Seated Woman with an Open Book on her Lap

Rembrandtcirca 1639

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Rotterdam, Netherlands

This small drawing is not related to a painted portrait. It is a work of art in its own right. Rembrandt has filled almost the entire sheet, adding washes to create areas of shadow and leaving only small parts untouched. In many of his drawings, as in his paintings, Rembrandt created pronounced contrasts of light and shadow - known as chiaroscuro - in order to enhance the drama of his subjects and to guide the viewer's eye.


  • Title: Seated Woman with an Open Book on her Lap
  • Date Created: circa 1639
  • Theme: Portrait
  • Physical Dimensions: w110 x h126 mm
  • Original Title: Zittende vrouw met opengeslagen boek op schoot
  • More Info: Link - Wikipedia on Chiaroscuro - Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen - http://collectie.boijmans.nl/en/disclaimer/
  • Draughtsman: Rembrandt van Rijn
  • Artist Information: Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden. After his apprenticeship, during which he studied with various painters including Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, he started a studio in Leiden. He became successful with paintings of biblical scenes and famous for the great attention he paid to the incidence of light. From 1632, Rembrandt worked in Amsterdam, where he made a name as portrait painter for the well-to-do middle classes. In 1634 he married Saskia van Uylenburgh, and they had a son, Titus, together. Rembrandt painted various portraits of both Saskia and Titus. After 1642, the year in which Saskia died and in which he painted the famous Nachtwacht, business declined. In 1656, he was declared bankrupt. In these years, Rembrandt's subjects became more reticent and less baroque. Rembrandt had a very high production. Some 650 paintings from his hand are known, including 60 self-portraits, around 300 etchings and 1500 to 2000 drawings.
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: Lent by Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940 ( Koenigs Collection), http://collectie.boijmans.nl/en/disclaimer/
  • External Link: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink, brown wash

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps