Jacob's Dream; Jacob sleeping against a mound at l foreground, an angel standing in bright light on a ladder to r, arched Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, touched with red and heightened with white


© The Trustees of the British Museum

Department: Prints & Drawings

Registration number: Oo,10.120

Bibliographic reference
Hind 1915-31 3 (as Bol)
Royalton-Kisch 2010 Gelder.3

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 Ferdinand Bol (biographical details | all objects)
Formerly attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (biographical details | all objects)
Attributed to Arent de Gelder (biographical details | all objects)
1670-1690 (circa)
Schools /Styles
Dutch (scope note | all objects)

Jacob's Dream; Jacob sleeping against a mound at left foreground, an angel standing in bright light on a ladder to right. c.1670-90
Pen and brown ink with brown wash, heightened with white, and touched with red chalk (the angel only).
Verso: blank (but see Inscriptions).
No watermarks.

Inscription Content: Inscribed verso, in graphite, upper left: ‘2 [in a circle]’; the inventory number in ink.

Height: 215 millimetres (chain lines vertical, 24/26mm apart)
Width: 179 millimetres

Good, though scarred on the verso near lower right, where several thin spots.

Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, attributed to Aert de Gelder, cat. no.3:
The drawing seems to be the work of a late pupil of Rembrandt, and is here tentatively given to Aert de Gelder. In support of the attribution attention may be drawn to the penwork in the angel, with the lilting lines in the hem of his garment, which resembles the touch in de Gelder's only securely attributed sheet, the 'Study of Orientals' now in the Abrams collection, Boston.[1] The oriental flavour of the costume also accords with de Gelder's taste, as exhibited in his paintings. In addition, the somewhat schematic treatment of the foliage on the left has affinities with the style seen in a group of landscape drawings that has also been assigned to de Gelder (including cat. nos.5-6, 1860,0616.129 and Oo,09.93).[2] It is difficult to suggest a date but is probably a work from after 1670.
The arched top implies that the draughtsman had a painting in mind, but the only known related composition is a school drawing that shows a similar design but in reverse, and without the arched top (now in the Albertina, Vienna).[3]

[1] Sumowski 1052.
[2] See also Sumowski under no.1098xx.
[3] Inv.8769, as noted by Wegner, 1967/68, where reproduced (see Lit. below). Two paintings of the subject exist by de Gelder but are different in concept, one Winterthur, the other in Dulwich (to which Bürger, 1858, already compared the British Museum drawing), both repr. Sumowski, 'Gemälde', II, nos.757 and 781, and von Moltke, 1994, nos.10 and 9 respectively.

Bürger, 1858, pp.398-9 (by Rembrandt, for the etching Bartsch 36, Hind 284; compares school painting in Dulwich); Blanc, II, 1861, p.453 (Rembrandt); London, 1915, p.61, no.3, repr. pl.XXX (probably Bol, for Dresden painting [repr. Blankert, 1982, no.5, pl.3 and Sumowski, 'Gemälde', 80]); Hirschmann, 1918, p.23 (not Bol); Van Dyke, 1927, p.47 (questionable as Bol); Möhle, 1941, p.119 (Bol, c.1650); Wegner, 1967/68, p.51 (by Bol; compares the Dresden painting - as London, 1915 - and the British Museum sheet now given to Flinck, cat. no.1 [Oo,9.102], as well as the drawing in Vienna, inv.8769, which shows the composition in reverse; also the versions in Besançon, D2626, Sumowski 92, and the Houthakker collection [now Fogg Art Museum inv.1976.3; S.162x]); Blankert, 1982, p.92, under no.5 (not Bol, pace Möhle, 1941; 'extremely weak').

old testament (all objects)

Associated names
Representation of Jacob (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Bequeathed by Richard Payne Knight (biographical details | all objects)
Previous owner/ex-collection George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (Lugt 1530; his sale, Thomas Philipe's, London, 15.vi.1811/654 as 'Rembrandt van Rhyn - Angel appeari) (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
London, 1899, no.A85 (manner of Rembrandt);
1956, p.31, no.2 (Bol);
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle (not in catalogue, as attributed to Aert de Gelder).

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