drawing

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1836,0811.560

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 115
Royalton-Kisch 2010 87 (anonymous after Rembrandt)

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 (biographical details | all objects)
After Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
Date
1631 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)


Description
Lot and his daughters; Lot seated on the ground with a cup (?) in his right hand, one of his daughters seated to right holds a jug before him, the other stands behind. c.1631

Red chalk, with some black chalk, heightened with white oil paint, on brown (oiled?) paper; a touch of blue near upper right corner.

Verso: blank.

No watermark.

Inscriptions
Inscription Content: No inscription.


Dimensions
Height: 292 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 22/23mm apart)
Width: 231 millimetres


Condition
Good; an original paper crease lower centre; a scuff by centre left edge; a spot/stain top centre.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, anonymous after Rembrandt, cat. no.87.
The drawing shows the same composition as an etching after Rembrandt, of approximately the same size but in reverse, by his associate Johannes van Vliet (Hollstein 1; for an impression of the print in the British Museum, see S.157). The print, which is inscribed 'RH. van. Rijn. inventor', may record a lost painting by Rembrandt, possibly the model for the present sheet also, in spite of minor differences between them (the stick added in the drawing; the shoelace added in the print, and other more minor differences).
It has been argued that the present sheet was the preparatory study for the etching. Yet the drawing is not indented in order to transfer the design to the copper plate and, as already noted, exhibits certain differences to it. Alternatively, it might be argued that the drawing was a preliminary study for the print or for the putative lost painting. But the style does not closely resemble Rembrandt's;[1] nor does it resemble the few drawings that have been attributed to Van Vliet.[2] The evenness of execution and certain harsh outlines (e.g. in the nearer daughter's hands and forearms) strongly suggest that it is a copy, yet not based on the print. As the drawing style does not directly reflect Rembrandt's, it is more probably based on the lost painting than on a lost drawing,[3] and may possibly reflect the lost original at a different stage than the print, which would explain the changes in detail between them.[4]
Another copy of the composition, in the same direction as the etching, is in Berlin.[5] In Frankfurt there is a black chalk 'Study of Lot' by Rembrandt for the composition (Benesch 82). Stylistically this also belongs to period around 1630-31, but was later signed and dated by the artist in 1633.[6]

NOTES:
[1] It was suggested by Hind, 1912 (see Lit. below) that the unusual style might be explained if it were earlier than any other surviving drawing by Rembrandt. Most writers, however, place the composition at the end of the Leiden period, c.1629-31, from which comparative material does exist. The accents added to the drawing in the shadows in black chalk do come close to Rembrandt's own work, but provide insufficient evidence to suggest that he retouched it himself.
[2] See Sumowski, 1979, etc., X, 1992, pp.5318-20. He there rejects as an 18th-century imitation the signed and dated drawing in Basel, which the compiler believes to be authentic (Royalton-Kisch, 1984, repr. fig.14; Exh. Amsterdam, 1996, p.12, repr. fig.2).
[3] Like the drawing of the 'Good Samaritan' (cat.no.93; 1993,0619.5) it is of interest as a copy of a lost work.
[4] Alternatively, these details may only have been added in the print (as surmised by Bruyn in Corpus, 1982 (see Lit. below).
[5] In black chalk, inventory no. KdZ 24724 (zweite Garnitur). Another version was listed by Vosmaer, 1868 (see Lit. below). Vosmaer, 1868, p.422, notes that a pen and ink version of the composition was among the works sold by Heinrich of Dresden to the King of Saxony from the sale announcement of 7 Aug. 1832. Although he related this to van Vliet's etching, the drawing is probably that now in Dresden, Benesch 174, the composition of which is different.
[6] As already noted by Corpus, I, 1982, p.149 ('authentic but probably later signature and dated 1633'). The drawing, which contains white heightening, does not seem to have been reworked at the later date.


LITERATURE :
Michel, 1893, p.582 (by Rembrandt, for his painting of 1631); Hind, 1912, I, pp.57-8 (possibly by van Vliet for his etching, or very early Rembrandt, impossible to authenticate); London, 1915, no.115, repr. pl.XIII (as Hind, 1912); Fraenger, 1920, p.93, n.12 (by van Vliet, for the etching); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.41, repr. (as London, 1915, but if by Rembrandt, c.1628-30; there may not have been a painted original); Kauffmann, 1926, p.174, n.1 and p.176, n.1 (by van Vliet, 1631); Van Dyke, 1927, p.106 (by Lievens, as also the Frankfurt drawing, Benesch 82); Bauch, 1933, p.180 (after Rembrandt by Moeyaert; lost original of c.1627); Benesch, 1947 ('Catalogue'), p.16, under no.26 (relates to Frankfurt drawing, Benesch 82, with model in same pose as Lot, for some unknown purpose); Slive, 1953, p.29, n.3 (as London, 1915); Benesch, I, 1954/73, under no.82 (as Benesch, 1947); Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.33 (compares pose of Lot with drawing by van Hoogstraten in Cambridge, PD 416-1963, Sumowski 1138x); Corpus, I, 1982, p.367, repr. fig.2 (by van Vliet? after a lost original of c.1629-30); Sumowski, 1979, etc., X, 1992, p.5138, no.9 (not by van Vliet; to be discussed in forthcoming chapter on copies); Hollstein, XLI, 1992, p.146, under no.1 (attributed to van Vliet); Exh. Amsterdam, 1996-7, p.74, repr. fig.6.1.


Subject
old testament (all objects)

Associated names
Representation of Lot (biographical details | all objects)


Acquisition date
1836

Acquisition name
Purchased from William Smith, the printseller (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Sheepshanks (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Possibly Greffier Francois Fagel sale, London, T. Philipe, 3rd day, 23 May, 1799, lot 345 ('One - Lot and his daughters - red chalk - CAPITAL. It is etched by VAN VLIET'), bt Oliver, £2-6-0; John Sheepshanks; purchased with his collection by the British Museum in 1836.


Exhibition History
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle (not in catalogue, as copy after Rembrandt);
Amsterdam, Rembrandt's House,1996, 'Rembrandt & Van Vliet' no.1b;
Kassel-Amsterdam, 2001-2, p.249, repr. fig.39a (may document an early stage in Rembrandt's lost painting).
1996 Feb-May, Amsterdam, Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Rembrandt and Van Vliet


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