Master Works on Paper from Five Centuries

Master Works on Paper from Five Centuries

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 26. A family with two children on the move.

Jan Lievens

A family with two children on the move

Auction Closed

July 6, 10:38 AM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 GBP

Lot Details


Jan Lievens

Leiden 1607 - 1674 Amsterdam

A family with two children on the move

Pen and brown ink on pale blue-grey paper;

bears pencil inscription, versoRembrandt

105 by 105 mm

This previously unknown drawing is an engaging addition to the relatively small group of figure studies in pen and ink by Jan Lievens, most of whose surviving drawings consist of landscapes or black chalk portrait drawings.  

Only one of Lievens’s drawings of this type is dated, a very late (1665) study of St. Jerome in a Landscape, in Düsseldorf1, but the majority of such sheets seem to date from very much earlier in the artist’s career. Some appear to originate from his earliest years in Leiden, and betray the influence of the drawing style of his master, Pieter Lastman, while others, more Van Dyckian in handling, were probably made during the years (1632-35) when Lievens worked in Van Dyck’s London studio, or the period thereafter when he lived and worked in Antwerp. 

Stylistically, perhaps the closest to this drawing among the other known pen and ink figure studies by Lievens is the dynamic study of Seated River Gods, formerly in the Van Regteren Altena collection2, a drawing that can most likely be dated to the later part of Lievens’s stay in Antwerp, circa 1638-43. In that drawing, as here, we see a distinctive combination of dynamic, calligraphic pen work, regular, sometimes fine hatching, and angular facial features.

1. G. Rubinstein, ‘The Drawings of Jan Lievens,’ in A.K. Wheelock, Jr., et al., Jan Lievens, A Dutch Master Rediscovered, exhib. cat., Washington DC, National Gallery of Art, et al, 2008-9, p. 73, fig. 5 

2. Private collection; see Jan Lievens..., exhib. cat., op. cit., pp. 244-5, no. 105