Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Head of a Man in a High Fur Hat; Self-portrait
ca. 1634-1635
Pen and brown ink on paper; framing line in brown ink.
4 1/8 x 3 13/16 inches (105 x 96 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
I, 174a

Watermark: none visible through lining.
The head of the old man in the ornate fur hat is found towering above those of his two companions in the center foreground of the grisaille painting, "Preaching of John the Baptist" in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, which is usually dated c. 1634-5. Three other pen-and-ink studies by Rembrandt for the Berlin painting are preserved, two in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, and one in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire, Chatsworth House. There is a fifth preparatory drawing executed in red chalk, in the Courtauld Institute Galleries, London, which contains two studies for the figure of the Baptist.
This drawing and nos. I, 174b, I, 174c, I, 174d, and I, 174e have apparently been mounted together on one mat since at least 1908.


Inscribed on the verso, at upper edge, in light brown ink, "·15·K-N 12·53(crossed out) ]/"; at left, in graphite, 5355/5 ["5355" in superscript above the subscript "5"]; and at center, in an old hand, in black chalk, "Z.8".

Dr. Edward Riggall, London; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 6-8 June 1901, one of five in lot 527: "Rembrandt van Rijn. Studies of Heads, pen and ink, from the Esdaile and other collections" (to Fairfax Murray for £42.0.0); 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: 

Riggall, Edward, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.


Stampfle, Felice and Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann. Rembrandt Drawings from American Collections. Cambridge, MA: Fogg Art Museum; New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1960, no. 14, repr.
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. 14, 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. 204.