Portrait of a lady, possibly Rembrandt's wife Saskia; HL slightly to r, head turned almost to front, wearing a low-necked dress, a necklace of pearls and a soft hat with ostrich feather, a veil falling over her shoulders Brush drawing in black wash, heightened with white


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: Oo,9.102

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 4 (as F. Bol)
Sumowski 1979 continuing 863 (Flinck)
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Flinck.1

Dutch Roy XVIIc

Back to search results

Back to catalogue

Object types
drawing (scope note | all objects)

paper (all objects)
drawn (scope note | all objects)
Production person
Formerly attributed to Ferdinand Bol (biographical details | all objects)
Drawn by Govert Flinck (biographical details | all objects)
1637-1640 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

A woman in a plumed cap; half-length slightly to right, head turned almost to front, wearing a low-necked dress, a necklace of pearls and a soft hat with ostrich feather, a veil falling over her shoulders. c.1637-40
Black and grey brush, heightened with white and touched with black chalk; framing lines in pen and black ink (largely on the backing card rather than the original sheet).
Verso: see Inscriptions.
No watermark visible

Inscription Content: Inscribed verso: in pen and grey ink, centre: ‘2 / 1897’; in graphite, top right corner: ‘D [?] /102 [?]’.

Height: 135 millimetres (chain lines vertical, distance apart uncertain)
Width: 105 millimetres

Slight losses from left edge and lower left corner; a few yellow and brown stains; otherwise good.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Govert Flinck, cat. no.1:
The drawing is closely related to a painting, which was formerly on the art market.[1] Although unsigned, the oil closely resembles Flinck's work (to judge from a photograph) and the attribution to him seems sound. The present drawing is given to Flinck because of this association, although stylistically it has little in common with other known works of this artist. The possibility remains that a draughtsman other than Flinck copied one of his paintings, although the drawing is not obviously a copy.[2] Drawings of a comparable type were made by Bol (see under Bol, cat. nos.1-2; Oo,10.133 and Oo,10.132). It probably dates from the later 1630s, the period to which the oil has generally been assigned.
The image is not strictly a portrait, as it was hitherto called, but a fantasy depiction of a character in an exotic costume (a so-called 'tronie').

[1] Galerie Fischer, Lucerne, repr. von Moltke, 1965, p.142, P.336 and by Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, no.661, p.1093. The painting was sold, New York, Sotheby's, 18 May, 2006, lot 17.
[2] A painted copy of the oil was sold at Christie's, London, 23 March, 1990, lot 88, repr.

Bürger, 1858, p.398 (Rembrandt); London, 1915, p.62, no.4, repr. pl.XXIX (Bol?); Van Dyke, 1927, p.47 (Bol); Sumowski, 1957-8, p.233, repr. fig.71 (Bol; based on painting of 1633 in Leeuwaarden, repr. fig.70 [Bredius 634]; the painting now oval); von Moltke, 1965, pp.50 and 142, and cat. no.D179 (by Flinck, relates to the painting then recently on Swiss art market, repr. as cat. no.366, on which information was supplied to the author by K. Bauch); Wegner, 1967-8, p.51 (Bol; compares Vienna drawing, inv. no.8769, repr. fig.3); Sumowski, 1979, etc., IV, 1981, no.863, repr. (by Flinck, for painting formerly on Swiss art market); Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, 1983, under no.661 (as Sumowski, 1981).

Associated names
Portrait of Saskia van Uylenburgh (?) (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Richard Payne Knight (described in the 1845 Register as by 'Rembrandt q[uery]'.) (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
No exhibitions recorded.

Noticed a mistake? Have some extra information about this object? Please contact us

To bookmark this page select "Bookmark this page" or "Add to favourites" from the web browser menu.