305 Worlds within worlds: paintings and prints missing from the van Haecht exhibition

The first exhibition devoted (in part) to the work of the Antwerp master Guilllam (aka Willem) van Haecht is nearing its close in the Mauritshuis. Van Haecht was the object of intensive study by Schwartz for an unfinished dissertation. He lets down his hair and expresses his chagrin at being bypassed by the organizers. Supplemented by fascinating van Haecht materials wrongly omitted from the exhibition. Continue reading “305 Worlds within worlds: paintings and prints missing from the van Haecht exhibition”

303 The transparent connoisseur 2: more Rembrandt core

Although the discussion is still somewhat one-sided, Schwartz continues his attempt to correct certain misapprehensions on the part of his colleagues concerning the nature and extent of Rembrandt’s work as a draftsman. Here he compares the promise of the recent Getty exhibition with the compromise it delivers. Continue reading “303 The transparent connoisseur 2: more Rembrandt core”

302 Did Rembrandt really not use drawings for his paintings and etchings?

Prevailing opinion has it that Rembrandt drew far fewer drawings than the 1500 in the standard catalogue of Otto Benesch, and that he almost never used drawings to prepare his compositions. Schwartz posits the opposite: that Rembrandt drew far more than 1500 drawings and that it was his normal practice to use drawings – most of them now lost – in the preparation of his etchings and paintings. Continue reading “302 Did Rembrandt really not use drawings for his paintings and etchings?”

301 Rembrandt’s core: the drawings

Since 1991, the opinion has held sway that only 70 drawings by Rembrandt can be confirmed with great certainty. That is, drawings that are signed, otherwise inscribed in Rembrandt’s hand, indented for transfer to the etching plate or serving as preparatory studies for an autograph painting or etching. Schwartz now expands that list from 70 to 169. Continue reading “301 Rembrandt’s core: the drawings”

Core list of Rembrandt drawings, section 1:
signed drawings

21 drawings with Rembrandt’s signature of which his authorship is accepted
3 drawings with signatures that might be authentic but the drawing itself not by the hand of the master
2 etchings reworked by hand and signed by Rembrandt

For an explanation of the nature of this list, see Schwartzlist 301.


Rembrandt, Seated old man (three-quarter-length)
Inscribed R 1630
Washington, National Gallery of Art (Rosenwald Collection)
References: Benesch 37. Robinson 2006, nr. 11. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Bearded old man seated in an armchair
Signed with the monogram RHL and dated 1631
New York, private collection
References: Benesch 20. Hinterding 2008, under nr. 25, note 4. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Old man seated in an armchair
Inscribed RHL 1631
Haarlem, Teylers Museum
References: Benesch 40. Ackley et al. 1989, nr. 67. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Study for Lot drunk
Inscribed Rembrandt f. / 1633
A print of Lot and his daughters after a lost painting by Rembrandt was etched in 1631 by Rembrandt’s associate J.G. van Vliet. The pose of the seated Lot, in mirror image to the figure in the drawing, is dramatically different than in the drawing. Note that the drawing is later than the painting that it resembles.
Frankfurt, Städel Museum
References: Benesch 82. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Portrait of a man in an armchair
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1634
Private collection
References: Benesch 433. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Bearded old man, 1634
Inscribed on pasted strip Een vroom gemoet acht eer voor goet (The righteous honor above gold) / Rembrandt / Amsterdam. 1634
Entry in the friendship album of Burchard Grossmann
The Hague, Royal Library
References: Benesch 257. Lammertse & van der Veen 2006, pp. 52-53. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Jesus and his disciples
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1634
Haarlem, Teylers Museum
References: Benesch 89. Bever et al. 1991, nr. 6. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, The Last Supper, after Leonardo da Vinci
Inscribed Rembrandt f.
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
References: Benesch 443. Logan 1995, nr. 56. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, The Last Supper, after Leonardo da Vinci
Inscribed R..b…dt
London, British Museum
References: Benesch 444. Royalton-Kisch 1992, nr. 14. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, The Last Supper, after Leonardo da Vinci
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1635
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
References: Benesch 445. Bevers 2006, nr. 7. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Joseph distributing corn in Egypt, after Pieter Lastman
Inscribed Rembrandt ft.
Vienna, Albertina
References: Benesch 446. Bisanz-Prakken 2004, nr. 138. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, An elephant
Inscribed Rembrandt ft. 1637
Vienna, Albertina
References: Benesch 457. Bisanz-Prakken 2005, nr. 54. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Cornelis Claesz.Anslo
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1640
London, British Museum
References: Benesch 758. Royalton-Kisch 1992, nr. 32. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Cornelis Claesz. Anslo
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1640
Paris, Louvre
References: Benesch 759. Starcky 1988, nr. 28. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Two men in discussion, one in Oriental dress
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1641
London, Courtauld Gallery
References: Benesch 500a. Courtauld Gallery website, 30 December 2009. I must admit to a certain hesitancy of my own in accepting Rembrandt’s authorship of this drawing. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, The star of the kings
Inscribed Rembrandt f.
London, British Museum
References: Benesch 736. Royalton-Kisch 1992, nr. 44. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Cottage near the edge of a wood
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1644
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
References: Benesch 815. Logan 1995, nr. 60. MRK 815


Rembrandt, Homer reciting verses
Inscribed Rembrandt aen Joannes Sicx. 1652
Entry in friendship album of Jan Six
Amsterdam, Six Collection
References: Benesch 913. Bever et al. 1991, nr. 31A. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Minerva in her study
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1652
Entry in friendship album of Jan Six
Amsterdam, Six Collection
References: Benesch 914. Bevers et al. 1991, nr. 31B. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, The ruins of the old city hall in Amsterdam (after the fire)
Inscribed vand waech afte sien stats huis van Amsteldam doent afgebrandt was den 9 Julij 1652. Rembrandt
Amsterdam, Rembrandthuis
References: Benesch 1278. Bakker 1998, p. 164. MRK 2010

Rembrandt, Simeon’s song of praise
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1661
Entry in friendship album of Jacobus Heijblocq
The Hague, Royal Library
References: Benesch 1057. Schwartz 2007. MRK 2010


Two etchings retouched and signed by Rembrandt

Rembrandt, Self-portrait
Inscribed Aet. 24 [changed from 27] / Anno 1631 / Rembrandt
An impression of an etched self-portrait, Bartsch 7ii, worked up in black chalk by the master
London, British Museum
References: Benesch 57. Royalton-Kisch 1992, nr. 8a. MRK 2010


Rembrandt, Self-portrait in a soft hat
Inscribed AET 24 [changed from 27] / Rembrandt / 1631
An impression of an etched self-portrait, Bartsch 7ii, worked up in black chalk by the master
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
References: ad Benesch 57. Royalton-Kisch 1992, sub nr. 8a. MRK 2010


Signed drawings not accepted as the work of Rembrandt but possibly copied after originals by him

A dromedary and two orientals standing behind it
Inscribed Drommedaris / Rembrandt fecit / 1635 / Amsterdam
Drawing missing since the Second World War. Peter Schatborn doubts Rembrandt’s authorship of the drawing and Anna Röver-Kann thinks the inscription was written by someone else. Nonetheless, it fits well in Rembrandt’s oeuvre and is included here in the conviction that if it was not the original, it was copied from a drawing by the master.
Formerly Bremen, Kunsthalle Bremen
References: Benesch 453. Röver-Kann 2000, nr. 20A. Not MRK 2010


St. Albans Cathedral
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1640
The attribution to Rembrandt is no longer accepted. However, a connection with the master at this date is not impossible. Inserted here for the record.
Haarlem, Teylers Museum
References: Benesch 785


Windsor Castle
Inscribed Rembrandt f. 1640
The attribution to Rembrandt is no longer accepted. However, a connection with the master at this date is not impossible. Inserted here for the record. However, on 2 February 2010, Peter Schatborn pointed out the resemblance between the architecture in this drawing and the buildings in the background of Rembrandt’s painting of The visition in Detroit (Bredius 582), which led him to accept anew the atttribution to Rembrandt of this drawing and presumably Benesch 784 as well
Vienna, Albertina
References: Benesch 786