Hendrickje Bathing in a River, also known as A Woman Bathing or A Woman Bathing in a Stream, is a painting created by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1654. Currently housed in the National Gallery, London, this painting is modelled after Rembrandt’s partner Hendrickje Stoffels. It represents a vulnerable woman stepping into her bath and has been considered a glowing nocturnal fantasy with many emotional and inspiration-related questions.
The remarkable use of few brushstrokes to effectively paint the hand in the painting highlights Rembrandt’s mastery of chiaroscuro—the interplay of light and dark—and his ability to bring attention to details that are central to his message. The painting is also believed to depict Hendrickje as the model for Bathsheba at Her Bath, another Rembrandt painting.
Rembrandt van Rijn was one of the greatest painters and etchers in all of European Art. He was famous for his realistic portraits, historical scenes, landscapes, and genre paintings that used dramatic lighting effects. As an artist who had gone through various struggles such as financial setbacks and personal tragedy throughout his career, Rembrandt’s final years were marked by deepening spirituality reflected through his works like “Hendrickje Bathing in a River.”