drawing

Adoration of the Shepherds; the Virgin and Joseph kneeling on either side of the wooden cradle on which lies the Infant Christ, two shepherds kneeling to r, two standing behind to l, four angels above and a ruined wall beyond. 1680 Brush drawing in brown and red wash; continued on another sheet at top possibly by another hand

AN213145001001

© The Trustees of the British Museum

  • Full: FrontFull: Front

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1912,1214.14

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 1
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Gelder.4

Location:
Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

Materials
paper (all objects)
Techniques
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Attributed to Arent de Gelder (biographical details | all objects)
Date
1670-1700 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)


Description
The Adoration of the Shepherds; the Virgin and Joseph kneeling on either side of the wooden cradle on which lies the Infant Christ, two shepherds kneeling to right, two standing behind to left, four angels above and a ruined wall beyond. c.1670-1700

Pen and brown ink with brown and red-brown wash.

Verso: laid down on backing paper.

Watermark: an oval mark with two flowers within a double-line border is in the backing-paper (somewhat similar to Heawood 4055).

Inscriptions
Inscription Content: Inscribed centre, in pen and brown ink: ‘Arnd de Gelder / 1680 [the ‘d’ of ‘Arnd’ in superscript, the '6' reversed]’; an illegible, but apparently seventeenth-century pen and ink inscription is detectable through the backing paper, perhaps a draught for a letter.


Dimensions
Height: 357 millimetres
Width: 264 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, distance apart uncertain)


Condition
Generally good; a horizontal fold across the centre; a separate patch at top left and an added strip across the top (27mm deep).

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Aert de Gelder, cat. no.4:
Probably based on a sixteenth-century, North Italian composition, the old attribution of the drawing to de Gelder is surprising, and probably wrong. Yet its broad, somewhat coarse painterly qualities, which reflect Rembrandt's late manner, inspire some caution before dismissing the attribution to his last pupil altogether; it is therefore kept under its traditional name. The technique of drawing with the brush in warm tones of ink has some points in common with works by Giovanni Battista Castiglione.

LITERATURE :
London, 1915, pp.78-9, no.1 repr. pl.XLV (doubtful as de Gelder; also doubted by Hofstede de Groot); Benesch, 1922, p.42 (doubtful); Van Dyke, 1927, p.80 (not de Gelder).


Subject
adoration of shepherds (all objects)

Associated names
Representation of Virgin Mary (biographical details | all objects)
Representation of St Joseph (biographical details | all objects)
Representation of Jesus Christ (biographical details | all objects)


Acquisition date
1912

Acquisition name
Donated by Sir Otto Beit (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Joseph van Haecken (L.2516) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection William Roscoe (his sale, Liverpool, 23 etc. September, 1816, 4th day, lot 505, bt Esdaile, £2-2-0) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Postle Heseltine (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection William Esdaile (L.2617, twice); his sale, Christie's, 6th day, 24 June, 1840, lot 1103, bt Gibbs, 2s-6d) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Joseph van Haecken (L.2516); William Roscoe; his sale, Liverpool, 23 etc. September, 1816, 4th day, lot 505, bt Esdaile, £2-2-0; William Esdaile (L.2617, twice); his sale, Christie's, 6th day, 24 June, 1840, lot 1103, bt Gibbs, 2s-6d; presented by Otto Beit, 1912 (belonged to J.P. Heseltine according to London, 1915 (see Lit. under Comment); but there is no sign of his mark. Other drawings presented the British Museum by Otto Beit in 1912 included items sold by Heseltine to Colnaghi's (see, for example, Flinck cat. no.2 ; 1912,1214.13), and the present sheet may have been assumed, wrongly, to have belonged to Heseltine as well.


Exhibition History
London, 1914, no.32 (attribution not accepted without reserve).


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