Portrait of Maria Trip, holding a fan; seated in a chair (?) by a window (?), TQL turned and looking slightly to l, wearing a dress with lace collar. c.1639 Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, heightened with white (partly oxidised), over red chalk


© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1891,0713.9

Bibliographic reference
Royalton-Kisch 2010 23 (Rembrandt)
Benesch 1973 442
Hind 1915-31 56

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)
1639 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A study for the portrait of Maria Trip; holding a fan, seated in a chair (?) by a window (?), three-quarter length turned and looking slightly to left, wearing a dress with lace collar. c.1639
Pen and brown iron-gall ink, with brown wash, heightened with white (many writers include red chalk in the description of the media, but the reddish marks appear in fact to be the white heightening discoloured through oxidation), unruled framing lines in the same medium, both in pen and in wash.
Verso: blank
No watermark

Inscription Content: Some graphite marks, lower right, perhaps for ‘110.’.

Height: 160 millimetres
Width: 129 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 24mm apart)

Good; the white heightening has oxidised a little.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.23.
The drawing is related to Rembrandt's 'Portrait of a Young Woman, probably Maria Trip', now on loan to the Rijksmuseum, which was painted in 1639 (Bredius 356, Corpus A131). Executed in iron-gall ink, the drawing is one of two in this medium which can be assigned with confidence to that year, the other being the dated study in Vienna after Raphael's 'Portrait of Castiglione' (Benesch 451). The two drawings are inseparable in style and, together with two others of the previous year,[1] form the starting-point for dating other works in the same medium, including cat. nos.24-28 (Gg,2.248; 1910,0212.181; 1910,0212.184; 1895,1214.100; 1910,0212.185), q.v..
The differences between the drawing and the finished painting are few: the study omits the lace cuffs and the rosettes adorning the dress. The collar is more pointed, on the right approaching the sitter's wrist more closely. To the left, the shoulder appears a little wider. The angle of the head is also slightly altered. The painting's background is less distinct but includes a herm on the left (partly cut away) with a curtain beyond, not seen in the drawing. The study records the full extent of the composition before the painting was reduced on all but the left side, either by Rembrandt or at a later date.[2] In the main the painting in its final form follows the drawing, although uncertainty surrounds the significance of the shape, drawn in white with the tip of the brush, by the sitter's right arm. It could be that Rembrandt contemplated the inclusion of a book or some other attribute at this point.
The general proximity of the drawing to the painting prompted the suggestion that its function was that of a 'modello', approved by the patron, rather than a preliminary sketch.[3] This idea receives some support from two further features of the drawing: the unusual presence of an indication of the picture-frame, and the style, which is neater than in most of Rembrandt's preliminary sketches for his paintings and might indicate that it was for the patron's inspection as well as for the artist's own use. X-radiographs of the painting, however, show that the base of the composition was at first arranged differently, with a balustrade running right across the foreground. It therefore appears likely that the drawing was made only after the painting was at a fairly advanced stage in order to rehearse various changes, many of which were subsequently introduced.[4] In effect, the drawing must have been based on the already existing, though incomplete, portrait, and in the length of the collar, the width of the shoulder and the pose of the hand the drawing reflects an earlier state of the painting as revealed by X-radiography. The fact that much of the drawing is based on the oil might also explain the degree of its stylistic proximity to the other copy Rembrandt drew at this time, the sketch after Raphael's 'Portrait of Castiglione' mentioned above. The inclusion of the picture frame in the British Museum's sheet might indicate that Rembrandt was already concerned with a possible adjustment to the painting's dimensions.[5]
The sitter has been identified as Maria Trip (1619-83),[6] the daughter of Elias Trip (1570-1636) and Aletta Adriaens (Dordrecht 1589-1656). In 1641 she married Balthasar Coymans (1589-1657). After his death, she married Pieter Ruysch, Lord of Wayestein. At her death in 1683 she left six daughters. She was from a prominent Amsterdam family whose members included Jacob Trip and Margareta de Geer, her uncle and aunt, whose portraits by Rembrandt of c.1660 are in the National Gallery, London (Bredius 314 and 394). At the time of Maria de' Medici's state visit to Amsterdam in 1638, the Princess of Orange, Amalia van Solms, lodged at her family's apartments. This was soon before the portrait was completed and the events may be connected. Her mother was also painted by Rembrandt in 1639 (Bredius 355, Corpus A132; Rotterdam, Willem van der Vorm Foundation).

[1] The study in Rotterdam of 'Ruth and Naomi' (Benesch 161), also in iron-gall ink, has on the verso a sketch for Rembrandt's etching of 'Joseph telling his Dreams' of 1638 (Bartsch 37, Hind 160). See further Rotterdam, 1988, no.13. The second iron-gall ink study of 1638 is for the same print and now in the Kramarsky collection, New York (Benesch 168).
[2] The extent of the cut may have been exaggerated by earlier writers: the angle of the sitter's nearer arm is more acute in the drawing, so that her hand is placed higher (as noted by Weisbach, 1926, p.272) and further away from the edge of the frame.
[3] The theory was first suggested by Haak, 1969/68, and followed by Bruyn, 1983 and by the compiler (Royalton-Kisch; 1989 (1990) – see Lit. below) in a text written prior to the appearance of Corpus, III, 1989.
[4] The X-radiographs, and the theory that the drawing was made as a study for the changes made, published in full in Corpus, III, 1989, under no.A131(see also Bruyn, 1983). Some of the above reasoning might suggest that the drawing was a 'ricordo', made after the painting, but the minor 'pentimenti', e.g. in the left hand and the bannister, suggest otherwise.
[5] An earlier instance of Rembrandt's making a careful study after a painted composition had reached an advanced stage is provided by the sketch (Benesch 8, formerly Goeritz coll.) for the 'Judas returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver' (see Corpus A15). Cf. also cat. no.24; Gg,2.248.
[6] By van Eeghen, 1956, pp.166-9. See further Dudok van Heel, 1979, p.25. The identification is accepted, with reservations, by Corpus, III, 1989, p.320.

LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt, for 1639 painting, Bredius 356, Corpus A131):
Lippmann, IV, no.88; Kleinmann, III, no.39; Bode, 1897-1906, II, 1900, p.140, under no.274; Bell, c.1905, p.7, repr. pl.X; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.900; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.56, repr. pl.I; Hofstede de Groot, 1916/15, p.386, under no.845; Kramar, 1926, p.37; Weisbach, 1926, pp.271-2, repr. fig.75; Van Dyke, 1927, p.30, repr. pl.II, fig.5 (the painting by Lievens, based on the drawing); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.722, repr.; Benesch, 1935, p.28; Bredius, 1937/35, p.15, under no.356; Benesch, 1947, no.102, repr.; Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.442, repr. fig.493/530; van Eeghen, 1956, pp.166-9 (identifies sitter as Maria Trip); Exh. Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 1956, p.81, under no.38; van Gelder, 1961, p.150; White, 1962, pl.15; Slive, 1965, II, no.537 (painting perhaps cut); Bauch, 1966, p.25, under no.498; Gerson, 1968, p.88 and 496 under no.194, repr. p.304, fig.a (shows that the painting has been cut); Bredius-Gerson, 1969, under no.356; Haak, 1969/68, p.155, repr. fig.243 (a 'modello'); White, 1969, I, p.162; Exh. Vienna, 1970-71, p.105, under no.177 (compares etched portrait of 'Ephraim Bonus', Bartsch 278, Hind 226); Exh. Amsterdam, 1973, p.26, under no.56 (compares Benesch 757, Rotterdam, and drawing attrib. to S. Koninck in Institut Néerlandais, Sumowski 1529); Haak, 1976/74, no.29, repr.; Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.258; van de Wetering, 1977, p.41, n.44; Dudok van Heel, 1979, p.25 (on sitter, see above); van de Wetering in Corpus, I, 1982, p.22, n.42; Bruyn, 1983, p.54, n.14 (made to prepare change while executing the painting); Schatborn, 1983, p.458 (frame included perhaps to see how painting would look in its final form); Amsterdam, 1985, p.24, under no.10, n.7; Starcky, 1985, p.262; Rotterdam, 1988, p.66, under no.15 (compared to Benesch 757); Corpus, III, 1989, pp.318-20, repr. fig.5 (made to clarify changes made when the portrait was at an advanced stage); Royalton-Kisch, 1989 (1990), p.138, repr. fig.20 (see n.3 above); Exh. Berlin-Amsterdam-London, 1991-2[I], pp.17-18, repr. fig.17a, and p.92, n.11 (compares Rotterdam 'Seated Old Woman', Benesch 757; datable iron-gall ink sheet); Royalton-Kisch, 1993[I], pp.182-3 (as Exh. London, 1992); Schatborn, 1996, pp.221-2, repr. p.401, fig.4; van de Wetering, 1997, pp.75-6, repr. p.79, fig.110; Starcky, 1999, pp.70-71, repr.; Exh. Amsterdam-London, 2000-2001, pp.72 and 160, repr. p.72, fig.13; Berlin, 2006, p.88, under no.20.

Associated names
Portrait of Maria Trip (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from Colnaghi (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Samuel Woodburn (his sale, Christie's, 7.vi.1860/760 (?) as 'Rembrandt, Van Rhyn - A lady standing at a window, proba) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Sir Thomas Lawrence (L.2445) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection William Esdaile (L.1617) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); William Esdaile (L.2617; see cat. no.15; 1895,0915.1264); his sale, 17 June, 1840, perhaps lot 26: ‘A Lady standing at a Window, bistre washed, with brilliant effect’, bt S. Woodburn, £1-3-0 (no other description in the catalogue matches the present sheet more closely); purchased from Colnaghi’s, 1891.

Exhibition History
London, Lawrence Gallery, 1835 (see Provenance under Acquisition and cat. no.15; 1895,0915.1264);
1899, BM, no.A28 (for the 1639 painting);
1938, no.56;
1956, p.8, no.9;
1969, Amsterdam, no.54;
1974, BM, Portrait Drawings, no.107;
1992, BM, 'Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle', no.26, repr.in colour (as Corpus, 1989);
2001-2, Edinburgh-London, 'Rembrandt's Women', p.166, no.84.

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