Cover image for Rembrandt's women
Rembrandt's women
Rembrandt's Women Exhibition (2001 : National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh and Royal Academy of Arts, London)
Publication Information:
Munich ; London : Prestel, 2001.
Physical Description:
269 pages : illustrations (some color), portraits (some color) ; 31 cm
General Note:
"Published ... on the occasion of the exhibition 'Rembrandt's women' held at the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, from 8 June to 2 September 2001 and at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, from 22 September to 16 December 2001." -T.p. verso.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND653.R4 A4 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



This magisterial new work is the first to focus on Rembrandt's portrayal of women. Accompanying a major exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, it examines the women in Rembrandt's life, as well as his unique approach to depicting the female form in paintings, drawings, and prints.

The book features 140 superb works drawn from the finest collections in the world -- sketches of women employed in household chores, mothers with babies and toddlers, paintings of smiling servant girls and wizened old women, studies of the female nude, pictures of goddesses and historical heroines, and his little-known erotic prints. It traces how mother, wife, mistress, maid and models appear in compositions, and follows how, throughout his life, Rembrandt combined classical and northern traditions, the personal and universal, with an extraordinary breadth of vision in his depiction of womankind.

The essays by major Rembrandt scholars discuss the painter's biography in relation to the portrayal of the women in his household; the social position of women in Rembrandt's time; the artistic context of Rembrandt's nudes; the identity of the women who modelled for artists in 17th-century Holland; the significance of costume and jewelry in Rembrandt's images; eroticism in Rembrandt's works; and responses to Rembrandt's portrayal of women of later artists through the 18th and 19th centuries up to Picasso.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This catalog is published to coincide with an exhibition the first to focus on women in the art of Rembrandt being held at the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, and the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Edited by the assistant keeper of Dutch art at the National Gallery of Scotland and including essays by various international scholars, the book considers how the physical features of three key female figures in the life of Rembrandt (Saskia, Geertje, and Hendrickje) might have been translated to the female figures in Rembrandt's art. The text also explores the status of the different classes of women in 17th-century Holland, showing that because the reputations of chaste women were highly valued, it was probably the prostitutes who served as the nude models for Dutch artists. A discussion of the clothing shown in the portraits concludes that many of the fanciful costumes were taken from a vocabulary of dress borrowed from previous periods in art history such as the Italian Renaissance with its velvets, brocades, and fitted bodices. Beautiful reproductions accompany scholarly catalog entries on each artwork in the exhibition. Recommended for all art collections. Sandra Rothenberg, Framingham State Coll. Lib., MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Appearing fairly regularly, catalogs of exhibitions on Rembrandt's work have become a foremost vehicle for excellent books on the artist. This latest such book is a monographic treatment of Rembrandt's depictions of women in print, drawing, and paint. The theme, hardly a limiting one, leads to expansive discussion of the place of women in Dutch society, the model from life and from imagination, costume, aesthetics and classicistic theory, and the ideal versus the natural. Introductory essays by leading scholars and entries on 141 individual works provide both information and historical analysis. Three loves in Rembrandt's life affected his art in various ways and, although the authors recognize that his biography is inextricably linked to his art, they have treated this issue sensitively without making overly tight connections. They offer some notable new interpretations of Rembrandt's relationship to Saskia van Uylenburgh, of his depictions of the nude, and moral associations with dress and behavior. The bibliography is fairly thorough, though not excessive. This beautifully illustrated monograph thus serves two purposes: as a fine introduction to the artist and a resource for future scholarship. Highly recommended. General readers; undergraduates through professionals. A. Golahny Lycoming College