Wooded landscape with an archer; a man seated beneath a tree holding his bow and gazing intently towards the r Pen and brown ink, with brown wash


© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1851,0208.321

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 2
Sumowski 1979 continuing 2147
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Renesse.1

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Drawn by Constantyn Daniël van Renesse (biographical details | all objects)
1650 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Landscape with a hunter; a man seated beneath a tree holding his bow and gazing intently towards the right. c.1650

Pen and brown ink with brown wash, touched with grey wash, heightened with white, with corrections in reed pen and brown ink.

Verso: blank; see Inscriptions.

Watermark: foolscap with five-pointed collar (indistinct).

Inscription Content: Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower centre: ‘Renesse / fecit’.

Height: 204 millimetres
Width: 316 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 24mm apart)

Good; some white has oxidised.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Constantijn Daniël van Renesse, cat. no.1:
The subject remains to be identified. The hunter, armed with a bow and with a quiver of arrows at his back, holds a spear in his right hand, and listens attentively for his prey.[1]
The style of the drawing is close to the signed and dated 'Daniel in the Lion's Den' that Van Renesse made when he began to train with Rembrandt in 1649.[2] The somewhat more sophisticated description of form in the present work suggests that it may be marginally later. Broader touches applied with a reed pen, especially in the landscape to the left but also near the lower right corner, resemble the retouches that have traditionally been attributed to Rembrandt, as he corrected his pupils' work. Renesse was also in the habit of retouching his own drawings in this manner and signing them at a later date[3] and it is perhaps more likely that he was responsible in this instance.

[1] Sumowski 2147 observes a female figure seen from behind and sitting in the tree, visible through a large gap, and identifies the scene as 'Narcissus hearing Echo from a Tree' (Ovid, 'Metamorphoses', III, 379-88). The compiler (and his colleagues) cannot make out the second figure. Sumowski's suggested provenance, based on the presence of a drawing by Renesse of 'Narcissus in a Landscape' in the Van Duysel and Kops sales (of 1784 and 1808), therefore falls aside. The obvious alternatives for a hunter are Esau (noted by Sumowski, quoting Kruse) and – less probably because almost invariably accompanied by hounds - Actaeon or Adonis. The majority of Renesse's compositions depict biblical and especially Old Testament subjects.
[2] Sumowski 2145 (Rotterdam; inv.MB 200).
[3] See Royalton-Kisch, 2000[1].

LITERATURE (always as Van Renesse):
Van der Hammen, 1910, p.224 (subject unknown); London, 1915, p.92, no.2, repr. pl.LX (subject unknown – 'Landscape with an Archer'); Stockholm, 1920, p.38; Van Dyke, 1927, p.124; Byam Shaw, 1938, p.21, n.1; Amsterdam, 1942, p.100, under no.1, and p.101, under no.6; Turin, 1974, p.71, under no.117 (c.1648-9); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IX, 1985, p.4822, no.2147, repr. (identifies subject as 'Narcissus hears Echo from a Tree'; see further n.1 above); Rotterdam, 1988, under no.132 (c.1650-55); Haarlem, 1997, p.319, under no.345; Royalton-Kisch, 2000[1], p.160.

hunting/shooting (scope note | all objects)
archery (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from Henry Graves & Co (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
London, 1956, p.28, no.4;
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle (not in catalogue).

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