A chained lioness lying on the ground in profile to r. c.1638-42 Black chalk, touched with grey wash, heightened with white, on brown prepared paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: Oo,9.75

Bibliographic reference
Royalton-Kisch 2010 30 (Rembrandt)
Hind 1915-31 49
Benesch 1973 774

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)
1638-1642 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A chained lioness; lying on the ground in profile to right. c.1638-1642

Charcoal and grey wash, touched with white oil paint, on paper prepared with brown wash; ruled framing lines in pen and grey ink.

Verso: laid down; examined in transmitted light.

No watermark.

Inscription Content: Inscribed top left corner, in pen and brown ink: ‘:O’.*
* Possibly the mark of an early collector, although none appears on the companion sheet, cat. no.29 (Oo,9.71). It resembles the seventeenth-century dealer or collector’s code found on several Rembrandt and Rembrandt-school drawings in Dresden and elsewhere (see Schatborn, 1981[I], pp.17ff.).

Height: 125 millimetres
Width: 180 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 20mm apart)

Generally good, but restored in the lower corners and possibly trimmed at the edges.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.30.
Engraved, in reverse, by Bernard Picart in the 'Recueil de Lions', Amsterdam, 1729, no.F.5.
See the commentary to cat. no.29 (Oo,9.71).

LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt; refs. to the painting are to the 'Concord of State', Rotterdam, Bredius 476, Corpus A135):
Bürger, 1858, p.394 (c.1641; compares to etchings of 'Large Lion Hunt', Bartsch 114, Hind 181, and 'St Jerome', Bartsch 104, Hind 267); Michel, 1893, pp.374 and 582; Lippmann, IV, no.62; Kleinmann, III, no.48; Bell, c.1905, repr. pl.XXXIX, Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.940; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.49 (c.1635-40; Rembrandt probably referred to such studies for the painting); Benesch, 1935, p.35 (1640-41; the same animal as in cat. no.29 [Oo,9.71]; otherwise as London, 1915); Paris, 1950, p.61, under no.491 (compares drawing in École des Beaux-Arts, Benesch 776); Exh. Rotterdam-Amsterdam, 1956, p.136, under no.183 (with cat. no.29 [Oo,9.71] and the École des Beaux-Arts drawing, Benesch 776, the only black chalk lions by Rembrandt); Benesch, IV, 1955/73, no.774, repr. fig.921/974 (c.1641; otherwise as London, 1915); White, 1962, repr. pl.28 (c.1641); Slive, 1965, II, no.509, repr. (c.1640; otherwise as London, 1915); Bauch, 1966, p.7, under no.105 (c.1641; same animal as in the painting); van Gelder, 1973, p.200, n.51 (Picart facsimile); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.299; Schatborn, 1977, no.29, repr.; Amsterdam, 1981, p.149 (Picart facsimiles); Schatborn, 1981, p.26 (Picart facsimiles); Giltaij, 1995, p.98 (not charcoal, but greasy black chalk); Exh. Braunschweig, 2006 (as cat.29 [Oo,9.71]).

mammal (all objects)

Acquisition date

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

Exhibition History
London, 1899, no.A22a;
1938, no.49 (c.1635-40);
‘Animals in Art’, 1977-78 (no catalogue);
1981 May-Aug, Castle Museum, Notts, 'English Watercolours';
Manchester, 1982, no.158;
‘Treasures of the British Museum Print Room’, 1990 (no catalogue);
1992, 'Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle', no.34, repr. (c.1638-42);
1990 April-Aug, BM, Treasures of P&D (no cat.)

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