X-rays of the Artemisa painting, by Rembrandt. (Detail of the inicial figure of the maid)

X-rays of the Artemisa painting, by Rembrandt. (Detail of the hand)

X-rays of the Artemisa painting, by Rembrandt. (Detail of the maid)

To the right of Artemisa in the initial design visible in the x-ray there is a large figure, possibly a female servant to judge from her clothes, whose right hand is stretched out, holding some sort of receptacle. This figure was subsequently replaced by a smaller one in the dark background, possibly as the original one detracted from the importance of the queen, given that their scale was similar. The x-ray also reveals areas of high contrast that run down from that figure’s hand, and others in the lower part of the Artemisa’s ample cloak. All these correspond to changes made during the creative process of the work. The lesser degree of definition in these details is due to the fact that they were abandoned at an early stage. At the upper left corner there are tassels above the shoulder of the figure. These may have belonged to an area of curtain.

The space reserved for Artemisa at the top of the canvas was originally much larger and shows up as a dark area on the x-ray. Her dress has different folds to the ones now visible as these were modified during the process of creation, along with other small changes. Her left hand originally leant on the table in a different way, possibly resulting in the modification to the position of the book.

 
Ministerio de Cultura. Gobierno de España; abre en ventana nueva
España es cultura Spain is culture
Copyright © 2014 Museo Nacional del Prado.
Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23
Madrid 28014
Tel. +34 91 330 2800.
All rights reserved