This painting and Number 4, the so-called Man with a Magnifying-glass, are companion pieces. On the authority of Dr. Valentiner, who has made conspicuously successful studies in the matter of the identification of the portraits of the painter’s family, they represent Magdalena van Loo and her husband, Titus, the son of Rembrandt, and were painted soon after their marriage in 1668. Dr. Valentiner writes of them as follows: “She was the daughter of two of his oldest friends, Jan van Loo the silversmith and Anna Huybrechts, whose portraits he also painted. On the tenth of February, 1668, Titus was married to Magdalena, whose age, twenty-seven, was the same as his own. One wonders why the union was so long postponed. Rembrandt and Anna Huybrechts were present at the ceremony. Magdalena’s father was no longer living. So perhaps it was he who had caused the long delay. It is the married pair that appear in the companion portraits of Titus and Magdalena in the Altman Collection, which date most probably from the summer of 1668. Titus holds a ring (not a magnifying-glass, as has often been said) and Magdalena has a flower in her hand.
“It is remarkable how near to Rembrandt’s own death fell those of the members of his family. Titus died in September, 1668, Rembrandt himself on the fourth of October, 1669; Anna Huybrechts must have died shortly before him, and Magdalena followed on the twenty first of October.”
The only recorded remark of interest or solicitude on the occasion of Rembrandt’s death was made by Magdalena. She is reported to have said, I hope Father has not taken Cornelia’s gold pieces, the half of which were to come to me.” This Cornelia was Rembrandt’s daughter by Hendrickje Stoffels, who was with Titus the heir to a sum of money which was in Rembrandt’s charge.
The person in our portrait appears older than the twenty seven years Dr. Valentiner gives her. One would say she was nearer forty, but Rembrandt was not always careful to give to his sitters their proper age, as is known from several documented cases.
These pictures have remained together as far as is known up to the last twenty five years. They were in the collection of Comte Ferd. d’Oultremont in Brussels, who sold them to Charles Sedelmeyer, of Paris, in 1889, 75,000 francs being paid for the Lady with a Pink. It later passed into the. possession of Rodolphe Kann, at whose death Maurice Kann acquired it. Both pictures were bought by Mr. Altman out of this latter collection..