Winter landscape with a thatched cottage amid willow trees, on the banks of a river; a woman walking along the bank at l Pen and brown ink and brown wash


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1895,0915.1260

Bibliographic reference
Royalton-Kisch 2010 130 (anonymous Rembrandt School)
JCR 788
Hind 1915-31 99 (as Rembrandt)
Benesch 1973 A37

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Formerly attributed to Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
Circle/School of Rembrandt (anonymous) (biographical details | all objects)
1645-1650 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Winter landscape with a cottage by a river; a woman walking along the bank at left. c.1645-50
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, touched with white; some indenting or scraping-out for highlights; traces of framing lines in pen and black ink to left and right
Verso: see Inscriptions
No watermark

Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, in pen and brown ink, below, by W. Esdaile: '35 WE from Goll Van Frankenstein’s colln.'; in pencil: '9' and '788* [the latter in a circle]'; left, in pen and brown ink: '9/16 [Röver’s inventory number - see Acquisition notes]'; in red ink : 'N2928 [inventory no. of Goll van Franckenstein, - see Acquisition notes]'.

Height: 75 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 24/25mm apart)
Width: 190 millimetres

Generally good; soiled near edges and probably somewhat trimmed, especially below.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, anonymous Rembrandt School, cat. no.130:
If by Rembrandt, the drawing, with its fastidious attention to detail, would have to be an early landscape, possibly from the mid-1640s. The closest comparison among those generally accepted as by the artist, as several writers have pointed out, is with the 'Winter View with a Waterway' in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 837). But in style the present work is considerably drier, and the use of the medium (here with considerable rubbing with the finger across the surface) as well as the literal-minded rendition seem uncharacteristic of him (in the latter respect his landscape etchings are closer.) It was presumably made by a pupil in the second half of the 1640s.
In the Röver collection the drawing was kept in a portfolio of landscape drawings attributed to Rembrandt, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout and Koninck (either Jacob or Philips Koninck could have been meant; see Provenance above). Of these, the most likely artist is perhaps Philips Koninck, as the penwork has some affinity with that of a few of his landscape drawings (cf. P. Koninck cat. nos.13 and 14; Oo,10.182 and Oo,9.115). But the stylistic analogies are not close enough to permit an attribution of the present sheet, and Röver's inventory is not always trustworthy.[1]
The location has not been identified for certain, but may show a modest cottage in front of the small lakes near the bend in the Spaarndammerdijk, where Rembrandt probably made his drawing and etching of the 'Cottage with white paling'.[2]

[1] See Schatborn, 1981, pp.37-41.
[2] For the location, see Exh. Amsterdam-Paris, 1998-9, p.363, n.5; according to Boudewijn Bakker (2 Aug. 1989, speaking to the compiler), the scene may be near the north side of the IJ, and the house is a 'perfect portrait of a 'langhuisstolp'', a typical configuration of the period, described by him e.g. in Exh. Washington, 1990, pp.37ff.

LITERATURE (as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated):
Robinson, 1876, no.788; Kleinmann, IV, 63; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.962 (wrongly as ex-Mitchell collection); Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.99, repr. pl.XII; Eisler, 1918, p.59, repr. fig.22 (early 1640s, with restricted sense of space of this period); Neumann, 1918[I] , no.26, repr.; Van Dyke, 1927, p.134 (not Rembrandt; part of the author's anon. Group I); Hind, 1932, p.110, repr. pl.LXXXIV (exhibits Rembrandt's power of expressing distance); Benesch, 1935, p.42 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Wimmer, 1935, pp.35-6 (after 1645; compares composition of the etched 'Landscape with a Draughtsman', Bartsch 219, Hind 213); Poortenaar, 1943, no.56, repr. (c.1645-50); Schinnerer, 1944, no.74, repr.; Wimmer, 1942, p.34 (c.1645; relates generically to Rembrandt landscape drawings at [or formerly at] Chatsworth); van Gelder, 1946, IV, p.59, repr.; Winzinger, 1953, no.29, repr. (c.1650?); Benesch, IV, 1955/73, no.A37, repr. fig.1039/1100 (not Rembrandt; reminiscent of Ruischer); Rosenberg, 1959, p.116 (1640s, by Rembrandt, refuting Benesch; compares 'Winter View with a Waterway' in Rijksmuseum, Benesch 837); Slive, 1965, II, no.516 (c.1647-50); Exh. Brussels-Rotterdam-Paris-Bern, 1968-9, pp.117-8, under no.115 (by Rembrandt c.1640, wrongly rejected by Benesch); Exh. Amsterdam-Paris, 1998-9, p.363, n.5 (see n.2 above).

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from Col John Wingfield Malcolm (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Anonymous (all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Johann Goll van Franckenstein (L.2987) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Valerius Röver (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Malcolm of Poltalloch (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Sir Thomas Lawrence (L.2445) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Andrew James (bt by his agent Geddes at Esdaile sale) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection William Esdaile (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
An unknown collector, from whom acquired by Valerius Röver as part of a group of 54 drawings (with his inv. no. on verso: '9/16'; this is described in the first inventory of Röver’s collection - on which see under cat. no.31; 1848,0911.138 - among a group of 54 landscapes acquired together for f.25 and kept by him in his Portfolio 9, nos.12-29, together described as: ‘18. Cartons op ÿder gezet een Landschap/van Rembrandt, Eeckhout, Coning, na t'leven/ getekent met de pen en gewassen. Het Per-/ spectif is excellent waargenomen'); Johan Goll van Franckenstein (L.2987, with his number in red ink, 'N2928'); his sale, Amsterdam, de Vries, Brondgeest, Engelberts and Roos, 1 July, etc., 1833, probably Kunstboek M, no.7: ‘Rembrandt Een Boerenhuis. Meesterlijk en vol effect, met de pen en bruine inkt’, bt Brondgeest, f.251; Thomas Lawrence (L.2445; in list of his collection prior to its dispersal [MS in Royal Academy; typescript copy in British Museum] p.41, c.50, no.9); William Esdaile (see verso inscription, but without his usual mark, L.2617, on the recto; see also under cat. no.15; 1895,0915.1264); his sale, Christie’s 17 June, 1840, lot 63, bt Geddes for James, £13; Andrew James; his sale, Christie's, 28 April, 1873, lot 94 ('View in Holland in Winter', from Goll, Lawrence and Esdaile collections), bt 'Col' (Colnaghi? [for Malcolm]), £26-5-0; John Malcolm of Poltalloch; purchased with his collection, 1895.

Exhibition History
London, Lawrence Gallery, second exhibition, 1835, no.56;
Grosvenor Gallery, 1878-9, no.298;
British Museum, 1899, no.A44;
1938, no.99;
1956, p.14, no.5 (early Rembrandt landscape);
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle (not in catalogue, school of Rembrandt).

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