Rembrandt’s Drawings of Children – Anticipation & Action

Rembrandt’s Drawings of Children

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
1640. chalk
British Museum, London, photo wiki

A Woman Teaching a Child to Stand
c. 1640
78 x 554 mm.
British Museum, London

These two drawings remind me of some of the storyboard sketches of Walt Disney’s ‘Nine Old Men’ period. The action & drama is supremely rendered with economy of means, a sure sign of mastery.



Here’s what Wiki has to say about one of the ’12 Basic principals of animation’ according to Ollie Jonston & Frank Thomas : sahme ;  wiki used to have a great story board sketch of the dwarves falling down the stairs by Frank Thomas… on of my favourite drawings… gone , broken link…probably Walt Disney tightening up on copyright. Goodbye  fair use. Anyway, back to quoting from Wiki :


Anticipation is used to prepare the audience for an action, and to make the action appear more realistic.

Anticipation: A baseball player making a pitch prepares for the action by moving his arm back.


Rembrandt – Pen & Ink
‘An Old Woman Holding a Child in Leading Strings’
c. 1645 160 x 1654 mm.
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

Not without a certain amount of tender humour… we anticipate the next footstep in the above drawing! Story boarding before Walt Disney

We sense a closure, an ending,  a final stage where the action is terminated. You can see it coming…

The naughty child, ca. 1635
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett

M_L & I laughed about this naughty boy … Been there, done that! Note the shoe being kicked off. Genius.

Look at this beautiful child 🙂 Tempus Fugit.

One of Mine :

Adam Cope – ‘Mother & Child’

related posts :  Rembrandt’s Gesture Drawing

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