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Gallery Text

Civil authorities in the officially Protestant Dutch Republic tolerated Roman Catholic worship as long as it took place out of sight in a clandestine church—typically a nondescript urban facade that masked an interior richly outfitted with altarpieces and devotional pictures. Jordaens’s large altarpiece Christ Carrying the Cross, for which this drawing was a preparatory study, was commissioned in the late 1650s by the Jesuit mission in Amsterdam to hang in one such church. While the design generally corresponds to that on the canvas, nearly every figure that appears in both drawing and painting underwent some revision. The composite support of this work exemplifies Jordaens’s practice of drawing on pieced-together rectangles, strips, and irregular scraps of paper. Here, he cut and pasted to excise and substitute parts of the composition, and he enlarged the support to accommodate an extension of the design.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Jacques Jordaens, Flemish (Antwerp, Belgium 1593 - 1678 Antwerp, Belgium)
Christ Carrying the Cross
Work Type
c. 1655-60
Physical Descriptions
Brown ink, brown wash, transparent and opaque watercolor, red and black chalk over black chalk underdrawing on seven pieces of light tan antique laid paper, pieced together and laid down overall
25.9 x 21.7 cm (10 3/16 x 8 9/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: former mount, graphite: property of / Paul J. Sachs. / Jordaens (Jakob) Antwerp 1593-1678 / Christ bearing the Cross / Ask KO's view + / input
  • label: old brown paper, in curatorial file, typeface: MORTIMER BRANDT GALLERY / 50 EAST 57TH STREET / NEW YORK, N. Y. / #10 - Jacob Jordaen Exhibition / Feb. 17th - March 16th, 1940
  • inscription: mount, verso, upper left, graphite: Jordaens
  • inscription: mount, verso, lower left, graphite: Jordaens [underlined]
  • inscription: mount, verso, lower right, graphite: FC0 [or Fe0 ?]
  • inscription: mount, verso, center, graphite: [extensive erased inscription]
  • watermark: none
  • inscription: mount, verso, lower left, graphite: [extensive erased inscription]
Possibly Samuel van Huls, The Hague, sold; [Jan Swart, The Hague, 14 May 1736, Port. O, lot 691.] Possibly Nourri, sold; [Paris, Folliot, Regnault, c.p. Brusley, Poussin, 24 February – 14 March 1785, part of lots 891-3.] [Frederick Keppel & Co., New York] sold; to Meta and Paul J. Sachs, Cambridge, Mass. (L. 2091, without his mark); Bequest of Meta and Paul J. Sachs, 1965.226

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Meta and Paul J. Sachs
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum Annual Report, 1933-1934 (Cambridge, MA, 1935), p. 22

Agnes Mongan, "A Jordaens Drawing", The Burlington Magazine (December 1939), vol. 75, no. 441, pp. 245-47, pp. 245-46

Agnes Mongan and Paul J. Sachs, Drawings in the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, 1940), vol. 1, cat. no. 480, pp. 248-49, repr. vol. 2, fig. 247

Mortimer Brandt Gallery, Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), exh. cat., Mortimer Brandt Gallery (New York, 1940), cat. no. 10, n.p., repr.

Leo van Puyvelde, Jordaens, Elsevier (Brussels, 1953), p. 183 (n. 200)

An Exhibition of Dutch and Flemish Drawings and Watercolors, checklist, Unpublished (1954), cat. no. 24, p. 6

Roger A. d'Hulst, De tekeningen van Jakob Jordaens : bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van de XVIIe-eeuwse kunst in de zuidelijke Nederlanden, Paleis der Academiën (Brussels, 1956), cat. no. 187, pp. 397-98

Agnes Mongan, Memorial Exhibition: Works of Art from the Collection of Paul J. Sachs [1878-1965] : given and bequeathed to the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, exh. cat., Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, 1965), p. 207

Fogg Art Museum Acquisitions, 1965, 1966, p. 34

Michael Jaffé, Jacob Jordaens 1593-1678, exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, 1968), cat. no. 256, p. 218, repr. p. 379, fig. 250

Michael Jaffé, "Reflections on the Jordaens Exhibition", Bulletin, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario, 1969), vol. 13, pp. 2-39, p. 6 (n. 3)

Highly Important Pictures by Old Masters, auct. cat., Christie's, London (London, December 5, 1969), under lot 100, p. 57

Roger A. d'Hulst, Jordaens drawings, Arcade Press (Brussels, 1974), vol. 2, cat. no. A356, pp. 423-425, and under cat. no. A357, p. 425, under cat. no. A358, p. 426, under cat. no. A359, p. 426, under cat. no. A360, p. 427, under cat. no. C81, p. 545, and under cat. no. C82, p. 547; repr. vol. 4, fig. 374

Old Master Paintings, auct. cat., The Leger Galleries, Ltd. (London, 1976), under cat. no. 8, n.p.

Konrad Oberhuber, European Master Drawings of Six Centuries from the Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art (Tokyo, 1979), cat. no. 45, n.p., repr. pl. 45

Noortje Bakker, "'Kruisdraging' van Jacob Jordaens op de Oude Kunst- en Antiekbeurs", Tableau (Sept.-Oct. 1981), vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 38-40, pp. 38 and 40 (n. 1), repr. p. 38

Italian, Dutch and Flemish Baroque Paintings, auct. cat., P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. Ltd. (London, 1984), under cat. no. 16, p. 34

Fine Old Master Drawings, auct. cat., Christie's, London (London, April 8, 1986), under lot 104, p. 60

Roger A. d'Hulst, "Jordaens Drawings: Supplement II", Master Drawings (Summer 1990), vol. XXVIII, no. 2, pp. 142-72, under cat. no. A356a, p. 161

Roger A. d'Hulst, Nora De Poorter, and Marc Vandenven, Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), exh. cat., ed. Hans Devisscher and Nora De Poorter, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Antwerp, 1993), vol. 1, under cat. no. A91, p. 280, repr. fig. A91C

Old Master Drawings, auct. cat., Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg (London, 9 July 2001), under lot 68, p. 41

Alain Tapié, Baroque. Vision Jésuite du Tintoret à Rubens, exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen (Caen, 2003), under cat. no. 58, p. 326

Vadim Sadkov, Netherlandish, Flemish and Dutch Drawings of the XVI-XVIII Centuries, Belgian and Dutch Drawings of the XIX-XX Centuries, ed. Charles Dumas, Foundation for Cultural Inventory (Amsterdam, 2010), under cat. no. 232, p. 156

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. 15, 23; cat. no. 50, pp. 176-178, repr. p. 177

Exhibition History

Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), Mortimer Brandt Gallery, 02/17/1940 - 03/16/1940

An Exhibition of Dutch and Flemish Drawings and Watercolors, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/01/1954 - 04/30/1954

Jacob Jordaens 1593-1678, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 11/29/1968 - 01/05/1969

European Master Drawings of Six Centuries from the Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11/03/1979 - 12/16/1979

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