View of Hoorn: the Hoofdtoren; a canal and figures and boats also visible  Pen and brown ink with grey wash; framing lines in brown ink; foolscap watermark


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 2005,0430.8

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 (not listed)
Royalton-Kisch 2010 With.4

Dutch Roy XVIIc

Back to search results

Back to catalogue

Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Formerly attributed to Anthonie van Borssom (biographical details | all objects)
Drawn by Pieter de With (biographical details | all objects)
1651-1660 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

View of the Hoofdtoren at Hoorn; a canal and figures and boats also visible. c.1651-60
Reed pen and brown ink with grey wash; framing-lines in pen and brown ink.
Verso: blank.
Watermark: Foolscap with seven-pointed collar and three circles below

Inscription Content: Inscribed lower right, in pen and brown ink: 'Rembrant.'.

Height: 199 millimetres
Width: 316 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 23/24mm apart)

Generally good; some surface dirt; near-vertical creases to left; repaired tear at left edge.

Curator's comments
Literature: P. Sutton and W.W. Robinson, 'Drawings by Rembrandt, his students and circle from the Maida and George Abrams Collection', Yale UP, New Haven, 2011, cat.no.A30, p.183.

Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Pieter de With, cat. no.4:
The Hoofdtoren at Hoorn was built in 1532 and originally incorporated into the defensive walls of the city. The bell tower was added in 1651, and the edifice remains today with only minor changes. However, the artist does not show a small turret attached to the nearer side of the building, although much of it would have been obscured by the trees. The gabled buildings beyond the tower also seem to be largely fanciful. The Hoofdtoren served as one of the five chambers of the Noordsche or Groenlandse Compagnie (the Nordic or Greenlandic Company, also known as the Spitsbergen whaling company), set up in 1614 but dissolved in 1642 (the other chambers were in Amsterdam, Enkhuizen, Flushing and Rotterdam).
The attribution to De With seems to be reasonably secure, given the characteristic rendering of the trees and figures (cf. cat. no.1; 1888,0619.17). Whether the artist had any special connection with Hoorn remains to be discovered.[1]

[1] I am grateful to Jan de Bruin and his colleague for informing me that no mention of him has been discovered in the archives of West Friesland.


canal scene (all objects)

Associated places
Topographic representation of Hoorn (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Donated by Maida Abrams (biographical details | all objects)
Donated by George S Abrams (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Sotheby's (Sotheby's, Amsterdam, 26 November 1984, lot 127, repr. p.104 (as by Anthonie van Borssom, the attrib) (biographical details | all objects)
Donated through American Friends of the British Museum (biographical details | all objects)

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. Maida Abrams expressed her wish to give the drawing before her untimely death in 2002. The drawing was on loan to the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts (loan no.TL 32554.15 as by Van Borssom).

Exhibition History
2007 Jun-Nov, BM, 'Recent Acquisitions Part I' (no catalogue)

Noticed a mistake? Have some extra information about this object? Please contact us

To bookmark this page select "Bookmark this page" or "Add to favourites" from the web browser menu.