The J. Paul Getty Museum

Sleeping Girl

Object Details


Sleeping Girl


Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (Dutch, 1621 - 1674)




Netherlands (Place Created)


about 1652


Black chalk on laid paper

Object Number:



23.5 × 18.4 cm (9 1/4 × 7 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

The artist depicts a little girl of about a year old, her head covered in a cap, as she slumbers. Using black chalk, he captures the softness of infant sleep: the child's eyes are gently closed; her lips purse in a sweet smile; and her plump hands are relaxed. The senses of softness and relaxation are heightened by the large pillow that cradles her; the deep, graceful folds of her gown; and the velvety shadows that envelop her head and back. Genre drawings of children are unusual in 17th-century Dutch art, and this one stands out for its large scale; its touching intimacy suggests the baby was probably one of the artist's family members. It could have been made as a study for a still unidentified painting, or simply to capture a gentle domestic moment.

by 1955-1963

Bernard Houthakker (L.1272), 1884 - 1963 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)


Estate of Bernard Houthakker (L.1272), 1884 - 1963 (Amsterdam, Netherlands) [sold, Houthakker sale, Sotheby Man van Waay, Amsterdam, November 17, lot 60, to F.W.A. Knight.]


F.W.A. Knight [sold, Sotheby Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, October 29, 1979, lot 38, to Jacobus A. Klaver.]


Jacobus A. Klaver, Dutch, 1928 - 1997 (Amsterdam, Netherlands) [sold, Klaver Sale, Sotheby's, Amsterdam, May 4, 1994, to private collector.]


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

De Verzameling van Bernard Houthakker (August to November 1964)
  • Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), August to November 1964
Tekeningen van Oude Meesters: De Verzameling Jacobus A. Klaver (1993)
  • Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), May 8 to July 25, 1993

Houthakker Gallery, Amsterdam. Dessins exposés chez Bernard Houthakker (1955), no. 4 (as Brekelenkam).

Boon, K. G. De Verzameling van Bernard Houthakker (Amsterdam: Rijksprentenkabinet, 1964), p. 18, no. 28, pl. 16.

Wegner, Wolfgang. Katalogue der Staatlichen Graphischen Sammlung München, vol. 1. Nederlandische Handzeichnungen des 15. -18. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1973), p. 178, under no. 1216.

Sotheby Mak van Waay, Amsterdam. Catalogus van de Kunstveiling 253: The Collection of the Late Bernard Houthakker. November 17-18, 1975, pp. 84-85, lot 60, ill.

Sotheby Mak van Waay, Amsterdam. Catalogus van de Kunstveiling […]. October 29, 1979, pp. 11, 62, lot 38, ill.

Sumowski, Werner. Drawings of the Rembrandt School. Walter Strauss, ed. 10 vols. (New York: Abaris Books, 1977-), vol. 3 (1980), p. 1566, no. 726x, ill.

Schapelhouman, Marijn and Peter Schatborn. Tekeningen van oude meesters: De verzameling Jacobus A. Klaver (Zwolle: Waanders Uitgevers, 1993), pp. 108-109, 242, cat. no. 49, ill.

Sotheby's, Amsterdam. The Jacobus A. Klaver Collection of Dutch Old Master Drawings. May 10, 1994, pp. 59-60, lot 38, ill.