At the age of 25, Rembrandt moved from his hometown of Leiden to the bustling city of Amsterdam. Within a few years he had become one of the city’s most successful portrait painters, creating remarkably vivid likenesses that seemed to express the personality and soul of the sitter. Here, Rembrandt used smooth, fluid brushstrokes to recreate the soft texture of the woman’s skin. In contrast, thicker, more textured strokes draw attention to the lavish display of her lace collar and gold jewelry—details sure to please a wealthy client. The extraordinary demand at that time for a portrait by Rembrandt meant that in many cases (including, probably, this painting) he called upon assistants to help complete the work.

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  • Title: Portrait of a Woman
  • Creator: Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669), Studio
  • Date Created: 1635 or earlier
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 97.8 x 83.8 x 6.4 cm (38 1/2 x 33 x 2 1/2 in.); Unframed: 77.5 x 64.8 cm (30 1/2 x 25 1/2 in.)
  • Provenance: Capo de Lista family collection (?) (Padua, Italy), Barbini-Breganze coll., Venice (1847) cat. no. 204;, Städelsches Kunstinstitut (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) (inv. no. 927), 1847 to 1882;, sold, Paris, May 5, 1882, no. 30;, Charles Sedelmeyer (Paris, France);, Karl von der Heydt (Berlin, Germany) (1906);, A.B. Antik (Stockholm, Sweden), consigned to Knoedler & Co. (New York, and London, England, 1919);, sold to Elisabeth Severance Prentiss (Cleveland, Ohio), in exchange for John Hoppner, Portrait of Mrs. Jermingham and Herman Kricheldorf, Still-Life with Lobster, 1919, upon her death, held in trust by the estate, Estate of Elisabeth Severance Prentiss, by bequest to the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1944.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1944.90
  • Medium: oil on wood
  • Inscriptions: Signed at right center: "Rembrandt. f. 1635."
  • Fun Fact: This painting is probably a pendant to a portrait of a man that is now at the Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art in Japan. Both were cut down from their original rectangular shape.
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: Netherlands
  • Credit Line: The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Collection
  • Collection: P - Netherlandish-Dutch
  • Accession Number: 1944.90

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