Study of a nude woman seated on drapery on a mount with part of a tree behind. 1637 (?) Black chalk, heightened with white, on blue paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1885,1114.97

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 1
Sumowski 1979 continuing 897
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Flinck.4

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)
1647 (possibly)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A nude woman seated by a tree; seated on drapery over a mount. Probably 1647

Black chalk, heightened with white, on blue paper.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

No watermark visible (due to thickness of paper).

Inscription Content: Signed lower right in black chalk: ‘G. Flinck f. / 1647 [?]’; on verso, lower right, in graphite: ‘8 [in a circle]’.

Height: 324 millimetres (chain lines not visible due to thickness of paper)
Width: 232 millimetres

Good; perhaps slightly trimmed.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Govert Flinck, cat. no.4:
The date towards the lower right of the drawing has been variously read as 1637, 1642 or 1647 (see Lit. below). 1647 is probably the correct reading, and may be the year in which the comparable drawing of a 'Seated Nude with Drapery', now in the Rijksmuseum, was executed, but the date on that drawing is also partly rubbed.[1]
For the composition, which might have been intended to suggest 'Susannah',[2] Flinck may have been inspired by Rembrandt's etching, Diana at the Bath of c.1630-31 (Bartsch 201; Hind 42). Various other studies of the nude by Flinck are known, and documents of 1648 and 1658 refer to his activities in this field of art.[3]

[1] Rijksprentenkabinet, inv.A2460, repr. Sumowski 901.
[2] The drawing was associated by some earlier writers, who assumed the date of 1637 was correct, with Flinck's painting of 'Susannah' in Berlin (inv.813B; Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, no.619, repr.).
[3] The model may conceivably have been Maria La Motte, who was employed by Dirck Bleker and others in an artist's workshop and depicted by him in around 1648-9 as the 'Magdalene' in a painting now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The model there resembles that in the present drawing, as pointed out by Peter Schatborn in Exh. Amsterdam-Washington, 1981-2, pp.21-2, and under no.49. The document of 1658 states that he employed a model named Catarina Jans for nude studies (see Bredius, 1915-22, IV, p.1255).

LITERATURE (always as Flinck):
London, 1915, p.77, no.1, repr. pl.XLIII (1637?; possibly related to Flinck's painting of 'Susannah in the Bath', Berlin); Exh. Leningrad, 1926, p.54, under no.130; Van Dyke, 1927, p.75; Henkel, 1931, p.80; Amsterdam, 1942, p.82, under no.1 (1637, comparing Amsterdam drawing, inv.A2460 [Sumowski 901] and that in Stichting P. and N. de Boer [Sumowski 898] and another in Darmstadt, inv.AE581); Exh. Brussels-Hamburg, 1961, under no.72; Von Moltke, 1965, p.46 and cat.D.205, repr., p.208, under no.D.190, and p.210, under nos.D192-3 (1637, comparing drawing in Amsterdam, inv.A2460 [Sumowski 901], and two others in Deusch collection, Frankfurt [Sumowski 937x-8x]; study for Berlin painting, as London, 1915); Exh. Chicago-Minneapolis-Detroit, 1969-70, p.190, under no.171 (1637?; compares Rijksmuseum drawing, inv.A2460 [Sumowski 901]); Haverkamp-Begemann, 1973, p.108; Berlin, 1975/78, p.154/160 (1637 for Berlin painting); Sumowski, 1979 etc., IV, 1981, no.897, repr. (reads date as 1642; compares P. and N. de Boer drawing, Sumowski 898, dated 1643); Exh. Amsterdam-Washington, 1981-2, p.136, under no.49 (1647; seems to represent Maria La Motte, like the Amsterdam drawing, inv.A2460 [Sumowski 901]; see n.3 above); Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, p.1021, under no.619.

nude (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from R B Bennett (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Possibly D. Versteegh sale, Amsterdam, 3 November, 1823, portf.3E, no.33, 'une bergère, à la pierre noire, par G. Flinck'), bt Gruiter, with no.32 ('un viellard à longue barbe, par J. Renesse' [in British Museum, here Renesse cat. no.3; 1946,0713.170), f.1; Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); Samuel Woodburn; his (Lawrence) sale, Christie's, 3rd day, 6 June 1860, lot 448, bt Money (with two others by de Hooghe and Doudyns), 4s; purchased from Mr Bennett, 1885.

Exhibition History
London, 1891, no.124 (as dated 1637);
1895, no.395 (as date illegible);
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle (not in catalogue).
2016 12 Feb-14 May, Amsterdam, Museum het Rembrandthuis, Drawing Nude Models. Rembrandt and his Contemporaries

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