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5.3.3 The so-called Rembrandt

The last of the known works of the second Pott auction provided the impetus behind the present article. It was the item included as a Rembrandt at the second Pott auction, as mentioned by Gerson in his ‘Ausbreitung’.1 The painting has an unusual place among the works of the first and second Pott auctions to be mentioned by Von Holst. Not only are the proceeds and name of the buyer known, but the catalogue of 1763 also gives a detailed description of the painting and specifies its carrier and dimensions. We therefore know that the painting fetched fl. 140 and was bought by P. Uphagen, the mentioned Peter Uphagen.

The painting is described asJacob and Lea before their hut, sitting under an arbor, the first turns the eyes heavenward with folded hands, Lea sits in stooped position next to him; the small Benjamin peeks with curious eyes over the door behind them; two sons of Jacob stride before him, one of them holds the bloody robe of Joseph spread out in his hands, the passions in this piece are very naturally depicted, by Rembrandt, on canvas, 4 feet 3 inches high and 5 feet wide (Jakob und Lea vor ihrer Hütte, unter einer Laube siβend, der erstere schlägt mit gefalteten Händen die Augen gen Himmel, Lea siβet in gebeugter Stellung neben ihm; der kleine Benjamin gucket mit neubegierigen Augen hinter ihnen über die Thüren; zwoen Söhne Jakobs treten vor ihn, einer von denenselben hält den blutigen Rock Josephs ausgebreitet in seinen Händen, die Leidenschaften sind in diesem Stück sehr natürlich abgebildet, von Rembrandt, auf Leinwand, 4 Schuch 3 Zoll hoch und 5 Schuch breit).2 Von Holst tried to identify the picture on the basis of this information. As he indicated, it cannot have been one of the two paintings with this subject by Rembrandt, as was assumed by Hofstede de Groot.3 Von Holst therefore concluded that it must have been a since lost work. The present writer has made a renewed attempt at identification of the picture. Using the Iconclass code for the subject, 71 D 128, he encountered a painting in the documentation of the RKD that corresponds to the piece in question. It is a painting that is today given to Rembrandt’s student Jan Victors (1619-1676).4 Remarkably there exist three versions of this work, so that it could be a painting that was auctioned in London (Christie’s) on 9 July 2008 as coming from the collection of Hans-Adam II Prince von und zu Liechtenstein [i], one that was twice auctioned  in 2005 [i], 5 or even a version of lesser quality, probably a copy, auctioned in 1993.6

X
Jan Victors   , Joseph's bloodied coat shown to Jacob (Genesis 37:32-35), first half of the 1650s

Jan Victors  
Joseph's bloodied coat shown to Jacob (Genesis 37:32-35) first half of the 1650s
oil paint / canvas, 134,4 x 172,8 cm
London (England) (Christie's), 2008-07-09, no. 120



X
Jan Victors   , Joseph's bloodied coat shown to Jacob (Genesis 37:32-35), first half of the 1650s

Jan Victors  
Joseph's bloodied coat shown to Jacob (Genesis 37:32-35) first half of the 1650s
oil paint / canvas, 135 x 172 cm
Amsterdam (Sotheby's), 2005-11-15, no. 70



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after Jan Victors   , Joseph's blood-stained coat is shown to Jacob (Genesis 37:32-35), after c. 1655

after Jan Victors  
Joseph's blood-stained coat is shown to Jacob (Genesis 37:32-35) after c. 1655
oil paint / canvas, 131 x 149,3 cm
London (England) (Sotheby's), 1993-04-21, no. 234





[1]

Gerson 1942/1983, p. 505.

[2]

Von Holst 1934, p. 62. The dimensions given by Von Holst, probably in local elbow (łokieć gdański), correspond with 122,8 x 144,5 cm (communication J. Tylicki).

[3]

Hofstede de Groot 1907-1928, vol. 6 (1915), Rembrandt, Nicolaes Maes, pp. 15-16, cat. nos. 15-16. Cat. no. 15 in Hofstede de Groot as a Rembrandt owned by the Earl of Derby, it is today attributed to Gerbrand van den Eeckhout and was auctioned in London (Christie’s) on 13 December 2000, no. 53 (RKDimages 102377).

[4]

 Sumowski 1983-1994, vol. 4 (1983), p. 2600, under no. 1739.

[5]

The work was first auctioned in New York (Sotheby’s) on 27 January 2005, cat. no. 148, ill. in color, and later that year, on 15 November, in Amsterdam, again with Sotheby’s, cat. no. 70, ill. in color.

[6]

Auctioned in London (Sotheby's) on 21 April 1993, no. 234, ill., as circle of Jan Victors.

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