drawing

Interior of a house; view looking from a room through the entrance hall and open door on to a street with a canal Pen and brown ink and brown wash

AN222427001001

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1848,0911.5

Bibliographic reference
Royalton-Kisch 2010 123 (anonymous Rembrandt School)
Hind 1915-31 156

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
Circle/School of Rembrandt (anonymous) (biographical details | all objects)
Date
1710 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)


Description
Interior of a house, with a linen press; view looking from a room through the entrance hall and open door. c.1710

Pen and brown ink with brown and grey-brown wash; some scraping-out; framing lines, top and bottom, in pen and brown ink.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

No watermark.

Inscriptions
Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, in pen and brown ink, lower left, in Ploos van Amstel’s hand: 'thuys van/ Rembrand/ Rembrand f/5.6¼/6:6d', and in graphite: 'FF N24/ [...]na/ [...]uch'.


Dimensions
Height: 160 millimetres
Width: 147 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 24/26mm apart)


Condition
Good.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, anonymous Rembrandt School, cat. no.123.
In the nineteenth century, the drawing was held in high regard and was already celebrated when in 1868, Carel Vosmaer wrote that he had observed the same view from a house on the Rozengracht, opposite the site of the old 'Doolhof' or maze, precisely as stated in the archival records of Rembrandt's funeral.[1] When Vosmaer saw the house it bore the date 1652 and belonged to the sculptor M. Stracké.
This he thought was the dwelling that Rembrandt occupied from 1658 until 1669. But his claim was soon refuted by the archivist P. Scheltema (who himself lived on the Rozengracht), who showed in 1882 that Rembrandt's last home was opposite a second 'Doolhof', situated at another section of the canal.[2] The house itself was subsequently identified as no.184 Rozengracht by Nicolaas de Roever in 1884 and it is certain that this was not the building that Vosmaer saw and which had belonged to Stracké.[3] While the possibility remains that the interiors of several houses in the vicinity were similar, the most reliable information on the former appearance of no.184 suggests that the drawing shows a different interior, as the fenestration of the façade had nothing in common with the arrangement seen here.[4]
At all events, the style of the drawing is entirely distinct from Rembrandt's own, and it could date from the eighteenth rather than the seventeenth century. Whether it was originally made as an imitation of Rembrandt seems doubtful, as it resembles his work so little; and were it intended to deceive, as has been suggested, it might have included some painter's chattels (the press on the left is for linen, not printing).[5] The drawing is, nonetheless, retained in this catalogue because of the weight of the tradition that associates it with Rembrandt.
    
NOTES:
[1] See Lit. below (Josi, 1821 and Vosmaer, 1868). The Register of Burials of the Westerkerk in Amsterdam records the funeral as follows (under 8 October 1669): 'Rembrant van Rijn schilder/ op de roose graft teghen ouer het dool hof [...]' ('Rembrandt van Rijn, painter, [living] on the Rosengracht, opposite the Doolhof').
[2] Scheltema, 1881-2.
[3] See van Eeghen, 1969, p.180. For the identification as no.184, see de Roever, 1884. Rembrandt occupied no.184 from 1658, when it was owned by Jacques de Leest. After the latter's death in 1666, his heirs sold it (by auction on 17 January 1667) to Pieter van Ghesel, to whom Rembrandt was already bound, by a previous agreement, to pay a rent of f.225 per annum (see also Strauss and van der Meulen, 1979, pp.525 and 564, with further literature; Rembrandt would have had to renegotiate the lease in May 1668).
[4] Hofman, 1969.
[5] Comparisons with the work of such artists as Jan Hulswit (1766-1822; according to Hind, in London, 1915, no.156, Bredius thought that the drawing might be a fabrication by Hulswit) or even Gerrit Lamberts (1776-1850) are as close as any with drawings from Rembrandt's own circle; but to place it later than c.1710 would conflict with the recorded provenance (which however cannot be independently validated prior to the Ploos van Amstel sale of 1800). The fenestration looks surprisingly open for a house from Rembrandt's day.

LITERATURE :
Josi, 1821, p.23, with facsimile by F.C. Dietrich (by Rembrandt, of the house on the Breestraat; provenance details; a linen press to left: 'les amateurs Hollandais l'ont toujours considérée comme un des meilleurs dessins de notre artiste [...]'); Blanc, II, 1861, p.455 (Rembrandt); Vosmaer, 1868, p.387 (Rembrandt; relates that he observed the view on the Rozengracht, opposite the site of the old 'Doolhof'; the house bore the date 1652, and when Vosmaer saw it it belonged to the sculptor M. Stracké); Vosmaer, 1877, pp.370 and 559 (as in 1868, with added details on provenance); Dutuit, IV, 1885, pp.86 and 101 (Rembrandt; details of provenance); London, 1915, no.156 (School of Rembrandt; Bredius suggested that the drawing is a fabrication by Jan Hulswit); Backer, 1925, p.367 (reproduces print after the drawing by F.C. Dietrich).


Subject
interior (scope note | all objects)
domestic building (all objects)


Acquisition date
1848

Acquisition name
Purchased from W & G Smith (as Rembrandt) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Jan Lucas van der Dussen (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Samuel Woodburn (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Jan Six (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Cornelis Ploos van Amstel (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Johan van der Marck Aegidiuszoon (Apparently not described in his sale catalogue, Amsterdam, De Winter and Yver, 29ff. November 1773.) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Christian Josi (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Carpi (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Bernardus de Bosch (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Heneage Finch, 4th Earl of Aylesford (by descent to Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Willem Six; his sale, Amsterdam, Schoemaker et al., 12 May, 1734, p.26 no.6 (a portfolio, including drawings by Rembrandt ‘zonder weedergade’), bt Carpi; J. van der Marck (apparently not described in his sale catalogue, Amsterdam, De Winter and Yver, 29ff. November 1773); Jan Lucas van der Dussen (apparently not described in his sale catalogue, Amsterdam, 31ff. October, 1774); C. Ploos van Amstel; his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley, 3 March, etc., 1800, Kunstboek G.23, bt Roos, f.40; Bernardus de Bosch; his sale, Amsterdam, Van der Schleij, Roos et al., 10ff. March, 1817, portfolio K, no.19, bt Josi, f.300; Heneage Finch, 4th Earl of Aylesford (L.58 verso); Messrs William Smith, from whom purchased.


Exhibition History
London, 1992 (ex. cat., as 'formerly attributed to Rembrandt').


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