The J. Paul Getty Museum

Young Man Leaning on a Stick

Object Details


Young Man Leaning on a Stick


Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606 - 1669)




Netherlands (Place Created)


about 1629


Pen and brown ink on laid paper

Object Number:



14.3 × 8.6 cm (5 5/8 × 3 3/8 in.)

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Object Description

Standing in profile and facing to the left, a male figure leans on a stick. He almost certainly represents a beggar who supports himself with a crutch. The vitality of the drawing is seen in the loose, broken lines, which leave blank spaces and create darker accents. The sketchiness of the figure creates a convincing sense of plasticity in a lively manner. The bend of his back and the intense leaning on his crutch fashion a powerful image that is made all the more compelling by the strange open-mouthed laugh that suggests mental instability. This sheet speaks to the artist's ceaseless interest in life's humanity and humility. From 1625 to 1631 Rembrandt set up his studio in the home of his parents in Leiden, where he worked to gain recognition as a history painter. He produced drawings such as this in preparation for paintings and etchings. Inspired by people he saw on the streets, beggars and vagabonds were popular subjects for Rembrandt. He incorporated them as bystanders in his biblical compositions, where they served as reminders of the Christian duty of giving alms. He also used them as the subjects of at least twenty etchings from around 1630 that were often a compassionate commentary on social inequality.

Before 1928

Private Collection (England)
Source: J.C. Ebbinge Wubben, Rembrandt tekeningen, exh. cat. (Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, 1956), p. 36.


Nicolaas Beets, Dutch, 1878 - 1963 (Amsterdam), sold to I. Q. Regteren van Altena, 1928.
Source: I.Q. Regteren van Altena inventory book: '529.T. Rembrandt staande man'


I. Q. van Regteren Altena (L.4618, L.4617), Dutch, 1899 - 1980 (Amsterdam), by inheritance to his heirs.


Estate of I. Q. van Regteren Altena (L.4618, L.4617), Dutch, 1899 - 1980 [sold, Christie's, Amsterdam, December 10, 2014, lot 42 to a consortium of private dealers.]


Private Dealer Consortium, sold to private collector, 2016.


Private Collection, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2020.

Rembrandt tentoonstelling (June 11 to September 4, 1932)
  • Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), June 11 to September 4, 1932
De Jerome Bosch à Rembrandt: Dessins Hollandais du XVIe au XVII Siècles (November 1, 1937 to January 31, 1938)
  • Palais des beaux-arts (Brussels), November 1937 to January 1938
Rembrandt tekeningen (May 18 to October 21, 1956)
  • Stichting tot Beheer Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam), May 18 to August 5, 1956
  • Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), August 8 to October 21, 1956
Kabinet van Tekeningen: 16e en 17e eeuwse Hollandse en Vlaamse tekeningen uit een Amsterdamse verzameling / Le cabinet d’un amatear: Dessins flamands et hollandaise des XVIe et XVIIe siècle d’une collection privée d’Amsterdam (November 25, 1976 to April 30, 1977)
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam), November 25, 1976 to January 9, 1977
  • Fondation Custodia / Collection Frits Lugt (Paris), January 20 to March 6, 1977
  • Bibliothèque royale de Belgique (Brussels), March 19 to April 30, 1977
Rembrandt and the Bible (October 31, 1986 to March 22, 1987)
  • Sogo Museum of Art, October 31 to December 23, 1986
  • Fukuoka Art Museum, January 6 to February 1, 1987
  • National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto), February 7 to March 22, 1987
The Mystery of the Young Rembrandt (November 3, 2001 to May 26, 2002)
  • Staatliche Museen (Kassel), November 3, 2001 to February 3, 2002
  • Museum Het Rembrandthuis (Amsterdam), February 20 to May 26, 2002

Schmidt-Degener, Frederik. Rembrandt tentoonstelling, exh. cat. (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1932), p. 81, no. 224.

Bauch, Kurt. Die Kunst des jungen Rembrandt (Heidelberg: Verlag von Carl Winters Universitätsbuchhandlung, 1933), pp. 122-123, ill.

Benesch, Otto. Rembrandt: Werk und Forschung (Vienna: Gilhofer & Ranschburg, 1935; repr. Lucerne: Gilhofer & Ranschburg, 1970), p. 10.

Schmidt-Degener, Frederik. De Jerome Bosch a Rembrandt: Dessins Hollandais du XVIe au XVIIe Siècle, exh. cat. (Bruxelles: Palais de Beaux-Arts, 1937), p. 38, no. 78, pl. LI.

Benesch, Otto. The Drawings of Rembrandt, 6 vols. (London: Phaidon,1954-1957), vol. 1 (1954), p. 10, no. 27, fig. 28.

Ebbinge Wubben, J.C. Rembrandt tekeningen, exh. cat. (Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, 1956), p. 36, no. 10.

Haverkamp-Begemann, Egbert. Review of The Drawings of Rembrandt, by Otto Benesch. Kunstchronik XIV (1961), p. 20.

Sumowski, Werner. "Unbekannte Rembrandtzeichnungen." Kunstchronik XV (1962), p. 274.

Benesch, Otto. "Neuentdeckte Zeichnungen von Rembrandt." Jahrbuch der Berliner Museum 6 (1964), pp. 107-108.

Sumowski, Werner. "Rembrandtzeichungen." Pantheon IV (1964), p. 234.

Benesch, Otto. Collected Writings. Eva Benesch, ed. 4 vols. (New York and London: Phaidon, 1970), vol. 1 (1970), p. 248.

Benesch, Otto. The Drawings of Rembrandt, 6 vols. (London: Phaidon, 1973), vol. 1, p. 10, no. 27, fig. 32.

Le cabinet d’un amateur: Dessins flamands et hollandaise des XVIe et XVIIe siècle d’une collection privée d’Amsterdam, exh. cat. (Rotterdam: Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, with Erasmus Ledeberg, 1976), pp. 59-60, no. 102, pl. 76.

Brown, Christopher, Egbert Havercamp-Begemann and Christopher White. Rembrandt and the Bible, exh. cat. (Yokohama: Sogo Museum of Art, 1986), p. 96, no. 39, ill.

Schatborn, Peter. "Papieren kunst van Rembrandt en Lievens." In Rembrandt and Lievens in Leiden, exh. cat. (Leiden: Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, 1991), p. 74, fig. 30.

Wetering, Ernst van de, and Bernhard Schnackenburg, eds. The Mystery of the Young Rembrandt, exh. cat. (Kassel: Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, with Minerva, 2001), pp. 274-275, no. 50, ill.

Christie's, London.The I.Q. van Regteren Altena Collection. Part I: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Renaissance to the Golden Age. July 10, 2014 , pp. 84-85, lot 42, ill.

Schatborn, Peter and Erik Hinterding. Rembrandt: The Complete Drawings and Etchings (Cologne: Taschen, 2019), p. 157, no. D204, ill.