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Seated Female Nude

Brown-tone drawing of a nude woman seated on a small stool, looking downward.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Brown-tone drawing of a nude woman seated on a small stool, looking downward.
  • Brown toned drawing of nude woman seated on small stool.




Rembrandt van Rijn
Dutch, 1606-1669

About this artwork

For Rembrandt van Rijn, simple honesty of vision and sureness of line were far more important than the classical glorification of the nude. He focused on this subject only during certain phases of his career, and very few of the resulting studies, which he used to prepare biblical or mythological representations, survive today. This strong form is a late work, and one of only four extant drawings of the female nude attributed to Rembrandt with certainty. Unlike the almost scientific realism of his earlier nudes, his late studies are less detailed and more painterly. He attained a maximum of expression with a minimum of means. Rendered with a swift treatment by brush and the blunt reed pen favored by the artist in his late years, this ample figure projects a forceful presence. Her face is generalized, and her feelings are suggested through her contemplative pose. Her simple shape and external immobility seem to increase the viewer’s sense of her inner vitality. In Seated Female Nude, Rembrandt’s penstrokes and brushwork are integrated with the utmost lightness and perfection; the pen stresses structural features, while the brush provides a transparent, atmospheric tone linking figure and space.


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Prints and Drawings


Rembrandt van Rijn


Seated Female Nude


Holland (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Pen and brown ink and brush and brown wash, with subtractive highlights (scraping) and touches of opaque white watercolor corrections, on ivory laid paper, laid down on cream laid card


Primary/secondary supports: 21.2 × 17.5 cm (8 3/8 × 6 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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