An Old Woman Reading, Probably the Prophetess Hannah, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, 1631

An Old Woman Reading, Probably the Prophetess Hannah, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, 1631

oil on panel, h 60cm × w 48cm. More details

Light comes in from behind the old woman: the vivid glow illuminates the book and her hand, so thickly painted that the wrinkles seem almost modelled in clay. Her face remains in shadow. The woman could be the biblical prophetess Hannah. According to the Gospel of Luke, she was an elderly widow who worshipped God night and day with fasting and prayer.

On display in room 2.8

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Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

Rijksmuseum

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