In 1642, Rembrandt was at the peak of his fame and economic success thanks to a number of factors: the favourable reception of The Night Watch and The Hundred Guilder Print; the support of his many pupils; the growing requests for works of art; and the praise of art writers. Parallel to all this success, however, came a series of bereavements: having already buried both his parents, Saskia's cherished sister, and three of his children who died in infancy, Rembrandt now faced the gravest loss of all Saskia. After giving birth to Titus, the physical strain of childbirth was compounded by tuberculosis and she was unable to recover. Aged just 30, Saskia died on June 14,1642. After a provisional burial, she was laid to rest on July 9 in the left-hand transept of the Oudekerk.
The biblical painting, Farewell of David and Jonathan clearly reflects the personal vicissitudes undergone by the artist himself: the embrace between David and Jonathan becomes a moving farewell between Rembrandt and Saskia.