Two seated women, one holding a child
pen and brown ink, brown wash, pen and brown ink framing lines
514 x 412 in. (13.3 x 11.4 cm)
Carl Rolas du Rosey (d. 1862), Dresden (L. 2237); R. Weigel, Leipzig, 5 September 1864, lot 4778 (as Rembrandt).
Winckler Collection.
Nicolas Mossoloff (1847-1914), Moscow.
Samuel Solomonovitch Scheikevitch (1842-1908), Paris; Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, 15-18 June 1908, lot 484 (1150 fl., as Rembrandt).
with Schaeffer Galleries, New York.
Kate Schaeffer (1899-2001), New York; given to her daughter Cornelia Bessie as a Christmas gift in 1983.
F. Lugt, Les Marques de collections, Paris, 1921, p. 443, under L. 2367 (as ‘la grand-mère’).
O. Benesch, The Drawings of Rembrandt, revised and edited by Eva Benesch, London, 1973, vol. II, no. 415, fig. 495 (as by Rembrandt).
M. Royalton-Kisch, The Drawings of Rembrandt. A Revision of Benesch’s catalogue raisonné, 2012, Benesch 415, ill. (http:/; accessed November 2020; as attributed to Ferdinand Bol).
New York, Schaeffer Galleries, 1954, p. 6.
Middletown, Davison Art Centre, Wesleyan University, Master Drawings from American Collections, 1955.
New York, Pierpont Morgan Library and Cambridge, Fogg Art Museum, Rembrandt Drawings from American Collections, 1960, no. 22, pl. 18 (entry by E. Haverkamp-Begemann).
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Lot Essay

Mothers and grandmothers with children are the subject of some of the most touching drawings by Rembrandt and his school. The most famous example of such sheets is perhaps Rembrandt’s red chalk drawing showing two women teaching a toddler to walk in the British Museum, London (inv. 1910,0212.187; see Benesch, op. cit.,no. 421, fig. 507). In the present sheet, a mother holding her child listens to an elderly woman who seems rather engaged with her story to judge by her gesturing hands. The child’s attention is drawn by a figure whose leg is just visible to the left (the sheet was probably trimmed along the left edge).

Benesch dated this drawing to circa1636 and compared it stylistically to two drawings showing a mother holding a child (ibid.,nos. 342-343, figs. 414 and 416). Martin Royalton-Kisch furthermore compares the elderly woman to the right to one in a drawing in the Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest (ibid.,no. 411, fig. 494), but adds that an attribution to Rembrandt is unlikely due to the ‘lack of precision [...], a disarray in the forms and an inconsistency in the lighting’ (Royalton-Kisch, op. cit.). He suggests an alternative attribution to Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680) by comparison with a sheet given to him that shows Hagar at the Well on her way to Sur in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. RP-T-1930-27; W. Sumowski, Drawings of the Rembrandt School, New York, 1984, vol. I, no. 89, ill.). He furthermore suggests a date in the late 1630s when Bol was working in Rembrandt’s studio.

We are grateful to Peter Schatborn and Martin Royalton-Kisch for their assistance in cataloguing this drawing.
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