Life study of a young man seated on two cushions; wearing a loin cloth, in profile to r, holding a stick (or flute ?) in his hands, his knees slightly raised. c.1646 Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, touched with red and black chalk


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1895,0915.1267

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 68 (as Rembrandt)
Benesch 1973 710(a)
JCR 795
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Hoogstraten.7

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 Samuel van Hoogstraten (biographical details | all objects)
Formerly attributed to Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
1646 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Life study of a young man holding a flute, seated on two cushions wearing a loin cloth, in profile to right, his knees slightly raised. c.1646
Pen and brown ink with brush and brown wash, touched with red and black chalk; framing lines in pen and dark grey ink.
Verso: see Inscriptions.
No watermark.

Inscription Content: Inscribed lower right, in graphite: ‘11.’; verso, in graphite, lower left: ‘d’; lower right: ‘N27-‘; top centre: ‘795.’.

Height: 142 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 30mm apart)
Width: 162 millimetres

Generally good; some of the white has oxidised to black; trimmed a little irregularly.

Curator's comments
The 'flute' may be a posing stick, as noted by several writers since the 19th century.
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Samuel van Hoogstraten, cat. no.7:
The drawing is usually associated with three etchings by Rembrandt, the 'Nude Man seated before a Curtain' (Bartsch 193, Hind 220), the 'Young Man seated and Standing – the Walking Trainer' (Bartsch 194, Hind 222) and the 'Nude Man seated on the Ground, with one Leg extended' (Bartsch 196, Hind 221).[1] The first and last of these are dated 1646 and the pose of the latter, though seen from a different angle, bears some relationship to the figure in the British Museum's drawing: both are seated on a cushion on the floor and wear only a loin cloth.
The attribution of the drawing to Rembrandt has long been doubted[2] and its stylistic relationship with his pen and ink studies, as well as with the above-mentioned etchings, is not close. Nearer analogies are afforded by a group of such studies attributed to Samuel van Hoogstraten, who may have made them at or about the same time. Of these perhaps the most comparable is in the Bibliothèque Nationale ('Seated male Nude with hands folded in front', Benesch A48, Sumowski 1256x). As well as the somewhat uniform outlines, the drawing is similarly modelled with touches of the pen as well as the brush, and an attribution to Van Hoogstraten for the present sheet seems plausible (although the background curtain drawn with the tip of the brush is reminiscent of Gerbrand van den Eeckhout).[3]
Another pupil drew the figure in the same pose but from a different angle, in a study now in Aschaffenburg[4] and the same model is seen in several other drawings of the same type and period.[5]
The drawing was engraved in 1765 by Cornelis van Noorde.[6]

[1] Cf. Oo,9.94 which is associated with the second etching.
[2] The first objections were raised by Conway, 1908-9, p.37.
[3] Giltaij, in Rotterdam, 1988, under no.86, points out that van Hoogstraten complained that Rembrandt posed his models inelegantly when he wrote in 1678: '...when I look through my old Academy drawings, I regret that we in our youth were given such meagre instruction therein; for there is no more work in copying a graceful pose than an unpleasant and disgusting one' (Hoogstraten, 1678, p.294, discussed by Emmens, 1964, p.158).
[4] As noted by Weigmann, 1932, p.74, the drawing being repr. p.75, fig.16. It was described by Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.13.
[5] Benesch pointed this out for the drawing of a 'Male Nude seated on a Stool' at Bayonne (Benesch 711). The model also appears in two drawings (both of unknown whereabouts) attributed to van Hoogstraten by Sumowski (Sumowski 1254x and 1255x). The model may have sat for further drawings of this type, such as the Bibliothèque Nationale's sheet mentioned above, although the resemblance is less clear. Sumowski, 1969, p.372, believed the model was Willem Drost but the evidence provided by the latter's self-portraits is not entirely persuasive.
[6] As first noted by Sumowski, 1961, p.14.

LITERATURE (as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated):
Robinson, 1869/76, no.774/795; Vosmaer, 1868, pp.473 and 518 (c.1646, for etching Bartsch 196, Hind 221); Vosmaer, 1877, pp.541 and 602 (as in 1868); Kleinmann, III, no.40; Valentiner, 1905, pp.54 and 61 (c.1656-7; model is Titus); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.931; Baldwin Brown, 1907, p.141 (probably not Titus - refuting Valentiner, 1905); Conway, 1908-9, p.37 (pupil, perhaps Eeckhout; compares studies of models in Louvre, Ben.A54-A55); Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.68 (c.1646); Weigmann, 1932, p.74 (see n.4 above); Benesch, IV, 1955/73, no.710a (c.1646-7; pupil's drawing in Aschaffenburg shows figure in same pose; originated in connection with etchings Bartsch 196 and 194, Hind 221-2; compares Ben.709, Vienna, and 710, here cat. no.87; same model in 'Seated male Nude' at Bayonne, Benesch 711); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, p.31 under no.58 (pupil); Drost, 1957, p.186 (compares Elsheimer); Sumowski, 1961, p.14 (school; engraved by van Noorde); Sumowski, 1969, p.372 (school, c.1646; see n.5 above); White, 1969, I, pp.179-80, repr. II, pl.269 (c.1646; not a flute but a posing stick; the first pen and ink nude study by Rembrandt; compare etching, Bartsch 193, Hind 220); Bonnier, 1970/69, repr. in colour, p.60, fig.37; Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.356.

academic nude (all objects)

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 Gérard Leembruggen (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Cornelis van den Berg (probably) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Probably Cornelis van den Berg, sale, Haarlem, 29ff. August, 1775, lot 65: ‘Een Naakt Mannetje met een Fluyt’, sold for f.7 with two others; Gérard Leembruggen Jz.; his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, Engelberts, Lamma and Roos, 5 March, 1866, lot 478, bt for Malcolm, f.49; John Malcolm of Poltalloch (L.1489 verso); purchased with his collection, 1895.

Exhibition History
London, 1895, no.376;
1899, no.A52 (c.1646);
1938, no.68;
1956, p.10, no.15;
1992, no.98, repr. (attrib. to Hoogstraten).
2016 12 Feb-14 May, Amsterdam, Museum het Rembrandthuis, Drawing Nude Models. Rembrandt and his Contemporaries

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