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Highlights: Weil Gifts

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Image of The Pancake Woman

Rembrandt van Rijn
Dutch, 1606–1669

The Pancake Woman


Object Type: Print
Creation Place: Northern Europe, Dutch
4 3/8 in. x 3 3/16 in. (11.11 cm x 8.1 cm)
Medium and Support: Etching on laid paper
Accession Number: 1999.0007.0072

Credit Line: Gift of Jean K. Weil in memory of Adolph "Bucks" Weil, Jr.

In European society children were not considered separately as a “class” until the seventeenth century. Prior to that time, societies did not consider children as individuals but as members of the larger society who had yet to mature. There were many reasons for these attitudes; however, the primary one was most likely the probability of early death for many born before the eighteenth century. Rembrandt was one of the few early masters who chose to depict the characteristic behaviors of children in his works. This image of an old woman selling pancakes on the street contains the rather humorous image of a young boy whose possession of a hard-won pancake is being threatened by a hungry dog.

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