Bathsheba at Her Bath displays much of the development of Rembrandt as an artist, finally being completed in 1654
The Louvre in Paris displays this oil on canvas painting that many consider amongst the artist's finest. In certain quarters this artwork has actually been titled Bathsheba with King David's Letter but we use the more commonly accepted name. The number of years that have passed since his career took hold plus the occasional issues that can occur when translating between languages has meant that this mixture of titles has impacted several other Rembrandt paintings.
This composition from Rembrandt balances an intriguing moral dilemma which Bathsheba considers in a depiction that some consider amongst the finest paintings in history, going beyond even just a key element in this artist's own oeuvre. The tonal qualities of the naked flesh are also particularly well regarded by art historians and academics.
This tragic story tells of how Bathsheba's husband is abandoned at war in order to allow David to marry her and cover up their earlier sinful act that led to her becoming pregnant. Such biblical stories tend to have such elaborate scenarios but there is also always a moral background to learn from.
It is the scene in Bathsheba at Her Bath at which point she is discovered by, and spied upon, by David. Their damaging dalliance would then, presumably, have taken place. Rembrandt's use of thick brushstrokes helps this version to stand out against a plethora of attempts by several Renaissance and Baroque artists.
Whilst the Louvre itself needs little introduction, you may not be aware of some of the other gems within its extensive collection. Dr Louis La Caze gifted this extraordinary venue 583 works in 1869, of which this one is amongst the most high profile. Within the Louvre as a whole you will also find work by the likes of Eugene Delacroix (Liberty Leading the People) and Leonardo da Vinci (Mona Lisa).
Hi, I'm Tom!
I'm the writer and founder of TheHistoryOfArt.org. I have studied different art movements for over 15 years, and am also an amateur artist myself! Read my bio here.