print study / drawing

Joseph sold by his brethren, study for a print; two turbaned men and Joseph standing in the l foreground, to r a horse and a figure holding a parasol and riding a camel Pen and brown ink, on brown prepared paper Verso: Traced through from recto Red chalk


© The Trustees of the British Museum

  • VersoVerso

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1884,1108.6.+

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 1
Sumowski 1979 continuing 2180x
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Renesse.6

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
print study (scope note | all objects)
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Attributed to Constantyn Daniël van Renesse (biographical details | all objects)
1653 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Joseph sold by his brethren; two turbaned men and Joseph standing in the left foreground, to right a horse and a figure holding a parasol and riding a camel. c.1653

Pen and brown ink on paper washed pale brown; verso: red chalk.

Verso: traced outlines of the nearest figure and the horse on the recto.

No watermark.

Inscription Content: No inscriptions.

Height: 193 millimetres
Width: 188 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 24mm apart)

Top left corner repaired with two separate pieces of similar paper; general discolouration, some areas rubbed and a few unobtrusive stains.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Constantijn Daniël van Renesse, cat. no.6:
The drawing is related in general terms to Van Renesse's etching of the same subject, which is signed and dated 1653.[1] The figure seated on the camel and the young Joseph (who is seen in reverse) are comparable, although insufficiently so to overcome all doubt about the drawing's authorship. The somewhat squat proportions of the two men on the left resemble others in Renesse's work, but the calligraphy of the penwork is uncharacteristically lively for him, the closest analogies being with cat. no.5 (1905,1110.69), which is of equally uncertain attribution. We adhere to the now traditional attribution for the above reasons, but with considerable reservations.
The composition has some general affinities with a drawing of the same subject, probably by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, in the Pierpont Morgan Library.[2]

[1] Hollstein 1.
[2] Benesch 73 (as Rembrandt); Sumowski, 1979 etc., III, 1980, no.807xx (as van den Eeckhout).

London, 1915, p.91, no.1, repr. pl.LX (Renesse; almost certainly a study for the etching); Hirschmann, 1918, p.24 (authorship questionable); Stockholm, 1920, p.39; van Guldener, 1947, p.23 (compares Benesch 181, formerly Feldmann and de Boer collections [sold Sotheby's, London, 4 July 2007, lot 12]); Vermeeren, 1978, p.11 (by Renesse; possibly related to etching); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IX, 1985, p.4894, no.2180x (relationship with etching secures the attribution, though not a study for it).

Said to be a study for a print; for the print see 1852,1211.20.

old testament (all objects)

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

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from Miss Milner (as 'attributed to Rembrandt') (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
London, 1956, p.32, no.2;
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle (not in catalogue).

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