Dean Yoder Conservator of PaintingsÂ
Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669)
oil on wood, Framed: 97.8 x 83.8 x 6.4 cm (38 1/2 x 33 x 2 1/2 in.); Unframed: 77.5 x 64.8 cm (30 1/2 x 25 1/2 in.). The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Collection 1944.90
At the age of 25, Rembrandt moved from his hometown of Leiden to the bustling city of Amsterdam. Within a few years he had become one of the cityâ€™s most successful portrait painters, creating remarkably vivid likenesses that seemed to express the personality and soul of the sitter. Here, Rembrandt used smooth, fluid brushstrokes to recreate the soft texture of the womanâ€™s skin. In contrast, thicker, more textured strokes draw attention to the lavish display of her lace collar and gold jewelryâ€”details sure to please a wealthy client. The extraordinary demand at that time for a portrait by Rembrandt meant that in many cases (including, probably, this painting) he called upon assistants to help complete the work.
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