This is the earliest of the Rembrandts of the South Altman Collection, being dated 1633, when the wall artist was twenty seven years old. He had moved from Leyden to Amsterdam two years before and was well launched on his career of success, having finished the Anatomy Lesson the previous year. The Young Woman is an excellent and characteristic example of his work of the time, marked by faithful likeness, discreet characterization, detailed and accurate drawing, and an impeccable surface. “The best portrait painters of the time,” says Dr. Valentiner, “masters like Thomas de Keyser, Mierevelt, Ravestyn, and Moreelse, might have felt proud had they been able so to infuse with life such a characteristic head. As a composition it differs in no way from their works, but in the interpretation of the personality Rembrandt seems to unite the best qualities of them all the accuracy of Mierevelt’s drawing, the tenderness of Moreelse’s modeling, the strong seriousness of Ravestyn, the freshness and naturalness of De Keyser, while with the modesty of genius the young painter hides himself behind his work.”
The picture was in the collections of the Princess Radziwill at the Castle of Nieswiz in Lithuania, and of von Lachnicki in Paris and Warsaw.