Hagar and Ishmael; Hagar with her l hand to her face, weeping, and Ishmael carrying bow and arrow to her l. c.1660-65 Pen and brown ink


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1910,0212.176

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 2344(a)xx (Victors)
Hind 1915-31 36 (as Rembrandt)
Benesch 1973 648
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Gelder.1

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Attributed to Arent de Gelder (biographical details | all objects)
Formerly attributed to Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
1660-1665 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Hagar and Ishmael; Hagar with her left hand to her face, weeping, and Ishmael carrying bow and arrow to her left. c.1660-65
Pen and brown ink, touched with white.
Verso: laid down.
No visible or recorded watermark.

Inscription Content: Inscribed on old backing, in graphite: ‘Carew’s Collection.’.

Height: 140 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 25/27mm apart)
Width: 96 millimetres

Good; some old staining, mainly in the upper half of the sheet.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Aert de Gelder, cat. no.1:
For the subject, see 1860,0616.121. The drawing's attribution to Rembrandt has been doubted in the past.[1] Stylistically it depends on Rembrandt's work of the 1650s, but an attribution to the master cannot be substantiated on the basis of comparisons with unquestioned drawings of this period.[2] It is more probably by a pupil active in Rembrandt's studio in c.1655 or later, such as Aert de Gelder, and has been justifiably compared to the 'Dismissal of Hagar' in Berlin (Benesch 649 recto).[3] The somewhat fragmented line and the parallel vertical strokes in the figure of Ishmael resemble the style of several drawings now attributed to de Gelder, such as the Chicago study of 'Joseph's Cloak shown to Jacob' (Sumowski 1068x). On the verso of the Berlin sheet is a 'Study of an Oriental' with analogies to de Gelder's best authenticated drawing, the 'Group of Orientals' in a private collection (Sumowski 1052, now in the Abrams Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass.). Yet de Gelder's early style as a draughtsman remains poorly documented and the attribution is therefore advanced with reservations.

[1] By Falck and Valentiner, although accepted by Hamann and Benesch (see Lit. below).
[2] Compare, for example, the signed and dated drawing of 'Homer' in the Six album of 1652 (Benesch 913).
[3] Now generally rejected; see 1860,0616.121, n.1. Valentiner, 1925, no.24 and under no.25, was the first to make the comparison.

LITERATURE (as Rembrandt unless otherwise stated):
Waagen, IV, 1857, p.215 (in James' coll.); Brunet, 1866, p.260 (as Waagen, 1857); Michel, 1893, p.585 (listed with 1910,0212.175, then in Salting coll; ex-'Carrew' coll.); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1116; London, 1915, no.36, repr. pl.VII (c.1635-40); Valentiner, I, 1925, no.25 (c.1646-8; compares 'Dismissal of Hagar' in Berlin, Benesch 649, both drawings being doubtful, as noted by Falck [without giving a reference]); Berlin, 1930, p.221, under no.5278 (compares Benesch 649, Berlin, dated c.1648-50); Benesch, 1935, p.42 (c.1648-50; compares Benesch 649 [see above] and 'Esau selling his Birthright', Benesch 647, Berlin, on which see under cat. no.37, n.3); Hamann, 1936, pp.551-2, repr. fig.114 (compares school drawing in Munich for motifs [Munich, 1973, no.1208, repr. II, pl.332; the analogies distant] and Benesch 649, Berlin [see above]); Benesch, III, 1955/73, no.648, repr. fig.779/822 (as in 1935, but dated c.1649-50); Sumowski, 1979 etc., X, 1992, no.2344axx, repr. (attributed to Jan Victors, as also Berlin drawing mentioned above, Benesch 649); White, 1992, p.268 (as Exh. London, 1992); Schatborn, 1994, p.24 (as Exh. London, 1992); Berlin, 2006, p.216, n.134 (as Exh. London, 1992).

old testament (all objects)

Associated names
Representation of Ishmael (biographical details | all objects)
Representation of Hagar (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by George Salting (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Rt Hon Reginald Pole Carew (?) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Andrew James (his sale, Christie’s, 28 April, 1873, lot 64, bt Salting £1-10-0) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Carew,* perhaps Reginald Pole Carew sale, Wheatley’s, second day, 14 May, 1835, lot 244: ‘Departure of Hagar and Ishmael’, bt Palser, 6s, with one other (‘Hagar Lamenting in the Desert’; both described as ‘spirited sketches’); Andrew James; his sale, Christie’s, 28 April, 1873, lot 64, bt Salting £1-10-0; George Salting, by whom bequeathed, 1910. * As ‘Carrew’ in Michel, 1893, and Hofstede de Groot, 1906, ‘Carew’ elsewhere. Presumably Pole Carew, as noted above, in which case it was in the James coll. only later, not before (as earlier writers have presumed).

Exhibition History
London, 1910, p.5;
1912, no.158;
1938, no.36 (c.1635-40 or later);
1956, p.24, no.4;
1992, no.105, repr. (as attrib. to de Gelder).

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