A pregnant woman standing; WL to r, looking round to front, wearing a turban, her arms folded in front. c.1639 Pen and brown ink, on brown prepared paper Verso: Sketch of a young woman, standing in profile to l Pen and brown ink


© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1910,0212.184

Bibliographic reference
Benesch 1973 246
Royalton-Kisch 2010 26 (Rembrandt)
Hind 1915-31 27

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 pregnant woman standing; whole-length to right, looking round to front, wearing a turban, her arms folded in front. c.1639
Pen and brown iron-gall ink on paper prepared with brown wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink.
Verso: sketch of a young woman, standing.
Watermark: fragment only visible: a circular motif with part of a rectilinear form in the centre, similar to Churchill 544 (1640) and Voorn 26 (1641).

Height: 165 millimetres
Width: 111 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 23/24mm apart)

Generally good, though with some old fox-marks; an old water stain down the left side; small loss at lower right corner; the iron-gall ink has run slightly and bitten into the paper.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.26:
From the same series of figure studies as cat. no.25 (inv. no.1910,0212.181), q.v., where the dating c.1639 is explained.
The same watermark appears on at least three other drawings of the same period and executed in the same style: the 'Boy walking with a Stick' and the Cow in a Shed', both in the Rijksmuseum (the former not in Benesch, inv.1984:119; the latter Benesch 393, inv.1930:59),[1] and the 'Three Studies of a Woman with a Child' in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (Benesch 226). The model in the centre of the New York drawing resembles the young woman on the verso of the present sheet[2] and these sketches must all have been made at about the same time.[3]

[1] See Amsterdam, 1985, nos.13 and 15 respectively.
[2] The connection first made in Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960 (see Lit. below).
[3] A drawing of a similar figure to that on the recto, but with the head in profile, was on the London and then Amsterdam art market, but does not seem to be by Rembrandt (136 x 59 mm [27h], in greenish dark brown ink; ex J. Reynolds collection, L.2364), differing in technique/material and style.

LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt):
Michel, 1893, p.58; (in Salting coll.); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.1124; London, 1915, no.27, repr. pl.V (c.1635); Valentiner, 1923, repr. pl.116, fig.8; Benesch, 1935, p.16 (c.1632-3); Benesch, II, 1954/73, no.246, repr. figs.265-6/288 and 291 (c.1633-4); Drost, 1957, p.177, repr. fig.193 (compares Elsheimer); Exh. New York-Cambridge, 1960, p.19, under no.20 (see n.2 above); Benesch, 1964, p.112 (reprinted 1970, p.251); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. pp.82-3; Exh. New York-Paris, 1977-8, p.126, under no.86 (relates to 'Studies for Disciple at Emmaus', Lugt coll., Benesch 87); Exh. Paris-Antwerp-London-New York, 1979-80, p.98, under no.67 (follows Benesch).

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by George Salting (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Samuel Woodburn (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Jan Danser Nijman (?) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Thomas Dimsdale (L.2426) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Perhaps Neyman sale, Paris, 8 July, 1776, part of lot 686: ‘Quatre autres études très-spirituellement touchées, de figures debout, dont une femme enceinte, & c.’, sold for 11.16 livres; T. Dimsdale (L.2426 on verso); Samuel Woodburn (see verso inscription); bequeathed by George Salting, 1910. Woodburn supplied Dimsdale with most of his drawings but also bought back his collection after Dimsdale’s death in 1823. The order of ownership is therefore uncertain and the drawing may have passed through Woodburn’s hands twice. No description in any of the Woodburn sales precisely matches the present drawing, although many figure studies by Rembrandt are listed without detailed descriptions. Inscribed on verso in lower left, in graphite: 'Woodburn S.'; above this and written at right angle to it, also in graphite: '1861 / £100'.

Exhibition History
London, Royal Academy, 1899, no.157;
British Museum, 1910, p.5;
1912, no.155;
1938, no.27 (c.1635);
1956, p.15, no.19;
1992, 'Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle', no.29, repr. in colour (c.1639);
2001-2, Edinburgh-London, 'Rembrandt's Women', p.160, no.78.

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