The intrusion has confused the sense of time in Rembrandt’s narrative. Is Susanna in the middle of slipping her shoes off or is she hurrying to put them back on? It’s all happened so fast—the privacy and diversion of her bath time, of her very life, is ruined in an instant. So fast, in fact, that the impressions from her stockings remain etched into her calves.
There. That’s it. The truth: Those simple shadows in her incandescent, spot-lit, exposed flesh.
Rembrandt, in all his tragic romance, regarded these things. The emotional and physical verity of his work stems from his obsessive observations of his own surroundings as well as his vulnerability with his personal relationships—friends, wives, lovers, and children.