Flinck was one of the most accomplished draughtsmen of all Rembrandt's pupils, and also had a highly successful career, cut short by his sudden death at the age of only 45. He studied with Rembrandt for one year, probably in 1635-36, shortly after Rembrandt had set himself up as an independent master in Amsterdam. Arnold Houbraken, the chronicler of artist’s lives, tells us that Flinck absorbed his master’s manner so successfully that some of his pictures were mistaken for authentic Rembrandts and sold as such, but that after leaving Rembrandt’s studio, he deliberately sought to change his style.
This drawing and the others in the same style all show a considerable debt to Rembrandt's drawing style of the mid-1630s, and Schatborn therefore considers them early works, executed either while Flinck was training with Rembrandt or very soon thereafter.
1. P. Schatborn, 'The Early, Rembrandtesque Drawings of Govert Flinck', in Master Drawings, vol. XLVIII, no. 1, 2010, pp. 4-38
2. Ibid., pp. 11-13, 22-25, figs. 11, 22 & 23; P.C. Sutton & W.W. Robinson, Drawings by Rembrandt, his Students and Circle from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., Greenwich, CT, Bruce Museum, 2011-12, pp. 80-83, cat. no. 22
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