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The Artistic Heritage of Modena: Wounded Art


A Young Woman as a Shepherdess ("Saskia as Flora")

Govert Flinck (Dutch, Cleve 1615–1660 Amsterdam)

Oil on canvas, transferred from wood
Oval, 26 1/4 x 19 7/8 in. (66.7 x 50.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Lillian S. Timken, 1959
Accession Number:
  • Catalogue Entry


  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscribed (lower right): Rembrandt f. / 1632

  • Provenance

    ?Destouches, Paris (until 1794; his sale, Paris, March 21, 1794, no. 15, as "Une belle figure . . . ", by Rembrandt, for Fr 451 to Lebrun); J. H. Meyer de Stadelhofen, Hermance, Switzerland (in 1906); [Kraemer, Paris, in 1916]; [Wildenstein, New York]; Mr. and Mrs. William R. Timken, New York (by 1930–his d. 1949); Lillian S. Timken, New York (1949–d. 1959)

  • Exhibition History

    Leiden. Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal. "Fêtes de Rembrandt à Leyde," July 15–September 15, 1906, no. 53 (as "Saskia comme bergère," lent by Mr. Meyer von Stadelhofen, Château d'Hermance prés de Genève).

    Detroit Institute of Arts. "Thirteenth Loan Exhibition of Old Masters: Paintings by Rembrandt," May 2–31, 1930, no. 25 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. William R. Timken, New York).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 10, 1995–January 7, 1996, no. 22.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.

  • References

    John Smith. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters. 7, London, 1836, p. 168, no. 522, catalogues a portrait of a young lady by Rembrandt from the Destouches collection, possibly this picture.

    Wilhelm [von] Bode. "Neuentdeckte Rembrandtbilder." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, n.s., 17, no. 1 (1906), pp. 8–10, ill., as in the collection of Meyer von Stadelhofen; notes that the painting has suffered in being transferred from wood to canvas; calls it close to the portrait of Saskia in Lord Elgin's collection, and dates both works 1633; states that it is also close in manner and date to a Flora in the Schloss gallery, Paris, but that it antedates the compositions in the Buccleuch collection and the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

    Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. 3rd ed. Stuttgart, 1909, pp. 553, 571, ill. p. 138, dates it about 1634.

    C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. 6, London, 1916, pp. 136, 138, nos. 204, 206a, as in the possession of the dealer Krämer [sic for Kraemer] in Paris; calls it a Flora with the features of Saskia; notes that it was transferred from canvas to panel [sic for panel to canvas] in 1765; dates it about 1635 and tentatively identifies it with the picture in the Destouches sale of 1794.

    W[ilhelm]. Martin. "Rembrandt-Rätsel, II." Kunstwanderer (September 1921), p. 30, states that it does not belong in Rembrandt's oeuvre.

    C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. Die Holländische Kritik der jetzigen Rembrandt-Forschung. Stuttgart, 1922, p. 16, disagrees with Martin [see Ref. 1921], upholding the attribution to Rembrandt; notes that when he saw the picture in 1905 there was an inscription on the back stating that it had been transferred from wood to canvas in Paris in 1765.

    W. R. Valentiner. "Important Rembrandts in American Collections." Art News 28 (April 26, 1930), ill. following p. 4, as in the Timken collection.

    Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Rembrandt Paintings in America. New York, 1931, unpaginated, no. 32, pl. 32, judging by the pale grayish tone, dates it probably 1633 or 1634.

    Otto Benesch. Rembrandt, Werk und Forschung. Vienna, 1935, p. 14, calls it the earliest Flora by Rembrandt, close to the Saskia portrait of 1633 in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

    A[braham]. Bredius. Rembrandt Gemälde. Vienna, 1935, p. 6, no. 98, pl. 98.

    Emil Kieser. "Über Rembrandts Verhältnis zur Antike." Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 10, no. 4/5 (1941/42), p. 155.

    Kurt Bauch. Rembrandt Gemälde. Berlin, 1966, p. 14, pl. 256, as painted about 1632/33.

    A[braham]. Bredius. Rembrandt: The Complete Edition of the Paintings. 3rd ed. London, 1969, p. 555, no. 98, ill. p. 86, states that "an attribution to Rembrandt is unjustified," calling it "perhaps a work by G. Flinck".

    Paolo Lecaldano in L'opera pittorica completa di Rembrandt. Milan, 1969, ill. p. 131, includes it among works of doubtful attribution.

    J. Bolten and H. Bolten-Rempt. The Hidden Rembrandt. Milan, 1977, p. 180, no. 167, ill., includes it among works by Rembrandt.

    Alison McNeil Kettering. "Rembrandt's 'Flute Player': A Unique Treatment of Pastoral." Simiolus 9, no. 1 (1977), p. 19 n. 3, p. 22, fig. 5, as "Saskia as a Shepherdess"; notes the questioned attribution, and states that if it is by Flinck it must date from the later 1630s.

    Guido Jansen in The Impact of a Genius: Rembrandt, His Pupils and Followers in the Seventeenth Century. Exh. cat., Groninger Museum, Groningen. Amsterdam, 1983, p. 156, under no. 33.

    Alison McNeil Kettering. The Dutch Arcadia: Pastoral Art and its Audience in the Golden Age. Montclair, N.J., 1983, pp. 47, 61, 78–79, fig. 41, calls it the "first of the shepherdess portrayals outside Utrecht and the first of Rembrandt's pastoral compositions".

    Werner Sumowski. "Nachträge Ortsregister." Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler. 5, Landau/Pfalz, 1983–[94?], p. 3099, no. 2081, ill. p. 3212, attributes it to Govert Flinck and dates it about 1637–40.

    Jacques Foucart. Peintres rembranesques au Louvre. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 1988, p. 57.

    Walter Liedtke in "Paintings, Drawings, and Prints: Art-Historical Perspectives." Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2, New York, [1995], pp. 15, 17, 70, 91–93, no. 22, ill. (color), as attributed to Govert Flinck; dates it about 1636–38.

    Hubert von Sonnenburg. "Paintings: Problems and Issues." Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1, New York, 1995, pp. 28, 61, 63, 65, fig. 83 (cleaned state), as attributed to Govert Flinck.

    Michiel Roscam Abbing Universiteit van Amsterdam. Rembrant toont sijn Konst: Bijdragen over Rembrandt-documenten uit de periode 1648–1756. Leiden, 1999, p. 170, fig. 45.

    Thomas Ketelsen in "Die Gemälde." Rembrandt, oder nicht? Exh. cat., Hamburger Kunsthalle. 2, Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2000, p. 56, under no. 8.

    Stephanie S. Dickey. "Rembrandt and Saskia: Art, Commerce, and the Poetics of Portraiture." Rethinking Rembrandt. Boston, 2002, p. 38, fig. 16, as by Govert Flinck.

    Inger Krog in Rembrandt? The Master and His Workshop. Exh. cat., Statens Museum for Kunst. [Copenhagen], 2006, p. 291 n. 3, under no. 34, as by Flinck.

    Lene Bøgh Rønberg in Rembrandt? The Master and His Workshop. Exh. cat., Statens Museum for Kunst. [Copenhagen], 2006, p. 293 n. 8, under no. 38.

    Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 203–7, no. 46, colorpl. 46; vol. 2, pp. 562, 708, calls it typical of Flinck in the second half of the 1630s.

    Dagmar Hirschfelder. Tronie und Porträt in der niederländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts. Berlin, 2008, pp. 191, 209, 406, no. 138, pl. 29.

    Esmée Quodbach in Rembrandt and His School: Masterworks from the Frick and Lugt Collections. Exh. cat., Frick Collection. New York, 2011, pp. 19, 25 n. 48.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History