Seated Young Woman

Artist: Adam Elsheimer (German, Frankfurt 1578–1610 Rome)

Date: late 16th–early 17th century

Medium: Gouache

Dimensions: 2 15/16 x 2 13/16 in. (7.5 x 7.2 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Purchase, Louis V. Bell Fund, Leon D. Black Gift and Dodge Fund, 1997

Accession Number: 1997.373


Seated alone in deep shadow, this partially draped young woman might be Bathsheba, whom King David spied upon and seduced, or Susanna, who was caught bathing in her garden by two lascivious church elders. Diminutive here, she appears enormously vulnerable. Adam Elsheimer was the most singular and influential German artist to follow Dürer. It was especially the poetic atmosphere and the meticulous, miniature-like execution, as one can see in this very fine gouache, that were much admired by the next generation of artists, among which were Peter Paul Rubens and Rembrandt.