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Ferdinand Bol

(Dutch, 1616–1680)

Portrait of Helena Eeckhout

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Object Details

Artist

Ferdinand Bol

Date

1658

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

42 3/4 x 36 inches (108.6 x 91.4 cm)

Credit Line

Acquired through the Membership Purchase Fund and through the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation Fund

Object
Number

70.091

Ferdinand Bol first trained in Dordrecht before traveling to Amsterdam to study under Rembrandt van (…)

Ferdinand Bol first trained in Dordrecht before traveling to Amsterdam to study under Rembrandt van Rijn between 1637 and 1641. His earlier style mirrors that of his teacher, although after 1650 his painting evolved into a more fashionable French style. Bol’s ties through marriage to the Admiralty of Amsterdam connected him to an extensive commission network and made him one of the most sought-after painters of his day. One such commission was the pendant pair of Quirinus Stercke, who worked with the Admiralty, and Helena Eckhout, the daughter of Bol’s colleague Gerbrand Van der Eckhout, who also studied under Rembrandt. In this portrait, Eckhout’s modest dress and luxurious pearl jewelry speak to her impeccable taste and wealth. It is possible that the body in the portrait was pre-painted and Eckhout’s head added later, or that the painting was not fully finished, as the area around her head appears incomplete. Many of Bol’s portraits are similarly unfinished, as his popularity put him in high demand at the height of his career. —Sophia Miller ’23

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