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Cottage near the Entrance to a Wood

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam)

Pen and inks ranging from light to dark brown, brown washes, corrected in white (oxidized, partially abraded), and touches of red chalk (in added structures to the left of the main cottage).
11 3/4 x 17 15/16 in. (29.9 x 45.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
  • Description

    For a painter whose primary concern was the human figure, Rembrandt drew and etched a remarkably large number of landscapes. This view of a cottage near the edge of a wood, although characteristic in subject matter, is exceptional among his landscapes for its fluidity of line, profusion of wash, and large scale. This is the artist's largest landscape drawing, and one in which the cottage architecture somewhat overwhelms nature. Although the number of drawings firmly attributed to Rembrandt has diminished in recent years, following more rigorous and systematic evaluations of his drawn oeuvre, this impressive sheet has stood its ground. The drawing is signed and dated 1644 in the same pen and ink used to lightly sketch in the main elements.

    The painter and topographical draftsman Lambert Doomer (1624-1700) copied this drawing on several occasions. We may surmise that he owned Rembrandt's original, for it was probably bound in one of five drawing albums acquired by Doomer during the auction of Rembrandt's studio effects in 1657-58.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Signed and dated in pen and brown ink at the bottom left: Rembrandt f. 1644

    Inscription: Annotated on the verso: at the upper left in red chalk in a seventeenth-century hand: Rembrant; at the lower right in pen and brown ink: f2-10

    Marking: Watermark: running dog or fox (unidentified)

  • Provenance

    Probably Lambert Doomer (1624-1700), Amsterdam; Jonathan Richardson Sr., London (Lugt 2184 on the recto); Richardson sale, Cock and Langford, London, 22 January - 10 February 1747 (1746 o.s.), lot 46; Arthur Pond, London (Lugt 2038 in black chalk or pencil on the verso of the old mount); probably Pond sale, Cock and Langford, London, 25 April - 2 May 1759; John Barnard, London (Lugt 1420 in pen and brown ink on the recto and verso of the old mount); probably Barnard sale, Greenwood, London, 16-24 February 1787, lot 51; Sir Benjamin West, London (Lugt 419 on the recto); West sale, Christie's, London, 1-5 July 1820, lot 31; Sir Thomas Lawrence, London, 1835 (Lugt 2445 on the recto); William Esdaile, London (Lugt 2617 on the recto); Esdaile sale, Christie and Manson, London, 17 June 1840, lot 103; Barron Grahame, London; probably Grahame sale, Sotheby's, London, 15 March 1878; John Postle Heseltine, London (Lugt 1507 on the recto of the mount); Heseltine sale, F. Muller, Amsterdam, 27-28 May 1913, lot 24; Otto Gutekunst, London 1939; [Jacob Hirsch, New York]. Acquired by Robert Lehman in 1952.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History