Four studies of lions; three lying down. c.1635-40 Pen and brown ink, touched with brown wash, over charcoal, on brown prepared paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: Oo,9.70

Bibliographic reference
Royalton-Kisch 2010 127 (anonymous Rembrandt School)
Hind 1915-31 48 (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)
1645-1650 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Four studies of lions; three lying down. c.1645-50
Pen and brown ink with brown wash over indications in black chalk on paper prepared with brown wash; framing lines in pen and brown ink (partly overlapping the mat).
Verso: laid down on an 18th century mat with a green wash border (as cat. no.128; Oo,9.72).
No watermark visible.

Inscription Content: Inscribed on verso of mat, in graphite: '61 [in a circle]'.

Height: 295 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 23/25mm apart)
Width: 193 millimetres

Horizontal fold, lower centre; top left corner made up; several stains, perhaps where oil stains were later disguised.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, anonymous Rembrandt School, cat. no.127.
The drawing appears to be by the same hand as cat. no.128 (Oo,9.72, q.v.) and the drawings there grouped together.
A Rembrandt school drawing in Stockholm (HdG 1611) shows a lion in a pose similar to that of the animal at the bottom of the sheet, and a drawing formerly in Rotterdam (Benesch 782), probably also by a follower of Rembrandt,[2] resembles in pose the second lion from the top. These analogous drawings suggest that a group of artists drew the lion at the same time, a situation encountered in drawings of figures (cf. cat. no.71 Oo,9.94) and landscapes by Rembrandt and his pupils.[3]
The second lion from the top was engraved by Bernard Picart in his 'Recueil de Lions', 1729, no.C5, and a lion resembling that at the bottom, also in the same direction, appears on his plate D1.

[1] See under cat. no.92, [1992 no] n.2. According to Vosmaer, 1877, p.529, the drawing was sold at the Oudaan sale to 'Fouquet').
[2] I have not studied the original, which was from the Koenigs collection.
[3] For examples in landscape see Exh. Washington, 1990, under no.12, and the discussion in Schatborn, 1990[I] as well as Exh. Amsterdam-Paris, 1998-9.

Bürger, 1858, p.394 (Rembrandt, c.1641; compares to etchings of 'Large Lion Hunt', Bartsch 114, Hind 181, and 'St Jerome', Bartsch 104, Hind 267); Blanc, II, 1861, p.454 (Rembrandt); Vosmaer, 1877, p.529 (Rembrandt, c.1641); Dutuit, IV, 1885, p.86 (Rembrandt); Michel, 1893, p.582 (Rembrandt); Kleinmann, IV, 10; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.947 (Rembrandt); Wurzbach, 1910, p.418 (Rembrandt); London, 1915, no.48 (Rembrandt, c.1635-40); Stockholm, 1920, p.95, repr. fig.111 (compares Stockholm drawing, HdG 1611, which shows a lion in a similar pose to the lowest on the present sheet); Benesch, IV, 1955/73, under no.782 (second lion from top also seen in same pose, but more from the right, in a drawing formerly in Rotterdam, Benesch 782); Slive, 1965, II, no.510 (as Benesch); van Gelder, 1973, p.200, n.51 (on Picart); Amsterdam, 1981, p.149, n.8 (on Picart); Schatborn, 1981, p.26 (Picart no.C5, as also Benesch 782, formerly Rotterdam, and and drawing sold Mak van Way, 9 June 1959, no.656a); Exh. London, 1992, p.190, under no.92 and n.2.

mammal (lion) (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Richard Payne Knight (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Michiel Oudaan (Rotterdam, 3.xi.1766/75) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Michiel Oudaan; his sale, Rotterdam, 3 November, 1766, lot L.75 (‘Vier Studien zynde Leeuwen, door Rembrandt, op een blad’);* bequeathed by Richard Payne Knight, 1824. *Please see n.1 under Comment.

Exhibition History
London, 1899, no.A21;
1938, no.48;
1972-3, no.231;
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, not in catalogue (as School of Rembrandt, by same hand as cat. no.128; Oo,9.72).

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