Oil painting on canvas, Daniel before Nebuchadnezzar by Salomon Koninck (Amsterdam 1609 – Amsterdam 1656). Nebuchadnezzar seated on throne raised on a stepped dais, centre left, he is turned three-quarters to right, looking down; dressed in cloak with jewelled embroidered edges fastened with jewelled clasp on chest, bearded with jewelled cap from which ascend two straight white plumes of feathers; Daniel, turned to left, profile, kneeling on left knee, at bottom of stairs, dressed in long yellow/gold robe with belt the index finger of his right hand pointing to the thumb on his left; various figures are clustered around the king and behind Daniel; architectural setting of niches some with statues, and large drapes over the throne.
Formerly thought to be by Rembrandt, this picture is by one of his most able imitators, who here creates a memorable image of his own. It portrays the episode when the prophet Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar the meaning of his dream of the image with feet of clay. In this position by circa 1787, replacing a ruin-piece by Griffier.
Over the chimneypiece in the Libarary at Kedleston Hall is Daniel before Nebuchadnezzar, which was once attributed to Rembrandt, but is actually by one of his ablest imitators, Salomon Koninck. Nebuchadezzar, the creater of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the most powerful ruler of his age, dreamt of a statue made of gold, silver, bronze and iron, but with feet of clay. Daniel interprets this as foretelling the end of his kingdom. Hence expression 'feet of clay'.
In the Library at Kedleston since 1787; bought with part of the contents of Kedleston with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund in 1987 when the house and park were given to the National Trust by Francis Curzon, 3rd Viscount Scarsdale (1924-2000)
Marks and inscriptions
Verso: Label on stretcher of W. Freeman & Son Ltd, dated 3.2.65, and numbered: 95 [evidently from lining and restoration in 1965]
Makers and roles
Salomon Koninck (Amsterdam 1609 – Amsterdam 1656), artist
previously attributed to Rembrandt van Rijn (Leyden 1606 – Amsterdam 1669), artist
previously attributed to Gerbrand Jansz van den Eeckhout (Amsterdam 1621 – Amsterdam 1674), artist
Bray 1778 William Bray, Sketch of a Tour into Derbyshire and Yorkshire, 1778, p. 69-70
Waagen 1854 Gustav Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, 3 vols. (translated by Lady Eastlake), London, 1854, p.391
Anon 1874 “The Private Collections of England. No.X – Kedleston Hall”, The Athenæum, 1 August 1874, no.2440, p.150, no.2440, p. 151
Sumowski 1983 Werner Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler, Landau, 1983
, III, 1983, no.1078