Recumbent Lion, Facing Right, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, c. 1660

Recumbent Lion, Facing Right, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, c. 1660

reed pen and brown ink, some areas deliberately rubbed with a finger or wet brush, on paper toned with a light brown wash; framing line in brown ink, h 122mm × w 212mm. Catalogue entry

Rembrandt rendered this lion with confident strokes of the pen, without any hesitation. The animal’s head and squinting eyes seem especially effortlessly drawn. He created shadows by smudging the ink with his finger in places. It is clear that Rembrandt was drawing a living animal and was keen to capture what he saw on paper before the lion moved.

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