Two studies of a beggar; WL standing almost to l, and to front, arms folded into large sleeves and wearing a floppy hat Pen and brown ink, with grey-brown wash, on buff paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1920,1116.14

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 1351
Hind 1915-31 Add.11
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Koninck.P.3

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 Philips Koninck (biographical details | all objects)
1662 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Two studies of an oriental figure; formerly identified as a beggar, whole-length standing almost to left, and to front, arms folded into large sleeves and wearing a floppy hat. c.1662

Pen and reed pen and brown ink with brown wash on pale brown oriental paper; framing lines in pen and brown ink.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

No watermark (oriental paper).

Inscription Content: Inscribed lower right, in pen and brown ink: ‘P Koning. f.’; although laid down, two inscriptions on the verso are visible through the sheet: top left, in pen and brown ink: ‘No44’; and top right an indecipherable red chalk inscription.

Height: 149 millimetres (no chain lines - oriental paper)
Width: 184 millimetres

Some tears, especially at lower right, now held together by the backing; a few other scuffs, the most noticeable near the right hip of the right-hand figure.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Philips Koninck, cat. no.3:
The figure seems to be an oriental, perhaps a sailor, as has previously been suggested.[1] The pose remains the same in the two studies, as does the direction of the light. It therefore seems possible that the artist worked from a figure (or figurine) turned in different directions.
No strictly comparable works by Koninck are known, but there is no reason to doubt the early attribution inscribed on the drawing.[2] The style suggests a date in the early 1660s,[3] and is not far removed from that practised by Rembrandt and his pupil Aert de Gelder at approximately the same time or somewhat later.[4]

[1] By Gerson, 1936 (see Lit. below). Hind, in London, 1931, described him as a beggar; Giltaij, 1995, no doubt reminded of a modern straightjacket by the voluminous sleeves, thought the figure a lunatic.
[2] An Italianate landscape drawing in the British Museum, attributed by Hind to Breenbergh (H.24; 1871,1209.6288), has a comparable inscription which seems unlikely to be Koninck's signature (although the drawing was accepted as autograph by Gerson, 1936, no.Z.56, and has been kept recently under Koninck's name). See further on Koninck's signatures Amsterdam, 1981, p.161.
[3] Cf. the 'Three Nuns' in the Teyler Museum, Haarlem, dated 1662 ( Haarlem, 1997, no.228; inv.P*21, Sumowski 1338). Sumowski, 1982 (see Lit. below) preferred a date in the 1670s.
[4] Cf. the drawing of a 'Walking Man in a high Cap' in the Rijksmuseum (Benesch 1068B; Amsterdam, 1985, no.48, repr.) and de Gelder's studies of oriental figures, especially those now in the Abrams collection, Boston (Sumowski 1052), Rotterdam (R.122; Sumowski 1053x) and Paris (inv. RF. 4.669; Sumowski 1054x).

London, 1931, p.141, no.Add.11; Gerson, 1936, p.79 and no.Z.236 (dates c.1662, comparing 'Three Nuns' of that year in the Teyler Museum, Haarlem, P*21, Sumowski 1338); Amsterdam, 1981, p.161, n.10 (concerning signatures); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VI, 1982, no.1351, repr. (relates in date to 1671 'Lamentation' in Braunschweig, Inv.376, Sumowski 1353); Giltaij, 1995, p.102 (represents a lunatic).

oriental costume (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased through Colnaghi (biographical details | all objects)
Purchased from Capt Edward G Spencer-Churchill (Sotheby's, 1-4.xi.1920/164 bt Colnaghi for BM £13-2-6) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Rushout, 2nd Baron Northwick (and by descent to Spencer-Churchill) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Possibly J. Gosche van Oudshoorn sale, Amsterdam, 10 April, 1787, lot 129; John, Lord Northwick; his sale, Sotheby's, 2nd day, 2 November, 1920, lot 164, bt Colnaghi for BM, £12-10-0.

Exhibition History
London, 1956, p.33, no.3;
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle (not in catalogue).

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