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Double portrait of a boy and a girl

ca. 1645-48
131.4 x 119.2 cm

This painting, from the second half of the 1640s, is a rarity in Ferdinand Bol’s œuvre – it his only known double portrait of children, in addition to just six recorded single portraits of children. It was only a few years later than the present work, in 1652, that Bol went on to paint arguably his finest portrait of all – a full-length depiction of an 8-year old boy (possibly his own son) in an interior,  which unequivocally demonstrates the artist’s development as an independent master, forging his own style in Amsterdam.

Bol is best known today as a portraitist and history painter, his works admired for their assimilation of Rembrandt’s influence as well as the echoes of his training in his native Dordrecht. The present painting, executed fairly early in Bol’s career, represents a perfectly balanced example of both these qualities, and is dated by Sumowski to 1645-48, when Bol was not long out of his apprenticeship in Rembrandt’s studio.