Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Two Female Nudes is neither a preparatory study nor an autonomous work of art, but rather a ricordo—a study that Van Haarlem used to record elements from a finished painting for later reference. In the case of this work, the two female nudes faithfully replicate the figures of Juno and Venus that appear in the artist’s Judgment of Paris, painted in 1608. Executed in oil on prepared paper, with the nudes placed against a neutral background, this study probably belonged to a kind of painted model book, which provided a readymade repertoire of human figures and poses that could be reused in other works by the Haarlem master or members of his workshop. The function of this sheet sets it apart from all other works included in this display.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem, Netherlandish (Haarlem 1562 - 1638 Haarlem)
Two Female Nudes
Work Type
c. 1608
Physical Descriptions
Oil on paper, varnished, mounted on panel
36.3 x 24.7 cm (14 5/16 x 9 3/4 in.)
Maida and George Abrams, Boston
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, Long Term Loan
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

William W. Robinson, Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), cat. no. 25, repr.

Jeanne Faton, "Entretien avec George Abrams: Dessins de l'âge d'or hollandais", L'Estampille/L'Objet d'art (April 2003), no. 379, pp. 46-55, repr. p. 47

Exhibition History

Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, British Museum, London, 06/13/2002 - 09/22/2002; Institut Néerlandais, Paris, 10/10/2002 - 12/08/2002; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 03/22/2003 - 07/06/2003

The Art of Drawing in the Early Dutch Golden Age, 1590–1630: Selected Works from the Abrams Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/09/2017 - 01/14/2018

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