A group of birds, with an owl in the centre, on the bare branches of a tree; mountainous landscape beyond Pen and brown ink Verso: Composition studies with fowl, the sheet divided into four Pen and brown ink


© The Trustees of the British Museum

  • VersoVerso

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1836,0811.65

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 17
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Borssom.13

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 Anthonie van Borssom (biographical details | all objects)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A group of birds, with an owl in the centre, on the bare branches of a tree; mountainous landscape beyond. Verso: four designs for compositions with fowl (the sheet divided into quarters).

Pen and brown ink; framing lines in pen and brown ink.

Watermark: fool's cap, with 7 bells and three balls.

Inscription Content: Inscribed on verso, lower left, in graphite: 'Borsum'.

Height: 210 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 24mm apart)
Width: 167 millimetres

Some glue-stains near edges, otherwise good.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Anthonie van Borssom, cat. no.13:

The recto is executed largely with the reed pen, for which van Borssom, even more than Rembrandt, had a special predilection. The design is comparable to that of the emblematic illustration of the 'Element of Air' in Van Borssom's sketchbook, (see cat. no.19, 1854,0628.111, folio 22). The unusual layout of the verso may be compared with folio 16 recto of the same sketchbook.[1]

[1] The latter comparison already pointed out by Hind in London, 1915 (see Lit. below).


London, 1915, p.66, no.17 (compares verso sketch to f.16 recto of the sketchbook, here cat. no.19, 1854,0628.111 folio 22).

bird (all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Purchased from William Smith, the printseller (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection John Sheepshanks (L.2333) (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
No exhibitions recorded.

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