Flora

Artist: Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam)

Date: ca. 1654

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 39 3/8 x 36 1/8 in. (100 x 91.8 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Archer M. Huntington, in memory of his father, Collis Potter Huntington, 1926

Accession Number: 26.101.10

Description

Although pictures of Flora by Titian and other Italian artists ultimately inspired this work, Rembrandt rejects their idealizing approach by treating the goddess of Spring as an ordinary woman in fancy dress, with an expression betraying real experience. She seems to understand that flowers—emblematic of youth, beauty, and love—will fade away. The figure's face and pose are based partly on a portrait of Rembrandt's wife, Saskia, who died in 1642. While the paint surface is abraded, its quality is clear in the billowing folds of the blouse and the flower-filled apron.

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