Abraham van den Tempel

Portrait of a Woman

Portrait of a Woman
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Abraham van den Tempel
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 132x180.5 cm
Origin: Holland, 1670

A young woman stands thoughtfully, holding a flower in her hands, by the parapet in front of a park in this superb example of official Dutch 17th-century portraiture. The soft drapery of the mustard-brown drapery throws into shade the pretty face, surrounded by soft, light curls. The pearl necklace seems to take on a rosy hue, a reflection from the warmth of the girl's skin, while the artist painted the heavy velvet dress, the rich lace, rings and precious brooches with great skill.

Van der Tempel enhanced the pensive mood through lighting effects, the setting sun and the twilight seeming to make the statues of Venus and Cupid holding out a wreath seem almost to glow. Violets were perceived as a symbol of modesty. In the book of emblems, the Camerarius , the violet was described as one of the most important symbols of morality.

Source of entry: Collection of the Duchess of Saint-Leu, Paris, 1829
Exibition: Dutch art: 17th century

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