Portrait of Admiral Maerten Harpertsz. van Tromp; head turned slightly to r, looking to front, wearing falling collar Black chalk


© The Trustees of the British Museum

  • Full: FrontFull: Front
  • Full: FrontFull: Front

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1836,0811.344

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 1609
Hind 1915-31 7
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Lievens.J.10

Dutch Roy XVIIc

Back to search results

Back to catalogue

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)
1650-1653 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)
British (all objects)

Portrait of Admiral Maerten Tromp (head only); turned slightly to right, looking to front, wearing falling collar. c.1650-53

Black chalk, with black chalk framing lines.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

Watermark: ‘IHS’, the letters ‘PB’ below ( as 1885,0711.276 of c.1663)

Inscription Content: Initialled upper right by the artist in black chalk: ‘IL.’; inscribed verso lower right in pen and brown ink: ‘den Admiraal Marten Tromp / Na't leven getekent door Jan Liev / den Ouden.’; inscribed in pen and pinkish-red ink, probably by Goll van Franckenstein: ‘H 9¼ dm / B. 7dm / Jan Lievens.f. / gebooren Leyden. 1606 / gestorven 1675 / C. No.10’.

Height: 236 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 23/26mm apart)
Width: 180 millimetres

Good; some surface dirt (partly covered cosmetically); the verso ink inscription shows through slightly on the recto.

Curator's comments
Probably a study for the picture by Lievens in the Rijksmuseum (see Hind).

Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Jan Lievens, cat. no.10:
Maerten Harpertzoon Tromp (1597-1653) was one of the most celebrated heroes of the Dutch navy. Born at Brielle, he entered the navy in 1624, being promoted to lieutenant-admiral in 1637. Two conclusive victories over Spain and Portugal in 1639 secured his reputation. In the early 1650s his exploits in the Anglo-Dutch war were less successful, and he was shot dead in action in the English Channel on 29 July 1653. He was buried in Delft. His second son, Cornelis (1629-91), was also a famous admiral.
The present drawing evidently portrays Tromp in his last years (perhaps soon before his death in 1653). Although possibly drawn from life, it seems from the style to be later, and may depend on a now lost drawing, dated 1652, that was recorded in the Mayor and Roupell collections.[1] At all events the present work appears to have been used, albeit with some differences, for Lievens' posthumous painted portrait of Tromp, now in the Rijksmuseum, which shows him three-quarter-length in armour.[2] This is believed to date from rather later than 1653,[3] and is one of several portraits of Tromp by Lievens now known or recorded.[4] The later date is supported by the watermark, which is identical to that on a drawing of around 1663 in the British Museum by Lambert Doomer (here cat. no.12; 1885,0711.276).
An etching after the present drawing was made in 1800 by Johannes de Frey.[5]

[1] William Mayor Collection catalogue, 1875, p.134, no.649; R.P. Roupell sale, Frankfurt, 6 December, 1888, lot 66.
[2] Inv. A838; Sumowski, 'Gemälde', III, 1983, no.1296, repr. Canvas, 134 x 101 cm.
[3] Schneider, 1932/73, p.152, no.265.
[4] Ibid., nos.265a-f. Schneider also mentions the print by Cornelis van Dalen, and a medal by Jan Loeff, which is probably based on the engraving.
[5] Hollstein, XI, p.79, no.11 (see 1836,0811.344 and 1868,0808.2587).

'British Museum Reproductions', III, 1893, no.6; London, 1915, p.85, no.7, repr. pl.LIII (for painting in Rijksmuseum); Van Dyke, 1927, p.104 ('later manner'); Schneider, 1932/73, no.Z.73 (etched 1801 by Frey; provenance before Ploos van Amstel; version in Mayor and Roupell collections); Henkel, 1935, p.245 (compares supposed portrait of Rembrandt by Lievens then in Welcker collection [now Leiden Prentenkabinet, inv.AW1; Sumowski 1756xx]); Hollstein, XI, p.79, under no.11; Sumowski, 1979 etc., VII, 1983, no.1609, repr. (based on the lost version; made at time of the painting in Rijksmuseum and the basis for other depictions of Tromp by Lievens - see above); Exh. Washington-Milwaukee-Amsterdam, 2008-9, no.116, repr. (c.1652)

This drawing was issued as a coloured facsimile by the British Museum in 'Reproductions of Drawings by Old Masters in the British Museum', Part III, Published by the Trustees, in 1893 where it was number VI and described there as 'Jan Livens, Portrait of Admiral Tromp.'

Associated names
Portrait of Maerten van Tromp (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from William Smith, the printseller (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet (?) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Sheepshanks (L.2333) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Cornelis Ploos van Amstel (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
J. de Bosch; his sale, Amsterdam, de Bosch, Yver, et al., 5 October, 1767, Portfolio D, no.253, bt Mettayer, f.14-5s; Cornelis Ploos van Amstel (L.3002-4); his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley et al., 3 March etc., 1800, kunstboek DDD, no.12, bt Josi, f.12; sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley, Pruyssenaar, et al., 22 March, 1802, kunstboek Y, no.46, bt La Boucher, f.49; Sir Francis Baring;* John Sheepshanks (L.2333); purchased with his collection through Messrs Smith, 1836. * As recorded by Hind (London, 1915, no.7), an impression in the British Museum of the print by Cornelis van Dalen (Hollstein 157) after the related painting by Lievens is inscribed: ‘the drawing in the collection of Sir F. Baring, now in the British Museum’.

Exhibition History
1974 July-Dec, BM, Portrait Drawings, no.111, repr.
2008/9 Oct-Jan, Washington, NG of Art, Jan Lievens (1607-1674)
2009 May-Aug, Amsterdam, Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Jan Lievens (1607-1674)

Noticed a mistake? Have some extra information about this object? Please contact us

To bookmark this page select "Bookmark this page" or "Add to favourites" from the web browser menu.