Rebekah leaving the Home of her Parents

Rembrandt van Rijn (attributed to), 1606 - 1669

Rebekah leaving the Home of her Parents

Rembrandt van Rijn (attributed to) 1606 - 1669


A reproduction produced by the Vasari Society of a drawing by Rembrandt. To the right of the drawing Rebekah, wearing a long veil, is outside a building taking leave of three people, identified in the text below as her mother, father and brother Laban. Behind her a camel is laid down draped with a cloth, being shaded by a figure holding a parasol. A figure looks on from an elevated position behind the camel. Numerous people surround the scene, and palm-like trees are in the background. Text from the accompanying booklet produced by the Vasari Society: "No. 17 REMBRANDT (b. 1606; d. 1669) REBEKAH LEAVING THE HOME OF HER PARENTS Collection of E. G. Spencer Churchill, Esq., Northwick Park. Pen and sepia, and sepia wash. 18.5 x 30.6 cm. (7 1/4 x 12 in.). Inscribed in the margin in Rembrandt's own hand: dit behoorde vervoucht te weesen met veel gebueren die deese hoge bruijt sien vertrecken (which might be literally translated 'this should be arranged with many neighbours who watch this high bride depart'), and with Rembrandt's name, probably added by another hand. Rebekah is probably implied by the 'high, i.e. distinguished bride', and the details in Genesis xxiv would fit well with the drawing. Rebekah is taking leave of three people, i.e. her mother, father, and brother Laban; outside the house is waiting the convoy of Abraham's servant with camels. Dr. de Groot thinks that the inscription goes to prove that the drawing is by a pupil, and not by Rembrandt. Rembrandt writes in effect on the drawing 'this composition should be arranged (differently) with many neighbours watching the departure of the bride'. This might, of course, as Dr. de Groot suggests, be a master's comment on a pupil's drawing; but it seems to me equally reasonable to suppose that Rembrandt added this memorandum on his own drawing as a personal note of his own in case he should lay the sketch aside and develop it later. An absolute conclusion on this question is extremely difficult on account of our uncertain knowledge of the drawings of Rembrandt's pupil's, at least of those who might be thought of in relation to this sketch. The style is that of Rembrandt between about 1635-45, and the only artists one thinks of who might have followed Rembrandt so capably and so closely as this at this period and in this manner are Salomon and Philips Koninck. I cannot refer to authenticated drawings by Salomon Koninck in this style, though the name has been suggested for a drawing of the Judgment of Solomon in Dresden (reproduced in Lippmann, Original Drawings by Rembrandt, Series I, No. 96), a drawing which undoubtedly has some of the characteristics, though it is by no means certainly by the author of the present example. But it is at least nearer in style than the authenticated subject drawings by Philips Koninck (e.g. several at Dresden, reproduced in Woermann, Handzeichningen in Dresden, Mappe IX, Tafel 3 und 4), which, with their strong mannerisms, form almost a caricature of the style of Rembrandt's earlier drawings of scriptural subjects. It is of interest to note the existence of early copies of both the present drawing and the Judgment of Solomon. They are both in a lighter sepia than the originals, and show traces of pencil lines beneath the sepia, at once declaring the copyist, who is probably the same in both cases. Whether these two copies were done by pupils in Rembrandt's studio, or by later hands with or without intent to deceive I am unable to say. In any case both original drawings show thereby a stronger tradition in favour of Rembrandt's authorship, a tradition which is further supported by comparison with the style both in the landscape and figures of the Dismissal of Hagar in the collection of M. Léon Bonnat (H. de Groot 665, reprod. Lippmann, iii. 24), and without further evidence I would be unwilling to replace the name of Rembrandt by that of a pupil in the case of a drawing of the quality of the Northwick sketch. A. M. H."

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Rebekah leaving the Home of her Parents

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