A bull being led out of the gates of a town; a boy at l leading it by a rope tied to a horn, another boy at its tail and a third behind its head with arms raised, other figures standing around a tree, a gateway behind at r Pen and brown ink, with brown and grey wash


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1895,0915.1151

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing (p.4261)
Hind 1915-31 3 ((as by van den Eeckhout))
JCR 689
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Maes.11

Dutch Roy XVIIc

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Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Formerly attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (biographical details | all objects)
Attributed to Nicolaes Maes (perhaps Justus de Gelder) (biographical details | all objects)
1680 (perhaps circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A bull led near the gate of a town; a boy at left leading it by a rope tied to a horn, another boy at its tail and a third behind its head with arms raised, other figures standing around a tree, a gateway behind at right. Perhaps c.1680

Pen and brown ink with brown wash and some grey wash; framing lines in pen and brown ink.

Verso: see Inscriptions.

No watermark.

Inscription Content: Inscribed upper left, in pen and brown ink: ‘G:V:d: Eekhout.f.’; verso, upper centre, in graphite: ‘689’; lower centre: ‘4’; lower left: ‘Aet [?]’ and ‘N’.

Height: 194 millimetres
Width: 185 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 23/25mm apart)

Generally good.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Nicolaes Maes, cat. no.11:
The drawing is impossible to associate with Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, despite the presence of the old attribution on the recto. The style of composition relates the drawing to the group of designs often described under the rubric of the 'Pseudo-Victors Group', as they were long attributed to Jan Victors by several scholars in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. More recently an attribution to Nicolaes Maes has been favoured, although this was only marginally more convincing, and recently they have been ascribed to the latter's pupil Justus de Gelder (see Maes cat. no.10; 1895,0915.1342).[1]
Another version of the same composition is in the Louvre, and in style it reflects the Pseudo-Victors more closely than the present work.[2] The British Museum drawing adds the view through the arch on the right, which is blank in the Paris version, and includes more figures on the left as well as more detail in the tree and architecture. While it is probably a work of the second half of the seventeenth century by a generically Rembrandtesque draughtsman, the possibility that it is rather later cannot be excluded.

[1] For a summary, see Sumowski, VIII, pp.4259-61 and under Maes, no.10 (1895,0915.1342).
[2] Paris, 1933, p.61, no.1320, repr. pl.XCIX; Sumowski, op. cit., pp.4260-61, repr. fig.112. The latter believes the Paris drawing to be a copy of a lost work, but in my view it could be an autograph work by the Pseudo-Victors hand.

Robinson, 1876, no.689*; London, 1915, pp.75-6, no.3, repr. pl.XLI (signed, autograph sheet by Eeckhout); Van Dyke, 1927, p.62 (by van den Eeckhout); Paris, 1933, p.61, under no.1320 (manner of Rembrandt; a copy in the Louvre, which was formerly attributed to Bramer); Sumowski, 1979 etc., VIII, 1984, p.4261 (copy after N. Maes, 'pseudo-Victors group'; the Louvre version also a copy).

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)

Acquisition notes
Prestel, Frankfurt, whence acquired on 15 February 1875 for £8 by John Malcolm of Poltalloch;* purchased with his collection, 1895. * Noted in Malcolm's own ‘Memorandum’ of prices paid for drawings, kept in the Department.

Exhibition History
London, Grosvenor Gallery, 1878-9, no.278;
London, British Museum, 1895, no.391 (doubtful as Eeckhout);
1956, p.33, no.1.

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