Saskia Sitting Up In Bed, Holding a Child
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn
Rembrandt’s first wife Saskia Uylenburgh (1612-1642) often modelled for him, appearing in the guise of goddess or queen, as well as humbler figures. However, in this intimate and seemingly spontaneous portrait, she appears as herself: a young mother. Sitting up in bed, cradling her tightly swaddled child, Saskia appears from behind a curtain which partially shadows her softly modelled face, itself framed by the lines of the headdress and knotted ribbon around her neck. Her direct gaze would originally have addressed Rembrandt himself as he was sketching them. The couple married in 1633 and had four children, but only one, Titus, born the year before his mother died, lived beyond infancy.