Many art historians have debated the identity of the couple in Rembrandt's the Jewish Bride (1667). The painting is most often identified as an Old Testament theme. This is due to the seventeenth-century Dutch practice of using biblical "types" as ideal models for the structuring of the new republic founded on the Israelite ideology of nation building. Three of these biblical female types that have been separately associated with the female figure in the Jewish Bride are, Rebecca, Ruth, and Esther. As these biblical women represented different notions of power through their respective narratives, this thesis argues that Rembrandt deliberately left the identity of the female figure ambiguous so that all three types could be referenced by viewers. Consequently, these powerful female prototypes provided significant role models for the women of the Dutch Republic as they strived to carve out similarly strong positions for themselves in this new society.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Visual Arts
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Atwood, Nan T., "Rembrandt van Rijn's Jewish Bride: Depicting Female Power in the Dutch Republic Through the Notion of Nation Building" (2012). All Theses and Dissertations. 3236.
Rembrandt, Jewish Bride, Rebecca, Ruth, Esther, nation building, female power