A state carriage, its shaft resting upwards against the box. c.1660-3 Pen and brown ink with brown wash


© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: Oo,9.112

Bibliographic reference
Royalton-Kisch 2010 55 (Rembrandt)
Hind 1915-31 71
Benesch 1973 756

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 Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
1660-1663 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A coach; its shaft resting upwards against the box. c.1660-1663

Pen and brown ink with greyish brown wash.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

Watermark: small circle with an unidentifiable design.

Inscription Content: (Recorded when lifted in c.1960): inscribed verso, in an 18th or possibly 17th century hand, 'De Ryskoets v. Rembrant' [i.e. the coach by Rembrandt].

Height: 193 millimetres (top corners rounded)
Width: 254 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 29/30mm apart)

Some water-stains, spots and foxing; cut vertically and rejoined; a small repair below nearer wheel.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.55.
An unusual subject for a Rembrandt sketch, executed in the liquid and summary style of his late period.[1] It has rightly been associated with the 'Portrait of Frederik Rihel on Horseback' in the National Gallery, London (Bredius 255), in which a similar vehicle appears. The resemblance is no more than general and in the painting the carriage moves forward with passengers, a driver and with its curtains drawn back. The canvas shows the sitter taking part in a procession, probably that of the entry of William III into Amsterdam in 1660. Rembrandt could have been asked by the sitter to include the coach in the painting, hence the artist's need to make the drawing in preparation for this detail.[2]
Stylistically, the sheet is analogous to Rembrandt's studies for the 'Syndics of the Drapers' Guild' of 1662 in the Rijksmuseum (Bredius 415), in particular to that of the 'Syndic Volkert Jansz. ' in Rotterdam (Benesch 1180). A date for the present sketch between 1660, when the procession took place, and 1663, when the National Gallery's portrait is thought to have been completed,[3] seems acceptable.

[1] Drawings of coaches were also made by Willem Buytewech, Adriaen van de Venne and others (see Haverkamp Begemann, 1959, p.145 and fig.138, dating Buytewech's study to c.1622-3).
[2] For the painting, see London, 1991, pp.358-362. It was recorded by Bode as 'said to be dated 1649', and the painting and drawing were assigned to that year until recently. The carriage used in the procession is shown in a contemporary print of the event, repr. Luttervelt, 1957, p.199, fig.8 and van Eeghen, 1958, p.79, with the curtains more open as in the painting. The basic structure of the vehicles seems similar, though with differences that might be explained by temporary fittings (such as the cover for the driver and the upper fringe). Luttervelt, op. cit., p.197, suggests that some uncertainty surrounds the accuracy of the depiction of the carriages in the print but notes, p.213, that the drawing may be of one used in the 1660 entry.
[3] See Exh. London, 1988-9, in which it is stated that the date on the painting 'appears to read 1663, and this would be acceptable on stylistic grounds'.

LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt; refs to 'painting' are to National Gallery, ex-Panshanger, 'Frederick Rihel on Horseback', Bredius 255, on which see above):
Bürger, 1858, p.403; Blanc, II, 1861, p.453 (perhaps a study for the painting); Vosmaer, 1877, p.546 (c.1649, perhaps for the painting); Dutuit, IV, 1885, p.86 (perhaps for the painting); Michel, 1893, p.582 (perhaps for the painting); Seidlitz, 1894, p.123 (late); Lippmann, I, no.122; Kleinmann, III, no.30; Bell, c.1905, repr. pl.L; Bode and Valentiner, 1906, p.55, repr.; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.966; London, 1915, no.71 (perhaps c.1649; compares to painting); Eisler, 1918, pp.91-2 and 238, repr. fig.50 (c.1652); Benesch, 1935, p.43 (late 1640s); Poortenaar, 1943, no.63 repr; Benesch, IV, 1955/73, no.756, repr. fig.901/954 (c.1649, comparing painting; compares 'Skeleton Rider', Darmstadt, Benesch 728); Luttervelt, 1957, p.213 (c.1660, as also the painting, and related to Amsterdam entry of that year); Rosenberg, 1959, p.113 (1650s, as also the painting); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1961, p.55 (related to the painting, which is later than Benesch thought); Sumowski, 1961, p.14 (probably c.1655, like the painting); Scheidig, 1962, p.55, no.97, repr; Slive, 1965, I, no.124, repr. (c.1655; 'apparently' related to the painting); Bauch, 1966, p.23, under no.440 (cf. the painting, of 1663); Haak, 1969/68, p.212, fig.353 (c.1649); Campbell, 1971, p.114 (notes Buytewech's drawing); Haak, 1976/74, no.83, repr. (c.1655?); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.407; Sciolla, 1976, repr. pl.XXXIX; Exh. London, National Gallery, 1988-9, p.134, under no.134 (not really connected with the painting).

carriage/coach (all objects)

Acquisition date

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

Acquisition notes
Probably J. Hoofman sale, Amsterdam, Roos, De Vries and Brondgeest, 19th Oct. 1818 and following days, portfolio N, no.12: 'Een uitgespannen Koets [an unteamed coach]; met de pen en gewassen, door Rembrandt', bt Glossen, f.150.

Exhibition History
London, 1899, no.A62 (perhaps c.1648; relates to Bredius 255);
1938, no.71 (c.1649);
1956, p.14, no.6;
Amsterdam, 1969, no.139 (often related to Bredius 255, perhaps of c.1663);
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, no.68, repr. in colour (c.1660-63);
2004, Vienna, Albertina, 2004 April-June, 'Rembrandt', no.167, repr.

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