Saskia van Uylenburgh

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Saskia Rombertusdr van Uylenburgh

Also Known As: "Sascke", "Ulenburgh", "Saske Ulenburgh"
Birthdate: (29)
Birthplace: Ossekop 11, Leeuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands
Death: June 14, 1642 (29)
Jodenbreestraat, Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands (Tuberculosis)
Place of Burial: Amsterdam, NLD
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Rombertus Rommertsz Ulenburgh and Siuckien Ulckes Aessinga
Wife of Rembrandt
Mother of Rumbartus van Rijn; Cornelija van Rijn; Cornelija van Rijn and Titus van Rijn
Sister of Jelcke Rombertusdr. Ulenburgh; Rombertus Rombertuszn. Ulenburgh; Ulricus Rombertuszn. Ulenburgh; Antie Rombertusdr. Ulenburgh; Tietcke Rombertusdr. Ulenburgh and 2 others

Managed by: Jan Johannes (Jan) Faber
Last Updated:

About Saskia van Uylenburgh

Saskia van Uylenburgh

Saskia van Uylenburgh (August 2, 1612, Leeuwarden, Friesland – June 14, 1642) was the daughter of a Frisian mayor and became the wife of the Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn, the son of a wealthy miller from Leiden. She was his model for some of the great artist's paintings and drawings.


Born in Leeuwarden, Saskia was the youngest of eight children of Rombertus van Uylenburgh, a top lawyer, a town burgomaster and one of the founders of the University of Franeker. Saskia (in Friesland called Saske) became an orphan at age twelve, following the death of her mother, Sjoukje Ozinga, and her father five years later. Saskia met Rembrandt by way of her cousin, Hendrick van Uylenburgh, a painter and an art dealer, whose parents had emigrated to Kraków in Poland, but in 1625 Hendrick decided to move to Amsterdam. From 1631 Rembrandt produced paintings for Uylenburg's Amsterdam and Mennonite clients.

The couple married on June 22, 1634 in Het Bildt, where Saskia had been raised by her sister Hiskje and the husband Gerard van Loo, a lawyer and local city secretary. For a while Saskia had lived in Franeker when her sister, Antje, died. After the burial Saskia helped out her brother-in-law, the Polish professor, Johannes Maccovius, busy teaching theology.

From 1635 Rembrandt trained pupils in his Academia; most notable among them were Govert Flinck, Gerbrandt van den Eeckhout and Ferdinand Bol. Rembrandt gained financial success through his artwork, and in 1639 he and Saskia moved to a prominent house in the Jodenbreestraat. This house, next to her cousin's gallery, was located in the Jewish quarter, and is now the Rembrandt House Museum. By July 16, 1638, her Frisian relatives complained in a document that Saskia was spoiling her heritage.

Three of their children died shortly after birth, but on September 22, 1641 they had Titus baptised, named after his mother's sister Titia (Tietje) van Uylenburgh. Saskia died the following year, aged 29, probably from tuberculosis. She was buried in the Oude Kerk.

After her death

At some time Rembrandt gave the jewels and rings which had belonged to Saskia, to the wet-nurse, Geertje Dircx, a gesture not much appreciated by the Uylenburgh family. A few years later Geertje expected Rembrandt to marry her, but such an arrangement would have resulted in the loss of Saskia's inheritance. When Geertje moved out and tried to sell the jewellery, Rembrandt went to court and had Geertje locked up in a madhouse, in Gouda.

Titus and his father's girlfriend, their former maid-servant Hendrickje Stoffels, employed Rembrandt in his later years: a sly solution, because in that way he was able to create more paintings without being bothered by his creditors. Rembrandt sold Saskia's grave on October 27, 1662 in order to be able to pay for the burial of Hendrickje in a rented grave.

Source: Graaff, A. & M. Roscam Abbing (2006) Rembrandt voor Dummies. Addison Wesley.

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Saskia van Uylenburgh's Timeline

August 2, 1612
Leeuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands
August 2, 1612
Leeuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands
December 1635
Age 23
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Nederland
July 1638
Age 25
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
July 1640
Age 27
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Nederland
September 22, 1641
Age 29
Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands
June 14, 1642
Age 29
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
June 19, 1642
Age 29
Amsterdam, NLD