Woman Teaching a Child to Walk
  • Woman Teaching a Child to Walk

    TitleWoman Teaching a Child to Walk
  • Technique/ MaterialPen and brown ink on buff paper. Laid down.
  • DimensionsDimensions: (h x b) 16 x 16,5 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 59,7 x 46,7 x 3,5 cm
  • Artist/Maker Artist: Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Dutch, born 1606, dead 1669
  • CategoryDrawings, Free-hand drawings
  • ClassificationDrawing
  • Geographical originHolland, Nederländerna
  • Inventory No.NMH 2074/1863
  • AcquisitionTransferred 1866 from Kongl. Museum
  • Collection Dutch Drawings in Swedish Public Collections
  • Description
    Images and media

    Pen and brown ink, 160 x 165 mm. Laid down. Mark of the Royal Collection (Lugt 1638). Numbered in pen and brown ink, in the lower right corner, no 60 (struck out) and, on the mount, 1873 (Sparre) and 2.

    The child learning to walk is wearing a pudding cap and is held in a harness by a woman. A first sketch of the child on the left was abandoned and repeated to the right. The drawing fits well in style with the previous ones. A similar scene is also depicted in the background of the etching The Hog of 1643 (Bartsch 157). If, as has been tentatively suggested, the child is Rembrandt’s son Titus, who was born in September 1641, the drawing must have been made in the second half of 1642.

    The identification of the child as Titus is hardly conclusive, however, and a scene with an infant in a walking frame attended by the same (?) old woman is also found in the etching Male Nude Standing and Seated, dated around 1646 (Bartsch 194). Benesch believes that this drawing and the following two (entries 320 and 321) come from the same sketchbook. However, the paper in the present drawing seems to be different. Benesch dates the group of drawings around 1646, while Vogel-Köhn prefers a slightly earlier date.

    The evidence for dating provided by the etchings is not conclusive. As White has pointed out, the spatial structure of the etching with the two nudes is unclear; it seems to combine independent studies. The genre scenes seem to have been added to the prints to make them more attractive. The artist may have resorted to older sketches or sometimes worked from memory.

    See also the following entry. [NMH 2038/1863] [Magnusson, Dutch Drawings no. 319]