The artist depicts a little girl of about a year old, her head covered in a cap, as she slumbers. Using black chalk, he captures the softness of infant sleep: the child's eyes are gently closed; her lips purse in a sweet smile; and her plump hands are relaxed. The senses of softness and relaxation are heightened by the large pillow that cradles her; the deep, graceful folds of her gown; and the velvety shadows that envelop her head and back. Genre drawings of children are unusual in 17th-century Dutch art, and this one stands out for its large scale; its touching intimacy suggests the baby was probably one of the artist's family members. It could have been made as a study for a still unidentified painting, or simply to capture a gentle domestic moment.


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