Catalogue No. 31
Portrait of An Unknown Lady

Artist: Bol, Ferdinand
Portrait of An Unknown Lady

1606-69
Oil on Panel (oak) 37¼ x 29½ ins Inscribed and dated: Rembrandt ft/1644

Collection Details
As No. 25; then lot 19 in Lord Clifden’s sale, 6 May 1893, when it fetched a higher price (£7,035 as compared with £5,775: same buyer) than the so-called companion picture.

Literature
Smith, Catalogue Raisonné, 1836, vii, No. 558; Waagen, Treasures of Art, 1854, ii, p. 335; Bode and Hofstede de Groot, Complete Works of Rembrandt, 1900, iv, No. 289, repd; A Rosenberg and W R Valentiner, Rembrandt (Klassiker der Kunst), 1908, p. 275, repd; Hofstede de Groot, Dutch Painters, 1916, vi, No. 850; A Bredius, Paintings of Rembrandt, 1937, No. 365, repd; J G van Gelder, Burlington Magazine, xcii, 1950, p. 328; K Bauch, Rembrandt Gemälde, 1966, p. 505, repd, and p. 25 of notes; H Gerson, revision of Complete Edition of Paintings by Bredius, 1971, No. 365, repd p. 286.

Exhibition Details
BI, 1824, No. 58; 1844, No. 56; 1851, No. 91; 1863, No. 34; RA, Winter, 1899, No. 42; RA, Winter, Dutch Art, 1929, No. 94; Arts Council, Edinburgh, Rembrandt, 1950, No. 19.

Companion Picture
see No. 25.

Background
Waagen, who reserved his praise for what he referred to as the companion portrait of Burgomaster Six (now at Buscot), doubted whether the present picture was by Rembrandt: ‘The reddish, heavy and smoother tone of which bespeaks a fine work by Ferdinand Bol’, an opinion to receive the support of Gerson (op cit) in 1971.  Apart from van Gelder, all other writers have accepted the portrait as autograph.  The present writer feels bound to add that he has never been able to convince himself that it possesses the brilliance of handling of an authentic portrait by Rembrandt.  The false identification with Margaretha Tulp, wife of Jan Six, was refuted when Bode and de Groot published it as a portrait of an unknown woman.