A farm seen through trees on the bank of a river. c.1650-53 Reed pen with black ink, and grey wash, on brown prepared paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1895,0915.1259

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 103
Benesch 1973 1244
Royalton-Kisch 2010 68 (Rembrandt)
JCR 787

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Drawn by Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
1653 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A farm seen through trees on the bank of a river. c.1653

Pen and black ink with grey wash on paper washed brown; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

Watermark: posthorn in a crowned shield (not unlike Heawood 2715, Amsterdam, 1668; Laurentius catalogue p.255, nos.620-21, datable 1636 and 1637).

Inscription Content: Verso, in red chalk: 'f6 gulden van Rembrand'.

Height: 162 millimetres
Width: 234 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 25mm apart)

Generally good; a diagonal crease near lower right corner; other slightly creased or abraded areas near corners and at middle of left edge.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.68.
The drawing belongs to the group of landscapes discussed under cat. no.69 (1895,0915.1283, q.v.), which has a similar watermark. The details of the building in the present view include an outdoor lavatory and a haystack towards the left and a high barn ('stolp') attached to the nearer end of the main building ('langhuis') of the farm. Smoke shutters are just visible on the ridge of the roof of the 'langhuis'.
The site has not been identified but was almost certainly in the vicinity of Amsterdam.[1]

[1] My thanks to Boudewijn Bakker for discussing the architectural and topographical details of the drawing (2 August 1989).

LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated):
Robinson, 1876, no.787; Lippmann, IV, no.67; Kleinmann, IV, no.62; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.960; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.103 (compared with cat. no.69; 1895,0915.1283); Van Dyke, 1927, p.134 (not Rembrandt; belongs to Van Dyke's group I); Benesch, 1935, p.47 (c.1650; compares 'View of Sloten', Chatsworth, Benesch 1237, ''t Molentje', also Chatsworth, Benesch 1308, and the 'Farm Houses and Hay-Barn' in the Petit Palais, Benesch 1241); Wimmer, 1935, p.42 (c.1650); Wimmer, 1942, pp.42 and 48 (c.1652-5); Rosenberg, 1948/64, I, p.89/152, repr. II, fig.128 (early 1640s/late 1640s); Rosenberg, 1956, p.130, repr. fig.31 (c.1640); Benesch, VI, 1957/73, no.1244, repr. fig.1472/1547 (c.1650; quotes London, 1915); Drost, 1957, p.216 (compares Elsheimer); White, 1962, repr. pl.29 (c.1650); Slive, 1965, II, no.514, repr; Haak, 1969/68, p.227, repr. fig.380 (c.1650); Baer, 1970, no.91, repr.; Schneider, 1990, pp.58 and p.97, repr. p.57, fig.44, (c.1650-53); Schatborn, 1994, p.23; Giltaij, 1995, p.101 (grey wash almost certainly later); Berlin, 2006, p.147, n.2, under no.42 (compares Berlin drawing, Benesch 1251).

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from Col John Wingfield Malcolm (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Malcolm of Poltalloch (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Andrew James (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Jeremiah Harman (according to Robinson) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Harman (according to Robinson, 1876 - see Lit. under Comment); Andrew James;* his sale, Christie’s, 28 April 1873, (unidentified lot), bt for Malcolm, £55-10-0 (according to annotated copy of Malcolm catalogue); John Malcolm of Poltalloch; purchased with his collection, 1895. * Waagen, IV, 1857, p.215 and Brunet, 1866, p.260, mention ‘several landscapes’ in James’ collection.

Exhibition History
London, Grosvenor Gallery, 1878-9, no.314;
London, British Museum, 1895, no.384b;
1899, no.A42;
1938, no.103;
1956, p.12, no.8;
1992, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, no.79, repr. in colour (c.1650-53);
1996-7, no.87, repr. in colour;
Kassel-Leiden, Gemäldegalerie/Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, 2006, 'Rembandt's Landscapes', p.151, fig.126, and no.45.

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