Artwork of the Week: June 19

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Ferdinand Bol (Dutch, 1616–1680), Self-Portrait. Oil on canvas, 1647. 39 5/8 x 35 1/16 in. Gift of George P. MacNichol, 1980.1347. Gallery 26

A student and assistant of Rembrandt’s from the early 1630s to about 1642, Ferdinand Bol became a successful portraitist working in Amsterdam. This self-portrait, painted when Bol was about 31, shows the direct influence of his famous teacher. Bol based his pose and composition on a 1639 etched self-portrait and a 1640 painted self-portrait by Rembrandt, which Rembrandt himself based on portraits by Italian Renaissance artists Raphael and Titian. Bol, like Rembrandt, depicts himself dressed in Renaissance finery (which was already a century out of fashion) in order to associate himself both with the social status of an Italian Renaissance courtier and with the famous and revered artists of that earlier era.

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