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"Negress" Lying Down: Gallery Label - Current

Author

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Date

2006-07-14

Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
When Austrian print authority Adam Bartsch catalogued this reclining nude, he called it Négresse Couchée, or "negress lying down." We now know that this is a misnomer; Rembrandt simply made a very dark plate. The model for several of his 1650s nude etchings was probably his common-law wife, Hendrickje Stoffels, who became his housekeeper in 1649. Absorbed in her thoughts, the figure in Woman Bathing Her Feet in a Brook (P.1,304) seems to resist our gaze, and indeed Rembrandt seems not to have been paying much attention either. The chair back and tasseled cushion suggest that he sketched this in a studio, then transposed it to a leafy outdoor setting, but neglected to remove the studio details.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 10, 2009