Flora Rembrandt Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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This delightful portrait enabled Rembrandt van Rijn to display his skills in depicting drapery, a composition element that requires considerable practice and research in order to achieve accurate results

Having completed so many portraits across his career, including around 80 self-portraits, there can be no doubting the artist's qualities in capturing the human face accurately. His use of light took this area of his compositions to levels not seen before in European art, even progressing on from the ground-breaking work by Renaissance masters such as Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

Flora is an unusual work for Rembrandt in that he covers the entire figure in a wealth of light, rather than just the face as he would normally do. This would have been in order to allow him to display these skills in drapery and include more detail around the rest of the painting. There is even some patterned detail on the background wall, most likely some traditional floral curtains.

The clothing of this young lady are fairly simple, elegant but not overtly extravagant. The main focus for her touches of detail can be found on her head gear, with a combination of floral pieces arranged in a pretty finish. Aside from that, she appears of a wealthy background but without wishing to draw the limelight too willingly.

It is believed to be Saskia van Uylenburgh, his wife, who is modelling as Flora in this painting that Rembrandt completed in 1634, when he would have been in his late twenties. It owned by the Hermitage Museum in Russia (though currently loaned out to the Hermitage Dependance in Amsterdam), which currently holds amongst the finest art collections in the world. Indeed, some have titled this painting Saskia as Flora to underline her widely accepted involvement.