List of Artworks

Research Notes: Part 2, no. 30, Folio 11 recto

Possibly Identified
Leonard Bramer, The Arrest of Jesus (ca. 1630)
Fig. II, 30, a
Leonard Bramer (Dutch, 1596–1674)
Title: The Arrest of Jesus, La cattura di Cristo, L'Arrestation de Jésus
Date: ca. 1630
Medium: Oil on panel
Dimensions: 26 x 20 cm (10 1/4 x 7 7/8 in.)
Current location: Toulouse, France, Musée des Augustins, repository no. 2004 1 414
Image Source: Musée des Augustins
Photographer: Daniel Martin

This work came from the collection of paintings assembled by Giovan Battista Mellini in the 1620s.1 To date, it has not been possible to identify the painting described in both inventories with any known painting by Leonard Bramer. Fausto Nicolai prudently suggests that this painting could be identified with the Capture of Christ currently at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse (fig. II, 30, a).2 Nicolai notes that the iconographical description that appears in the inventory of 1680 does not coincide with this painting; however, the poor conservation of the image makes it quite difficult to determine with precision how the composition originally looked. Moreover, the exact coincidence of the measurements and the fact that the painting is on panel are also significant arguments to support this hypothesis. If this is the case, the inventory of 1680 and the later poem would become unique documents for describing the original configuration of the painting.

In the 1627 inventory of Giovan Battista Mellini, the painting is described as: “Un altro quadretto di una notte della presa di alto un palmo circa” (“Another small painting with a nocturnal scene of the capture of Our Lord, about a palm high”).3 In the mid-eighteenth century, the painting was still in the Mellini collection; in the inventory of Cardinal Mario Mellini IV of 1738 (fol. 46), it is described as: “Altro circa un palmo, p[er] traverso rapp[resentan]te una notte con nostro Sig[no]re condotto ad un palazzo o atrio con torcia avanti con cornice dorata liscia” (“Another about a palm across, depicting a night scene with Our Lord being led by torchlight to a palace or atrium, with a smooth gilded frame”).4


  • 1. Fausto Nicolai, “Le ‘molte pitture moderne buone’ nella raccolta di Giovan Battista Mellini (1591–1627),” Rivista d’arte, ser. 5, vol. 2 (2012): 217–35.
  • 2. Nicolai, “Le ‘molte pitture moderne buone,’” 217–35.
  • 3. Nicolai, “Le ‘molte pitture moderne buone,’” 217–35. See “Appendice” on pages 231–34 for the transcription of “Inventario dei quadri lasciati in eredità da Giovan Battista Mellini allo zio cardinale Giovanni Garzi,” in Archivio di Stato di Roma, Rome, 30 Notai Capitolini, uff. 31, vol. 118, ff. 774–90, 11 ago.1627, 232.
  • 4. Archivio Serlupi Crescenzi, Rome, Inventario dei mobili di Mon Mario Mellini, vol. 84, 1738, fol. 46.


Plomp, Michiel. “Bramer in Rome.” In Jane ten Brink Goldsmith et al., eds., Leonaert Bramer, 1596–1674: Ingenious Painter and Draughtsman in Rome and Delft, 50–53. Exh. cat. Zwolle: Waanders Uitgevers, 1994.