Hendrickje Stoffels (1626–1663)

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) Dutch

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 616

Hendrickje Stoffels, the daughter of a soldier, worked as Rembrandt’s housekeeper, eventually becoming his common-law wife and mother of their daughter, Cornelia. While no formal portraits of Stoffels survive, she is believed to have modeled for a number of Rembrandt’s paintings, including this work, perhaps intended as a generic image of a courtesan. The figure’s intimate gesture of holding her robe closed with one hand echoes the close observations Rembrandt made of the women in his household in many surviving drawings.

Hendrickje Stoffels (1626–1663), Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam), Oil on canvas

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