- Museum number
Susanna and the Elders, after Rubens; the two men approaching the nude Susanna who is seated and looking towards the viewer
Black chalk, touched with pen and grey ink, heightened with white
- Production date
Height: 377 millimetres
Width: 282 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This drawing was previously attributed to Rubens, see e.g. in the Rémy sale catalogue (2 May 1791, lot 400; library shelfmark Sc E.1.26).
The same subject (in the same direction) can also be found in Vorsterman's preparatory drawing (1895,0915.1056) for his engraving (1981,U.377) made in 1620. Although not listed in Corpus Rubenianum III, this drawing is erroneously illustrated as figure 163 (the text on page 211 and footnote 3 clearly refer to the Vorsterman sheet, see 1895,915.1056). Another drawing is described on page 213 in footnote 4, of which the description matches the present drawing entirely: "In 1937 there was with Colnaghi in London a drawing (black chalk, reinforced with the pen) which had previously been owned by the Marquis P. de Chennevières (Paris 1820-1899) and is now lost (photograph in British Museum, no.4567). This was a copy, by a weaker hand and in the same direction, of the sheet in the British Museum [i.e. 1895,915.1056]. The shod foot beside the fountain occurred in it, but not the jewels and toilet articles on the step". It is very possible that the present sheet is described, although the reference to Philippe de Chennevières (1820-1899) remains unsolved (maybe confusion with d'Argenville paraph?). The French curator collected mainly French drawings, but also some Italian, Dutch and Flemish works; he owned two drawings by Rubens (Death of Hippolytus and Head of young girl), neither corresponding to the present sheet.
A British Museum stamp with date '1950' indicates that it had definitely entered the BM collection by 1950 but a drawing matching its description cannot be found in the manuscript Registers of the Department of Prints and Drawings for the years 1937 (Colnaghi) to 1950; the Colnaghi record books from 1912 to 1954 contain no reference to this drawing (with thanks to Olivia Mackay).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
The paraph Lugt 2951 was formerly associated with Pierre Crozat but it now known to be that of d'Argenville, see J. Labbé and L.Bicart-Sée, 'Antoine-Joseph Dezallier d'Argenville as a collector of drawings', "Master Drawings", XXV, 3, Autumn 1987, pp. 276-81.
Stamped with BM old crown dated '1950'.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number