The Good Samaritan arriving at the Inn; two figures carrying the traveller from his horse into the Inn, the Innkeeper (?) wearing a turban standing nearby. c.1645-7 Pen and brown ink and brown wash, corrected in white


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1860,0616.122

Bibliographic reference
Royalton-Kisch 2010 103 (anonymous Rembrandt School)
Benesch 1973 518(a)
Hind 1915-31 70 (as 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
Formerly attributed to Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
Circle/School of Rembrandt (anonymous) (biographical details | all objects)
1645-1647 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

The Good Samaritan arriving at the Inn; two figures carrying the traveller from his horse into the Inn, the Innkeeper (?) wearing a turban standing nearby. c.1645-7
Pen and brown ink with brown wash, heightened with white; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink on all but left side; freehand framing lines by the artist to left and below in pen and brown ink.
Verso: see Inscriptions.
No watermark.

Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, in graphite, right: '41 [in a circle]'.

Height: 184 millimetres
Width: 287 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 20-23mm apart)

Good; water stains along lower margin; perhaps slightly trimmed at left; slight scuff on lower border, right of centre.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, anonymous Rembrandt School, cat. no.103.
The traditional attribution to Rembrandt appears unsustainable. It would depend largely on the comparison with the 'Star of the Kings' (cat. no.38, 1910,0212.189), the only signed or otherwise documented composition drawing in a related style. The bolder draughtsmanship and stronger characterisations in the latter undermine the attribution to Rembrandt of the present sheet, not least because of the relative timidity of the penwork, especially in the figures, speaks against Rembrandt's authorship. The doubts are reinforced by the absence of the more curvilinear course of the lines and the use of hatching that hugs the figures in the 'Star of the Kings'. The proximity of certain details, including the two figures seen from behind just to the left of centre, and the liquidity of the style in both, could be explained as a pupil's emulation of the master. On this assumption the drawings are here dated to about the same time. Other undoubted works by Rembrandt in pen and ink of the 1640s, such as those related to the 'One Hundred Guilder Print' (Benesch 183-5 and 188, respectively in the Rijksmuseum, Courtauld Institute, Louvre and Berlin) exhibit no nearer analogies; nor do other drawings of the 1640s attributed to Rembrandt, for example the 'Holy Family in the Carpenter's Workshop' (here cat. no.39, 1900,0824.144), which seems wholly different. Doubts about the drawing's authenticity have been voiced[2] and it is comparable to sketches now given to Rembrandt's school, including the 'Adoration of the Shepherds' in the Rijksmuseum (inv. A 217; not in Benesch) and 'Joseph revealing his Identity to his Brethren' (Louvre, Benesch 512).[3] Another comparable drawing is here cat. no.102 (Oo,9.101), in which the figures are particularly similar (and relate to those in drawings attributed to Carel Fabritius). Characteristic of all these drawings is the unvaried pressure of the pen outlines, a feature that contrasts strongly with Rembrandt's own works.
Several other versions of the 'Good Samaritan Arriving at the Inn' were made by Rembrandt's pupils, probably at about the same time. They include the painting in the Louvre (and the preparatory drawing for it in Chicago) of the late 1640s.[4] The most comparable work to the present sheet is a more broadly executed drawing in Rotterdam (Benesch 518b), now generally given to a follower of Rembrandt.[5] It is not certainly by the same hand as the British Museum's drawing, the differences being quite marked in the use of the pen as well as the wash. (The often noted relationship between these works and Jan van de Velde's print, which also shows the scene occurring at night, is not a close one.[6]) Other drawn versions are in the Louvre (an old copy) and Weimar (Benesch 615, possibly by Rembrandt, c.1648-52).[7] Rembrandt himself earlier depicted the subject in an etching of 1633 (Bartsch 90, Hind 101), probably based on a now lost painting or oil-sketch of c.1632.[8]

[1] Hohn is first mentioned by Hind in London, 1915, perhaps in error. The earlier British Museum exhibition catalogues do not mention this collection.
[2] See Literature below: Exh. Chicago, 1969-70, Wegner 1970, Sumowski, 1980 and 1981, Rotterdam, 1988 and Schatborn, 1994, who advances the name of Van den Eeckhout, but in my judgement the drawing is likely to be by a pupil of a later generation. Doubts were first raised by Seidlitz, 1894.
[3] The Rijksmuseum's drawing is tentatively ascribed to Carel Fabritius by Peter Schatborn in Amsterdam, 1985, no.62; the Louvre drawing is catalogued as 'circle of Rembrandt' by Emmanuel Starcky in Exh. Paris, Louvre, Cabinet des dessins, 1988-9, no.76. Cf. also op. cit., no.107, the 'Studio Interior' (Sumowski 1167ax) now ascribed to Samuel van Hoogstraten, which also has points of similarity in style.
[4] For the painting, Bredius 581, formerly thought to be dated 1648, see Exh. Paris, Louvre, Département des peintures, 1988-9, pp.108-13, and (for an attribution to Willem Drost) my review, 1990, p.132. The drawing was in Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969, no.146, repr. p.235.
[5] See Rotterdam, 1988, no.78, where tentatively ascribed to G. Flinck. There are analogies with drawings ascribed tentatively to Carel Fabritius (cf. Schatborn, 2006[I]).
[6] See Lit. below. The print is repr. Holl. XXXIII-XXXIV, 1989, no.12.
[7] For the Louvre drawing, see Paris, 1933, no.1268 and V.380; the Weimar sheet is known to me in photographs only. Benesch dated it c.1648-9; Münz, 1937, p.108, fig.15, attributed it to Flinck. Its subject has been identified as the 'Levite fastening the dead Concubine to an Ass' by Manuth, 1987, pp.12-13.
[8] See Corpus, II, 1986, no.C48, for the painted version in the Wallace Collection, there attributed to G. Flinck; and cat. no.93 (1993,0619.5).

LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated):
Blanc, II, 1861, p.453 (the figure carrying the man better drawn than in the print, Bartsch 90, H.101); Vosmaer, 1877, p.545; Dutuit, IV, 1885, p.85; Michel, 1893, p.581; Seidlitz, 1894, p.123 (doubtful as Rembrandt); Seidlitz, 1895/1922, p.80/140, under no.90 (not especially close to etching Bartsch 90, Hind 101; notes that Vosmaer saw origins of latter in the print by Jan van de Velde - see n.6 above); Lippmann, I, no.190; Bell, c.1905, p.15, repr. pl.XXIV; Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.80, repr. (c.1648); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.885 (c.1648 for Louvre painting, Bredius 581); Wurzbach, 1910, p.147; Hind, 1912, I, p.54, repr. pl.XIII (dark, atmospheric use of wash); London, 1915, no.70, repr. pl.IX (follows Exh. London, 1899; notes drawings in Louvre [see n.7 above] and Rotterdam [Benesch 518b], both of which he doubts; quotes Seidlitz, 1894); Eisler, 1918, pp.88 and 106 (c.1648; with Rotterdam drawing a study for Louvre painting); Neumann, 1918, pp.97 and 101-2, repr. fig.32 (relates in chronological order to Louvre painting, 1633 etching, Rotterdam drawing and Louvre school drawing); Neumann, 1918[I], no.65, repr. (relates with Rotterdam drawing to Louvre painting); Stockholm, 1920, p.13 (compares 'Scene in Temple' Interior, Stockholm, inv. no.1676/75); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.379 repr. (c.1648; compares Louvre painting); Kramar, 1926, p.39 (Rotterdam version doubtful; for Louvre painting); Weisbach, 1926, pp.380 and 387, repr. p.386, fig.108 (1640s; remarks on differences to Louvre painting and notes Berlin sketch, Bode 329/de Groot 110, Berlin drawing HdG.63, not in Benesch , and Louvre school 'copy'); Fierens, 1929, no.36, repr.; Paris, 1933, pp.14-15 and p.50, under no.1268 (compares Louvre sheet, considered a copy, and Chicago drawing; source in Jan van de Velde); Benesch, 1935, pp.39 and 42 (c.1648, noting Louvre painting, Berlin sketch and Rotterdam drawing); Benesch, 1935[I], p.265 (c.1648); Bredius, 1937/35, p.25, under no.581 (relates to Louvre painting and drawing and to Rotterdam drawing); Popham, 1939, p.68; Schinnerer, 1944, no.68, repr. (c.1648; as Eisler, 1918); von Alten, 1947, no.47, repr.; Benesch, 1947, no.161, repr. (notes related works and Lugt's discovery of Chicago school drawing); Brière-Misme, 1949, pp.125 and 127, repr. fig.4 (c.1644-50; compares Weimar and Rotterdam drawings; Chicago sheet is repr. fig.6 as inspired by British Museum and Rotterdam sheets); Benesch, III, 1955/73, no.518a, repr. fig.646/683 (c.1641-3; compares Rotterdam drawing and study in Courtauld Institute of 'Bodies of Saul and his Sons carried away by the Israelites', Benesch 485a; relates to pupil's painting in the Louvre, noting the preparatory study in Chicago); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.98, under no.111 (closest to Rotterdam sheet); Exh. Vienna, 1956, p.26 under no.61 (with Rotterdam study suggests that Rembrandt may have been planning a painting); Drost, 1957, p.188 (influence of Elsheimer); Sumowski, 1958, repr. fig.39 (c.1646); Exh. Washington-New York, etc., 1958-9, under no.68 (quotes Benesch and describes Rotterdam version as 'less careless'); Bruyn, 1959, p.15, repr. fig.16 (c.1641-3; source in Jan van de Velde [see under Seidlitz, 1895]); Drost, 1960, p.149 (background based on Elsheimer's landscapes); Roger Marx, 1960, repr. p.262, fig.97d; Boeck, 1962, repr. fig.29; Scheidig, 1962, pp.48-9, no.71, repr. (compares cat. no.44); White, 1962, pl.3 (c.1642); Stech, 1963, pl.48; Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-5, p.120, under no.101 (quotes Bruyn, 1959); Slive, 1965, I, no.206 (c.1641-3, as also Rotterdam version Benesch 518b); Stech, 1968 ed. of 1963, p.21 and pl.48 (c.1641-3); Haak, 1969/68, p.185, fig.300 (c.1641-3); White, 1969, I, p.45; Exh. Chicago, 1969, under no.146 (attribution questionable, as also of Rotterdam sheet; both the basis for Chicago pupil's drawing); Bonnier, 1970/69, repr. in colour, fig.23; Wegner, 1970, p.32 (agrees with doubts expressed in Exh. Chicago, 1969-70); Haak, 1976/74, no.40, repr. (c.1641-3); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.307; 'British Museum Guide', 1976, p.196, repr. fig.17; Sciolla, 1976, p.10 and pl.XXVII; Broos, 1977, p.110 (quotes Bruyn, 1959 and Exh. Amsterdam, 1964-5); Clark, 1978, p.133 (relates with Rotterdam drawing to pupil's painting in Louvre); Sumowski, III, 1980, under no.569x and IV, 1981, under no.955x (school; forthcoming no.2641 of his catalogue); Amsterdam, 1985, under nos.29 and 62 (1640s; notes contrast of pen lines and wash, and other drawings of this period containing figures seen from behind); Manuth, 1987, p.13 (early 1640s); Robinson, 1987, p.246, repr. fig.9 (c.1643); Rotterdam, 1988, under no.78 ('attrib. to' Rembrandt; compares to Rotterdam version which is given with reservations to Flinck); Schneider, 1990, p.179; White, 1992, p.268, repr. fig.39 (Rembrandt); Exh. Stockholm, 1992-3, p.287, repr. fig.104a (Rembrandt); Halewood, 1993, p.290, repr. fig.2 (Rembrandt; contrasts iconography with that of the etching, Bartsch 90, Hind 101; growth of the sublime in Rembrandt's art); Schatborn, 1994, p.24 (suggests Eeckhout, on basis of broad wash and fine hatching).

parable of good samaritan (scope note | all objects)

Associated names
Representation of Good Samaritan (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased through Walter Benjamin Tiffin (biographical details | all objects)
Purchased through Christie's (Woodburn's sale, 13.vi.1860/1426 as 'Rembrandt, Van Rhyn - The good samaritan's arrival at the inn) (biographical details | all objects)
Purchased from Samuel Woodburn (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (Lugt 1530; his sale, Thomas Philipe's, London, 15.vi.1811/660 as 'Rembrandt van Rhyn - The Good Sama) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Earl Spencer; G. Hohn? (see n.1 under Comment); S. Woodburn

Exhibition History
London, 1891, no.112;
1899, no.A76 (resembles Louvre painting of 1648, Bredius 581);
1938, no.70 (c.1648);
1956, p.21, no.3 (later than the 1633 etching, Bartsch 90, Hind 101);
Amsterdam, 1969, no.66 (c.1641-3);
London, 1992, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, no.91, repr. in colour (Rembrandt School, c.1645-7).

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