A boy in a wide-brimmed hat; almost HL, leaning forward over a table, his chin resting on his r hand. c.1650-55 Pen and brown ink


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: Oo,9.96

Bibliographic reference
Benesch 1973 1093
Hind 1915-31 85 (as Rembrandt)
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Drost.5

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 Willem Drost (biographical details | all objects)
Formerly attributed to Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A boy in a wide-brimmed hat; almost half-length, leaning forward over a table, his chin resting on his right hand. c.1650-55
Pen and brown ink with brown wash on pale buff paper; ruled framing lines in pen and black ink.
Verso: laid down on card.
No watermark visible.

Inscription Content: Inscribed on verso of backing, in graphite: '47. [in a circle]'.

Height: 85 millimetres
Width: 90 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 18mm apart)

Good; presumably trimmed from a larger sheet.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Willem Drost, cat. no.5.
The drawing has long been associated with Maes (attrib.) cat. no.7 (Oo,9.99) and Drost cat. no.6 (Oo,9.98) although they diverge in style.[1] Like cat. no.7 (1900,0411.4), it was traditionally thought to be a sketch by Rembrandt of his son, Titus. Yet it has frequently been compared to works that have recently been attributed to Willem Drost and an attribution to him seems plausible beside the other works here placed under his name (see cat. nos.3-4 and 6-7, 1855,1013.39, 1910,0212.178, Oo,9.98 and 1900,0411.4). With them it shares Drost's characteristic use of parallel shading and simplified outlines, also seen clearly in two further stylistically related drawings, the 'Seated Young Man in a high Hat' and the 'Blind Hurdy-Gurdy Man', both in Stockholm (Benesch 1094 and 1163, Sumowski 559a-bx as Drost). The vertical shading behind the figure is similar to that found in cat. no.3 (1855,1013.39) and the 'Woman seated beneath a Tree' in a private collection (Benesch A92; Sumowski 565x). These analogies suggest a date in the early or mid-1650s, the period to which some of Rembrandt's paintings of Titus belong, which may have inspired Drost.[2]

[1] See under Maes (attrib.) cat. no.7 (Oo,9.99), n.1.
[2] The painting of Titus at Rotterdam, Bredius 120, is dated 1655.

LITERATURE (as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated):
Bürger, 1858, pp.400-401 (mounted on same sheet as Maes (attrib.) cat. no.7 (Oo,9.99) and cat. no. 6 (Oo,9.98)); Vosmaer, 1877, p.602; Dutuit, IV, 1885, p.86; repr. Michel, 1893, repr. p.437; Seidlitz, 1894, p.123; Lippmann, I, no.125a; Kleinmann, III, no.53; Bell, c.1905, repr. pl.XXXIII; Valentiner, 1905, p.60 (c.1652; of Titus); Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.94, repr. (c.1650, Titus by Rembrandt); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.905 (c.1655); Saxl, 1908, p.234 (c.1656; of Titus, cf. painting now at Baltimore, Bredius 124); Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.85 (c.1650-60; shading reminiscent of Rembrandt's etching of 'Golf-Player' of 1654, Bartsch 125, Hind 272); Stockholm, 1920, p.66, repr. fig.77 (c.1650-55; same model as in cat. no.7 (1900,0411.4) and 'Seated Man in high Hat' in Stockholm, Benesch 1094); Van Dyke, 1927, p.30 (tentatively as Rembrandt - unsure structure); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.715, repr. (c.1655); Benesch, 1935, p.61 (c.1655-6; as for cat. no.6, Oo,9.98); Amsterdam, 1942, p.15, under no.34 (c.1655-6; of Titus?); Benesch, 1947, pp.27 and 45, under no.238, and no.251, repr. (c.1655-6; parallel hatching reflects study of Mantegna, as in cat. no.6, Oo,9.98); Benesch, V, 1957/73, no.1093, repr. fig.1312/1385 (c.1655-6; sitter as cat. no.7 (1900,0411.4) and 'Young Man in a high Hat' in Stockholm, Benesch 1094; style compared with cat. no.3 (1855,1013.39), 'Girl asleep' and 'Self-Portrait', both Rembrandthuis, Ben.1104 and 1171, and 'Study of a sick Woman', ex-Gutekunst, Benesch 1165); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.87 (questionable; as for cat. no.7, 1900,0411.4); Scheidig, 1962, p.60 and no.133, repr. (Titus leaning on a door; compares Dresden 'Girl at a Door', Benesch 1170); Slive, 1965, I, no.128, repr. (c.1655; impossible to identify as Titus); Munich, 1973, p.121, under no.857 (possibly by Renesse; compared to drawing in Munich, repr. pl.405); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.531; Sumowski, III, 1980, under no.559x (Rembrandt, and not necessarily same hand as other studies of same model, such as cat. no.7,1900,0411.4); White, 1992, p.268 (sceptical of attribution to Drost in Exh. London, 1992); Schatborn, 1994, p.24 (agrees with attrib. to Drost).

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Richard Payne Knight (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
London, 1899, no.74a (Rembrandt c.1650-60; with cat. nos.99 and 103 compared to cat. no.100);
1938, no.85 (c.1650-60);
1956, p.10, under no.20;
1992, no.101, repr. (as Drost).

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