Overall, with added strips, 8 1/2 x 7 1/4 in. (21.6 x 18.4 cm)
From the Collection of Rita and Frits Markus, Bequest of Rita Markus, 2005
Not on view
The same model appears in "Study of a Young Girl" (formerly marquis de Pontalba, Senlis; later Jane Taft Ingalls, Cleveland; current whereabouts unknown), and possibly also in "Young Woman at an Open Half-Door" (Art Institute of Chicago), attributed to Samuel van Hoogstraten. The picture is also closely related to "A Woman Weeping" (Detroit Institute of Arts), assigned to the circle of Rembrandt.
In the 1950s, when this small panel was in the well-known collection of Sidney van den Bergh, it was frequently exhibited as a Rembrandt, as it had been in the celebrated Amsterdam exhibition of 1898. The picture was rarely seen by scholars between its sale in 1979 and 2005, when its inclusion in the Markus bequest made it accessible within a collection of works by Rembrandt pupils and followers, including at least three other examples of study heads: the Study Head of an Old Man (60.71.16), which dates from the 1630s, and the Man in a Red Cloak (49.7.36) and the Head of Christ (17.120.222), both of which are probably from the 1650s. None of these broadly comparable pictures can be said to approach the Markus panel in condition and quality.
Van Dyke was the first scholar to remove the work from the canon and assign it to a pupil. The attribution to Rembrandt was maintained by other cataloguers until the 1960s, when De Vries, followed by Bauch and Sumowski, assigned the study to Carel Fabritius (1622–1654). The present state of scholarship tends to discourage attributions to specific artists, who were in many instances simultaneously imitating Rembrandt's manner, gradually forming their own, and responding to fellow students (assuming the work in question came from Rembrandt's workshop).
[2011; adapted from Liedtke 2007]
[Bourgeois, Cologne]; Baron Albert Oppenheim, Cologne (by 1898–d. 1912; cat., 1904, no. 33; his estate sale, Rudolph Lepke's, Berlin, March 19, 1918 [postponed from October 27, 1914], no. 31, as by Rembrandt); Rudolf Chillingworth (until 1922; his sale, Galeries Fischer [Grand Hotel National], Lucerne, September 5, 1922, no. 34a); Mr. and Mrs. Julius H. Haass, Detroit (by 1925–at least 1931); Lillian (Mrs. Julius H.) Haass, Detroit (by 1935); [D. Katz, Dieren, ?in 1948]; H. E. ten Cate, Almelo; Sidney J. van den Bergh, Wassenaar (by 1952–79; posthumous sale, Christie's, London, March 30, 1979, no. 126, as Attributed to Rembrandt); [G. Cramer, The Hague]; Frits and Rita Markus, New York (until his d. 1996); Rita Markus, New York (1996–d. 2005)
Amsterdam. Stedelijk Museum. "Rembrandt Schilderijen," September 8–October 31, 1898, no. 91 (as "Meisjesstudie," lent by Baron A. van Oppenheim, Cologne).
Detroit Institute of Arts. "Loan Exhibition of Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century," January 9–25, 1925, no. 18 (as "Portrait of a Girl," by Rembrandt, lent by Mr. Julius Haass, Detroit).
Detroit Institute of Arts. "The Fifth Loan Exhibition of Old and Modern Masters," October 1927, no. 43 (as "Portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels," by Rembrandt, lent by Mr. and Mrs. Julius H. Haass).
Detroit Institute of Arts. "Thirteenth Loan Exhibition of Old Masters: Paintings by Rembrandt," May 2–31, 1930, no. 48 (as "Hendrickje Stoffels," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Julius H. Haass, Detroit).
Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum. "Rembrandt Tentoonstelling," July 13–October 13, 1935, no. 13 (as "Meisjeskop," lent by Mrs. Lilian [sic] Haass, Detroit).
Basel. Katz Galerie. "Rembrandt-Ausstellung," July 24–September 30, 1948, no. 20 (as "Studienkopf eines Mädchens," lent by a private collection, Switzerland).
Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum. "Drie eeuwen portret in Nederland," June 29–October 5, 1952, no. 143 (as "Studie van een jong meisje," by Rembrandt, lent by S. J. van den Bergh, Wassenaar).
Kunsthaus Zürich. "Holländer des 17. Jahrhunderts," November 4–December 20, 1953, no. 113 (as "Junge Frau," by Rembrandt, lent by Sidney van den Bergh, Wassenaar).
Rome. Palazzo delle Esposizioni. "Mostra di pittura olandese del Seicento," January 4–February 14, 1954, no. 113 (as "Giovane donna," by Rembrandt, lent by Sidney van den Bergh, Wassenaar).
Milan. Palazzo Reale. "Mostra di pittura olandese del Seicento," February 25–April 25, 1954, no. 116 (as "Giovane donna," by Rembrandt, lent by Sidney van den Bergh, Wassenaar).
Rotterdam. Museum Boymans. "Kunstschatten uit Nederlandse Verzamelingen," June 19–September 25, 1955, no. 101 (as "Jonge vrouw," by Rembrandt, lent by De Heer en Mevrouw Sidney J. van den Bergh, Wassenaar).
Stockholm. Nationalmuseum. "Rembrandt," January 12–April 15, 1956, no. 25 (as "Ung Kvinna," lent by Herr och fru Sidney J. van den Bergh, Wassenaar).
Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum. "Rembrandt Tentoonstelling," May 18–August 5, 1956, no. 53 (as "Studie van een jonge vrouw," lent by S. J. van den Bergh, Wassenaar).
Rotterdam. Museum Boymans. "Rembrandt Tentoonstelling," August 8–October 21, 1956, no. 53.
Laren. Singer Museum. "Kunstschatten: Twee nederlandse collecties schilderijen uit de vijftiende tot en met de zeventiende eeuw en een collectie oud aardewerk," June 14–August 16, 1959, no. 66 (as "Hendrickje Stoffels," by Rembrandt).
Leiden. Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal. "17de eeuwse Meesters uit Nederlands Particulier Bezit: Oude Meesters uit de Collectie van de Heer en Mevrouw Sidney J. van den Bergh-Bendix," August 5–30, 1965, no. 34.
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.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Frans Hals in the Metropolitan Museum," July 26–October 10, 2011, no catalogue.
C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. De Rembrandt Tentoonstelling te Amsterdam. Amsterdam, , unpaginated, no. 91, dates it about 1655.
Wilhelm [von] Bode with the assistance of C. Hofstede de Groot. The Complete Work of Rembrandt. Vol. 5, Paris, 1901, p. 158, no. 374, ill., as "A Girl in Distress Looking Aside," by Rembrandt; dates it about 1650.
Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. Stuttgart, 1904, ill. p. 187.
Émile Molinier. Collection du Baron Albert Oppenheim: Tableaux et objets d'art. Paris, 1904, pp. 13–14, no. 33, pl. XXIX.
Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. 2nd ed. Stuttgart, 1906, p. 401, ill. p. 268, states that it depicts the same model seen in a picture in the collection of the marquis de Pontalba, Senlis (later in the collection of Jane Taft Ingalls, Cleveland; current whereabouts unknown).
Adolf Rosenberg. Rembrandt, des Meisters Gemälde. Ed. W. R. Valentiner. 3rd ed. Stuttgart, 1909, ill. p. 324.
C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Ed. Edward G. Hawke. Vol. 6, London, 1916, pp. 253, 256, no. 501, as "A Girl of about Twenty"; dates it about 1650; states that it depicts the same sitter as the Senlis painting.
John C. van Dyke. Rembrandt and His School. New York, 1923, p. 160, pl. XXXVII-143, includes it among a group of pictures that he attributes to an unknown pupil of Rembrandt.
W. R. Valentiner. "Important Rembrandts in American Collections." Art News 28 (April 26, 1930), p. 4, ill., calls it a portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Rembrandt Paintings in America. New York, 1931, unpaginated, no. 114, pl. 114, dates it about 1653; as in the collection of Julius H. Haass, Detroit.
A[braham]. Bredius. Rembrandt Gemälde. Vienna, 1935, p. 16, no. 373, pl. 373, lists four additional pictures in which the same model appears.
F. Schmidt-Degener. Rembrandt Tentoonstelling. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam, 1935, pp. 49–50, no. 13, ill., calls it a study of a young woman, possibly Hendrickje Stoffels; dates it about 1645; in addition to the Senlis picture, states that the same model is seen in "Young Woman at an Open Half-Door" (Art Institute of Chicago).
H. P. Bremmer. Beeldende Kunst 23 (November 1936), no. 52, ill. [see Ref. Vries 1968].
A. B. de Vries. "Old Masters in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney van den Bergh." Apollo 80 (November 1964), p. 359, fig. 12, attributes it to Carel Fabritius.
Kurt Bauch. Rembrandt Gemälde. Berlin, 1966, p. 48, calls it an outstanding work by Carel Fabritius.
J[ohan]. Q[uirijn]. van Regteren Altena. "Review of Bauch 1966." Oud Holland 82, no. 1/2 (1967), p. 70, attributes it to Rembrandt.
J. I. Kuznetzow. "Nieuws over Rembrandts Danae." Oud Holland 82, no. 4 (1967), p. 232, fig. 6, attributes it to Rembrandt, calls it a study of Hendrickje Stoffels, and dates it about 1645; relates the MMA and Senlis pictures to Rembrandt's painting of Danae in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.
A[lbert]. Blankert, and W[illem]. L. van de Watering, Introduction by A. B. de Vries inVerzameling Sidney J. van den Bergh. Wassenaar, 1968, pp. 86–87, ill. (color), attribute it to Rembrandt, while noting De Vries' opinion that it is by Carel Fabritius; date it about 1645–48; suggest that the model might be either Geertge Dirckx or Hendrickje Stoffels.
Werner Sumowski. "Zu einem Gemälde von Carel Fabritius." Pantheon 26 (July–August 1968), p. 283 n. 15, suggests that Carel Fabritius's sister Aeltge is the model for the MMA and Senlis pictures.
Horst Gerson, ed. Rembrandt: The Complete Edition of the Paintings. By A[braham]. Bredius. 3rd ed. London, 1969, p. 579, no. 373, ill. p. 292, under no. 373, calls it "probably a school picture, in the manner of G. van den Eeckhout," but under no. 374, assigns it to the circle of Barent Fabritius.
Yury Kuznetsov. Sagadki "Danai" kartini Rembrandta. Leningrad [St. Petersburg], 1970, p. 66, ill. [see Ref. Sumowski 1983–94 (vol. 3)], dates it about 1642.
Christopher Brown. Carel Fabritius. Oxford, 1981, p. 133, no. R9, fig. 67, rejects attributions to both Rembrandt and Carel Fabritius.
Werner Sumowski. Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler. Vol. 3, B. Keil–J. Ovens. Landau/Pfalz, 1983–[94?], pp. 1957, 2008, 2010–11, 2025, no. 1383, ill. p. 2109 (color), attributes it to Nicolaes Maes and dates it about 1646–50; as formerly with the dealer G. Cramer, The Hague.
Werner Sumowski. Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler. Vol. 6, Landau/Pfalz, 1983–[94?], p. 3629, accepts Bruyn's [see Ref. 1988] attribution to Samuel van Hoogstraten.
J[osua]. Bruyn. "Review of Sumowski 1983–94 [vol. 3]." Oud Holland 102, no. 4 (1988), pp. 329–30, attributes this work and "A Woman Weeping" (Detroit Institute of Arts) to Samuel van Hoogstraten at the age of seventeen or eighteen.
Walter Liedtke inRembrandt/Not Rembrandt in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, "Paintings, Drawings, and Prints: Art-Historical Perspectives."New York, , p. 124 n. 5, mentions it as a study of Mary Magdalen.
León Krempel. Studien zu den datierten Gemälden des Nicolaes Maes (1634–1693). Petersberg, Germany, 2000, p. 368, no. F14, fig. 434, attributes it to the school of Rembrandt; as whereabouts unknown.
George S. Keyes inMasters of Dutch Painting. Detroit, 2004, p. 180, includes it in a group of five studies of young women which he attributes to "one or more artists active in Rembrandt's studio during the mid- to late 1640s".
Walter Liedtke in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2005–2006." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 64 (Fall 2006), p. 36, as "long attributed to Rembrandt and probably by one of his best pupils, Samuel van Hoogstraten".
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 65, 67.
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 2, pp. 708, 749–53, no. 170, colorpl. 170, tentatively attributes it to Van Hoogstraten, about 1644–45, but notes that "considerable caution is appropriate, considering that Rembrandt pupils appear to have occasionally worked side by side, studying the same paintings by the master, or the same live models".