A young woman taking a bath, assisted by two servants. This is Bathsheba, a legendary beauty. Cornelis van Haarlem painted her in 1594. The story of the fair Bathsheba is told in the biblical Book of Samuel. One evening she was bathing in the garden. King David saw her from the roof of his palace and fell in love with her. All that is visible of the palace here is the contour behind the garden wall. The king is nowhere to be seen. The focus is on the three women in the foreground. The artist used Bathsheba's bath as a theme in which to show various facets of the female nude, monumental and at the same time as natural as possible.
Artist Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem