Master Works on Paper from Five Centuries

Master Works on Paper from Five Centuries

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 71. A kneeling woman.

Jacob Adriaensz. Backer

A kneeling woman

Auction Closed

July 3, 10:51 AM GMT


8,000 - 12,000 GBP

Lot Details


Jacob Adriaensz. Backer

(Harlingen 1608 - 1651 Amsterdam)

A kneeling woman

Black and white chalk and grey wash, on grey-blue paper, within brown ink framing lines;

bears old attribution in brown ink, lower right: J. de Bakker.

307 by 200 mm

Vincent van Gogh (1866-1911), the cousin of the artist,

his sale, Amsterdam, R.W.P. de Vries, 2-3 December 1913, lot 22 (to Gross);

probably with Prouté, Paris, March 1922;

Iohan Quirijn van Regteren Altena (1899-1980) by 1925,

by whose heirs sold, London, Christie’s, ('The I.Q. van Regteren Altena Collection: Part I'), 10 July 2014, lot 49,

acquired at the sale by Baron Willem van Dedem;

sale, London, Sotheby's, 4 July 2018, lot 117,

Private collection, France

I.Q. van Regteren Altena, ‘Een vroeg meesterwerk van Jacob Backer’, Oud Holland, XLII, 1925, p. 146;

K. Bauch, Jakob Adriaensz. Backer: ein Rembrandtschüler aus Friesland, Berlin 1926, p. 106, no. 47;

W. Sumowski, Drawings of the Rembrandt School, New York 1979, vol. I, p. 80, no. 33x

Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Paris, Fondation Custodia and Brussels, Bibliothèque Albert 1erLe Cabinet d’un Amateur: Dessins flamands et hollandais des XVIe et XVIIe siècles d’une collection privée d’Amsterdam, 1976-77, no. 9, pl. 83 (catalogue by J. Giltaij);

Amsterdam, Museum Het Rembrandthuis and Aachen Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Jacob Backer (1608/9-1651) Rembrandts tegenpool, 2008-9, no. 47 (catalogue by M. Kersten).

The vast majority of Backer’s surviving drawings are studies of single figures executed in a combination of black and white chalk on blue paper, with some, like the present work, also including the carefully modulated application of grey wash or watercolour.1The present drawing, which depicts a kneeling woman with her hands clasped in front of her, previously formed part of the highly distinguished collection of Old Master Drawings assembled by the Dutch art historian, I.Q. van Regteren Altena and, based on the model’s distinctive costume, can be broadly dated to circa 1640/45.

The model employed by Backer and the very distinctive costume she wears can also be found in at least two other figure studies by the artist: Woman with her hand resting on a jug,2 in the British Museum and a Standing Woman,3 previously in an American a private collection.

  1. Sumowski 1979, p. 78, no. 32x
  2. Sumowski 1979, p. 72, no. 29x
  3. Sumowski 1979, p. 66, no. 26x