- Museum number
Farm buildings near a ditch on the Spaarndammerdijk; barns at left, one gabled, the ditch at centre disappearing in the distance towards a clump of trees and a drawbridge, an embankment with horses and a cart at r. c.1648-50
Pen and brown ink with brown wash, touched with red chalk and white heightening,* and with later grey wash in the lower half of the sheet; framing lines in pen and brown ink.
* There is only one (perhaps accidental?) touch of red chalk in the right bank of the stream, just below the bridge. The white is also sparingly used and, as noted under Condition, has partly oxidised.
Verso: laid down on an eighteenth-century mat.
No watermark visible.
- Production date
- 1648-1650 (circa)
Height: 144 millimetres
Width: 244 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 26?mm apart)
- Curator's comments
- Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, attributed to Rembrandt, cat. no.78.
The drawing depicts an orchard and farm complex near the Spaarndammerdijk to the north west of Amsterdam, which in Rembrandt's time belonged to Burgomaster Gerrit Schaep, who acquired it in 1635. Slightly more of it is shown in another drawing of the same site by Rembrandt, now in the Museum of Art, Providence, Rhode Island, viewed from further to the right (Benesch 831). The ditch in the foreground was extended so that each house or plot of land was surrounded by channels of water. The site is now occupied by the cemetery of the Roman Catholic church of St Barbara, built in 1890.
The two versions differ in style as well as detail and their authenticity and dating have been contested. Yet both contain features that may be compared to the Rijksmuseum's drawing of a 'Cottage with white Paling' (Benesch C41), now generally accepted as by Rembrandt and related to his etching of 1648 (Bartsch 232, Hind 203). In the case of the British Museum's drawing, which like the Rijksmuseum's has suffered from the addition of wash by a later hand, the closest similarities are in the foreground vegetation. The combination of exceptionally broad pen lines over finer ones is also characteristic of both sheets. In the Providence drawing, which has a typical black chalk sketch on the verso, the broad delineation of the foreground is closely comparable to the Rijksmuseum's study. Thus both versions of the present landscape may be accepted, albeit tentatively, as Rembrandt's work of about the same period. Further comparisons in support of the attribution to Rembrandt of the British Museum's sheet may be made with the 'View of Diemen' in the Courtauld Institute (Princes Gate Collection, Benesch 1231), the 'Winter View with a Waterway' in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 837) which includes a comparable barn to that on the left of the present drawing, and with the 'Montelbaanstoren' in the Rembrandthuis (Benesch 1309) with its similar handling of foliage and subsidiary details.
The order in which the two versions were executed is uncertain. It may be that the broader sketch in Providence was done first, being in a sense preliminary to the present sheet. Their differences would therefore be explicable by their distinct functions and the speed at which they were drawn (the British Museum's version, clearly a finished work in its own right, is the more painstaking).
A copy of the Museum's drawing was in the Duits collection.
 Exh. Amsterdam-Paris, 1998-9, pp.363-8. The identification is based on a print of c.1612 by Claes Jansz. Visscher inscribed 'Jandaimen Bogaert, onderweghe[n] Sloterdyck' (New Hollstein 195). The site was formerly identified as a farm near the St Anthoniesdijk to the east of Amsterdam, by Lugt, 1915 (see Lit. below).
 Benesch considered the Amsterdam drawing to be a copy but was alone in his opinion. See Amsterdam, 1985, no.30.
 As pointed out by Benesch, IV, 1954, no.831.
 Recorded by Sumowski, 1964, p.33; with Sotheby's, Amsterdam, 9 November, 1999, lot 86, repr. and in style reminiscent of Furnerius. It omits the figures and part of the dyke on the right.
LITERATURE (as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated; Benesch 831 refers to version in Providence noted above):
Vosmaer, 1877, p.612; Michel, 1893, p.582, repr. opp. p.376; Seidlitz, 1894, p.125 (attribution doubtful; prefers Benesch 831); Lippmann, I, no.115; Kleinmann, II, no.47; Bell, c.1905, repr. pl.XLII; Graul, 1906, no.43, repr.; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.950 (ex-Feitama coll.; notes Benesch 831); Michel, 1906, repr. opp.p.42; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.112 (reports Seidlitz's doubts of 1894; accepts both versions); Lugt, 1915, p.138, repr. fig.88 (depicts farm near the lower dyke by the St Anthoniesdijk; Benesch 831 perhaps school work; the area depicted not far from etched 'Landscape with Milkman', Bartsch 213, Hind 242, and 'Landscape with Hay-Barn and Sheep', Bartsch 224, Hind 241); Hirschmann, 1918, p.22 (follows London, 1915, but cannot be by same hand as Benesch 831); Lugt, 1920, pp.138 and 141, repr. fig.88 (as Lugt, 1915); Wichmann, in Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, III, 1925, under no.130 (both versions of 1650s); Paris, 1933, p.35, under no.1203 (compares drawing in Louvre, HdG.762, not in Benesch); Benesch, 1935, p.41 (c.1646/47); Wimmer, 1935, pp.54-5 (as London, 1915); Amsterdam, 1942, p.38, under no.75 (as Benesch, 1935, but dates c.1649-50); Wimmer, 1942, pp.59 and 68 (school drawing); H.E. van Gelder, 1946, IV, p.21, repr. p.15 (largely realised in wash); Schwarz, 1949, pp.2-3, repr. fig.2 (possibly based on Benesch 831; perhaps of Kostverloren - cf. the tower in centre of Benesch 831); Münz, 1952, II, p.187 (attributes Benesch 831 to P. de With); Benesch, IV, 1955/73, no.832, repr. fig.985/1032 (inclined to accept, 'in spite of its weaknesses'); Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, p.36, under no.46 (viewpoint further to right than in Providence drawing, Benesch 831, which is thought to be later); Scheidig, 1962, no.108, repr; Stech, 1968/63, repr. pl.45; Sumowski, 1964, p.33 (copy in Duits coll.); Slive, 1965, I, no.117, repr. (c.1648); Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, under no.120 (earlier than Benesch 831); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.379; Exh. Washington-Denver-Fort Worth, 1977, under no.36 (follows exh. Chicago, 1969-70); Exh. New York-Fort Worth-Cleveland, 1990-91, p.111, under no.37, repr. fig.b (location similar to that in drawings in Rotterdam and Frick Coll., Benesch 1324-5); Royalton-Kisch, 1991, p.16, repr. fig.12 (grey wash later); Royalton-Kisch, 1992, pp.119-21, repr. fig.16 (constructed but informal composition; careful execution); Schatborn, 1994, p.23 (not Rembrandt - accents, precision and detail of genre motif uncharacteristic; Rhode Island sheet also doubtful); Exh. Amsterdam-Paris, 1998-9, pp.363-8, repr. fig4 (identifies location, see n.2 above); Schwartz, 2006, p.264, repr. fig.439.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
London, 1899, A71;
1956, p.12, no.7;
Amsterdam, 1969, p.178, no.78 (c.1648; compares version in Providence, Benesch 831, and etched 'Landscape with Milkman', Bartsch 213, Hind 242);
1992, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, no.71, repr. in colour (c.1648)
1998/9 Amsterdam-Paris, Institut Neerlandais/Gemeentearchief, pp.363-8, repr. p.366, fig.4 (topography - see Comment).
- The whites have partly oxidised to black; some brown spots and brown discolouration in the upper corners.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Rev. C.M. Cracherode (L.606; according to the Register, the verso - presumably of the mat - is inscribed 'CMC 1784' and to the effect that it was sold from the Feitama collection for 'Seventeen Riders' [I am grateful to Dr. Ben Broos for confirming by letter that the drawing cannot be identified in the manuscript list or 1758 sale catalogue of the Sybrand Feitama II collection]), by whom bequeathed to the British Museum, 1799.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number