Rembrandt's Father's Mill
Oil on panel; initialled and dated. Inscribed verso 'Rembrandt's Mill/ was erected in the year 1593, as a/ magazine for powder-on the banks/ of the 'Old Rhijn' at Koukert, near/ Leyden. It was soon after converted/ into a mill, and at a time of/ Rembrandt's birth in 1606 was in/ possession of his father Herman Gerritz/ van Rhijn, from which period it has/ been constantly employed for the purpose/ of a corn mill. E.W.C. 1843'
7.75 x 8 inches
LITERATURE: Woodbridge, A Man of his Time, 1996, cat. no. 38/4, page 329, illustrated in colour, plate 163, page 249.
There are five known paintings by E W Cooke depicting the interior of the mill in Leiden said to have been owned by Rembrandt’s father, four of which were exhibited together at the British Institution in 1839. This picture is composed as it were a peephole providing viewers with an intimate insight to Rembrandt’s context, his life and his technique; for, like Rembrandt, Cooke here used umbrous tones and strongly directional lighting, but retained his own wet, oily palette and polished finish. In the ‘decaying brickwork, scarred wood and deeply worn tread above the ladder’, Cooke ‘stresses the passage of time and the continuity of human usage’ (Sunshine and Shadow, catalogue to the exhibition, National Gallery of Scotland, 1991).