Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Abraham Dismissing Hagar and Ishmael

Barent Fabritius (Dutch, Middenbeemster 1624–1673 Amsterdam)
Oil on wood
19 1/2 x 14 in. (49.5 x 35.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Harry G. Sperling, 1971
Accession Number:
Not on view
Inscription: Signed and dated (bottom center): BFabritius [BF in monogram, with B reversed] / 1658
?Sir Joshua Reynolds, London (possibly acting as agent for Chambers); ?Sir William Chambers, London, Hampton Court, and Whitton Place, near Hounslow (until d. 1796); by descent to George Chambers; Chambers family; Miss E. M. Chambers (until 1957; sold to Leger); [Leger, London, 1957; sold for £800 to Kleinberger]; [Kleinberger, New York, 1957–75; bequeathed by Harry G. Sperling, last surviving partner of firm, to MMA]
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Rembrandt and His Pupils," January 9–February 23, 1969, no. 51 (lent by F. Kleinberger & Co., Inc., New York).

Toronto. Art Gallery of Ontario. "Rembrandt and His Pupils," March 14–April 27, 1969, no. 51.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 10, 1995–January 7, 1996, no. 48 (as "Abraham Dismissing Hagar and Ishmael").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.

Harry G. Sperling. Letter to D. Pont. November 18, 1957, writes that the picture "has never been published or exhibited" and "is fully signed and dated 1658".

D. Pont. Barent Fabritius, 1624–1673. Utrecht, 1958, pp. 47–48, 103–4, no. 4, fig. 17.

Werner Sumowski. "Review of Pont 1958." Kunstchronik 12 (October 1959), p. 288, suggests that the figure of Abraham is based on a drawing of the same subject by Rembrandt (Benesch no. 504).

Werner Sumowski. Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler. Vol. 2, G. van den Eeckhout–I. de Joudreville. Landau/Pfalz, 1983–[94?], pp. 912, 915, 918, 920, no. 557, ill. p. 937 (color).

Peter C. Sutton. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1986, p. 183.

Francis Broun. "Sir Joshua Reynolds' Collection of Paintings." PhD diss., Princeton University, 1987, vol. 1, pp. 45, 118 n. 8; vol. 2, pp. 14–15, 31, no. A1 under Fabritius, discusses it along with two other paintings (by Jan van Goyen and Adriaen van Ostade) that descended in the Chambers family, stating that he does not believe that the pictures ever actually belonged to Reynolds, who merely acted as agent in acquiring them for a friend.

Walter Liedtke in Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, "Paintings, Drawings, and Prints: Art-Historical Perspectives."New York, [1995], pp. 19, 145–46, 149, no. 48, ill., records the correct version of the signature and date; notes that although there is no evidence that Barent Fabritius ever studied with Rembrandt, this is one of the most common subjects of the Rembrandt school.

Irene Haberland in The Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 10, New York, 1996, p. 733.

Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), p. 61.

Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 198–200, no. 45, colorpl. 45.

Other paintings of this subject by Fabritius are in the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco (about 1650), and the Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull (about 1666).
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