The angel Gabriel appearing to Zacharias in the Temple; the old priest kneeling at l facing an altar between two pillars, the angel at r touching one, with a second slight sketch of the head and shoulders of Zacharias. c.1650-60 Pen and brown ink, with grey-brown wash, heightened with white (oxidised)


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: SL,5226.25

Additional IDs

Bibliographic reference
Royalton-Kisch 2010 108 (anonymous Rembrandt School)
Sumowski 1979 continuing 1875ax
Hind 1915-31 82

Dutch Roy XVIIc

Back to search results

Back to catalogue

Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Circle/School of Rembrandt (anonymous) (biographical details | all objects)
1650-1655 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

The angel appearing to Zacharias in the Temple; the old priest kneeling at left facing an altar between two pillars, the angel at right touching one, with a second slight sketch of the head and shoulders of Zacharias. c.1650-55

Pen and brown ink with greyish-brown wash, corrected and heightened with white; remnant of a framing line at the top in pen and brown ink.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

No watermark.

Inscription Content: Verso, upper left, in pencil: '1 [in a circle]'.

Height: 131 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 25mm apart)
Width: 168 millimetres

Some oxidation of the white; small losses in foot of the angel, lower right, and at upper left margin.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, anonymous Rembrandt School, cat. no.108.
In style, the drawing reflects Rembrandt's work of the early- to mid-1650s (e.g. cat. nos.47-9; 1961,0412.1; 1910,0212.180 and 1895,0915.1261), although it is self-evidently not by his own hand, as most commentators have agreed.[1] The emphatic parallel hatching begs comparison with numerous drawings attributed to Willem Drost, not least three sketches in Amsterdam, the 'Parable of the unmerciful Servant', 'Joseph and his Brothers' and 'David preventing Abishai from slaying Saul'.[2] There are further analogies with the drawings in the British Museum here catalogued under his name. Nevertheless, the attribution of many of these works remains tentative, forming an insecure basis for assigning further works to Drost, and the present work could be by another Rembrandt follower of the same generation. A school drawing in the Louvre of the 'Visitation' (Benesch 1018) could be by the same draughtsman.[3]
The subject is from Luke, I, xi, and was treated in another school work in Dresden.[4] This shows a similar arrangement for the two figures, but the composition is considerably extended on the left to show more of the temple interior. The two works may date from the same period.

[1] Not included in the catalogue by Benesch, 1954-7.
[2] Repr. as by Drost by Schatborn, 1985, pp.100-101.
[3] Not included (and therefore rejected) by Starcky in Exh. Paris (Cabinet des dessins) 1988-9.
[4] HdG 209, Woermann 301, Exh. Dresden, 2004, no.51, repr.. The connection first made by Hofstede de Groot, 1906, under nos.209 and 875.

Bürger, 1858, p.399 (Rembrandt); Seidlitz, 1894, p.123 (crude forgery); Kleinmann, II, 53; Bell, c.1905, repr. pl.XXVII; Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.123, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1658); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.875 (Rembrandt, c.1650; compares drawing of same subject in Dresden, HdG 209); Saxl, 1908, p.234 (Rembrandt, c.1655; Zacharias same model as in Hermitage painting of 'Joseph's Coat', Bode, 1897-1906, V, 340; Titus the model for the angel); 'Rembrandt Bijbel', II, 1910, repr. opp. p.3; Wurzbach, 1910, p.417 (Rembrandt); Hind, 1912, I, p.53 (Rembrandt, late, with typical hatching of late works); London, 1915, no.82, repr. pl.XI (as HdG; refutes Seidlitz); Hirschmann, 1918, p.22 (not Rembrandt); Bredt, 1921, 'New Testament', I, repr. p.1; Valentiner, I, 1924, no.271, repr. (Rembrandt, c.1660, superb ['grossartige'] composition); Freise, Lilienfeld and Wichmann, 1925, under no.14 (Rembrandt; as Hofstede de Groot, 1906); Slive, 1965, I, no.130 (possibly an early forgery); Sumowski, 1979 etc., vol.8, 1984, no.1875ax (by Maes; compares in particular the angel to Christ in Maes' 'Christ and the Children' in Amsterdam, Sumowski 1760); Robinson, 1996, p.98, n.7 (not Maes); Exh. Dresden, 2004, p.122, under no.51 (as Hofstede de Groot, 1906).

birth of baptist (all objects)

Associated names
Representation of Archangel Gabriel (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Sir Hans Sloane (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
London, 1899, no.A78;
1938, no.82.

Noticed a mistake? Have some extra information about this object? Please contact us

To bookmark this page select "Bookmark this page" or "Add to favourites" from the web browser menu.