Fountain at Cleves, with the artist sketching; the fountain at the centre of a round basin, above on higher ground an open loggia built in a semi-circle, the artist seated on a bench in the foreground, seen from behind Pen and brown ink and brown and grey wash Verso: The top of a church tower Pen and brown ink


© The Trustees of the British Museum

  • VersoVerso
  • Full: FrontFull: Front

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1886,1012.539

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 2
Sumowski 1979 continuing 401
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Doomer.6

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 Lambert Doomer (biographical details | all objects)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

The fountain at Cleves, with an artist sketching; the fountain is at the centre of a round basin, above on higher ground an open loggia built in a semi-circle, the artist seated on a bench in the foreground, seen from behind
Pen and brown ink with grey and brown wash over light indications in graphite, touched with yellow-brown wash; framing lines in pen and brown ink
Verso: Sketch of the Schwanen tower at Cleves
Watermark: Strasbourg lily with initials 4WR below

Inscription Content: Verso, in pen and brown ink, by the artist: 'De springh te kleef'; below, in Esdaile's hand, in pen and brown ink: '1834 WE 80 x Doomer'; top left, in graphite: '8 [?] 83' and lower centre, in graphite: '539'.

Height: 245 millimetres
Width: 368 millimetres (chain lines horizontal, 24/26mm apart)

Good; slight loss at lower left; the sheet has not been trimmed to the framing line.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Lambert Doomer, cat. no.6:

Doomer's Rhine journey of 1663 included a visit to the newly constructed 'Tiergarten' on the Springenberg at Cleves, laid out under the local Stadholder, Prince Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen (Stadholder of the western Brandenburg provinces, 1637-79). The Prince employed the architect Jacob van Campen to design the scheme and work began in 1653.
The present drawing shows the so-called Amphitheatre, begun in 1658 and embellished with arcades and the 'Minerva-Pool', here seen with the marble statue of 'Minerva tritonis'. This last feature was commissioned by the City of Amsterdam from Artus Quellinus the Elder in 1659, and set up in Cleves in 1660 as a gift from the city to Johan Maurits. Two more pools were incorporated, one with a statue of a 'Pissing Boy', just visible below the 'Minerva', and the 'Roman Fountain', here in the foreground, which was surrounded by minor ancient Roman monuments. The whole complex was largely destroyed by French troops in 1702, and although restored in 1711-12, fell into complete neglect so that few vestiges remain today.[1]
A later version of the present work, in which the composition is slightly extended to the right and includes several more figures, is now in the Gemeentemuseum in Arnhem.[2] This was made after Doomer's return to Holland. Another drawing made on Doomer's 1663 journey, now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, provides a glimpse of the top of the same arcades.[3] On the verso of the same sheet in New York is a sketch of the 'Schwanenturm', drawn similarly on the verso of the present work.[4] The tower, which was begun in 1440, is part of the Schwanenburg, the main castle at Cleves, visible on the left of cat. no.5 (Oo,10.173).

[1] Hilger, 1968, and Schulz, 1972 (see Lit. below). They list other views of the Amphitheatre, including that by Jan de Beyer, showing the amphitheatre after its 1711-12 restoration, discussed also by Schulz, 1974, p.85 and again recently in Detroit, 1988, no.26.
[2] Inv. 11682; Schulz, 1974, no.195, repr. fig.101.
[3] Schulz, 1974, no.196, repr. fig.100.
[4] Repr. Gorissen, 1964, no.147.


London, 1915, p.72, no.2, repr. fig.XXXV; Spiess, 1930, p.244, repr. fig.231; Dattenberg, 1934, p.150 (quotes Hofstede de Groot); Dattenberg, 1935, no.6; Gorissen, 'Neue Zeitung Cleve', 29.9.1937, repr.; Dattenberg, 1938, p.391, nos.7a-b, repr. p.387, figs.3-4 (identifies Schwanen Tower, verso); Exh. Düsseldorf, 1953, nos.30 and 32 (reproductions exhibited of recto and verso); Gorissen, 'Rheinische Post Kleve', 14.1.1956, repr.; Bernt, 1957, I, no.184, repr.; Exh. Brussels-Hamburg, 1961, under no.100; Gorissen, 1964, no.148 [the verso] and no.162 [recto], repr.; Dattenberg, 1967, nos.103-4, repr.; Hilger, 1968, pp.124 and 129, repr. fig.85 (on history of locality); Schulz, 1972, I, p.54, II, nos.276-7 (dates 1663; version in Arnhem, Gemeentemuseum, inv.11682; topographical details); Diedenhofen, 1973, p.120, repr. fig.6 (Doomer's view in Pierpont Morgan Library; van Borssom drawing in Amsterdam shows terrace garden nearby; otherwise as Schulz, 1972); Schulz, 1973, p.6; Schulz, 1974, pp.23, 25 and 84-5, no.194, repr. fig.99; Schatborn, 1977[I], p.53 (not from Tonneman collection); Exh. Paris-Antwerp-London-New York, 1979-80, p.135, under no.112; Detroit, 1988, under no.26; Sumowski, 1979 etc., II, no.401, repr.

self-portrait (all objects)
fountain (scope note | all objects)
artistic life (scope note | all objects)

Associated names
Portrait of Lambert Doomer (biographical details | all objects)

Associated places
Topographic representation of Cleves (scope note | all objects)
(Europe,Germany,North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany),Cleves)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (biographical details | all objects)
Purchased from William Esdaile (L.2617; Christie's, London, 24.vi.1840/1192) (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection N P Simes (Sotheby's 8.vii.1886/300) (all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection Sir Thomas Lawrence (L.2445) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition notes
Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); William Esdaile (L.2617, verso only); his sale, Christie's, London, 24 June, 1840, lot 1192, bt N.P. Simes, 9s (with lot 1193: ‘Two Views on the Rhine’); his sale, London, Sotheby's, 2nd day, 8 July, 1886, lot 300, bt Thibaudeau, ,1-10s; purchased by the British Museum from A.W. Thibaudeau, 1886. NB: Hind, in London, 1915, and most later writers, give a provenance from J. Tonneman and B. Hagelis, but see cat. no.5 (Oo,10.173).

Exhibition History
1891, London, no.118;
1956, London, p.30, no.1;
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, not in catalogue

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