The angel appearing to Isaac; the angel seated at l with l hand extended, Isaac kneeling at r, wearing a turban, Sarah kneeling behind him Black chalk


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1946,0713.154

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 621
Hind 1915-31 Add.10
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Eeckhout.5
Phillipps-Fenwick 1935 p.185(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 Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (biographical details | all objects)
1652 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

The angel appearing to Manoah and his wife; the angel seated at left with left hand extended, Manoah kneeling at right, wearing a turban, wife kneeling behind him. c.1652
Black chalk; framing line in pen and dark brown ink
Verso: see Inscriptions
No watermark

Inscription Content: Signed lower left in black chalk: ‘G.V. Eeckhoút.f’; verso, remnants of a wax seal, top centre; in graphite, centre: ‘378/2’; lower centre: ‘Original’; lower left: ‘1376’; and lower right: ‘19’; centre, in pen and brown ink: ‘R’.

Height: 302 millimetres
Width: 408 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 31/32mm apart)

Somewhat dirty at edges; a brownish-grey stain below the angel; otherwise good.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, cat. no.5:
The subject of the angel appearing to Manoah and his wife, foretelling the birth of their son, Samson, who would liberate Israel from the Philistines, is from the Old Testament (Judges XIII, 11). The story was commonly treated in Rembrandt's circle.
No directly related work by van den Eeckhout is known, but there are two comparable studies, though in red rather than black chalk, of 'Jacob's Dream' (now in the Staatliches Museum in Schwerin and the Albertina in Vienna), which are related to a painting of 1672 now in the Bader collection in Milwaukee.[1] The drawings are usually dated earlier than the painting, to the first years of the 1650s, the period to which the present sheet may also belong.[2]

[1] Respectively inv. nos.4486 and 9549, Sumowski 618-9. For the painting, see Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, no.481, repr.. It was until 1982 thought to date from 1652 (see Robinson, 1982, p.285).
[2] As suggested by Sumowski (see Lit. below).

Popham, 1935, p.185, no.1, repr. pl.LXXVII (Rembrandtesque; the subject the 'Angel appearing to Isaac and Sarah'; 'important if unattractive' work by Eeckhout); Sumowski, 1962, p.19 (1650s; identifies subject); von Moltke, 1965, p.265, under no.189 (compares drawing of 'Seated Oriental' in Hamburg, inv.21944 [Sumowski 612]); Sumowski, 1979 etc., III, 1980, no.621, repr. (dates c.1652, comparing 'Jacob's Dream', in Schwerin, inv.4486 [Sumowski 618] and 'Pastoral Scene' in Veste Coburg, inv.Z2582 [Sumowski 620]); Budapest, 2005, p.87, under no.69 (compares kneeling figure of Naaman in 'Elisha refusing Naaman's Gifts', in Budapest, Sumowski 717).

Subject formerly identified as Isaac and Sarah.

old testament (all objects)

Associated names
Representation of Manoah (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, 5.vi.1860/378 as 'Eckhout - The angel appearing to Isaac - black chalk; and two lovers i) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Thane (L.1544; not identifiable in his sale catalogues, in which the descriptions are often cursory) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Sir Thomas Phillipps (bt 6s) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Sir Thomas Lawrence (L.2445) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Thomas Fitzroy Fenwick (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Samuel Woodburn: his 'Lawrence' sale, Christie's, 2nd day, 5 June, 1860, lot 378 (with no.3, 1946,0713.155), bought Sir T. Phillipps, 6s; Sir Thomas Phillipps; Thomas Fitzroy Phillipps Fenwick.

Exhibition History
London, 1956, p.33, no.2;
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, not in catalogue

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