Study of a lion drinking from a pail; crouching on the ground to r, the pail between its fore-paws. c.1635-40 Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, heightened with white, over red chalk, on brown prepared paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1895,0915.1272

Bibliographic reference
Royalton-Kisch 2010 126 (anonymous Rembrandt School)
Hind 1915-31 46 (as Rembrandt)
JCR 800

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 (biographical details | all objects)
1635-1640 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A lion drinking from a pail; crouching on the ground to right, the pail between its fore-paws. c.1645-50
Pen and brown ink with brown wash over red chalk, heightened with pale ochre and cream oil paint, on paper prepared brown; ruled framing lines in (apparently the same) pen and brown ink.
Verso: see Inscriptions.
Watermark: pelican in a frame, similar to Heawood 199 (1644).

Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, upper centre, in graphite: '800' and 'C'; lower left: 'Li [?]'; register no. in graphite.

Height: 92 millimetres
Width: 193 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 23/4mm apart)

Generally good; the oil, where thinly applied, gives a patchy or blotched appearance (as in cat.no.127; Oo,9.70). As in cat.no.128 (Oo,9.72), this may be the result of an old attempt at repair.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, ‘Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school’, 2010, anonymous Rembrandt School, cat. no.126.
The drawing is part of the group discussed under no.128 (Oo,9.72). Although the style is here slightly broader, the same draughtsman may have been responsible, and the watermark of 1644 argues against placing it considerably later.
A lion in the same posture, drinking from a pail, but seen from behind, was etched by Picart (1729, no.F.8) from a now lost drawing. Lions with pails are also shown in two school drawings now in Budapest (HdG 1391) and Paris (HdG 633).[2]

[1] Possibly from the collection of Willem Philip Kops; his sale, Amsterdam, 14ff. March, 1808, lot O.10: 'Een rustende Leeuw, als uit een Tobben drinkenden, dito' [i.e. 'pen en roet']. More probably this was the drawing now in the Louvre mentioned below, which appears to have an inscription by Ploos van Amstel on the verso. Kops is known to have acquired three drawings of lions at Ploos van Amstel's sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley et al., 3 March etc, 1800, nos.38, 39 and 42 (according to Schatborn, 1981 - see Lit. below).
[2] As pointed out by Hind in London, 1915, no.46, and by Schatborn, loc. cit. The Louvre's drawing is repr. in Paris, 1933, no.1332, and as there noted by Lugt, seems to have been inscribed by Ploos van Amstel.

Vosmaer, 1868, p.461 (Rembrandt, c.1641; probably ex-Kops collection); Robinson, 1869, no.782; Robinson, 1876, no.800; Vosmaer, 1877, p.528 (as in Vosmaer, 1868); Kleinmann, IV, 28; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.942; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; 'Drawings in the British Museum', 1912, III, 4, repr.; London, 1915, no.46 (Rembrandt, c.1635-40; compares Budapest drawing, HdG 1391); Schatborn, 1981, p.52, n.116 (provenance from Kops and perhaps Ploos van Amstel, or possibly HdG 633 in Paris, Louvre, or HdG 1391 in Budapest; notes similar motif in a lost sheet etched by Picart); Exh. London, 1992, p.190, under no.92, n.4 (school, c.1648-50; grouped with nos.127 and 128 of the present catalogue [Oo,9.70 and Oo,9.72], and with the 'Lion lying down', formerly Rotterdam, Benesch 782 and the 'Lion resting', Chantilly, Benesch 783).

mammal (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from Col John Wingfield Malcolm (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Malcolm of Poltalloch (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Gérard Leembruggen (Amsterdam, 5.iii.1866/476) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
*Please see n.1 under Comment. Gérard Leembruggen Jz.; his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, Engelbertsz, Lamma and Roos, 5 March, 1866, lot 476, bt Robinson, f.23, for Malcolm; John Malcolm of Poltalloch; purchased with his collection, 1895.

Exhibition History
London, 1895, no.383b;
1899, no.A19b;
1938, no.46.

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