Portrait of a Woman Wearing a Gold Chain
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Dutch, 1606–1669 Dutch
69.5 x 53 cm (27 3/8 x 20 7/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Oil on panel
Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery (The renovation of this gallery was made possible by Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo) (Gallery 242)
As a young painter newly arrived in Amsterdam, Rembrandt rapidly gained fame for his stylish portraits of Dutch burghers. Paired images of couples were common in the Netherlands; this painting and its companion, MFA Object No. 93.1475, show an unidentified husband and wife. Rembrandt captures the viewer's attention with his vivid presentation of the woman's engaging personality and the dazzling rendering of her multi-layered lace collar and gold chain. Rembrandt's technique was already daring; he has scratched the highlights of his subject's curly hair into the wet paint with the butt end of his brush.
Upper right: R E M[...] / 16[...]
Baron François-Florentin-Achille de Seillière (b. 1813 - d. 1873) [see note 1]; by descent to his daughter, Anne Alexandrine Jeanne Jeanne Marguérite Seillière (b. 1839 - d. 1905), Princess Sagan, Paris; 1889, sold by Princess Sagan to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 2]. 1889, Cottier and Co., London and New York [see note 3]; sold by Cottier to Frederick Lothrop Ames (b. 1835 - d. 1893), Boston; by descent to his widow, Rebecca (Mrs. Frederick L.) Ames (b. 1838 - d. 1905), Boston; 1893, gift of Mrs. Frederick L. Ames to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 12, 1893)
 First published as in the Seillière collection by C. Vosmaer, "Rembrandt: sa vie et ses oeuvres" (The Hague, 1877), p. 503; also see Alfred von Wurzbach, "Rembrandt - Galerie" (Stuttgart, 1886), p. 75, no. 320.  "Current News in the Fine Arts," New York Times, December 24, 1893, p. 13.  The Studio, n.s., vol. 4, no. 11 (October, 1889), p. 176.
Gift of Mrs. Frederick L. Ames, in the name of Frederick L. Ames