FOUR ORIENTALS SEATED UNDER A TREE; BEARDED OLD MEN WEARING TURBANS, SEATED IN A HALF-CIRCLE ON A TERRACE, ONE HOLDING A CUP, THE OTHER A BOOK, A STEEP ROCKY OUTCROP BEHIND. C.1656-1661

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June 30, 1656
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People
Shah Jahan 1627–1658

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DESCRIPTION

Drawn by Rembrandt
ca. 1656-1661
Dutch

Four Orientals seated under a tree; bearded old men wearing turbans, seated in a half-circle on a terrace, one holding a cup, the other a book, a steep rocky outcrop behind. c.1656-1661

Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash, touched with white and with some scraping-out, on oriental paper prepared with pale brown wash.

Inscriptions on the books held by the figures in the original miniature identify them as (from left to right) Shaykh Husayn J�m, Shaykh Husayn Adjm�r�, Darv�sh Muhammad M�zander�n� and Shaykh Miy�n M�r. The books held by the two figures on the left also bear the date 1037, corresponding to 1627-8 of the Christian calendar. The miniature itself could be somewhat later than this and may be a version of an earlier drawing, but at all events Rembrandt was copying works that were made in his lifetime.

This unusual scene is one of a series of drawings that Rembrandt freely based on seventeenth- century Mughal miniatures from India. It is likely that Rembrandt studied these figures because he was fascinated by their costumes. In many of his paintings and self-portraits, his love of costumes and elaborate hats or turbans is evident. Here he concentrates on the textiles and turbans.

The miniature that formed the basis for this drawing is probably that in the Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, dated AH 1037 (AD 1627/28). It is interesting is that some of the delicacy of the original miniature, notably in the faces, has been transferred by Rembrandt to his own freely drawn version. This drawing is thought to date from after 1656 when Rembrandt made an etching of Abraham and the angels which was inspired by the design copied here.

The drawing has been made on oriental paper that has been prepared with a pale brown wash. The figures are drawn in pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash. Some parts have been heightened with white with some areas scraped out. The tree is freely drawn in wash with the birds and few leaves sketchily added in pen and ink.

M. Royalton-Kisch, H. Chapman and S. Coppel, Old Master drawings from the M, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)



Trustees of the British Museum

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Ratings & Review

Mohmedd shareef

Thank You for Suggestion and replaced image with proper one.

Mirza Firuz

This is not the same may be one of his great grand children ???