Christ before the High Priest; an old man standing behind the High Priest who is seated at r, Christ kneeling at l and a weeping woman behind. 1658 Pen and brown ink, with grey-brown wash, corrected(?) in white (oxidised)


© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1946,0713.158

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 1319
Hind 1915-31 Add.13
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Koninck.P.1
Phillipps-Fenwick 1935 p.189(1)

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)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Daniel proving Susannah's innocence; formerly identified as Christ before the High Priest, with an old man standing behind the seated, mitre-wearing figure at right, long-haired figure kneeling at left and a weeping woman behind. 1658

Pen and brown and grey-brown ink with brown wash, heightened with white; part of a framing line in graphite, upper left.

Verso: see Inscriptions (there are also some ink smudges).

Watermark: arms of Amsterdam (similar to Hinterding variant N.a; identical to that on P. Koninck cat. no.5 [Oo,10.172]).

Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, upper right, in pen and brown ink: ‘Philips Koning’ and in red chalk: ‘.1658’; lower centre, in graphite: ‘1535/4 [Woodburn's sale reference]’.

Height: 196 millimetres
Width: 285 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 23/26mm apart)

Some slight general discolouration; repairs to top and lower left corners; some oxidation of the lead white pigment.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Philips Koninck, cat. no.1:
The subject of the drawing is taken from the Apocrypha, the 'History of Susannah': Daniel proves Susannah's innocence of charges of adultery by questioning her false accusers, the two elders, separately.
A similar weeping woman appears in Koninck's drawing of 'Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery', now in Berlin, and it has been suggested that both versions of the figure depend on a now lost sheet of studies.[1]
The date on the verso, 1658, appears only on this drawing by Koninck, and shows him strongly attached to a Rembrandtesque manner at this period. No related painting is known, and the drawing may have been an end in itself - Koninck made few paintings of religious subjects.

[1] By Sumowski (see Lit. below), who noted the similarity with the drawing in Berlin (Inv.5671, repr. Sumowski 1380x).

Popham, 1935, p.189, no.1, repr. pl.LXXX; Amsterdam, 1981, p.154, n.7 (subject as 'Christ before the High Priest'; earliest dated drawing by the artist); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VI, 1982, no.1319, repr. (subject is 'Daniel proves Susannah's Innocence'; weeping woman also appears in a sketch in Berlin of 'Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery', Inv.5671, Sumowski 1380x and was probably based on a now lost sheet of studies).

old testament (all objects)

Associated names
Representation of Jesus Christ (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Donated by The Art Fund (as NACF) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Samuel Woodburn (Christie's, 14.vi.1860/1535 as 'Two landscapes in the school of Rembrandt; a man's head by Renesse;) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Sir Thomas Phillipps (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection William Young Ottley (T Philipe, 11.vi.1814/702 as 'Koning - One - a historical subject - pen and wash - fine effect', sol) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Thomas Fitzroy Fenwick (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Henry George Bohn (?) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Samuel Woodburn; his sale, Christie's, 10th day, 14 June 1860, lot 1535, bt Boone, with three others, £2-15s;* Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart.; T.F.P. Fenwick; presented anonymously with the Phillipps-Fenwick collection, 1946. *The other drawings are the anonymous drawing now attributed to Drost cat. no.11 (1946,0713.169), Furnerius cat. no.8 (1946,0713.144), and Renesse cat. no.3 (1946,0713.170).

Exhibition History
London, 1956, p.33, no.2;
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle (not in catalogue);
2003-4 Dec-April, BM, NACF exhibition

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