Exhibitions/ Art Object

Christ and the Woman of Samaria

Style of Rembrandt (Dutch, ca. 1655)
Oil on wood
25 x 19 1/4 in. (63.5 x 48.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Lillian S. Timken, 1959
Accession Number:
Not on view
The authorship of this painting has been much debated, but most scholars consider it to be by a Rembrandt pupil of the mid-1650s, with improvements made by the master himself. The 1656 inventory of Rembrandt's possessions lists "a painting of a Samaritan retouched by Rembrandt." He often assigned biblical subjects to his students as exercises in stagecraft as well as painting or drawing techniques.
Inscription: Signed(?) and dated (lower center, on step): Rembrandt. / f 1655.
Hendrik Reydon, Amsterdam (until 1827; his sale, Amsterdam, April 5–6, 1827, no. 130, for fl. 550 to Brondgeest); Reverend T. Sheepshanks, Harrogate, England (by 1906); [R. Langton Douglas, London]; [Colnaghi and Knoedler, London, 1912; sold for £18,600 to Kappel]; Marcus Kappel, Berlin (1912–before 1926; cat., 1914, no. 25); Mr. and Mrs. William R. Timken, New York (by 1930–his d. 1949); Mrs. William R. (Lillian S.) Timken, New York (1949–d. 1959)
Leiden. Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal. "Fêtes de Rembrandt à Leyde," July 15–September 15, 1906, no. 47 (lent by Rev. Sheepshanks, Harrogate, England).

Detroit Institute of Arts. "Thirteenth Loan Exhibition of Old Masters: Paintings by Rembrandt," May 2–31, 1930, no. 54 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. William R. Timken, New York).

Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum. "Rembrandt Tentoonstelling," June 11–September 4, 1932, no. 30 (lent by Lillian S. Timken, New York).

New York. M. Knoedler & Co. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Rembrandt," April 17–29, 1933, no. 9 (lent by Mrs. William R. Timken).

New York. World's Fair. "Masterpieces of Art: European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300–1800," May–October 1939, no. 302 (lent by Mrs. William R. Timken, New York).

Los Angeles County Museum. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Frans Hals, Rembrandt," November 18–December 31, 1947, no. XXIV (lent by Mr. and Mrs. William R. Timken, New York).

New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "Masterpieces: A Memorial Exhibition for Adele R. Levy," April 6–May 7, 1961, no. 18.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Rembrandt after Three Hundred Years," October 21–December 7, 1969, no. 11.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "Rembrandt after Three Hundred Years," December 29, 1969–February 1, 1970, no. 11.

Detroit Institute of Arts. "Rembrandt after Three Hundred Years," February 24–April 5, 1970, no. 11.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 10, 1995–January 7, 1996, no. 14.

Vienna. Graphische Sammlung Albertina. "Rembrandt," March 26–June 27, 2004, no. 135.

Amsterdam. Museum Het Rembrandthuis. "Rembrandt: Zoektocht van een genie," April 1–July 2, 2006, unnumbered cat.

Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "Rembrandt, ein Genie auf der Suche," August 4–November 5, 2006, unnumbered cat.

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.

Jan Veth. "Rembrandtiana V: L'exposition en l'honneur de Rembrandt à la halle au drap de Leyde." L'art flamand & hollandais 11, no. 10 (1906), p. 90, ill. opp. p. 89.

Abraham Bredius. Die Leidener Ausstellung von 1906 zur Erinnerung und Feier des 300 jährigen Geburtstages Rembrandts. Haarlem, 1907, unpaginated, pl. 5, as in the Sheepshanks collection, Harrogate; notes that it is much overpainted.

Wilhelm R. Valentiner. "Remarques sur quelques tableaux de Rembrandt." L'art flamand & hollandais 6, no. 6 (1907), pp. 233–34, 236, fig. 11.

Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. Ed. W. R. Valentiner. 3rd ed. Stuttgart, 1909, p. 561, ill. p. 379.

A[braham]. Bredius. "Rembrandtiana." Oud Holland 28 (1910), pp. 197–98, notes that a version is listed in the 1678 inventory of the estate of Herman Becker, and believes that it may be identified with the MMA work or either of the compositions in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, or the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

Wilhelm von Bode. Die Gemäldesammlung Marcus Kappel in Berlin. Berlin, 1914, p. 4, no. 25, ill.

C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Ed. Edward G. Hawke. Vol. 6, London, 1916, pp. 80–81, no. 101.

W[ilhelm]. Martin. Alt-Holländische Bilder. Berlin, 1918, fig. 106 (installation photograph of Kappel gallery).

Isabella Errera. Répertoire des peintures datées. Vol. 1, Brussels, 1920, p. 283.

D. S. Meldrum. Rembrandt's Paintings. London, 1923, p. 201, pl. CCCXCIV.

Werner Weisbach. Rembrandt. Berlin, 1926, pp. 422, 460.

W. R. Valentiner. "Important Rembrandts in American Collections." Art News 28 (April 26, 1930), p. 4, ill. following p. 4.

Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Rembrandt Paintings in America. New York, 1931, unpaginated, no. 119, pl. 119, calls it "perhaps the most beautiful" of Rembrandt's versions of the subject.

A[braham]. Bredius. Rembrandt Gemälde. Vienna, 1935, p. 25, no. 589, pl. 589.

Otto Benesch. Rembrandt, Werk und Forschung. Vienna, 1935, p. 53.

Jakob Rosenberg. "Rembrandt's Technical Means and Their Stylistic Significance." Technical Studies 8 (1939–40), fig. 5 (detail).

Richard Hamann. Rembrandt. Potsdam, 1948, pp. 381–83, fig. 260, states that it is not by one person.

Jakob Rosenberg. Rembrandt. Cambridge, Mass., 1948, vol. 1, p. 203; vol. 2, pl. 263 (detail).

H. E. van Gelder. Rembrandt en het Landschap. Amsterdam, [1948], p. 48, ill. p. 45.

H.-M. Rotermund. "Wandlungen des Christus-Typus bei Rembrandt." Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 18 (1956), pp. 224–25.

Edwin Redslob. "Ein Kupferstich nach Michelangelo als Vorbild für Rembrandt." Berliner Museen: Berichte aus den ehem. Preussischen Kunstsammlungen, n.s., 6 (August 1956), p. 18, fig. 5 (detail), states that the influence of Michelangelo is apparent in the figure of the woman.

Werner Sumowski. "Nachträge zum Rembrandtjahr 1956." Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin 7, no. 2 (1957/58), p. 231, as a compilation by a student.

Otto Benesch. The Drawings of Remrandt. Vol. 5, London, 1957, p. 281, under no. 978 [rev., enl. ed., 1973, p. 269, under no. 978].

"Ninetieth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year 1959–1960." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 19 (October 1960), p. 34, ill.

Kurt Bauch. Rembrandt Gemälde. Berlin, 1966, p. 6, pl. 87.

Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann in Encyclopedia of World Art. Vol. 11, New York, 1966, col. 928.

Horst Gerson. Rembrandt Paintings. Ed. Gary Schwartz. Amsterdam, 1968, pp. 108, 110, 499, no. 273, ill. p. 362, rejects Sumowski's suggestion [see Ref. 1957/58] that this is by a pupil.

Paolo Lecaldano in L'opera pittorica completa di Rembrandt. Milan, 1969, p. 117, no. 340, ill.

Horst Gerson, ed. Rembrandt: The Complete Edition of the Paintings. By A[braham]. Bredius. 3rd ed. London, 1969, p. 610, no. 589, ill. p. 496.

Benjamin A. Rifkin. "Rembrandt and His Circle, Part 3." Art News 68 (November 1969), p. 32, believes the background figures are not by Rembrandt; relates the composition to an etching of about 1628 attributed to Jan Lievens.

I. Linnik in Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn: Paintings from Soviet Museums. Ed. V. Loewinson-Lessing. Leningrad [St. Petersburg], 1971, unpaginated, under no. 25.

Walter L. Strauss and Marjon van der Meulen. The Rembrandt Documents. New York, 1979, p. 324.

A. Hyatt Mayor. Rembrandt and the Bible. New York, 1979, p. 18, ill. opp. p. 19 (color).

Denys Sutton. "Robert Langton Douglas, Part II, XI: Commerce and Connoisseurship." Apollo 109 (May 1979), pp. 373–74, 382 n. 18, fig. 23.

Anne Walter Lowenthal. Rembrandt. New York, 1981, p. 10, colorpl. 7.

Yasuo Kamon et al. Rembrandt—from the Collection of the Hermitage Museum. Exh. cat., Bridgestone Museum of Art. Tokyo, 1982, unpaginated, introduction, under no. 8, fig. 18.

Werner Sumowski. Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler. Vol. 6, Landau/Pfalz, 1983–[94?], pp. 3524, 3531 n. 62, as tentatively attributed to Constantijn Daniel van Renesse, but notes that similarities with his work are insufficient to support the attribution.

Gary Schwartz. Rembrandt, His Life, His Paintings. New York, 1985, fig. 372 (color).

Christian Tümpel. Rembrandt: Mythos und Methode. Königstein, 1986, p. 421, no. A13, ill. p. 357 (color), as from the circle of Rembrandt.

Christopher Brown in Rembrandt and the Bible. Exh. cat., Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama. [Tokyo], 1986, pp. 136, 154, under no. 9.

Svetlana [L.] Alpers. Rembrandt's Enterprise: The Studio and the Market. Chicago, 1988, p. 71, as among works "only marginally related to Rembrandt's hand".

Old Master Pictures. Christie's, London. March 23, 1990, p. 60, under no. 70.

Pierre Cabanne. Rembrandt. [Paris], 1991, p. 15.

Leonard J. Slatkes. Rembrandt: Catalogo completo dei dipinti. Florence, 1992, p. 128, no. 65, ill. (color), as by a pupil and retouched by Rembrandt.

Walter Liedtke. "Some Paintings not by Rembrandt in the Metropolitan Museum." Rembrandt and His Pupils. Ed. Görel Cavalli-Björkman. Stockholm, 1993, pp. 136–37, fig. 10, states that he and Ernst van de Wetering agree that it is probably the work of a Rembrandt pupil during the 1650s; notes similarities with "The Good Samaritan" (Musée du Louvre, Paris), recently attributed to Constantijn van Renesse.

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, 74–76, no. 14, ill. (color), as by a follower of Rembrandt, possibly Renesse; dates it to the 1650s.

Hubert von Sonnenburg. Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1, "Paintings: Problems and Issues."New York, 1995, pp. 14, 28, 31, 61, 64, 100–101, 104, no. 14, ill. (color) and figs. 81, 82 (color detail), 128 (x-radiograph), 130, attributes it to Rembrandt.

William Grimes. "An Enigma Sometimes Wrapped in a Fake." New York Times (October 1, 1995), p. H34.

Old Master Pictures. Christie's, South Kensington. July 4, 1996, p. 16, under no. 30.

Paul Broekhoff and Michiel Franken. "Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship." Simiolus 25, no. 1 (1997), pp. 77–78.

León Krempel. Studien zu den datierten Gemälden des Nicolaes Maes (1634–1693). Petersberg, Germany, 2000, p. 123 n. 27.

Michael Zell. Reframing Rembrandt. Berkeley, 2002, pp. 146–47, 233 n. 54, fig. 97.

Marian Bisanz-Prakken in Rembrandt. Exh. cat., Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Vienna, 2004, pp. 286–87, no. 135, ill. (color), as by a Rembrandt pupil.

Ernst van de Wetering in Rembrandt: Quest of a Genius. Exh. cat., Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 2006, p. 34, fig. 27 (color) [Dutch ed., "Rembrandt: Zoektocht van een genie"], as by a pupil working on a composition begun by Rembrandt.

Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, p. xi; vol. 2, pp. 708, 731–38, no. 168, colorpl. 168, fig. 210 (x-radiograph), suggests that it "was conceived and in good part executed by an unknown student of the early to mid-1650s, but that Rembrandt significantly improved several passages".

Walter Liedtke. "Rembrandt Revelations at the Metropolitan Museum." Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, Beiheft: Wissenschaft auf der Suche 51 (2009), p. 47.

This is one of several compositions influenced by a work of the same subject by Moretto da Brescia (Accademia Carrera, Bergamo), believed in Rembrandt's time to be by Giorgione. Rembrandt was part owner of a version of the Moretto painting.
A copy (or copies) after this picture was sold at Christie's, London, March 23, 1990, no. 70, and at Christie's, South Kensington, July 4, 1996, no. 30, both as "After Rembrandt".
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