Rembrandt: Girl with a Broom

Girl with a Broom: Rembrandt

Girl with a Broom is a 1671 oil painting by Dutch Golden Age and Baroque Master Rembrandt van Rijn. This work is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC in the United States.

Analysis of Rembrand’s Girl with a Broom

Despite being widely attributed to Rembrandt, Girl with a Broom of 1651 is likely at least partly to be the work of one of the Baroque painter’s pupils, Carel Fabritius.

Girl with a Broom is a genre portrait painting in the traditional style of the Dutch Golden Age, depicting a girl in a dark room, possibly a basement holding a broom. She appears tired from a long day, probably working as a maid.

Yet the hallmarks of the master’s painting are here: his subtle degrees of light and shade and a keen sense of the psychological in the face of the girl leaning over the fence which looks out at us enquiringly.

It is as if the girl is questioning why she should be painted performing such a menial task, asking for a justification for the Netherlandish revival of genre painting, i.e. the painting of everyday life.

Girl with a Broom is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington after being bequest by Andrew Mellon in 1937. Mellon purchased from the Russian State during the Hermitage sale in 1931.

8 thoughts on “Girl with a Broom: Rembrandt”

  1. Rembrandt painted composites for his students to copy such as this copy in the national gallery who hasn’t discovered any facts and only assumes.Everything is rembrandts until proven otherwise. Where is the original this museum copied the original that’s why they painted over it with their paint not rembrandts. Because of these false claims that a student did it it’s going to be hard to prove the truth. Use your eyes and the facts are clear. Was rembrandt painting in 1651 yes. Does it match the style of rembrandts technique yes. Was it signed rembrandt yes. Was it ever analyzed for pigments and mixtures to match rembrandts no. There’s not enough proof it wasn’t done by rembrandt only this copy was done by someone else many years later when the real rembrandt the girl with the broom began to fade and decay mostly the right eye and around the broom and sleeve on the right. There is definitely an original they copied this imatation of the later years with a no purpose providence they gave it. Who would copy a worn out faded decaying painting . Carel fribitus was no where near the great rembrandt. Everything fribitus did blew up in a gunpowder explosion he probably caused he was killed by it so how did girl with the broom survive. It didn’t it was copied and ended up with Mellon who freely have it to a museum who then destroyed it with a paint over. Good luck proving otherwise. MS

    1. A friend has had a painting of “Girl with a Broom” signed: Rembrandt. It is very old and has
      extremely old wood for a frame. An antiques dealer owed money for back rent and left
      this oil painting for collateral. The dealer moved away some time later and never did pay
      his debt to the new owner. Twenty years later he retuned and demanded this painting
      be given back. He left empty handed as he still did not pay his original debt. This painting
      hung another 25 years with my friend.
      A curious thing occurred last year while examining the back of the frame. After removing
      the back paper was hidden a pencil drawing of a regal looking man’s upper body. It is signed
      by John Talbot. There are three other names on the paper that concealed the frame. One
      name can be made out as ‘Jones’. Could this be fake sketch like this old painting? Or, Could this be a missing creation by John Talbot?

  2. I’ll bet this painting was painted in rembrandts house not his studio and it’s the house maid rembrandt who he let live with him. So it’s rembrandt who painted the first painting not a student. Then it has been copied as you can see in the nga collection all filled in with unmatching paint it looks horrible.


  3. Girl with a Broom. I have a very old Girl with a broom? The canvass is very old, worn on the edges and has rusty nails. I assume it’s a fake, but what should I do, does it still have value?

  4. I have a copy of “Girl with a Broom” 68cm x 53cm. I looks like a print on canvas.
    It’s mounted on pinex hardboard without glass. Beautiful guilded detailed gold frame
    Quite beautiful. I would like it to know its value

  5. I seem to have a similar copy in a golden frame and it also looks like a print on canvas, but it has signs that some details were worked out per hand with a spatula.
    It looks completely different from the version in the Art Gallery of Washington. The chosen colours and the play with light and shadow is clearly more oriented towards the style of Rembrandt. But it wears a label of the National Gallery of Washington on the backside (?)
    When I asked the Museum, I received the information, that they would not give informations on age and origin in general.
    Based on the condition of the frame, the canvas and the nails, it is at least 60 years old. However, the nails appear to be hand-forged.
    It confuses me.. I would be interested to see your copies

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