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

Boaz Casting Barley into Ruth's Veil

c. 1645
Pen and brush, 126 x 143 mm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Boaz confirmed his promise to marry Ruth by casting barley into her veil. Ruth, who had come to Canaan with her mother-in-law Naomi, had gone out into Boaz' fields to glean ears of corn, and had spent the night lying at his feet. Rembrandt conveyed this scene from the Book of Ruth with broad, contrasting strokes. He omitted the background altogether - what mattered to him were the figures and their expressions.