The Toilet of Bathsheba

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) Dutch

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 616

Rembrandt shows the biblical figure Bathsheba completely nude, lost in a moment of contemplation and unaware that she is being observed by King David in the distant tower in the background. Many contemporary critics objected to Rembrandt’s realistic representation of the female body, declaring that the marks of garters could be seen on the legs of his figures from history or myth—see Bathsheba’s left calf here. Much of the picture is badly abraded from past cleaning, including the attendant arranging Bathsheba’s hair, who may have been intended to represent a woman of African descent.

#5252. The Toilet of Bathsheba

The Toilet of Bathsheba, Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam), Oil on wood

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