Some of Rembrandt’s most significant works are portrayals of female figures. These images encompass a wide range of figures: mythological heroines, the mother of Christ or the women he lived with, such as his wife Saskia van Uylenburgh and Hendrickje Stoffels; there are portraits of women from wealthy Amsterdam, alongside poverty stricken street vendors or nude models. These portrayals reflect Rembrandt’s intense dialogue with pictorial tradition, the cultural and social climate in the seventeenth-century Netherlands and his highly individual image of the feminine.
Art historian Anat Gilboa is specialized in Northern European art of the early modern period. The present study is the result of research she carried out under the aegis of the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands.