Nude Woman Resting on a Cushion, Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1661 - c. 1662

Nude Woman Resting on a Cushion, Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1661 - c. 1662

reed pen and brown ink, with brown wash and opaque white (oxidized), some areas deliberately rubbed with a finger or wet brush, h 136mm × w 283mm Catalogue entry

This drawing of a recumbent nude most closely resembles a rendering from classical mythology, for instance a slumbering nymph. But just look at how Rembrandt delineated the contours of the woman and the cushions with powerful strokes, and made the woman’s sagging skin tangible with soft shadows. This testifies to his keen power of observation and meticulous recording of reality.

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