15th - 20th Cent. Masters
In this etching of men bathing in a river, Rembrandt used only a few imperative lines to characterize this rather complicated scene. The calm water is illustrated with just a small number of lines. The foliage in the background is expressed with slight detail. Loose oblique shading is used for the human figures. The shimmering light of the afternoon sun softens the forms – a concept further demonstrated by Rembrandt's minimal design of the figures. On the right-hand side, off in the distance, a man is knee-deep in the water, seemingly reaching out for his clothes on the river's edge. In the foreground, we see a man who appears to be climbing out of the water, and then a third man squatting naked with his head between his knees. Few commentators elaborate on the small figure far off in the background, probably relieving himself among the bushes and possibly one of the reasons the image took on such great distain from his contemporaries.