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Man Mending a Pen: P.15013-R

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Man Mending a Pen


Printmaker: Houston, Richard
Painter: Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (After)




After an unknown painting by Rembrandt. A young man wearing a flat cap on his head stands/sits behind a table looking down at a quill which he is cutting with a knife. Light streams in from an arched window to the left. The table is strewn with open manuscripts. A low stool to the right is piled with manuscripts which are also scattered on the floor in the foreground.


History note: VanSittart gave 1,485 engravings to the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1879 and this mezzotint was probably included within this group. The number written in graphite in large script on the verso presumably relates to some kind of count by curators at the time of the acquisition.

Legal notes

Given by Augustus Arthur VanSittart, ?1879

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1879) by VanSittart, Augustus Arthur


Production date: circa AD 1757


Mezzotint. Proof before all letters. Inscribed on the verso in pen and ink: 'Vansittart Collection' and in graphite '427' and '?m 5'. Another impression of the same state, ex. collection John Charrington, P.5832-R. P. See BM 1975,U.1070 for a fully-lettered impression (Charrington 83.II) which states: 'Done from the Original Picture in the Collection of John Blackwood Esqr. / Sold by Rd. Houston at Charing Cross, London'. The print is undated, although David Alexander has suggested that it was probably produced as one of a group of mezzotints designed to be sold as a group by Houston from his home at Charing Cross, among them Houston's Saint Bartholomew after Rembrandt which is dated 1757. (See, Christopher White, David Alexander, Ellen D'Oench, Rembrandt in Eighteenth Century England (Yale Center for British Art, 1983), cat. no. 96, p. 56).

School or Style


Techniques used in production


Identification numbers

Accession number: P.15013-R
Primary reference Number: 240076
Alexander (Rembrandt): 83.I/II (p.132)
Charrington (Rembrandt): 83.I/II
Bode (Rembrandt): VII (p.242o)
Chaloner Smith: undescribed
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Thursday 9 January 2020 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Man Mending a Pen" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-04 19:49:04

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{{cite web|url= |title=Man Mending a Pen |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-04 19:49:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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