drawing

Josiah burning the bones at Bethel. c.1635-45    Pen and brown ink with brown wash over black chalk, touched with white, on two overlapping sheets of paper.    Verso: Inscription only.    Watermark: foolscap with five-pointed collar (on both sheets).

AN463595001001

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 2005,0430.7

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 Add.2
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Poorter.2

Location:
Dutch Atlas XVIIc

Back to search results

Back to catalogue

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
1635-1645 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)


Description
Josiah burning the bones at Bethel. c.1635-45
Pen and brown ink with brown wash over black chalk, touched with white, on two overlapping sheets of paper.
Verso: Inscription only.
Watermark: foolscap with five-pointed collar (on both sheets).

Inscriptions
Inscription Content: Inscribed in pen and brown ink, to left, in large letters: 'Rembrant'.


Dimensions
Height: 419 millimetres
Width: 628 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 25mm apart)


Condition
Worn and with brown discolouration, especially towards the left; unevenly trimmed at left section of lower 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.A18, p.176.

Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Willem de Poorter, cat. no.2:
The subject, rarely represented, is from 2 Chronicles XXXIV, 3-5: Josiah, the last of the righteous kings of Judah, purged idolatry from his realm and burnt the bones of the priests of Baalim on their altars.
The drawing when sold in 1986 was one of a pair and both were laid down on canvases marked with reversed C monograms. The other represents the 'Lapidation of St Stephen'.[1]
Drawings by De Poorter are rare.[*] Sumowski records only seven, to which this, its pair, and cat. no.1 (2005,0430.6, also from the Abrams collection) may be added. Their scarcity makes them difficult to date and the suggestion put forward here that the present drawing dates from between around 1635 and 1645 can only be approximate. The composition, like many by De Poorter, echoes the style of Pieter Lastman as well as of the youthful Rembrandt of the later Leiden period c.1629-30. The horse on the extreme right is based on one in a print by Antonio Tempesta[2] and De Poorter may also have referred to the print of the same subject by Philips Galle after Maerten van Heemskerck.[3]

NOTES:
[*] see the note to cat. no.2 (2005,0430.6).
[1] The measurements of both drawings were given as 398 x 624mm in the auction catalogue, in which the 'Lapidation' is illustrated. The latter remains in the Abrams collection. The catalogue records that the attribution was first proposed by Professor Sumowski.
[2] 'Men with Hunting Birds and Dogs', Bartsch, XVII, p.163, no.1006 (from the series 'Various Methods of capturing Birds').
[3] See New Hollstein, no.148 (Galle, New Hollstein, no.44); for an impression of the print, see 1949,0709.101.

Literature: none.


Subject
old testament (all objects)

Associated names
Representation of Josiah (biographical details | all objects)


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 Christie's (Sale, Amsterdam, Christie's, 1 Dec., 1986, lot 52 (one of two drawings – see further under Comment a) (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. Sale, Amsterdam, Christie's, 1 Dec., 1986, lot 52 (one of two drawings – see further under Comment and n.1 for the second) purchased by Maida and George Abrams; 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 she died in 2002.


Exhibition History
No exhibitions.


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.


Loading...