Rembrandt van Rijn’s portrait, “Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan,” depicts Margrieta Wijnants and was completed around 1656/1658. The painting measures 99.5 × 83 cm and is considered a prime example of Baroque art movement, known for its dramatic use of light and shadow or Tenebrism. Currently housed in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC as part of the Widener Collection, this artwork showcases Rembrandt’s masterful use of oil on canvas transferred to canvas.
This portrait features Margrieta Wijnants holding an ostrich-feather fan while wearing a luxurious fur-trimmed coat with gold-trimmed lace sleeves. Her gaze is fixed upon the viewer, exuding confidence and gracefulness while surrounded by deep shadowy background. The painting techniques employed by Rembrandt allow her face to appear illuminated by natural light while she stands out dramatically from the dark background.
“Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan” by Rembrandt van Rijn has undergone several restorations to maintain its pristine condition throughout history, including being transferred to canvas from its original panel support. As one of Rembrandt’s best-known works, it has been celebrated as one his most alluring portraits ever painted despite not being signed or dated. Its breathtaking color palette across the painting together with mastery use of brushstrokes captures beauty at its finest giving it timeless qualities that are still revered today among art lovers worldwide.