Ferdinand Bol completed this commissioned painting after leaving Rembrandt’s studio when he was a young, up-and-coming painter.
We do not know the identity of the sitter, but we know from her jewellery and clothing she must have been of a high social status. A very large teardrop pearl hangs from a gold brooch set with diamonds, and it looks like there are more diamonds in her elaborate earrings and necklace. The sitter is dressed modestly but with expensive detail like the gold thread of the bodice. This was how the wealthy elite dressed at the time in 1640s.
We think the sitter sought out the artist due to his glamorous reputation and associations to Rembrandt. The pose of the sitter is like the pose Rembrandt used for his famous self portraits also in our collection at the National Gallery.
About this painting
A Lady with a Fan, 1643
© The National Gallery, London.
This painting joined our collection in 1946.
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A Lady with a Fan
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