The ruins of a castle (Brederode?); part of a castellated tower at l and the ruins of outer walls to r, a figure on a grass-covered mound at centre Pen and brown ink, with brown wash and watercolour, on Oriental paper


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: 1836,0811.56

Bibliographic reference
Sumowski 1979 continuing 298
Hind 1915-31 7
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Borssom.5

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)
1660 (after, circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

The ruins of Brederode Castle; part of a castellated tower at left and the ruins of outer walls to right, a figure on a grass-covered mound at centre.

Pen and brown ink with watercolour, on oriental paper; framing line in pen and black ink.

Verso: laid down, but inscriptions exposed (see Inscriptions).

No watermark.

Inscription Content: Signed in pen and brown ink, lower right: 'AVBorssom' ['AVB' in monogram]; verso, in pen and brown ink, left: 'e stos' and lower left: 't huys te Brederode'.

Height: 176 millimetres
Width: 231 millimetres

A little discoloured; the sky partly rubbed, and with an accidental (but original?) mark of the pen to the left; some creases lower left.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Anthonie van Borssom, cat. no.5:

The drawing is probably a late work by van Borssom, made after c.1660.[2] The ruins of Brederode, outside Haarlem, were a favoured motif among Dutch seventeenth-century artists. The castle had been partly rebuilt in 1478, after being ruined earlier in the fifteenth century, but the habitable part was again destroyed by the Spanish at the time of the siege of Haarlem in 1573. Another drawing of the ruins by van Borssom is now in the Rijksmuseum.[3]

[1] The Versteegh provenance kindly suggested by Alice Davies, who provided much provenance information on van Borssom's drawings.
[2] Sumowski, op. cit., compares the 'Site of Execution at the Volewijck near Amsterdam' by van Borssom (Sumowski 291), which as pointed out by van Eeghen, 1969[I], pp.73ff., shows the dead Elsje Christiaens (executed 1 May 1664). The style is generally similar to the present sheet and many other of van Borssom's watercolours.
[3] Inv. no.A 563; Sumowski 312. For other representations of the castle and its possible vanitas and other associations, see Exh. Amsterdam, 1993-4, nos.4 and 25; for the history of the castle and its ruins see Allan, 1983.

London, 1915, p.64, no.7 (uncertain of location - resembles Egmont op den Hoef more closely than Brederode); Amsterdam, 1942, p.67, under no.7 (confirms identification as Brederode and compares another 'View of Brederode' by van Borssom in Rijksmuseum, inv. A563); Sumowski, 1979 etc., II, 1979, no.298, repr. (probably a late work).

Verso inscription identifies the subject with the ruins of the old castle of Brederode, see Hind for discussion.

castle/fort (scope note | all objects)

Associated places
Topographic representation of Brederode (all objects)
Topographic representation of Haarlem (near) (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)

Acquisition notes
Aegidius Laurens Tolling; his sale, Amsterdam, de Winter and Yver, 21 etc. November, 1768, Kunstboek M, no.282, sold for f.1; possibly Dirk Versteegh; his sale, Amsterdam, De Vries et al., 3 Nov., etc., 1823, lot 3F.2 or 3F.13 [both as 'la ruine d'un château’ and as ‘lavé en couleurs’], the former bt Roos, f.5.10, the latter bt Hulseboom, f.11.5;[1] probably Gerrit Muller sale, Amsterdam, De Vries, Praetorius, Engelberts and Roos, 2 April, 1827, kunstboek F. no.25, 'Gezigt op het Huis te Brederode. Met de pen, door A. van Borssom', bt Brondgeest, f.50; John Sheepshanks (L.2333); Messrs William Smith; purchased with the Sheepshanks collection, 1836.

Exhibition History
No exhibitions recorded.

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