Portrait of an Oriental

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Ferdinand Bol (Dutch, 1616–1680)
Portrait of an Oriental, ca. 1665
Oil on canvas mounted on wood
51 3/4 × 39 15/16 in. (131.45 × 101.44 cm)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Roland Cron M1972.51
Photo credit: John Nienhuis, Dedra Walls
Currently on View

Ferdinand Bol was a pupil, close associate, and friend of Rembrandt van Rijn. Bol worked in Rembrandt's studio between 1633 and 1640, and his work closely reflects the style of his teacher. This portrait of a man in oriental costume is characteristic of Bol's mature painting. To enhance the impact of the portrait, Bol has adopted Rembrandt's somber manner, devoting special attention to the face bathed in light. Against the dark background of the picture, the face and glistening details of the brocade and gold chain are luminescent, imparting a psychological element to the composition.

Publication History
Ciulisová, Ingrid. Men of Taste: Essays on Art Collecting in East-Central Europe. Bratislava: VEDA, 2014, p. 70, color illus.

RKD Netherlands Institue for Art History, accessed May 26, 2015, .

Kluk, Maria. Konfrontacje, Inspiracje, Spotkania..., Arcydziela malarstwa europejskiego z muzeow amerykanskich i polskich (Masterpieces of European Painting from American and Polish Collections: Inspiration, Contribution, Integration). Warsaw, Poland: National Museum in Warsaw, 2003, p. 32-3, cat. 8, color illus. p. 33.

Barnes, Donna R., and Peter G. Rose. Matters of Taste: Food and Drink in Seventeenth-century Dutch Art and Life. Albany, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2002.

Mundy, James. Rembrandt's Students II: Ferdinand Bol. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1992, no. 2, color illus. cover.

Goldstein, Rosalie, ed. Guide to the Permanent Collection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1986, p. 39, color illus. p. 39.

Sumowski, Werner. Gemalde der Rembrandt-Schuler. Vol. 1. Landau, West Germany: Edition PVA, 1983, illus.

Blankert, Albert. Ferdinand Bol: 1616-1680: Rembrant's Pupil. Doornspijk, The Netherlands: Davaco, 1982, cat. 74, pl. 82.

Sumowksi, Werner. Drawings of the Rembrandt School. New York: Abaris Books, 1979, mentioned in cat. 138x, b/w illus. figure 21.

Blankert, Albert. Ferdinand Bol 1616-1680, een leerling van Rembrandt. The Hague, The Netherlands, 1976.

Milwaukee Art Center Treasures...III, Milwaukee Journal or Sentinel, August 13, 1972, b/w detail.

Sotheby's, London, July 15, 1970. London: Sotheby's, 1970, lot 153. (as Portait of a Moorish Chieftan by Bol)

Wilson, John W. Prix d'adjudication des tableaux de premier ordre anciens et modernes qui composaient la galerie de M.John W.Wilson. Paris, 1881, p. 5, no. 31, b/w etching, accessed May 26, 2015, .

Pillet, Charles. Catalogue de tableaux de premier ordre, anciens et modernes, composant la galerie de M. John W. Wilson. Paris, 1881, no. 33, accessed May 26, 2015, .

Galerie du Cercle Artistique et Littéraire de Bruxelles. Collection de M. John W. Wilson. Brussels: Galerie du Cercle Artistique et Littéraire de Bruxelles, 1873, p. 65, b/w etching by Frédéric Laguillermie p. 64, accessed May 26, 2015, .

Inventory of Paintings, Galerie J. W. Wilson stockbook and letters received, ca. 1870–85, Getty Provenance Index® databases. J. Paul Getty Trust, cat. 207, accessed May 26, 2015,
Exhibition History
Konfrontacje, Inspiracje, Spotkania..., Arcydziela malarstwa europejskiego z muzeow amerykanskich i polskich (Masterpieces of European Painting from American and Polish Collections: Inspiration, Contribution, Integration), National Museum of Warsaw, Poland, February 28–May 4, 2003.

Rembrandt's Students II: Ferdinand Bol, Milwaukee Art Museum, December 20, 1991–March 8, 1992.

Collection de M. John W. Wilson, Cercle artistique et littéraire de Bruxelles, 1873.


This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.