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Portrait of a Woman Willem Drost


Willem Drost Amsterdam, 1633 – Venice, 1659

Culture Netherlandish
Date 1650s
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on canvas

82 × 65 cm

Inventory number 316
Collection Old Master Paintings
On view Museum of Fine Arts, First Floor, European Art 1600–1700 and British Painting 1600–1800, Gallery IV

This portrait with a special charm first appeared in the collection as the work of Rembrandt, then for a long time as that of Vermeer van Delft, and it is only in recent years that it has been accepted in the literature as the work of Willem Drost. Signed analogies to it dating from 1653-54 are in the Bredius Museum in The Hague, in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and in a private collection, Switzerland. Drost is an obscure pupil of Rembrandt; this portrait is outstanding in his oeuvre for its extraordinary quality. All we know of the sitter is that she was unmarried, which may be deduced from the positioning of the figure.

Ildikó Ember

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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