A Child being taught to walk: Detail of handwritten note

Rembrandt van Rijn (attributed to), 1606 - 1669

A Child being taught to walk: Detail of handwritten note

Rembrandt van Rijn (attributed to) 1606 - 1669


A reproduction produced by the Vasari Society of a drawing by Rembrandt. This loosely drawn sketch shows a group of five people.The figure on the left is holding a pail. Another figure is crouching down looking at a child, who is being guided by two other figures. Underneath the drawing is a reproduction of an inscription on the reverse of the painting. Text from the accompanying booklet produced by the Vasari Society: "No. 16 REMBRANDT (b. 1606; d. 1669) A CHILD BEING TAUGHT TO WALK British Museum, 1912-4-16-2. Pen and sepia. 9.3 x 15.2 cm. (3 11/16 x 6 in.). A powerful drawing in the broad handling of Rembrandt's later period. On the reverse is an inscription in Rembrandt's hand which is also reproduced, and may be read: dit voor af te vragen / [vr]agen aen ons beijde oft wijt an de Heeren [g]oede mannen willen laten verblijven / dan Tijscen te vragen oft hij niet een / [van] beijden d schilderien gelieft opgemaeckt te hebben / geen can beijden begerende; this may be translated: 'to ask this first, to ask our two selves whether we will let it remain with the good men (i.e. in the hands of the official arbitrators), then to ask Tijssen whether he would not like one of the two pictures finished...should he desire neither...' The words were no doubt mere jottings made by the master to remind himself of some question to be asked in a coming interview. Tijssen, which seems to be written Tijscen (a curious orthographic fault), is probably the Christoffel Thijsz from whom Rembrandt acquired his house in the Breestraat in 1639. Rembrandt never actually completed payment, and there are records of various transactions between the contracting parties between 1639 and 1658 (see De Groot, Urkunder über Rembrandt, Nos. 64, 140, 142, 143, 160, 172, 187). The last in which Christoffel Thijsz occurs is one of 1656: in 1658 the business is with his heirs, so that, if the Tijssen referred to on this drawing is rightly taken as Christoffel, the drawing must date before 1658. But from the breadth of style it can hardly have been done much before that date. Rembrandt may quite possibly have been arranging to pay off some of his debt in pictures. A. M. H."

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A Child being taught to walk: Detail of handwritten note

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support: 45.6cm x 38.1cm

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