In the best paintings of Rembrandt such as his famous Night Watch, and even in his most personal works in which he portrays his wives or himself, one does not intuit the extraordinary management of the drawing that this painter had. He is an exceptional colorist without a doubt, and that is what is seen in his oil paintings. But in the many drawings that have come down to our days, we discover a magnificent cartoonist, who also in this discipline shows us more fresh and informal, more spontaneous.
Rembrandt's Woman Sewing
An example is this drawing ofWoman sewingthat he made in 1639 and which is kept in theNational Museum of Stockholm in Sweden. A small drawing (18 x 14 cm) made with ink and watercolor in which he shows us Tita, the sister of hiswife Saskia. The scene is the most intimate as well as everyday. She has portrayed her sister-in-law concentrated and busy in her work, leaning towards the fabric and we see the detail of the glasses that serve her to better sew.
Those glasses are drawn with the blackest lines, as are the woman's hands and sleeves. A few lines that really give us the idea of the movement of her fingers as she works with the needle
The truth is that within this single we can appreciate different types of lines. Something that, on the other hand, we can relate to his mastery of another artistic technique in which he was verydrawing is important. We are talking about engravings, a discipline that the Dutch artist also worked with successfully.
In the case of Woman who sews, we can distinguish on the one hand the blackest and most intense ones used for hands and sleeves, which are also very angular. On the other hand, in the rest of her dress there are much lighter and curved lines, ultimately more fluid. While if we look at the woman's hair, it is created with wider lines, and gives the idea that she has combed her hair with care and dedicated all the necessary time to it.
All this to make a real snapshot of the lady, totally focused on her work and completely unaware that her brother-in-law is painting her. A type of attitude that Rembrandt loved to portray, who throughout his life painted similar scenes on various occasions focused on his work, seeing exclusively what interests them and not seeing what surrounds them at that moment.