St Jerome in penitence; seated with hands in prayer, a book open on his knees, looking towards a crucifix placed between a book and a skull, an arch of rock and foliage above Pen and brown ink, touched with white


© The Trustees of the British Museum

  • Full: FrontFull: Front

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: SL,5226.47

Additional IDs

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 1426x (P Koninck)
Hind 1915-31 143 (as School of Rembrandt)
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Koninck.P.16

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Attributed to Philips Koninck (biographical details | all objects)
Formerly attributed to Rembrandt (School of) (biographical details | all objects)
1661 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

St Jerome in penitence; seated with hands in prayer, a book open on his knees, looking towards a crucifix placed between a book and a skull, an arch of rock and foliage above. c.1661

Reed pen and brown ink, touched with white.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

Watermark: fragment of Strasbourg bend, similar to Heawood 145 (London,1676) and Hinterding catalogue B.a.a (1651).

Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, top centre, in red chalk: '57'.

Height: 156 millimetres
Width: 147 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 26mm apart)

Good; a slight loss, top right corner, and perhaps slightly trimmed all round.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Philips Koninck, cat. no.16:
The artist has indicated an arched top to the composition, which suggests that the drawing was a preparatory study for a painting or print, though no connected work is now known.
The stylistic discrepancies between the present study and the signed drawing, here cat. no.1, (1946,0713.158) illustrate the reasons for the hesitation felt by the compiler in attributing the drawing to Philips Koninck. The handling here seems more timid and delicate. Somewhat closer analogies exist with a few signed works in other collections, such as the so-called 'Intoxicated Schoolmaster' in Berlin of 1661 (Sumowski 1330), the 'Seated Peasant with a Jug' in Paris (Bibliothèque Nationale, Sumowski 1334) and in the landscape elements with the 'Great River Landscape' in the Lugt Collection (Paris, Institut Néerlandais, Sumowski 1357; a similar manner is seen in cat. no.5 of the present catalogue; Oo,10.172), but they are not persuasive. The most similar drawing in style, also of 'St Jerome in Meditation' but in an entirely different pose, is in Braunschweig, but this is neither signed nor dated.[1] If by Koninck, a date c.1661, the time of the Berlin drawing, seems likely.

[1] The comparison made by Gerson and Sumowski (see Lit. below).

London, 1915, no.143, repr. pl.XX (school of Rembrandt); Gerson, 1936, p.78 and no.Z221 (compares drawings in Braunschweig, inv. Z.378, [Sumowski 1425x; Exh. Braunschweig, 2006, no.26], Dresden [Sumowski 1393x] and Vienna [Sumowski 1445x]); Sumowski, 1979, etc., VI, 1982, no.1426x (by Philips Koninck, c.1661-3; compares Braunschwieg drawing as Gerson, 1936); Exh. Braunschweig, 2006, p.76, under no.26 (as Sumowski, 1982).

saint/martyr (scope note | all objects)

Associated names
Representation of St Jerome (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Sir Hans Sloane (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
No exhibitions recorded.

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