Title:Rembrandt and His Wife SaskiaArtist:Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn Date:1636Creation Place:Europe, The NetherlandsCredit Line:The William M. Ladd Collection
Gift of Herschel V. Jones, 1916Accession Number:P.1,229
Saskia Uylenburgh was the daughter of a wealthy burgomaster from Leeuwarden. When orphaned at age twelve, she went to live with relatives in Amsterdam. These included the art dealer Hendrick Uylenburgh, who likely brokered many of Rembrandt's earliest portrait commissions. Saskia and Rembrandt met through Hendrick and married in 1634, a union that not only enhanced Rembrandt's social standing but also inspired some of his most tender etchings. Saskia with Pearls in Her Hair was made during the first year of their marriage. Surprisingly, the double portrait is the only one Rembrandt made with Saskia. Outfitted in a sixteenth-century hat, he gives the impression that we have just interrupted him while he was sketching her.