Skip to main content

Ferdinand Bol, A Lady with a Fan

Key facts
Full title A Lady with a Fan
Artist Ferdinand Bol
Artist dates 1616 - 1680
Date made 1643
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 83.5 × 69.5 cm
Inscription summary signed; dated
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Miss A.M. Philips, 1946
Inventory number NG5656
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
A Lady with a Fan
Ferdinand Bol

Although there are no records telling us who this young woman is, we can learn quite a lot about her from her clothes and jewellery, and her pose. She is expensively dressed; the fan she holds was a costly accessory and in vogue at the time. Bol also seems to be emphasising her high social status through her pose, which reflects one developed by Rembrandt from highly regarded portraits by Titian and Dürer. It became a popular device in Dutch painting of the time and was used at least twice by Bol for his own self portraits.

In around 1641, Bol left Rembrandt’s studio, then one of the most famous in Amsterdam, on course for success. This portrait has traditionally been dated to the 1640s, when the distinctive style of this young woman’s semi-transparent collar and cuffs was fashionable. Recent cleaning, however, has allowed us to date the painting more precisely: a faint signature and date were uncovered in the lower left corner, only visible in ultraviolet light, reading ‘F. Bol fecit 1643’.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo