drawing

Bust of an old man in an elaborate hat; perhaps intended as a biblical figure. c.1630-40    Black chalk; residual framing-lines in black chalk.    Verso: Inscriptions only.    Watermark: jug with the letters ‘BL’.

AN463234001001

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 2005,0430.6

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 Add.1
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Poorter.1

Location:
Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

Materials
paper (all objects)
Techniques
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Drawn by Willem de Poorter (biographical details | all objects)
Date
1630-1640 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)


Description
Bust of an old man in an elaborate hat; perhaps intended as a biblical figure. c.1630-40
Black chalk; residual framing-lines in black chalk.
Verso: Inscriptions only.
Watermark: jug with the letters 'BL'.

Inscriptions
Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, in graphite, below: 'John Lievens / 1607-1663'; in pen and brown ink, lower left: 'No.763.'.


Dimensions
Height: 209 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 20/22mm apart)
Width: 173 millimetres


Condition
A little rubbed; backing repair to tear upper right; minor diagonal crease near lower right corner; some discolouration to brown at left and lower edges.

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.A19, p.177.

Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Willem de Poorter, cat. no.1:
The style and type of figure are typical of Willem de Poorter.[1] The image – perhaps intended as an Old Testament king or prophet - reflects the painted fanciful figures or 'tronies' made by Rembrandt in his early, Leiden period. It may be that the drawing dates from the 1630s, although a later date cannot be ruled out. The figure anticipates the types produced by Aert de Gelder.

NOTE:
[1] There is some black chalk underdrawing to cat.no.2 (2005,0430.9), for example, but nothing truly comparable to the present work is known. A group of chalk drawings by the artist is in the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (see C. Dittrich, 'Kreidezeichnungen von Willem de Poorter. Eine unbekannte Gruppe von Figurenzeichnungen des Rembrandt-Schülers im Kupferstich-Kabinett Dresden', Jahrbuch der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden 1998/99, pp. 15-24 (reprinted in 'Johann Heinrich von Heucher and Carl Heinrich vonHeineken. Beiträge zur Geschichte des Dresdner Kupferstich-Kabinetts im 18. Jahrhundert', Dresden 2010, pp. 125-135). I am grateful to Holm Bevers for these references (e-mail of 5 December 2012), added here after the 2010 launch of this catalogue (in March 2013).

Literature: none.


Acquisition date
2005

Acquisition name
Donated by Maida Abrams (biographical details | all objects)
Donated by George S Abrams (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Nicos Dhikeos (His mark, not in Lugt) (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. AT (unidentified mark, Tardieu?, L.183b); F. Abbot (L.970); Nikos Dhikeos; sale, Amsterdam, Christie's, 11 Nov., 1996, lot 118 (as Dutch School, early 17th century, traditionally attributed to Jan Lievens) bt Abrams; on loan to Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass. (loan no. TL 37359.5/ABR 071); presented by Maida and George Abrams through the American Friends of the British Museum, 2005. Maida Abrams expressed her wish to donate the drawing before her death in 2002.


Exhibition History
No exhibitions.


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