A forest landscape, with a tree by a pool in the foreground Pen and brown ink


© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1895,0915.1198

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 1680x
Hind 1915-31 27
JCR 730
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Lievens.J.19

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

Forest scene with a large tree by a pool in the foreground; c.1660-70

Pen and brown ink with touches of brown wash, and with greyish-brown wash.

Verso: blank (see Inscriptions).

Watermark: Strasburg lily in crowned shield, letters ‘WR’ below (very indistinct).*
* The watermark seems generally to resemble that on a Lievens drawing in Paris, Institut Néerlandais (collection F. Lugt), inv. no.896, published in Exh. Paris, 1997, no.89; Sumowski 1223x. Compare also Ash and Fletcher, 1998, p.195 (Strasburg Lily C.a), and Amsterdam, 1998, p.242, no.W95 (on two drawings by Simon de Vlieger). On the basis of a poor tracing Hind compared the marks in cat. no.11 (1895,0915.1196) and Wibiral, 1877, pl.III, no.7, but they are variants.

Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, in pen and brown ink, lower left: ‘J Lievens / hoog 11 dm / br 16 d / …lha’; and in graphite, upper centre: ‘738’ and lower left corner: ‘28’. An erased inscription in black chalk, top centre right, apparently beginning: ‘2 […]’.

Height: 260 millimetres
Width: 411 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 26mm apart)

Generally good; a soft vertical crease, centre; some dirt in left corners; two small losses at the left edge, below the centre.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Jan Lievens, cat. no.19:
For the problems posed in attributing landscape drawings to Jan Lievens and his son, Jan Andrea Lievens, see the biography of the latter.
Another version of the drawing was in the collection of Winslow and Anna Ames, Saunderstown, Rhode Island (Sumowski 1679x). In most details the drawings are closely comparable, although the present sheet has an elaborated foreground (possibly cut away from the Ames version, which stops somewhat abruptly beneath the trunk of the main tree). Both are drawn in an equally free style and it is uncertain which of the two is the earlier. The slightly superior modelling of the trees on the far bank, especially those towards the right, might speak for the precedence of the British Museum's version. A closely comparable foreground tree, presumably based on the same specimen, appears at the left margin of a drawing in Berlin (inv.13189; Sumowski 1739x).

Robinson, 1869/76, no.714/730 (as from Lawrence collection, apparently in error); London, 1915, p.88, no.27; Schneider, 1932, no.Z.286; Sumowski, 1980[I], p.371, repr. pl.38 (notes second version in Ames collection Sumowski 1679x; tree on left based on detail of Berlin drawing inv.13189; Sumowski 1739x); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VII, 1983, no.1680x, repr.; Exh. Antwerp-London, 1999, no.54, repr.; Budapest, 2005, p.162, under no.154 (compares Budapest drawing, Sumowski 1690x); Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-9, p.279, under no.138 (Ames version).

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from Col John Wingfield Malcolm (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Malcolm of Poltalloch (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Gérard Leembruggen (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Verstolk van Soelen (according to Leembruggen catalogue); Gérard Leembruggen; his sale, De Vries, Brondgeest and Roos, Amsterdam, 5 March, 1866, lot 356; bought John Malcolm of Poltalloch for 19s-1d; (according to the marked copy of Robinson, 1876, in the British Museum) purchased with his collection, 1895.

Exhibition History
London, 1895, no.399;
London, 1956, p.29, no.8;
London, 1996-7 Sept-Jan, BM, Malcolm Collection, no.88, repr.;
Antwerp-London, 1999, Light of Nature, no.54.

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