Her costume is not of the seventeenth century, nor of Roman times: it’s a dressing-up version of Renaissance dress, something that Rembrandt liked to use for intimate portraits and the big biblical scenes he aspired to paint, regardless of when they were actually thought to have taken place. On the floor above, Rembrandt’s proteges worked in the kind of cubicles you see in art colleges even now. His debts mounted. Pearls hang from her ears and peep from the crown of her head. Her sumptuous dress bells out over her cream satin petticoats and the light, almost transparent sleeves fall at her sides in gauzy folds. The drying lines for his newly minted prints are still there, and tables for mixing expensive pigments. Rembrandt painted all three generations of his family so continuously that their faces are indelibly familiar: his mother, bony, much-creased, so often the model for old women in the Bible and classical myth; himself, his wife and their son as all sorts of characters, but also as themselves. Global Prehistory II. It is still standing, four floors of high, shuttered windows, and from its front door you can walk in one minute to all the places Saskia went: over the bridge to the lace shops, the bustling dairy market, the weighing station where heavy spherical cheeses were measured before their slow voyage by barge out across Europe. Today we are going to focus on the earliest portrait, from 1634. Here, she is 23 years old; they have been married for a year. The low wide neck pushes up her breasts, edging them with delicate lace. It is now a stupendous museum. Rembrandt’s Holland: exploring Amsterdam and Leiden, Louvre Abu Dhabi to exhibit Rembrandt and Vermeer masterpieces, Dutch schoolchildren 'must visit Rembrandt and parliament', Rembrandt review – the life, loves and tragic end of the master painter. Portraits Soon she will marry this prodigy, who is sitting so close to her on the other side of the table – the most famous artist in Amsterdam. Saskia grasps the stick firmly as if for support, rather than just as a decorative prop. He has positioned himself at the exact boundary between that blackness and a shaft of light that ignites his smooth cheek and a flash of white lace collar, showing off his superb gift for flesh and fabric. Time runs back to the start, and there is her neat little mouth, the sense of her small pearly teeth, the slight double chin, the red-gold hair. Read more. They were not portraits of individuals – the identity of the sitter wouldn‘t have been considered relevant, either to the artist or the person who bought the painting. What Rembrandt gave Saskia, his one and only wife, was the infinity of psychological nuances that he gave himself: the understanding of both mind and eye. We utilize only the finest oil paints and high quality artist-grade canvas to ensure the most vivid color. But still she did not just accept the first proposal from some wily old Frieslander offering protection in exchange for her money. Rembrandt had painted his wife not long after their marriage. Over the next four years two more children were born, but died within a couple of months. She waited, she studied, she spent time with artists and intellectuals; on her journey to Amsterdam to visit Hendrick in 1633, Saskia’s companions were two illustrious painters. Van Gogh, who once wrote that he would give a decade of his life just to sit in front of The Jewish Bride for a fortnight, spoke for mankind: “Rembrandt says things for which there are no words in any language.”. Shortly after their meeting, he painted her portrait in 1632. Among the masterworks at the Mauritshuis will be Rembrandt’s late self-portrait in an old beret, quite possibly the last he ever painted. Rembrandt was 28 when he married Saskia in 1634; 36 when she died, leaving him with a baby son and a sorrow so destructive he gave up painting in oils for several years. She is an expensively dressed Dutch wife, reading, lolling, looking down at some unseen object in her lap. It is sometimes said that Hendrickje was more beautiful than Saskia, but how can anyone tell?