© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Eliezer traveled to the birthplace of his master, Abraham, to find a wife for the patriarch’s son Isaac. Stopping at a well where young women came to fetch water, Eliezer asked God to reveal Isaac’s bride to him. No sooner had he finished his supplication than Rebecca, granddaughter of Abraham’s brother Nahor, approached the well, and the conversation that Eliezer envisioned in his prayer ensued between the two. Drost studied with Rembrandt around 1650, and the technique of this drawing imitates his teacher’s pen work from that period. Eliezer and Rebecca at the Well exemplifies the type of illustration of a biblical or mythological subject that Rembrandt’s pupils made as exercises in invention, composition, and expression.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1999.136
People
Willem Drost, Dutch (Germany(?) 1633 - 1659 Venice)
Title
Eliezer and Rebecca at the Well
Classification
Drawings
Work Type
drawing
Date
c. 1650-1655
Culture
Dutch
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Brown ink, brown wash and white opaque watercolor on cream antique laid paper, framing lines in brown ink and graphite at right, some ruled, and in black chalk at bottom
Dimensions
17 x 23.6 cm (6 11/16 x 9 5/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • collector's mark: verso, lower center, blue ink stamp: L. 3306 (Maida and George Abrams)
  • inscription: verso, upper left, graphite: 33 [corrected to] 31 / P 19 x 12 1/2 LANDSCAPE
  • inscription: verso, right center, graphite: 3
  • inscription: verso, lower left, graphite: b.ab.f [or fn? or fr?]
  • inscription: verso, lower right, graphite: D24335
  • collector's mark: lower right, black or blue ink stamp: [illegible]
  • collector's mark: verso, lower left, stamp: L. 550 (Gregoire Stroganoff)
  • collector's mark: verso, lower center, brown ink: L. 538a (Carlos Gaa)
  • collector's mark: verso, lower center, brown ink stamp: L. 873b (E. J. Otto)
  • watermark: Paschal Lamb with MP and crossed flags below; identical to Hinterding 2006, vol. 2, pp. 167 and 406, D.a.a (B. 275 i[5]), c. 1655, plate signed and dated 1655; impression in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 29.107.30); related to Heawood 2842 (Schieland, 1645)
Provenance
Unidentified collector (illegible fragment of blue or black stamp, lower right). Adolph von Beckerath, Berlin. Count Gregori Sergeievitch Stroganoff, Rome (L. 550, verso, lower left). [C. G. Boerner, Leipzig.] Dr. C. Gaa, Mannheim (L. 538a, verso, lower center), sold; [C. G. Boerner, Leipzig, 9 May 1930, lot 55 (as Ferdinand Bol)]. [C. G. Boerner, Leipzig, 19 June 1937, lot 379 (as Rembrandt School)]. [C. G. Boerner, Leipzig, 28 April 1939, lot 342, repr. pl. 33 (as Circle of Rembrandt)]. Ernst Jürgen Otto, Celle (L. 873b, verso, lower center), sold; to [P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. Ltd., London, 1960], sold; to [Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd., London], sold; to Maida and George Abrams, Boston, 1989 (L. 3306, verso, lower center). The Maida and George Abrams Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1999.136.

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
The Maida and George Abrams Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Accession Year
1999
Object Number
1999.136
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Handzeichnungen alter Meister des XV. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Liste XXXVII., auct. cat. (Leipzig, 1918), no. 33, p. 11, repr. p. 10 (as Ferdinand Bol)

C. E. Kohne, "Studien zur Graphik von Ferdinand Bol und Jan Lievens" (Thesis, University of Bonn?, 1932), Unpublished, p. 34 (as Ferdinand Bol)

M.D. Henkel, Tekeningen van Rembrandt en zijn school, Catalogus van de Nederlandse tekeningen in het Rijksmuseum te Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (The Hague, Netherlands, 1943), under cat. no. 89, pp. 44-45

Exhibition of Old Master Drawings, auct. cat., P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. Ltd. (London, England, 1960), cat. no. 31, repr. pl. III (as School of Rembrandt)

Werner Sumowski, Drawings of the Rembrandt School, ed. Walter Strauss, Abaris Books (New York, NY, 1979), vol 3, cat. no. 554x, repr.

William W. Robinson, Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., H. O. Zimman, Inc. (Lynn, MA, 1991), cat. no. 47, pp. 112-3, repr.

George S. Keyes, "[Review] Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings. A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection", Master Drawings (Winter 1992), vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 443-448, p. 448

Peter C. Sutton and William W. Robinson, Drawings by Rembrandt, his Students and Circle from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., Bruce Museum and Yale University Press (New Haven and London, 2011), cat. no. 40, pp. 29 and 118-9, repr.

Ger Luijten, Peter Schatborn, and Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., Drawings for Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art and Skira (Washington, DC, 2016), p. 36, repr. p. 37 as fig. 6

William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson, Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016), p. 20; cat. no. 27, pp. 107-109, repr. p. 108; watermark p. 376

Exhibition History

Exhibition of Old Master Drawings, P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. Ltd., London, 04/28/1960 - 05/28/1960

Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 02/23/1991 - 04/18/1991; Albertina Gallery, Vienna, 05/16/1991 - 06/30/1991; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 01/22/1992 - 04/22/1992; Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/10/1992 - 12/06/1992

Drawings by Rembrandt, his Students and Circle from the Collection of Maida and George Abrams, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, 09/24/2011 - 01/08/2012; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, 04/15/2012 - 07/08/2012

Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2016 - 08/14/2016

Subjects and Contexts

Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu