Scene in the courtyard of a house; with a milk-seller delivering milk, figures just visible through an open door behind Pen and brown ink, with brown and grey wash, touched with white (oxidised)


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1895,0915.1201

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 1215x (Hoogstraten)
Hind 1915-31 2 (as Maes)
JCR 733
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Hoogstraten.6

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 Samuel van Hoogstraten (biographical details | all objects)
Formerly attributed to Nicolaes Maes (biographical details | all objects)
1660-1665 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A milkmaid, a woman and two children in a courtyard; figures just visible through an open door behind. c.1660-65

Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash, heightened with white; framing-lines in pen and grey ink.

Verso: inscriptions only.

No watermark.

Inscription Content: Verso: in graphite, top centre: ‘733’; lower right centre: ‘5/2’; lower centre: ‘of D Maas’; lower left corner: ‘15’.

Height: 132 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 23/26mm apart)
Width: 183 millimetres

Whites have oxidised; a few old minor spots and stains.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Samuel van Hoogstraten, cat. no.6:
The recently suggested attribution to Samuel van Hoogstraten has much to recommend it,[1] but some reservations are due. The style is related only to a few drawings which are themselves only attributable to Van Hoogstraten without entirely secure connections. The most persuasive analogies are with the drawing in Leipzig depicting a 'Quarrel in front of a House'.[2] The configuration of the background foliage is especially close, despite the change in scale. Yet the figures in the British Museum drawing are somewhat less characteristic of the artist, and appear more stilted in draughtsmanship. Comparable background foliage appears in the signed drawing of 'Elisha and the Shunamite Woman' in the Abrams Collection,[3] but for the figures one can only point, among the securely attributed drawings, to the signed 'Eliezer and Rebecca' in Berlin,[4] in which the hatching in the main figures and the schematic description of those in the background have elements in common with the present work. It may be a late work of around 1660 or later - poorly charted territory in Van Hoogstraten's draughtsmanship - making it difficult to provide safe grounds for the attribution.

[1] Put forward by Sumowski, 1979 etc., V, 1981, no.1215x, repr..
[2] Inv. NI 4654, Sumowski, op. cit., no.1214x, repr. Exh. Amsterdam-Vienna-New York-Cambridge, 1991-2, no.46, repr., where dated c.1650.
[3] Sumowski, op. cit., no.1115, repr..
[4] Sumowski, op. cit., no.1117, repr..

LITERATURE (as Maes unless stated otherwise):
Robinson, 1869/76, no.718/733; London, 1915, p.90, no.2, repr. pl.LVIII (compares drawing with Milkmaid in Dresden [Sumowski 1868x]); Valentiner, 1923[I], p.21 (attrib. not entirely certain); Valentiner, 1924, p.56, repr. fig.65 (as London, 1915, also comparing 'Market scene' now in New York, Metropolitan, inv.47.127.4 [Sumowski 1876x]; dates 1655-60); Van Dyke, 1927, p.112 (attribution to Maes uncertain); Hell, 1930, p.123, n.2; compares setting to 'Return of Prodigal Son' in Dresden, Benesch 1017); Bernt, 1957, II, no.382, repr.; Exh. Cambridge, 1966, under no.43 (as London, 1915, also relating to drawings of milk-sellers in Cambridge and paintings of milk-sellers); Sumowski, 1979 etc., V, 1981, no.1215x (attributed to Van Hoogstraten, comparing especially 'Quarrel before a House' in Dresden, inv.NI 4654, Sumowski 1214x); Exh. Bremen, 2000-01, p.88, under no.40 (as Sumowski, 1981; pure genre subjects not common in Hoogstraten's work).

merchant (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from Col John Wingfield Malcolm (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Malcolm of Poltalloch (paid £2-9-6) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Gérard Leembruggen (his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, Engelberts, Lamma and Roos, 5 March, 1866, No 384) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Hoofdman (according to Leembruggen catalogue) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
‘Hoofdman’ (according to Leembruggen catalogue - no Hoofdman is recorded by Lugt; nor can the drawing be identified in the 'Hoofman' sales in Amsterdam, 19th Oct. 1818 and following days, or in Haarlem, 9-17 [advanced to 2nd] June, 1846); Gérard Leembruggen Jz.; his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, Engelberts, Lamma and Roos, 5 March, 1866, lot 384, as from Hoofdman collection (bt for Malcolm, who paid £2-9-6 - according to annotated copy of Robinson, 1876, in the British Museum); John Malcolm of Poltalloch; purchased with his collection, 1895.

Exhibition History
London, 1895, no.393b (attribution to Maes uncertain).

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