BOL, Ferdinand
(b. 1616, Dordrecht, d. 1680, Amsterdam)

Lady with Pearls in her Hair

c. 1653
Oil on canvas, 88 x 77 cm
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

The half-length figure of a woman toying with a string of pearls around her neck and with pearl in her hair is not a portrait in the usual sense. Pupils in Rembrandt's studio were often encouraged to paint animated portrait-like studies, so-called tronies. These studies were often made from anonymous models. The present picture has erotic implications. The woman's blouse is open to reveal her right breast and she meets our gaze with a smiling inviting look. The pearls can lead our thoughts to Venus, the goddess of love.