Saskia asleep in Bed
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669), pen and brown ink on paper, 14.4 x 20.8 cm, probably c.1635.
The inscription Rembrant is later, but this is undoubtedly one of the masterpieces of Rembrandt's own hand. It was drawn in perhaps a few minutes, with breathtaking speed and virtuosity and with superb control of the contrast of different tones of the bistre wash, of the broad brush and the sharp quill pen, and of light and shade. It records his young wife Saskia, asleep - perhaps suffering from one of her frequent ailments, but here evoked for eternity by her husband's genius. [Purchased, 1954. WA1954.141].
The drawings by Rembrandt can be viewed in the Print Room.