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

The Toilet of Bathsheba

Oil on wood, 57 x 76 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Catalogue number: Bredius 513.

The subject of Bathsheba was common in northern European art from the early sixteenth century onward, appearing frequently in prints as well as paintings intended for private homes. The present painting is one of the finely executed cabinet pictures that Rembrandt made during the 1640s. Unfortunately, severe abrasion in the background on both sides of the figures has resulted in an overall darkening and loss of detail in the landscape, trees, and foliage. An appreciation of the original appearance of the painting can be gained from a comparison of its present state with that recorded in an etching dated 1763. (The etching shows the reverse of the image.)

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