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Mary and Elizabeth with the Christ Child and the Infant St John
  • Mary and Elizabeth with the Christ Child and the Infant St John

    TitleMary and Elizabeth with the Christ Child and the Infant St John
  • Technique/ MaterialRed chalk, point of brush in grey and grey wash on paper ; Verso: See NMH 1991/1863
  • DimensionsDimensions: (h x b) 19 x 21,6 cm
  • Artist/Maker Artist: Govert Flinck, Dutch, born 1615, dead 1660
  • CategoryDrawings, Free-hand drawings
  • ClassificationDrawing
  • Geographical originHolland [historisk region], _Region
  • Inventory No.NMH 1990/1863
  • AcquisitionÖvertagande 1866 från Kongl. Museum
  • Collection Dutch Drawings in Swedish Public Collections
  • Description
    Literature
    Artist/Maker
    Images and media

    Red chalk, point of brush in grey and grey wash, 190 x 216 mm. Verso: Adoration of the shepherds, pen and brown ink, brown wash. Upper right corner cut off, two strips of paper added, washed grey. Along the top, to the left, an area c. 22 x 100 mm is whitened (glue?). Ruled framing lines in brown ink, except along the top. No watermark. Chain lines: c. 25 mm. Numbered in the lower right corner, 1797 (Sparre) and 85 (struck out).

    The chalk sketch on the left is full of pentimenti and difficult to read, while in the rest of the drawing the figures are sketched with a minimum of chalk and the brushwork clarifies the forms. Possibly the composition was started on the left and recommenced to the right. There has been some confusion about the subject matter. It has sometimes been interpreted as the adoration of Christ, but since there are clearly two women and two children, this has to be excluded. An Italian origin for the composition has also been proposed.

    The early assumption that the drawing was retouched by Rembrandt has been abandoned. Moltke was the first to suggest Flinck, comparing this drawing to others by the artist. Sumowski has agreed, and the sheet has been dated to the second half of the 1650s on stylistic grounds.

    The drawing on the verso, The Adoration of the Shepherds, is a copy of one in Brussels, attributed to Willem Drost and dated to the 1650s. [Magnusson, Dutch Drawings no. 156]