Bathsheba by Willem Drost, 1654
Willem Drost is a mysterious figure, closely associated with Rembrandt van Rijn, with very few paintings clearly attributable to him. At the age of 17, he became a student of Rembrandt. At the age of 21, he painted “Bathsheba,” which now hangs in the Louvre, where his tutor’s painting of the same title also resides. He was 25 when he died in the city of Venice.
Drost is considered one of Rembrandt’s most talented disciples, so much so that his 1654 painting titled: Portrait of a Young Woman with her Hands Folded on a Book was attributed to Rembrandt for more than 300 years. In fact, Rembrandt is credited with over 2,000 paintings and etchings, and the authenticity of his paintings is so important that the Rembrandt Research Project was formed in Amsterdam to review the attribution of all his works. They have now reattributed a number of Rembrandt’s paintings to his pupils and associates, such as Drost.
Oil on canvas, the Louvre.