Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn: A Young Woman Sleeping (1654)

(British Museum, London, UK)

Besides his paintings, Rembrandt produced a large number of drawing and sketches. Some of the were for personal use - putting ideas on paper, studies etc. This little sketch is such a piece. This sketch was done with a brush in brown wash. Besides the rough outloines of the body of the woman, Rembrandt also put a thin wash above her head to suggest the darkness of a corner of the room. The identity of the woman in unknown but it is thought to be Hendrickje Stoffels (1626–1663), lover of Rembrandt and his Common-law wife. Sketch from 1654.