Portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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The sitter – whom Rembrandt did not name – has an almost regal poise. She looks down on us from a slight height, her right hand resting on what must be part of the arm of a chair, but which has the air of a sceptre. She wears expensive pearl earrings and jewellery and what seems to be a fur mantle. All these might hint at the trappings of royalty, yet this is also an intimate – even erotically charged – portrait. Her dress seems to be unfastened and the mantle falls slightly open, revealing much more of her breast than would have been acceptable in a formal portrait of the time. So this portrait, probably painted in the mid-1650s, is most likely Hendrickje Stoffels, Rembrandt’s housekeeper. They became lovers and, in 1654, had a daughter, Cornelia.

The National Gallery, London



Portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels


probably 1654-6


Oil on canvas


H 101.9 x W 83.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought with a contribution from The Art Fund, 1976

Work type



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