REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn
(b. 1606, Leiden, d. 1669, Amsterdam)

The Kitchen Maid

Oil on canvas, 78 x 63 cm
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

Catalogue number: Bredius 377.

This painting is a good example Rembrandt's transition from fine brushwork to a coarser manner of painting. Her red jacket and white blouse were rendered with broad, accurate brushstrokes. The painting has always been regarded as one of the most representative examples of Rembrandt's work from the 1650s.

In terms of subject matter, the painting can be related to a series of works executed during the period 1645-55, all of them on the borderline between portrait and genre. The closest parallel is the Young Girl Leaning on the Windowsill in the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. A particular individual, probably a servant girl in the painter's household, may have served as the model, given the striking portrait-like character of the painting.