Life study of a man lying on his back, supported by cushions; wearing a loin cloth, his hands placed together Brush drawing in brown wash, with pen and brown ink, heightened with white, over black and red chalk


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1902,0617.5

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 67 (as Rembrandt)
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Hoogstraten.8

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 (School of) (biographical details | all objects)
1646 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Life study of a man lying on his back; supported by cushions, wearing a loin cloth, his hands placed together. c.1646
Pen and brown ink with brown and brownish-grey wash, heightened with white, over preliminaries in black chalk, touched with red chalk.
Verso: laid down on an 18th-century mat, with brown wash border.
No watermark visible.

Inscription Content: Inscribed on verso of mat, top centre, in large characters in red ink: ‘No.232’; lower centre, in graphite: ‘15133/HF/-/-/el/./’.

Height: 141 millimetres (chain lines vertical; distance apart uncertain)
Width: 207 millimetres

Trimmed a little irregularly; a small fold across lower right corner; otherwise generally good.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Samuel van Hoogstraten, cat. no.8:
The drawing may be compared in type with Oo,9.94. In style, however, the closest analogies are with the drawing in the Louvre there mentioned (Benesch A55; Sumowski 1253x), which shows the same standing model in the same pose but seen from another viewpoint.
The Louvre drawing has been attributed to Samuel van Hoogstraten[1] and grouped with other life studies thought to have been drawn by him in Rembrandt's studio at about the time that the latter made his etching of 'A young Man seated and standing: the Walking Trainer' (Bartsch 194, Hind 222) of 1646. This hypothesis has found general acceptance, and the present study could have been made by the same hand, the penwork being especially comparable. Nevertheless, as with cat.no.7 (1895,0915.1267) the identity of the draughtsman, who here relied on the brush (in the manner of Gerbrand van den Eeckhout) to realise the lower half of the body, cannot be established beyond question. Other pupils in Rembrandt's workshop in the mid-1640s produced similar work, as can be seen, for example, in Nicolaes Maes' later drawing, the 'Study for Isaac' (Sumowski 1765b) in the Victoria and Albert Museum for his 'Sacrifice of Isaac' in a private collection.[2] It also seems that drawings of this type were made in around 1660 by Rembrandt's followers, as is known from the drawing of a 'Seated Boy with clasped Hands' in Munich by Johannes Raven.[3]
Many writers have remarked on the unusual pose of the model and compared the figure to tomb effigies.[4] Yet it is equally possible that the draughtsman had Isaac or some other Old Testament character in mind.

[1] For a summary of opinions, see Exh. Paris (Cabinet des dessins), 1988-9, no.109.
[2] Repr. Sumowski, 'Gemälde', no.1316, who dates the work c.1653. Robinson, 1984, prefers c.1655-8.
[3] The Munich drawing, Sumowski 2141, is discussed by Schatborn in Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2[I], no.50. Also worthy of mention in this context are two drawings in Braunschweig, Inv. nos.363 verso and 364; the former, at least, resembles the work of Abraham van Dijk (q.v.), and would have been drawn in 1652 as the recto shows the old Amsterdam Town Hall in its gutted state after the fire in that year.
[4] See Lit. below.

Anon., 1903, p.134, repr. (in attitude of tomb effigy); Valentiner, 1905, p.61 (Rembrandt, c.1656/7; represents Titus); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.932 (Rembrandt; perhaps a study for a monument); Conway, 1908-9, p.37 (pupil?; compares life studies in Louvre, Benesch A54-5 and other drawings of c.1646, including etchings and Oo.09.94 and cat. no.7; 1895,0915.1267); Wurzbach, 1910, p.418 (Rembrandt); London, 1915, no.67, repr. pl.VIII (c.1646); Hind, 1932, p.35 (perhaps same hand as cat. no.87, and as HdG 968 [Sumowski 1765b] and 973 in V&A, London, repr. Valentiner, 1924, figs.24-5); Poortenaar, 1943, p.48, under no.99 (pupil of c.1646; compares Oo.09.94 and related etching, Bartsch 194, Hind 222); Slive, 1965, no.535 (Eeckhout? pupil of 1640s; drawn at night).

academic nude (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from Colnaghi (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Purchased as by Rembrandt

Exhibition History
London, 1938, no.67 (Rembrandt, c.1646);
1956, p.10, no.16 (Rembrandt).

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