Rembrandt's Whore

Sylvie Matton

Amsterdam – the dangerous city; I watched, I listened, I breathed. The sun bounces off the canals; the smell of herrings, of whatever people throw into them, and of rats.
Rembrandt's Whore by Sylvie Matton (Paperback ISBN 9781786898678) book cover

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A fictional account of Hendrickje Stoffels, Rembrandt’s mistress and confidante, published on the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death

A sensitive innocent, Hendrickje Stoffels escapes the harsh realities of her garrison home-town to take up a servant’s role in Rembrandt’s household. She soon becomes his lover and closest confidante, and plays witness to the highs and lows of the great artist’s life. But Hendrickje is fated to discover the hypocrisy and greed of society in Amsterdam’s Golden Age.In sensuous prose, Matton paints a powerful fictional portrait of this impassioned relationship through the eyes of a remarkable woman.


“Using rich historical detail, Matton charts [Rembrandt’s] ostracism from the Church and wealthy Amsterdam society, and reveals the tender, domestic side of the great master’s life”
the Times

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Rembrandt’s Whore is written in small, pithy passages, each one a sketch depicting a mood or a moment, and is rich in historical detail … It is translated from the French, yet somehow the awkwardness of the language only adds to the tenderness of Stoffels’ naivety and her wonder at the joys of life”
guardian

“Matton deserves some reflected glory for this lyrical but well-researched “memoir” … She convincingly recreates the girl who moved from maid to muse and mother, shocking puritanical Amsterdam and inspiring some of the tenderest depictions of solid flesh and soaring spirit in art”
independent

“A work of unobtrusive beauty, unforgettably true and poignant”
le Figaro

“Matton digs deep into Stoffels’ psyche … her writing is as beautiful, honest and emotional as the portraits of her subject which, of course, is just the way it should be”
big Issue


Sylvie Matton

Sylvie Matton is the author of three novels and four works of non-fiction. She has been an actress and screenwriter. With her husband, the artist and film-maker Charles Matton, she worked for two years on a feature-length film on the life of Rembrandt, which was premiered in Britain in 2001. She lives in France.

Tamsin Black is a freelance translator and lives in Switzerland. She studied French literature in London and Paris, where she was awarded various prizes and scholarships. Rembrandt’s Whore was her first translation of a work of fiction.


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