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Under the Roman Sun: Landscape, Brigands, and the Late Grand Tour


Lieven Willemsz van Coppenol (born about 1599, died 1671 or later)

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam)

Oil on wood
14 3/8 x 11 3/8 in. (36.5 x 28.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness, 1950
Accession Number:
  • Catalogue Entry


  • Provenance

    ?J. Tijler, widow of Lucas van Beeks (until 1759; sale, De Leth & De Bosch, Amsterdam, April 30, 1759, no. 2, for 65 florins to De Busch [?De Bosch]); ?[Jeronymus de Bosch, Amsterdam, ?1759–67; sale, Amsterdam, October 5, 1767, no. 8, to Fouguet]; ?baron de Saint-Julien, Paris (by 1784–at least 1785; sale, Lebrun, Paris, June 21ff., 1784, for 1,500 livres, bought in; sale, Saubert, Paris, February 14, 1785, no. 37, 1 pied 1 pouce x 10 pouces [14 x 10 2/3 in.]); Prince Lucien Bonaparte, London (by 1808–14; cat., 1808, no. 42; his sale, William Buchanan, London, 1814, no. 135, to Baring); Hon. Alexander Baring, later 1st Baron Ashburton, The Grange, Alresford, Hampshire, and London (1814–d. 1848); the Barons Ashburton, The Grange and London (1848–89); Francis Denzil Edward Baring, 5th Baron Ashburton, The Grange and London (1889–1907); Baron Alfred Charles de Rothschild, London and Halton (1907–d. 1918); Almina, Countess of Carnarvon (1918–at least 1922); [Knoedler, London and New York, until 1924; sold to Harkness]; Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, New York (1924–his d. 1940); Mrs. Edward S. (Mary Stillman) Harkness, New York (1940–d. 1950)

  • Exhibition History

    London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Winter Exhibition," 1890, no. 66 (lent by Lord Ashburton).

    London. Burlington Fine Arts Club. "Exhibition of Pictures by Dutch Masters of the Seventeenth Century," 1900, no. 19 (lent by Lord Ashburton).

    Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum. "Rembrandt Tentoonstelling," July 13–October 13, 1935, no. 21 (lent by Edward S. Harkness, New York).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 10, 1995–January 7, 1996, no. 34.

    Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum. "Rembrandt the Printmaker," October 14, 2000–January 7, 2001, no cat. number (under no. 89).

    London. British Museum. "Rembrandt the Printmaker," January 26–April 8, 2001, no cat. number (under no. 89).

    Vienna. Graphische Sammlung Albertina. "Rembrandt," March 26–June 27, 2004, no. 94.

    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.

  • References

    Abate Guattani. Galleria del Senatore Luciano Bonaparte, Roma. 1808, vol. 1, p. 77, no. 42, as "il ritratto del Coppenhol, celebre storico Olandese, di mano del Rembrandt, in piccolo . . . ".

    W[illiam]. Buchanan. Memoirs of Painting, with a Chronological History of the Importation of Pictures by the Great Masters into England since the French Revolution. London, 1824, vol. 2, pp. 285–86, 292, no. 135, as purchased by Alexander Baring from the collection of Lucien Bonaparte.

    John Smith. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters. 7, London, 1836, p. 112, no. 307, mentions two engravings after it, one by Rembrandt in the Bonaparte collection, and another by Surugue.

    G[ustav]. F[riedrich]. Waagen. "Kunstwerke und Künstler in England." Kunstwerke und Künstler in England und Paris. 2, Berlin, 1838, p. 86.

    G[ustav]. F[riedrich]. Waagen. Works of Art and Artists in England. London, 1838, vol. 2, p. 273.

    Georg Rathgeber. Annalen der Niederländischen Malerei, Formschneide und Kupferstecherkunst. Gotha, 1844, part 5, col. 211.

    "Visits to Private Galleries." Art-Union 9 (April 1, 1847), p. 123.

    [Gustav Friedrich] Waagen. Treasures of Art in Great Britain. London, 1854, vol. 2, p. 103.

    Charles Blanc. L'oeuvre complet de Rembrandt. 2, Paris, 1861, pp. 54–55.

    C. Vosmaer. Rembrandt, sa vie et ses ouevres. 2nd ed. The Hague, 1877, pp. 114, 547, as possibly from the [Saint-]Julien collection; lists it under works of 1650.

    Wilhelm [von] Bode. Studien zur Geschichte der holländischen Malerei. Braunschweig, 1883, pp. 532–33, 585, no. 193, states that it was no doubt painted slightly earlier that the 1661 etching, for which it was probably a study.

    Eugène Dutuit. L'oeuvre complet de Rembrandt. Paris, 1883, vol. 2, p. 47.

    Eugène Dutuit. Tableaux et dessins de Rembrandt. Paris, 1885, pp. 8, 42, 61, 70, no. 207.

    Alfred von Wurzbach. Rembrandt-galerie. Stuttgart, 1886, text vol., p. 56, no. 147.

    A[braham]. Bredius. "De 'Old Masters' in de Royal Academy te Londen, 1890." De Nederlandsche Spectator (1890), p. 108.

    Émile Michel. Rembrandt: His Life, His Work, and His Time. English ed. New York, 1894, vol. 2, pp. 135–36, 234, erroneously as signed; dates it about 1658.

    E. W. Moes. Iconographia Batava: Beredeneerde Lijst van Geschilderde en Gebeeldhouwde Portretten van Noord-Nederlanders in Vorige Eeuwen. 1, Amsterdam, 1897, p. 197, no. 1704-1.

    Malcolm Bell. Rembrandt van Rijn and His Work. London, 1899, p. 142.

    Wilhelm [von] Bode with the assistance of C. Hofstede de Groot. The Complete Work of Rembrandt. 6, Paris, 1901, pp. 23, 144, no. 456, pl. 456, as in the Jeronymous de Bosch sale of 1767, and bought by Foucquet [Fouguet].

    Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. 2nd ed. Stuttgart, 1906, pp. 404, 421, ill. p. 326, erroneously as on paper.

    Hans Wolfgang Singer. Rembrandt, des meisters Radierungen. Stuttgart, 1906, pp. 276–77, believes that the etching in the Ashburton collection is not by Rembrandt, but that the painting is autograph.

    "Ashburton Collection Sold." American Art News 6 (October 19, 1907), p. 1, as a picture said to be "retained by Lord Alfred de Rothschold [sic for Rothschild] to secure interest on a loan made to Lord Ashburton".

    Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. 3rd ed. Stuttgart, 1909, p. 563, ill. p. 443.

    C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. 6, London, 1916, p. 306, no. 636, as in the Tijler sale of 1759.

    Arthur M. Hind. A Catalogue of Rembrandt's Etchings. 2nd ed. London, 1923, vol. 1, p. 118, under no. 300.

    Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Rembrandt Paintings in America. New York, 1931, unpaginated, no. 137, pl. 137.

    H. F. Wijnman. "Mr. Lieven van Coppenol, Schoolmeester-Calligraaf." Jaarboek van het Genootschap Amstelodamum 30 (1933), pp. 155–56, fig. 9.

    A[braham]. Bredius. Rembrandt Gemälde. Vienna, 1935, p. 13, no. 291, pl. 291.

    Seymour Slive. Rembrandt and His Critics, 1630–1730. The Hague, 1953, p. 53, states that it is probably the painting referred to in a poem of 1662 by Jan Vos.

    Rembrandt: Tentoonstelling ter herdenking van de gehoorte van Rembrandt op 15 juli 1606. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Haarlem, 1956, p. 69, under no. 118.

    Kurt Bauch. Rembrandt Gemälde. Berlin, 1966, p. 22, pl. 424.

    A[braham]. Bredius. Rembrandt: The Complete Edition of the Paintings. 3rd ed. London, 1969, p. 572, no. 291, ill. p. 221, in text, erroneously refers to it as on paper, and in caption as on panel; calls the execution "too weak to be attributed to Rembrandt".

    Paolo Lecaldano in L'opera pittorica completa di Rembrandt. Milan, 1969, ill. p. 131, includes it among works of doubtful attribution.

    Christopher White. Rembrandt as an Etcher. University Park, Pa., 1969, text vol., p. 147.

    "Rembrandt van Rijn." Hollstein's Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings, and Woodcuts. 18, Amsterdam, 1969, p. 135, under no. B283, notes that it is "now rejected, as not by Rembrandt".

    Hubert von Sonnenburg in "Technical Aspects: Scientific Examination." Rembrandt After Three Hundred Years. Chicago, 1973, p. 88, as a copy after, rather than a sketch for, the etching.

    Hubert von Sonnenburg. "Maltechnische Gesichtspunkte zur Rembrandtforschung." Maltechnik/Restauro 82, no. 1 (1976), pp. 20–21, ill. p. 17 (overall and x-ray).

    J. Bauch. Letter to John Brealey. November 30, 1977, notes that the tree from which this panel was made was felled not earlier than 1648 and not later than 1650.

    J. Bolten and H. Bolten-Rempt. The Hidden Rembrandt. Milan, 1977, p. 198, no. 475, ill.

    Stephanie S. Dickey in "Paintings, Drawings, and Prints: Art-Historical Perspectives." Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2, New York, [1995], p. 226, under no. 97b.

    Walter Liedtke in "Paintings, Drawings, and Prints: Art-Historical Perspectives." Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2, New York, [1995], pp. 15, 120–22, no. 34, ill. (color), as style of Rembrandt, tentatively about 1660–80.

    Hubert von Sonnenburg. "Paintings: Problems and Issues." Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1, New York, 1995, pp. 28–29, fig. 24 (x-radiograph).

    Louis R. Velasquez. Rembrandt, "Lieven van Coppenol". 1996, pp. 1–26, argues for an attribution to Rembrandt.

    Paul Broekhoff and Michiel Franken. "Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship." Simiolus 25, no. 1 (1997), p. 80.

    Ger Luijten in Rembrandt the Printmaker. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam, 2000, pp. 358, 360 n. 9, fig. b, under no. 89, as the oil sketch for Rembrandt's Coppenol etching of 1658.

    Ernst van de Wetering in Rembrandt the Printmaker. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam, 2000, pp. 58–62, figs. 27, 29 (x-radiograph), based on technical analysis, attributes it to Rembrandt, and calls it a sketch for the large Coppenol etching of 1658.

    Martin Bailey. "Revealing Another Rembrandt." Art Newspaper no. 111 (February 2001), p. 24.

    Marian Bisanz-Prakken in Rembrandt. Exh. cat., Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Vienna, 2004, pp. 218–19, no. 94, ill. (color).

    Stephanie S. Dickey. Rembrandt: Portraits in Print. Philadelphia, 2004, pp. 16, 150, 205 n. 100, fig. 166.

    Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, p. ix; vol. 2, pp. 679–86, 708, no. 156, colorpl. 156, fig. 186 (x-radiograph), attributes it to Rembrandt, calling it probably a preparatory sketch for the etching of 1658.

    Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), p. 70.

  • Notes

    This panel is most probably Rembrandt's oil sketch made in preparation for his etching known as the "Large Coppenol" of 1658.

    Rosenberg [see Ref. 1906] and several authors through 1969 [see Ref. White 1969] erroneously refer to this work as painted on paper.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History