Rembrandt’s Mistress


Simone van der Vlugt
Rembrandt's Mistress

A compelling novel about the maligned mistress of Rembrandt van Rijn. On a July day in 1650, Geertje Dircx is arrested by the Amsterdam council, pulled into a carriage and locked up for twelve years in Gouda jail. There is no trial. Her beloved Rembrandt is behind it all. Geertje Dircx looks back on her life from jail. She is of simple descent, becomes a widow young, but manages to save herself by working as a nanny for a well-to-do family. When that job ends, she goes to Amsterdam and joins Rembrandt van Rijn who is looking for a nanny for his son Titus, because his wife Saskia is seriously ill. After Saskia’s death, Geertje soon runs the entire household, takes care of Titus and the lonely Rembrandt. For years they live as a married couple, and Rembrandt gives her the jewellery inherited from Saskia. But in the end his love for Geertje turns out to be worthless. Geertje does not leave it at that and accuses the famous painter. This is a story based in fact that has never before been revealed (indeed Geertje has always been portrayed as a money grabbing manipulative creature). It’s a powerful novel about a strong woman’s fight for her rights. The novel ends with fascinating transcripts of the actual legal papers of the time.


  • AmboAnthos NL (original publisher)
  • Editions Philippe Rey France
  • HarperCollins Germany
  • Polirom Romania
  • Kinneret Israel
  • Duomo World Spanish
  • Piemme Italy

Material: Finished copies of Dutch edition (310pp)