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

Petronella Elias with a Basket of Fruit

Oil on canvas, 80 x 66 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The nine-year-old Petronella was the daughter of the merchant Joost Pietersz Elias, and his first wife, Rebecca Spiegel, who was a first cousin of Bol's wife, Elisabeth Dell.

Basket of fruit often features in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century art as allusion to fertility which explain their appearance in painting of children, as in Jacob Willemsz Delff's portrait of a two-year-old boy. The motif of fruit suggests that the child is the product of a fruitful marriage. Flowers, like the garland in Petronella's hair, suggest the innocence of youth.