Attributed to Abraham van Dyck

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Attributed to Abraham van Dyck
1635 or 1636-1672
Old Woman Seated, Holding a Book
Pen and brown ink, brown and gray washes, some red chalk and opaque white, over black chalk, on paper.
5 15/16 x 5 3/8 inches (150 x 137 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
I, 194

Watermark: none.
Drawing is preparatory for painting of the same subject attributed to van Dyck in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.


Inscribed on the verso, at the lower left corner, probably a dealer's code, in graphite, "BdBo / ss ils.wok". Inscribed on the old mount underneath the drawing, in graphite, "Rembrandts Mother".

Possibly Jonathan Richardson, Sr. (1665-1745), London (no mark; see Lugt 2183-4); possibly his sale, London, Cock, 22 January-10 February 1747, lot 22 (2 February): "Four, Rembrandt, portrait of an old woman sitting, madonna, heads, etc." (to "Chauncey" for £0.3.4); possibly Simon Fokke (1712-84), Amsterdam; possibly his sale, Amsterdam, van der Schley..., 6 December 1784, Album O, lot 928 (as Rembrandt): "Een zittend bedaagd Vrouwtje halverlyf, rustende met de hand op een Bybel, 't Hoofd bedekt met een linnen Sluier, zy schynt iets aandachtig te overweegen; zeer kragtig met roet en Oostind. Inkt geteekend" (bt. for 40 fl.); Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford (1786-1859), London and Packington Hall, Meriden, near Coventry, Warwickshire (Lugt 58); his sale, London, Christie's, 17-18 July 1893, lot 266 (as Rembrandt): "Portrait of an Old Woman, called Rembrandt's Mother" (to Fairfax Murray for £4.15.0); Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence; from whom purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see Lugt 1509); his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.
Associated names: 

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1606-1669, Formerly attributed to.
Maes, Nicolaes, ca. 1634-1693, Formerly attributed to.
Pluym, Karel van der, 1625-72, Formerly attributed to.
Richardson, Jonathan, 1665-1745, former owner.
Fokke, Simon, 1712-1784, former owner.
Aylesford, Heneage Finch, Earl of, 1786-1859, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.


Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, I, introduction (n.p.), paragraph 3, and no. 194, repr. (as Rembrandt but related to a domestic scene by Nicolaes Maes).
Stampfle, Felice. Rubens and Rembrandt in Their Century : Flemish and Dutch Drawings of the Seventeenth Century from The Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1979, no. 122, repr.
Jane Shoaf Turner, with contributions by Felice Stampfle, Dutch Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library: Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries, New York, 2006, cat. no. 71.

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