Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Men Shoveling Chairs (Scupstoel)

Circle of Rogier van der Weyden, possibly Vranke van der Stockt (Netherlandish, ca. 1420–1495)
Pen and brown ink over traces of black chalk.
11 13/16 x 16 3/4 in. (30.0 x 42.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
Not on view
This remarkable drawing – among the few extant fifteenth-century designs for representational sculpture – is a study for one of three narrative capitals carved for the Brussels town hall between 1444 and 1450. The subject is a pun on the word scupstoel (literally “shovel chair”), a contraption used for public humiliation in which felons were raised above water and then dropped in. Scupstoel was also the name of a house that previously stood on the site of the new wing of the town hall. An inscription on the drawing’s reverse indicates that the drawing served as a patroen, a model that may illustrate an intermediary stage between the preliminary sketch and the detailed pattern used by the sculptors of the capital. Its curved design suggests the three-dimensional form of the capital. Traditionally associated with the circle of Rogier van der Weyden, the renowned Netherlandish master who oversaw a large workshop as town painter of Brussels, the drawing recently has been attributed to Rogier’s successor in this role: the painter Vrancke van der Stockt. A 19th-century reconstruction of the “Scupstoel” capital (after the original, Musée Communal, Brussels) is now on the ground floor arcade, L’Hôtel de Ville, Grande Place, Brussels.
Inscription: Annotated along the left side of the verso in pen and ink in a fifteenth-century hand: "tpatroen van den scupst [ ] l / ende van spapenkeld onder" (the last five letters unclear).
Robert Lehman, New York
Related Objects

The Martyrdom of Saint Paul

Artist: Taddeo Zuccaro (Italian, Sant'Angelo in Vado 1529–1566 Rome) Date: ca. 1557–58 Medium: Pen and brown and gray ink, brown wash, over black chalk, heightened with white, on buff paper. Accession: 1975.1.553 On view in:Not on view

Approach to a Mountain Village with Horsemen on the Road

Artist: Fra Bartolomeo (Bartolomeo di Paolo del Fattorino) (Italian, Florence 1473–1517 Florence) Date: ca. 1501 Medium: Pen and brown ink, traces of black chalk; mounted on an album page Accession: 1975.1.270 On view in:Not on view

Bust of a Man in a Hat Gazing Upward

Artist: Martin Schongauer (German, Colmar ca. 1435/50–1491 Breisach) Date: ca. 1480–90 Medium: Pen and carbon black ink, over pen and brown ink, on paper prepared with sanguine wash. Accession: 1975.1.872 On view in:Not on view

Ecstatic Christ

Artist: Hans Baldung (called Hans Baldung Grien) (German, Schwäbisch Gmünd (?) 1484/85–1545 Strasbourg (Strassburg)) Date: ca. 1510–11 Medium: Pen and two shades of carbon black ink, traces of black chalk underdrawing Accession: 1975.1.855 On view in:Not on view

Cottage near the Entrance to a Wood

Artist: Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam) Date: 1644 Medium: 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). Accession: 1975.1.792 On view in:Not on view