Elsje Christiaens Hanging on a Gibbet

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) Dutch

Not on view

Elsje Christiaens, an 18-year old woman from Jutland was executed in May 1, 1664, just two weeks after her arrival in Amsterdam in April of that year. In a violent argument over unpaide rent, Elsje hit her landlady over the head with an ax and knocked her down the cellar stairs. She was exposed to viewers on the gibbet in the gallows field outside of Amsterdam along with the ax, the instrument of her crime. With intense scrutiny, Rembrandt drew her lifeless body in quick angular lines. Remarkably, the Met possesses the two known drawings by Rembrandt of this event.

Elsje Christiaens Hanging on a Gibbet, Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam), Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash

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