- Museum number
The Adoration of the Shepherds; the Virgin and Joseph kneeling on either side of the wooden cradle on which lies the Infant Christ, two shepherds kneeling to right, two standing behind to left, four angels above and a ruined wall beyond. c.1670-1700
Pen and brown ink with brown and red-brown wash.
Verso: laid down on backing paper.
Watermark: an oval mark with two flowers within a double-line border is in the backing-paper (somewhat similar to Heawood 4055).
- Production date
- 1670-1700 (circa)
Height: 357 millimetres
Width: 264 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, distance apart uncertain)
- Curator's comments
- Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Aert de Gelder, cat. no.4:
Probably based on a sixteenth-century, North Italian composition, the old attribution of the drawing to de Gelder is surprising, and probably wrong. Yet its broad, somewhat coarse painterly qualities, which reflect Rembrandt's late manner, inspire some caution before dismissing the attribution to his last pupil altogether; it is therefore kept under its traditional name. The technique of drawing with the brush in warm tones of ink has some points in common with works by Giovanni Battista Castiglione.
London, 1915, pp.78-9, no.1 repr. pl.XLV (doubtful as de Gelder; also doubted by Hofstede de Groot); Benesch, 1922, p.42 (doubtful); Van Dyke, 1927, p.80 (not de Gelder).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
London, 1914, no.32 (attribution not accepted without reserve).
- Generally good; a horizontal fold across the centre; a separate patch at top left and an added strip across the top (27mm deep).
- Previous owner
Previous owner/ex-collection: Joseph van Haecken (L.2516)
Previous owner/ex-collection: William Roscoe (his sale, Liverpool, 23 etc. September, 1816, 4th day, lot 505, bt Esdaile, £2-2-0)
Previous owner/ex-collection: William Esdaile (L.2617, twice); his sale, Christie's, 6th day, 24 June, 1840, lot 1103, bt Gibbs, 2s-6d)
Previous owner/ex-collection: John Postle Heseltine
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Joseph van Haecken (L.2516); William Roscoe; his sale, Liverpool, 23 etc. September, 1816, 4th day, lot 505, bt Esdaile, £2-2-0; William Esdaile (L.2617, twice); his sale, Christie's, 6th day, 24 June, 1840, lot 1103, bt Gibbs, 2s-6d; presented by Otto Beit, 1912 (belonged to J.P. Heseltine according to London, 1915 (see Lit. under Comment); but there is no sign of his mark. Other drawings presented the British Museum by Otto Beit in 1912 included items sold by Heseltine to Colnaghi's (see, for example, Flinck cat. no.2 ; 1912,1214.13), and the present sheet may have been assumed, wrongly, to have belonged to Heseltine as well.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number