The woman in the bathroom is one of the most established themes in the field of art, there are many paintings and even sculptures that since time immemorial have used the excuse of the bathroom as a form of excuse in order to represent the naked body of the woman. Already in ancient Greece we can observe the famous technique of the wet cloths of Phidias that allowed to represent the female anatomy; Years later, multiple authors have followed this same theme, but today we will focus on the work of one of the pinnacle artists of the Baroque era, Rembrandt.
The work we are analyzing here is an oil on panel in a vertical format that is about sixty-two centimeters high and forty-seven wide; dates from the mid-seventeenth century, specifically from the year 1654, so the artist would find himself in a time of full artistic fulfillment, with a career already consolidated despite numerous economic hardships that finally plunged him into absolute ruin.
Rembrandt was, despite everything, a renowned painter in his time who worked for some of the best clients of his time. On many occasions, his works take on a costumbrista tone that underneathhides a religious theme,not always easy to identify. On this occasion, the theme of the woman's bathroom could be identified with an episode in the life of Susanna spied on by the elders or of Bathsheba whosuccumbed to the charms of King David.
According to the studies carried out in this regard, it seems that the young model who poses for the artist is none other than Hendrickje Stoffels,the one who was Rembrandt's housekeeper and with who had a daughter, Cornelia. The truth is that the couple never got married, since the artist would then have lost the widow's pension that he enjoys after the death of his first wife Saskia.
The woman is gradually submerging her legs in a stream while she lifts her white camisole exposing her calves. Her clothing, crimson in color and hinting at her high social position, rests on the river bank. Special attention deserves the reflection of the legs of the young woman in the river, as well as the expressiveness of the girl.
The painting has a quick and careless invoice but despite it the work is signed and dated so we can assume that the painter considered it finished.