The Rhine, W of Arnhem; with boats moored on the river near a low bank with trees Pen and brown ink, on pale brown paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1949,0411.96

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 Add.28e
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Lievens.J.25

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 Jan Lievens (biographical details | all objects)
1663 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

View of the Rhine, west of Arnhem; with boats moored on the river near a low bank with trees. c.1663

Pen and brown ink, on oriental paper.

Verso: see inscriptions.

No watermark (oriental paper).

Inscription Content: Inscribed verso: in graphite, in a 17th-18th century hand, lower centre: ‘Cappelle’.

Height: 117 millimetres (no chain lines - oriental paper)
Width: 186 millimetres

Generally good; a vertical crease about 17mm. from left; some (accidental?) scraping in the centre; two minor losses at left edge.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Jan Lievens, cat. no.25:
For the problems posed in attributing landscape drawings to Jan Lievens and his son, Jan Andrea Lievens, see the biography of the latter.
In style the drawing is inseparable from cat. no.26 (1910,0212.155), qv.[1] Lievens produced another view of the scene looking in the same direction but from a higher viewpoint immediately behind the spot where the present view was taken (Paris, Institut Néerlandais, collection F. Lugt).[2] The Paris drawing is also on oriental paper, has similar dimensions, shares the same provenance, and has a similar early inscription with the name Cappelle on the verso.[3] Presumably they came from the same sketchbook.
The same view or area was represented several times by different artists, including that by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout in the British Museum, which is taken from a few hundred yards away (van den Eeckhout cat. no.14; 1848,1125.1). As stated there, drawings of this area by the latter are dated in both 1661 and 1663, and although uncertain, it could be that the present drawing was made on a joint sketching expedition at this time. Indeed, van den Eeckhout's drawing of 1663 (Teyler Museum, Haarlem) is extremely close in composition to the present sheet.[4] The boats are moored in such identical positions that it seems very likely that both artists drew the motif together, despite the discrepancies in the foliage and some other, minor details. Another version, by Jacob Esselens (1626-1687) is equally close (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh).[5] Although usually dismissed as a copy after the drawing in Haarlem, its details are in many respects clearer, especially with regard to the foliage in the distance on the left, and Esselens may also have been in the sketching-party.
It has been suggested that these artists were travelling to Cleves together, as in a letter of 1664, Lievens mentions his 'Cleefsche reys' or journey to Cleves.[6]

[1] As noted by Parker, 1928 (see Lit. below).
[2] See Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-8, no.92, repr.
[3] It was in the same lot in the De Vos sale, and was later also in the Heseltine collection. No works are specifically attributed to Lievens in Jan van de Cappelle's inventory of 1680 (see Bredius, 1892).
[4] Inv. P* no.62 (Sumowski 690; Haarlem, 1997, no.126, repr.).
[5] Inv. D 1154. The drawing carries a signature or early inscription to Esselens and is typical of his work. See Edinburgh, 1985, vol. I, p.26, no.D 1154, repr. vol.II, fig.168.
[6] See Schneider, 1932, p.300.

LITERATURE (always as Lievens):
Parker, 1928, p.46, repr. fig.9 (a copy in Edinburgh inscribed as by Esselens shows BM drawing trimmed; similar scene by Eeckhout in BM [cat. no.14; 1848,1125.1]; notes through Hind's entry on the latter the version in Haarlem, Teylers Museum, inv.P* no.62); Schneider, 1932, no.Z.195 (as Parker, 1928, and Exh. London, 1929; notes provenance before Dodgson); Exh. Brussels-Rotterdam-Paris-Berne, 1968-9, p.98, under no.95 (notes version in Paris, Lugt; notes 1663 date of Haarlem version; suggests the artists may have travelled together; copy perhaps after Edinburgh version by Rutgers is in Museum van Gijn, Dordrecht); Schneider-Ekkart, 1973 ed., p.367; Amsterdam, 1981, p.123, under no.32 (additionally notes Eeckhout drawing of Arnhem from the west in Berlin); Sumowski, 1979 etc., III, 1980, p.1490, under no.690 (as 'to be discussed the chapter “The Students of the Students” in the final volume [therefore perhaps by J.A. Lievens?]); Edinburgh, 1985, under no.D1154 (discussing Esselens in Edinburgh; see further in the present catalogue under Eeckhout, cat. no.14 [1848,1125.1]); Haarlem, 1997, p.141, under no.126 (cataloguing Eeckhout version in Haarlem; see further under Eeckhout, cat. no.14 [1848,1125.1]); Exh. Paris-Haarlem, 1997-8, pp.206-8, under no.92 (discussing Lugt drawing, which was the basis for the Rutgers drawing [mentioned in Exh. Brussels-Rotterdam-Paris-Berne, 1968-9, p.98, under no.95]).

Associated places
Topographic representation of Arnhem (near) (all objects)
Topographic representation of Rhine, River (all objects)
(Europe,River Rhine)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Campbell Dodgson (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Jacob de Vos Jacobsz. (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Obach & Co (bought by Campbell Dodgson) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Postle Heseltine (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
According to Dodgson's inventory card, purchased by him from Obach & Co in 1912, ex-Heseltine collection. Jacob de Vos Jbzn (L.1450); his sale, Amsterdam, van Dijck, Roos, Muller, Pappelendam, Schouten and van Gogh, 22-4 May, 1883, one of three drawings in lot 307, bt Heseltine; J.P. Heseltine (L.1507; not identifiable in his sale catalogue or listed there as by Lievens); Obach and Co., London, from whom purchased by Campbell Dodgson; bequeathed by Campbell Dodgson, 1949.

Exhibition History
London, 1929, p.243 and 1929[I], p.218, no.649 (as Parker, 1928 [see Lit. under Comment]).

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