Drawings of Rembrandt and his circle published in the Collection Online

This autumn, after the publication of the 614 Italian drawings in our online collection database in 2020, we are adding the drawings of Rembrandt and his circle. It is now possible to browse through these 166 sheets, among which no less than 21 are by Rembrandt.



This important section from the holdings of the Fondation Custodia, for the most part acquired by the collector Frits Lugt (1884-1970), himself a connoisseur of Rembrandt’s drawings, has received special attention in our database. The online publication follows the printed two-volume catalogue by Peter Schatborn published in 2010. The information has been updated in the database after recent publications, attributions, suggestions and discoveries, as well as a new verification of the drawings themselves.

1. Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Leiden 1606 – 1669 Amsterdam), Interior with Saskia in Bed
Pen and brown ink, brown and grey wash, some corrections in white bodycolour, some lines in red and black chalk. –142 × 177 mm
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. no. 266

Remarkably, the first Rembrandt drawing Lugt bought, in May 1919, is one of the major drawings in the collection, Interior with Saskia in Bed (fig. 1). Lugt noted himself about this work: “Rembrandt repeatedly drew his Saskia in her sickbed or in her confinement, but none of these drawings was done with so much devotion and care as this. The effect is of a small painting”.

2. Attributed to Constantijn van Renesse (Maarssen 1626 – 1680 Eindhoven), A Road between Trees, Leading to a Farmhouse
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white bodycolour. – 212 × 330 mm
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. no. 2222

Schatborn’s catalogue has not only been an important contribution to the study of drawings by Rembrandt, but also for study of works of his pupils and artists from his circle. Indeed it is the first time the author proposes attributions of a large number of drawings that had until then been listed as Anonymous or School of Rembrandt. Several attributions are still under discussion, as is the case with a sheet long time admired as one of Rembrandt’s most impressive landscapes, A Road between Trees, Leading to a Farmhouse (fig. 2). This work has been attributed to Constantijn van Renesse (1626-1680) by two Rembrandt drawing specialists (in 2000 by Martin Royalton-Kisch and in 2010 by Peter Schatborn), while a third expert, Holm Bevers, has since suggested an attribution to Abraham Furnerius (1628-1654), another pupil of Rembrandt.

3. Samuel van Hoogstraten (Dordrecht 1627 – 1678 Dordrecht), Self-Portrait at a Window
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, over traces of black chalk; corrections in pen and brown ink probably by Rembrandt; later additions by the artist in black and red chalk and pen and brown ink. – 170 × 135 mm
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. no. 2012-T.4

In total the published group concerns 166 drawings, of which 165 were included by Peter Schatborn in his catalogue of 2010. In 2012 a sheet by Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627-1678), pupil of Rembrandt, has been acquired (fig. 3). It forms an important addition as this self-portrait by the young artist has been corrected and must have been a drawing exercise when Van Hoogstraten was an apprentice in his master’s workshop. Presumably, it was Rembrandt himself who adjusted the outline of the sitter’s right arm and shoulder with three forceful strokes of his pen.

In the database, each record contains a wealth of information on the attribution, date, technique, its inscriptions, collectors’ marks and provenance. Further, the records comprise a selective bibliography for publications before 2010, while we have endeavoured to be complete for the publications that have appeared since Schatborn’s catalogue. The entries compiled in 2010 by Schatborn are not included, but the most relevant information is mentioned and new details published since 2010 have been added. Finally, it was possible to make some small corrections after checking the drawings themselves once again. Notably a number inscribed in the lower right corner of a drawing by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (1621-1674), Moses Stepping on Pharaoh’s Crown (fig. 4) was recognised as the one associated to the famous French collector Pierre Crozat (1665-1740). The number (published in our collectors’ marks database as Lugt 3612) and the prestigious provenance have now been added.

4. Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (Amsterdam 1621 – 1674 Amsterdam), Moses Stepping on Pharaoh’s Crown
Black chalk, brown wash, on blue paper. – 177 × 258 mm
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. no. 6666

We hope that publishing our holdings of drawings by Rembrandt and his circle online may lead to further insights and will help future research. In the coming years, we will be updating the database with other works of art on an ongoing basis. At the moment we are preparing the publication of Rembrandt’s etchings, the Flemish and Dutch Old Master paintings, the French 19th-century drawings, and part of the collection of artists’ letters and manuscripts (French autographs from the 14th to the 17th centuries).


Collection Online


Related publication

Peter Schatborn, Rembrandt and his Circle. Drawings from the Frits Lugt Collection, 2 vols., Bussum, Thoth and Paris, Fondation Custodia, 2010