David refusing the armour of Saul; Saul stands at the centre of a group of soldiers, wearing a long mantle and turban, David stands at r pointing to the armour which lies on the ground Pen and brown ink, touched with brown wash


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1910,0212.177

Bibliographic reference
Royalton-Kisch 2010 113 (anonymous Rembrandt School)
Hind 1915-31 136

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)
1655 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

David refusing Saul's armour; Saul stands at the centre of a group of soldiers, wearing a long mantle and turban, David stands at right pointing to the armour which lies on the ground. c.1655
Pen and brown ink with brown wash.
Verso: laid down on card.
No watermark visible through backing.

Inscription Content: Inscribed on backing, in graphite: 'David rejecting the present [?] armour'.

Height: 180 millimetres
Width: 234 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 27mm apart)

Good; light foxing; a few spots (some covered with white but still visible); a grey mark at top right.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, anonymous Rembrandt School, cat. no.113.
One of three known drawings based on a lost original of the 1650s.[1] The composition also inspired a sketch attributed to Constantijn van Renesse now in the École Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris (Sumowski 2204xx).
Although the style of the sheet, with its somewhat geometrical approach to form, dependent largely on outline, is characteristic of Rembrandt at this time (cf. cat. nos.47-8;1961,0412.1 and 1910,0212.180), it also resembles the penmanship of pupils of this period, especially Willem Drost (see in particular Drost cat. no.4; 1910,0212.178, which shows another representation of an encounter between Saul and David). Scenes from the book of Samuel are commonly depicted in drawings by Rembrandt and his followers.[2]

[1] The others are in Braunschweig (Inv. no.B437; black chalk; 204 x 314), and formerly on the art market (Böhler, Munich, repr. Sumowski, 1979, etc., IX, 1985, fig.138).
[2] Benesch, 1973, VI, p.439, lists 28 drawings depicting subjects from the first book of Samuel.

Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1118 (presumably a copy of a lost Rembrandt drawing); London, 1915, no.136, repr. pl.XVIII (copy); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.153 (copy of lost original of c.1650; two further copies in Braunschweig); Benesch, VI, 1957/73, no.C87 (copy of lost original of c.1655-6; compares Rotterdam 'Adulteress', Benesch 964, and 'Consul Popilius Lenas and Antiochus Epiphanes', priv. coll., Benesch 1015); Sumowski, IX, 1985, under no.2204xx (copy after Rembrandt, reinterpreted by Renesse in Paris drawing, École des Beaux-Arts, Sumowski 2204xx; lists other copies as Valentiner, but only one in Braunschweig and another, ex-Duits, with Böhler of Munich); Exh. Braunschweig, 2006, p.143, under no.A15.

old testament (all objects)

Associated names
Representation of Saul (biographical details | all objects)
Representation of King David (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by George Salting (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Sir Joshua Reynolds (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Andrew James (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Joshua Reynolds (L.2364); Andrew James (according to London, 1915); George Salting, by whom bequeathed, 1910.

Exhibition History
No exhibitions recorded.

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