Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Three Studies for a Descent from the Cross
ca. 1654
Reed pen and quill pen and brown ink.
7 1/2 x 8 1/16 inches (190 x 205 mm)
Thaw Collection.

Watermark: none.
This moving sheet follows Rembrandt's formal and psychological development of the relation between the dead Christ and the young St. John, who gently lifts him from the cross. Basing his composition loosely on a print by Marcantonio Raimondi after Raphael, Rembrandt first sketched the group on the right, immediately changing the position of Christ's arm by pressing hard on his pen. Continuing at the top, he brought the faces closer together in an expression of tender humanity, and at the bottom he worked out the delicate reflections of light on their faces. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

George Guy, fourth earl of Warwick (according to Benesch, no mark, see Lugt 2600); Thomas Halstead; Dr. A. Hamilton Rice, New York; Mr. and Mrs. Louis H. Silver, Chicago; M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York; Robert Lehman, New York; Norton Simon Foundation, Los Angeles; R. M. Light & Co. Inc., Boston; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.
Associated names: 

Warwick, George Guy Greville, Earl of, 1818-1893, former owner.
Halstead, Thomas, former owner.
Rice, A. Hamilton, former owner.
Silver, Louis H., former owner.
Silver, Louis, Mrs., former owner.
Lehman, Robert, 1892-1969, former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.


The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 327, repr.
Stampfle, Felice, and Cara D. Denison. Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene V. Thaw. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1975, no. 30, repr. (also in Thaw III, no. 19)
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 19.