Study of a man seated, playing the lute; WL to front, looking r, his l arm resting on a table Black chalk, heightened with white, on blue paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1895,0915.1161

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 3
JCR 699
Sumowski 1979 continuing 886
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Flinck.5

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 Govert Flinck (biographical details | all objects)
1650 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A man seated playing the lute; whole-length to front, looking right, his left arm resting on a table. c.1650

Black chalk, heightened with white, on blue paper; framing line in pen and dark grey ink.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

No watermark.

Inscription Content: Signed lower left, in black chalk (reinforced, perhaps by the artist, in pen and brown ink): ‘G. flinck f’; inscribed verso, in graphite, top centre: ‘699’ and lower right: ‘11’; lower left, in pen and brown ink: ‘2184’.

Height: 319 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 25/26mm apart)
Width: 213 millimetres

Generally good; the paper has discoloured slightly to a pale brownish-blue tint; a glue stain is apparent down the left side, with behind this the residue from an old, white backing on the verso.

Curator's comments
According to Hind, drawn in a similar manner to drawings by Ter Borch.

Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Govert Flinck, cat. no.5:
One of Flinck's most impressive performances as a draughtsman, the drawing cannot be connected with any of his paintings and appears to have been intended an independent work of art. It may date from around 1650, as has previously been suggested,[1] although little basis exists for the reconstruction of Flinck's stylistic development.

[1] By Sumowski (see Lit. below). He compares the 'Seated Youth' in the Teyler Museum in Haarlem (P*7; Sumowski 884), which is related in pose to a figure in Flinck's 'Crucifixion' of 1647, now in Basel (repr. Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, no.630).

Robinson, 1869/76, no.686/699; London, 1915, p.78, no.3, repr. pl.XLIII (compared with G. ter Borch's drawings); Van Dyck, 1927, p.75; Sumowski, 1963[I], p.103, n.91; Von Moltke, 1965, no.D43 and p.183, under no.D46 and p.198, under no.D133 (signature traced by another hand; compares drawing of a 'Lute-Player' at Veste Coburg inv.Z4052 [Sumowski 915x] and drawing of a 'Reclining Man' in Darmstadt, inv.AE548); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IV, 1981, no.886 (c.1650; see n.1 above).

musician (scope note | all objects)

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
Diderick Smith; his sale, Amsterdam, Posthumus, de Leth and de Winter, 13 July, 1761, kunstboek H, no.515; Johan van der Marck; his sale, Amsterdam, de Winter and Yver, 29 November, etc., 1773, lot 1203, bt Greebe, fl.5.10; Goll van Franckenstein; his sale, Amsterdam, De Vries, Brondgeest, Engelberts and Roos, 1 July etc., 1833, kunstboek K, no.32, bt Brondgeest, f.4.32; Verstolk van Soelen; his sale, Amsterdam, De Vries, Brondgeest and Roos, 22 March, 1847, kunstboek E, no.182, bt Roos, fl.95; Gérard Leembruggen Jz.; his sale, Amsterdam, Roos, Engelberts, Lamma and Roos, 5 March, etc., 1866, lot 241, bt Engelberts, f.20; John Malcolm of Poltalloch; purchased from his son with the Malcolm collection, 1895.

Exhibition History
London, Grosvenor Gallery, 1878-9, no.211;
British Museum, 1895, no.396;
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle (not in catalogue);
1996-7 Sept-Jan, BM, Malcolm Collection, Appx., (listed p.190).

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