1650, and of two engraved portraits of Matham.
The date is suggested by analogy with other drawn portraits, including the half-length 'Man with his Hands crossed' in a private collection in Amsterdam, which is dated 1650.
 By Jan van de Velde after Pieter Soutman (Holl.401) and by A. van der Does (Holl.24). Schneider, 1932 (see Lit. below), suggested that if the sitter's surname was based on a sound tradition, the drawing might represent Theodor Matham (1606-60), but no portrait exists to verify this possibility.
 Sumowski 1605.
LITERATURE (always as by Lievens):
London, 1915, p.84, no.1, repr. pl.LI (perhaps intended for engraving); Hirschmann, 1918, pp.23-4 (not of Matham; perhaps his son, Adriaen); Van Dyke, 1927, p.104; Schneider, 1932/73, no.Z.64 [1973 ed. also p.362] (questions identification of sitter as Matham and rejects Hirschmann, 1918, proposal that his son, Adriaen Matham, is represented; if of a Matham, perhaps of Theodor, 1606-60, but no other known portraits of him are known; provenance details); van Hall, 1963, p.202, no.1360/10; Amsterdam, 1981, p.167, under no.46 (c.1649, comparing drawing, said to be of Descartes, in Groningen, inv.1931-173 [Sumowski 1660x] and portrait of 'Cornelis Dircksz. Cool' in Amsterdam, Historisch Museum [Sumowski 1603]); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VII, 1983, no.1600, repr. (1640s); Plomp, 1997, p.19, repr. p.21, fig.16 (inscription written by Zomer); Dickey, 2004, p.133, repr. p.301, fig.143 (as Schneider, 1932).
2005 label text:
Jan Lievens worked with Rembrandt in Leiden from around 1626-1631. He then came to England where he was influenced by Van Dyck.
The identification of the sitter along the lower edge of the sheet is incorrect; Jacob Matham, a printmaker, died in 1631, about twenty years before the drawing was made and surviving portraits of him look entirely different. The drawing may have been a design for a print, although none is known. A second drawing by Lievens of the same sitter is also in the British Museum's collection.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1895, BM, no.403;
1956, BM, p.32, no.4;
1974, BM, Portrait Drawings, no.141;
1979, Braunschweig, p.30 and no.65, repr. (c.1650);
1984 BM, Master Drawings & Watercolours, no.99, repr.;
1990, BM, Treasures of P&D, (no catalogue);
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle (not in catalogue);
2005, BM, Masterpieces of Portrait Drawing (no catalogue).
- Generally good; slightly trimmed; light foxing; some parts rubbed and an accidental (?) vertical line in broken grey wash to the left.
- Previous owner
Previous owner/ex-collection: Jan Pietersz. Zomer ((see Inscriptions))
Previous owner/ex-collection: Jeronimus Tonneman (his sale, Amsterdam, de Leth, 21 October etc., 1754, kunstboek G, no.33: ‘'t Pourtrait van Jacob Matham, meesterachtig met zwart kryt getekent, door J. Lieves [sic] hoog 11, breet 9 duim’, bt de Leth, f.41)
Previous owner/ex-collection: W Oudaan (his sale, Rotterdam, Bosch, Arrenberg et al., 3 November, 1766, kunstboek F, no.82, bt Fouquet, f.14)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Cornelis Ploos van Amstel (his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley et al., 3 March, 1800, kunstboek C, no.13, bt Josi, f.58)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Bernardus de Bosch (his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley, Roos et al., 10 March etc., 1817, kunstboek D, no.12, bt de Vries, f.151)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Baron Jan Gijsbert Verstolk van Soelen (his sale, Amsterdam, de Vries, Brondgeest and Roos, 22 March, 1847, kunstboek B, no.41, bt Smith, f.300)
Previous owner/ex-collection: John Heywood Hawkins (not in his sale, Sotheby's, 29 April etc., 1850)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Jan Pietersz. Zomer (see Inscriptions); Hieronymus Tonneman; his sale, Amsterdam, de Leth, 21 October etc., 1754, kunstboek G, no.33: 't Pourtrait van Jacob Matham, meesterachtig met zwart kryt getekent, door J. Lieves [sic] hoog 11, breet 9 duim', bt de Leth, f.41; W. Oudaan; his sale, Rotterdam, Bosch, Arrenberg et al., 3 November, 1766, kunstboek F, no.82, bt Fouquet, f.14; Cornelis Ploos van Amstel; his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley et al., 3 March, 1800, kunstboek C, no.13, bt Josi, f.58; Bernardus de Bosch; his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley, Roos et al., 10 March etc., 1817, kunstboek D, no.12, bt de Vries, f.151; C. Singendonck; his sale, Amsterdam, de Vries, Roos et al., 11 April, 1825, kunstboek M, no.1, bt Brondgeest, f.51; anon. (Abraham Saportas) sale, Amsterdam, de Vries, Roos et al., 14 May, 1832, kunstboek C, no.4, bt Brondgeest, f.31; Jan Gijsbert, Baron Verstolk van Soelen; his sale, Amsterdam, de Vries, Brondgeest and Roos, 22 March, 1847, kunstboek B, no.41, bt Smith, f.300; J. Heywood Hawkins (according to Register; not in his sale, Sotheby's, 29 April etc., 1850); purchased from Colnaghi's, 1861 (as van den Eeckhout).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number