A road passing an inn surrounded by trees; the inn sign projecting beyond the trees, over the road, two men walking along, other figures in the background. c.1655 Reed pen and brown ink, with brown wash, on light brown prepared paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: Gg,2.255

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 106
Benesch 1973 1329
Royalton-Kisch 2010 70 (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
Drawn by Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
1655 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A road passing an inn surrounded by trees; the inn sign projecting beyond the trees, over the road, two men walking along, other figures in the background. c.1655

Reed pen and brown ink with brown wash on paper prepared with brown wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink, largely trimmed away.

Verso: laid down on eighteenth-century mat.

No watermark visible.

Inscription Content: Inscribed on verso of mat, in pen and brown ink: 'CMC. 1798';[1] in graphite: '30 [in a circle]'.
[1] See n.1 under Comment.

Height: 111 millimetres
Width: 172 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 25mm apart)

Trimmed a little irregularly; creases near lower left corner; a little faded and some old stains disguised.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.70.
As explained under cat. no.83 (Oo,9.80), the attribution and date of Rembrandt's later landscape drawings such as this one present particular difficulties. The breadth of the style in the trees in this example suggests the period of the mid-1650s, a little later than the 'Homer' drawing of 1652 in the Six Album (Benesch 913). The handling of the reed pen is reminiscent of a drawing in Cambridge of a 'Farmhouse beneath Trees' (Benesch 1274). Yet the foreground detail is highly unusual for Rembrandt, and it has been plausibly suggested that the drawing has been retouched and amplified by a later hand.[2] There are also some analogies with the work of Pieter de With, although they are not as yet close enough to transfer the drawing to his name (cf. De With cat. no.1; 1888,0619.17).
The Cambridge study has often been associated with the print of 1652, the 'Clump of Trees with a Vista' (Bartsch 222, Hind 263), yet although they represent the same spot the viewpoints and compositions are different, so that the drawing could also be later than the print (the same motif was sketched several times by Rembrandt and his emulators).
The location has not been identified.[3]

[1] Cracherode purchased 'Two spirited landschapes [sic] – pen, slightly washed with bistre', for £4-7-0 at the Duke of Argyll's sale, 2nd Day, Philipe, 22 May, 1798, lot 203*, bt by Thane as his agent; possibly this drawing and cat. no.81 (inv.Gg,02.254). Cracherode's purchases at the sale are listed in his copy of the catalogue, now in the British Library 679 c.28(2).
[2] Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992 (see Lit. below). There is a pentimento on the left where the horizon has been raised above its original level. Such revisions are not common in Rembrandt's landscape drawings and this may also be part of the later reworking.
[3] Benesch believed that the same inn appeared in a drawing in Groningen (Benesch 1330) but this seems uncertain, although the two drawings are stylistically similar.

LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated):
Bürger, 1858, p.402 ('très-beau paysage'); Seidlitz, 1894, p.124; Lippmann, I, no.124a; Kleinmann, III, no.58; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.957; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.106; Benesch, 1935, p.57 (c.1652-5; Venetian influence); Wimmer, 1935, p.59 (probably not Rembrandt); Wimmer, 1942, pp.59 and 68 (not Rembrandt; later imitation); Benesch, VI, 1957/73,no.1329, repr. fig.1563/1641 (c.1653-4; see n.1 above; groups with other drawings [in compiler's opinion not especially similar]; otherwise as Benesch, 1935); Slive, 1965, I, no.126, repr. (c.1653); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1992, p.83 (reworked by a later hand in lower left, the posts in right foreground and some shadows in the trees); Giltaij, 1995, p.101 (not Rembrandt; 'the same hand is known from […] the circles of Philips Koninck and Johannes Leupenius' [but no examples given]).

Literature after Royalton-Kisch 2010: Holm Bevers, review of Martin Royalton-Kisch catalogue, in The Burlington Magazine (2013), p.103 (tentatively attributed to Pieter de With).

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode (L.606) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Jonathan Richardson Senior (L.2183) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2183); Rev. C. M.Cracherode (L.606; CMC. 1798)[1], by whom bequeathed, 1799. [1] See n.1 under Comment.

Exhibition History
London, 1899, no.A38;
1938, no.106;
1972-3, no.245;
1992, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, no.83, repr. in colour.

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