Lot 122
  • 122

FERDINAND BOL | An angel appearing to an old man

12,000 - 18,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Ferdinand Bol
  • An angel appearing to an old man
  • Pen and brown ink and wash, a correction in white heightening in the old man's face.
  • 173 by 143 mm; 6 7/8 by 5 5/8 in


Frederik Carel Theodoor, Baron van Isendoorn a Blois (L.1407);
Adalbert, Freiherr von Lanna, Prague (L.2773, with numbering: 293);
His sale, Stuttgart, Gutekunst, 8 May 1910, lot 457;
Dr. Charles Simon, Zurich (according to Benesch);
Sale, London, Sotheby's, 3 July 2013, lot 133


O. Benesch, The Drawings of Rembrandt, vol. III, London 1973, p. 154, no. 563, reproduced fig. 735 (as Rembrandt)

Catalogue Note

As Benesch pointed out, the extensive shading in the lower part of the sheet might indicate that this was intended to be a night scene, suggesting that it may be a study for a painting of the Liberation of St. Peter.   The drawing that Benesch cited as the closest in style to this is Jacob's Dream, in the Louvre,1 which is now considered by many to be by Ferdinand Bol, rather than Rembrandt.  Also similar is another representation of Jacob's Dream, this time in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where much the same rapid, almost scratchy, shading and hatching is mixed, just as in the present work, with strikingly fluid and broadly executed outlines.2 

There is a broad consensus among current scholars of Rembrandt's drawings that all these sheets should be attributed to Ferdinand Bol, who was active in Rembrandt's studio from 1637 until 1641, and was one of the most gifted draughtsmen among the master's many pupils and followers. 

1.  Inv. 22881; Benesch, op. cit., no. 557
2.  Inv. 34.525; Benesch, op. cit., no. 555; Rembrandt et son entourage, exhib. cat., Paris, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, 2012 and Ajaccio, Palais Fesch, 2014, no. 11