the end, it had nothing to do with the girl. She was unimportant.
Some kitchen girl with a pretty smile who was more willing to pose than
to cook or clean. Despite Hendrickje's fears, it was not the girl he
loved or ever had.
was the way he had painted her. It was among the finest work he had
ever made. Even he was amazed at the handling of the paint. And even
now, he could not understand how he had done it. God's grace had been
with his hands, his fingers. Loading just enough paint into the
bristles, pressing just the right amount, twisting precisely the right
curve at exactly the perfect moment to make her flesh pulse, her eyes
and mouth sparkle with life. It was not the girl he loved. It was the
application of the colors, the mixing of the pigments, but above all,
the brushstrokes. They were more than just strokes, they were strokes
of genius--the finest every painted by Rembrandt van Rijn.