Three studies of an old man in a high fur cap; WL turned almost to l, wearing a long cloak and leaning heavily on a stick. c.1640 Pen and brown ink, with grey-brown wash


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: Gg,2.251

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 24
Royalton-Kisch 2010 33 (Rembrandt)
Benesch 1973 688

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 Ferdinand Bol (?) (biographical details | all objects)
Drawn by Rembrandt (biographical details | all objects)
1640 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Three studies of an old man in a high fur cap; whole-length turned almost to left, wearing a long cloak and leaning heavily on a stick. c.1640
Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash; ruled framing lines in pen and brown ink (The grey wash in combination with brown in the central figure is uncharacteristic for Rembrandt and may be a later addition.)
Verso: see Inscriptions.
No watermark.

Inscription Content: Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower left: 'n° 201' (the numeration in the same style as cat. no.7 (Gg,2.252, Benesch 327); verso, in graphite: '42 [in a circle] ' and, lower left in pen and brown ink: '321 [?]'.

Height: 151 millimetres (top corners made up)
Width: 185 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 26mm apart)

Top corners made up; a few spots of foxing; later grey wash (see note under Description); the sheet may have been cleaned, flattening the general effect, and many ink lines have run.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.33:
Drawings of this type were made by Rembrandt at various times in the 1630s and 1640s (see for example cat. nos.7 and 77, Gg,2.252 and Oo,9.76). Stylistically the present sheet should be placed c.1640 on the basis of a comparison with the 'Kneeling Man' at Bayonne (Benesch 477), which is a study for the etching of the 'Beheading of the Baptist' of that year (Bartsch 92, Hind 171). Both exhibit the same curling outlines with patches of fine shading and the treatment of the hands and faces is also similar. The attribution has been doubted, but the analogies with pupils' works are less convincing than with drawings by Rembrandt.[1]

[1] See Lit. below. Schatborn, 1994, suggests that the drawing is by Ferdinand Bol, but the compiler believes that the condition, and the effect it has had on the outlines, needs to be taken into greater account; and I know of no other Bol drawings which sustain such a correct understanding of form on an extensively worked sheet.

LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt):
Bürger, 1858, p.401; Blanc, II, 1861, p.454; Dutuit, IV, 1885, p.86; Kleinmann, IV, no.64; Bell, c.1905, repr. pl.XXV; Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.917 (c.1631; compares cat. no.7, Gg,2.252); Wurzbach, 1910, p.418; London, 1915, no.24 (c.1630-35); Valentiner, 1925-6, p.277, repr. p.276 (early); Benesch, 1935, p.36 (c.1642-3); Benesch, IV, 1955/73, no.688, repr. fig.826/874 (c.1643-4; compares cat. no.2, T,14.8, Benesch 35); and figure on left of the 'Brethren of Joseph requesting Benjamin', Benesch 541, Rijksmuseum); Fuchs, 1968, p.13, repr. fig.11 (c.1633); Amsterdam, 1985, pp.106-7, n.7 (c.1642-3); Schatborn, 1994, p.22 (Bol; unlike Rembrandt to repeat himself as in two left figures, irregular dark accents in line, as in Rembrandt drawing of 'Holy Family in an Interior'; lack of clarity in form under clothes typical of Bol); Budapest, 2005, p.219, under no.211 (uncertain attribution; compares Budapest drawing the Museum of Fine Arts by a pupil, Benesch 1078); Berlin, 2006, p.180, under no.53, n.2 (Rembrandt; an exercise rather than a genre scene; compares later Berlin drawing, Benesch 1141).

Literature after Royalton-Kisch 2010: P. Schatborn, in H. Bevers et.al. 'Drawings by Rembrandt and his Pupils: Telling the Difference', exh.cat. The J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2009, cat.no.10.2 (as Ferdinand Bol); Holm Bevers, review of Martin Royalton-Kisch's catalogue, in The Burlington Magazine (2013), p.103 (as Ferdinand Bol); P. Schatborn and L. van Sloten, 'Oude Tekeningen, Nieuwe Namen: Rembrandt en tijdgenoten', exh.cat. Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam, 2014, cat.no.3 (as Ferdinand Bol).

disabled (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Probably Neyman sale, Paris, 8 July, 1776, lot 685, with cat. no.7 (Gg,2.252, q.v.); bequeathed by the Rev. C. M. Cracherode, 1799.

Exhibition History
1899, London, no.A10 (c.1631-6);
1938, no.24 (c.1630-35);
1956, p.15, no.4;
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, no.36, repr. in colour (c.1640)
2009/10 Dec-Feb, Los Angeles, J Paul Getty Museum, Rembrandt and his pupils
2014 Jan-Apr, Amsterdam, Rembrandthuis, 'Old Drawings New Names'

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