An aged prisoner before a judge (S Paul accused before Gallio ?); the judge in a plumed hat, holding his rod of office, seated on a throne beneath a canopy at r, a group of figures to l Pen and brown ink, over graphite


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: T,14.26

Additional IDs

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 150
Royalton-Kisch 2010 98 (anonymous Rembrandt School)

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Circle/School of Rembrandt (anonymous) (biographical details | all objects)
1635-1640 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

An aged prisoner before a judge; the judge in a plumed hat, holding his rod of office, seated on a throne beneath a canopy at r, a group of figures to left

Pen and brown ink, over traces of graphite.

Verso: blank.

Watermark: Strasburg lily, the letters 'MDP' below.

Inscription Content: None.

Height: 178 millimetres
Width: 161 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 24mm apart)

A little trimmed; small losses made up at lower corners.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, anonymous Rembrandt School, cat. no.98.
The quality and technique of the drawing suggest strongly that it is a copy, as has long been recognised.[1] The style reflects Rembrandt's of the 1630s, but only generically, and the draughtsman was perhaps copying a drawing by a Rembrandt pupil. The period of the 1630s is further supported by the judge's exotic headdress, which resembles that worn by a figure in a sketch by Rembrandt now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, related to the 'St John the Baptist preaching' of c.1634-5 in Berlin.[2] The straight lines across several faces at eye level are reminiscent of a shorthand employed by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (cf. Van den Eeckhout cat. no.1, T,14.7 or Fawkener 5213.7).
The subject is not altogether clear. It resembles a 'Christ before Pilate', but the prisoner seems too old to be Christ.[3]

[1] E.g. by Hind in London, 1915, no.150.
[2] Benesch 336. The painting is Bredius 555, Corpus A106, and the latter suggests a date of 1634-5.
[3] Hind, loc. cit., suggested 'St Paul before Gallio' (Acts, XVIII, 12-16).

Bürger, 1858, p.399 (by Rembrandt, for etching of 'Nebuchadnezzar on his Throne', 1655); London, 1915, no.150 (perhaps after P. Koninck; subject perhaps 'St Paul before Gallio').

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by William Fawkener (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
No exhibitions recorded.

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