Women of the Mauritshuis
The earliest known self-portrait by a Dutch painter is by… a woman! It dates from 1548, and is by none other than Catharina van Hemessen (1528 - after 1567). Her composition – showing the artist at work, holding brushes, a palette and a stick, with a work in progress on the easel in the background – has been copied by many famous artists. This pioneer mainly painted small portraits, usually of women. This painting – Rest on the Flight to Egypt (c. 1555) - is very big by her standards. She demonstrates here that she was not only capable of depicting a loving embrace, but also that she was an exceptionally good landscape artist.