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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Netherlandish (Leiden, Netherlands 1537 - 1614 Leiden, Netherlands)
Previously attributed to J. Nicola, Dutch
Adoration of the Shepherds
Work Type
16th-17th century
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Brown ink, gray wash and oxidized white opaque watercolor over black chalk on cream antique laid paper, partial framing line in brown ink
24.3 x 38.4 cm (9 9/16 x 15 1/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: lower right, brown ink, pen: J.Nicola / Fecit
  • inscription: mount, verso, upper right, brown ink: [illegible] /no
  • inscription: mount, verso, center, graphite [erased]: 16/17
  • watermark: in mount: Fleur-de-lis in shield with 4 over WR below

    Beta will not be made. Mount is too thick. Raking light and strong light revealed the watermark is in the mount.

    This watermark is common, although in size and details it is not unlike Heawood 1803 (Amsterdam 1721).
  • inscription: mount, verso, lower left, graphite: 9 1/2 x 15 / 3 x 3 / 15 1/2 x 21 / mat only


Recorded Ownership History
Ian Woodner, gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 1983.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Ian Woodner
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Martin Royalton-Kisch, "The Netherlandish and German Drawings..." [review], The Burlington Magazine (November 1994), CXXXVI, no. 1100, p. 767
  • Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg 1537-1614. Leidse Schilder en Burgemeester, Waanders Uitgevers (Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1998), pp. 87-88, p. 163, no. 61, fig. 87, also repr. on contents page

Subjects and Contexts

  • Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

Verification Level

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