Landscape with a cottage and trees bordered by water; a figure working in front of a cottage at l, large trees at centre along a brook adjoining a stream in the foreground, a field and barn at r. c.1648-50 Pen and brown ink, with grey-brown wash, touched with white, on buff prepared paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1860,0616.127

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 105
Benesch 1973 1240
Royalton-Kisch 2010 79 (attributed to Rembrandt)

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 Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
1650 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Landscape with a cottage and trees bordered by water; a figure working in front of a cottage at left, large trees at centre along a brook adjoining a stream in the foreground, a field and barn at right. c.1650

Pen and brown ink with brown wash, touched with white, on pale buff paper; retouched in a darker, red-brown ink in the paling on the left, in the bank below the house, the curled leaves of the tree in the centre and the trunk of the tree, far right; the horizontal lines to right perhaps also a later addition; ruled framing lines in pen and grey ink.

Verso: laid down on card.

No watermark visible.

Inscription Content: On verso of backing, in graphite: '23 [in a circle]'; '11 [underlined]'; 'M3A [?]'; '1-2.'.

Height: 103 millimetres
Width: 222 millimetres (vertical chain lines, distance apart uncertain)

Apart from retouches (described under Object Description) generally good; the top corners have been made up.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, attributed to Rembrandt, cat. no.79.
The extensive additions to the drawing by a later hand in a darker ink render several details of the composition difficult to 'read': the flat area to the right could be a field[1] or a road[2] and the domed shape on the extreme right could be a barn[1] or a haystack.[2] The heavy outlines of the later retouchings hamper an assessment of the style of the original work underneath, which may or may not be by Rembrandt.
The drawing has been compared with the 'Farmhouses and a Haybarn' (Paris, Petit Palais, Benesch 1241)[3] which seems to date from around 1650. But the analogies are not sufficiently persuasive to maintain the attribution to Rembrandt without reservations. There are also qualities reminiscent of the drawing of 'Houses at the End of the Schinkelweg' in Berlin (Benesch 835), which has been ascribed to Pieter de With,[4] as well as with a drawing by De With in the Frits Lugt Collection, Institut Néerlandais, Paris,[5] but comparisons with De With's securely attributable drawings (such as those in the British Museum, De With cat. nos.1-5; 1888,0619.17; 1910,0212.191; Oo,9.88; 2005,0430.8 and 1893,0731.1) leave the attribution open to question.

[1] As suggested by Hind in London, 1915.
[2] As suggested by White (notes in Museum files).
[3] By Benesch, 1957.
[4] See Schatborn, 2005, pp.11-12; Berlin, 2006, p.204.
[5] Inv.5994; see Schatborn, 2005, p.9, repr. fig.12.

LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt):
Vosmaer, 1877, p.612; Michel, 1893, p.582; Lippmann, IV, no.70b; Kleinmann, II, no.43; Bell, c.1905, repr. pl.XLIII; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.956; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.105; Wimmer, 1935, p.38 (towards 1650; compares cat. no.86; Oo,9.111); Wimmer, 1942, pp.38 and 48 (as Wimmer, 1935; concentrates on light); Benesch, VI, 1957/73, no.1240, repr. fig.1466/1546 (c.1650; later additions; compares 'Farmhouses and Hay-Barn' in Petit Palais, Benesch 1241); Slive, 1965, II, no.519, repr. (c.1650); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.427; Schatborn, 1994, p.23 (hard to judge; questionable).

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased through Walter Benjamin Tiffin (biographical details | all objects)
Purchased through Christie's (Woodburn's sale, 14.vi.1860/1499 as 'Rembrandt, Van Rhyn - A landscape, with a cottage and rivulet -) (biographical details | all objects)
Purchased from Samuel Woodburn (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
London, 1899, no.A37;
1938, no.105;
1972-3, no.252;
1992, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, no.72, repr. (c.1648-50).

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