Rembrandt School

The Adoration of the Shepherds

Auction Closed

July 7, 10:53 AM GMT


6,000 - 8,000 GBP

Lot Details


Rembrandt School


The Adoration of the Shepherds

Pen and brown ink and wash over traces of black and red chalk; arched top

242 by 238 mm

Johann Jakob Haid (1704-1767), Augsburg and London;
Benjamin West (1738-1820), London (L.419);
Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), London (L.2445);
William Esdaile (1758-1837), London (L.2617), with his accession date and attribution in brown ink, verso: 1805 WE Rembrandt;
probably his sale, London, Christie's, 17 June 1840, lot 70 (Rembrandt, 'THE ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS, one of whom carries a lantern, No. 67 — a fine composition ; pen and bistre; from B. West's collection')

This rather grand drawing, with its remarkable, distinguished provenance, is one of a number of variants of a 1646 composition by Rembrandt, now in Munich, which inspired a variety of paintings and prints, executed by the pupils working in Rembrandt's studio during the later 1640s and 1650s.1 The most notable of these are the painting of the same year, long thought to be by Rembrandt himself, in the National Gallery, London2, and drawings by Samuel van Hoogstraten (at the British Museum3, in Hamburg4 and elsewhere), Barent Fabritius (in Rotterdam5), and Nicolaes Maes (in Bayonne and Rotterdam). A very closely related central motif also reappears in a 1658 painting by Maes, in Montreal6, which seems related to the artist's drawing in Rotterdam.

The present drawing should therefore be considered another manifestation of the powerful influence of the Munich painting on the works produced by Rembrandt's many gifted pupils of the 1640s and '50s.

The ownership of the drawing by Johann Jakob Haid is proved by the existence of a mezzotint, clearly after the present drawing, executed by his son, Johann Elias Haid.7

1. Munich, Alte Pinakothek, Inv. no. 393

2. Inv. NG47

3. Inv 1895,0915.1203

4. Inv. 22050, also from the William Esdaile Collection

5. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Koenigs Collection, inv. R 72 (PK)

6. Inv. 1965.1520

7. London, British Museum, inv. 1895,0915.1429