Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Portrait of a Lady

A gifted portraitist, Gerard ter Borch the Younger settled in the Dutch city of Deventer in 1654, following years of travel and study in England, Italy, and Spain. In Deventer, he became involved in the city government and found patronage among the social and political elites of the area. Although lavishing attention on the details of his sitters’ refined clothing, ter Borch focused less on their social status and more on their individual personalities. This is certainly the case in the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s portrait, which presents its subject in an unidealized, though sympathetic, manner. The unidentified woman pictured here points her fan to the left, indicating the existence of a pendant portrait. This pendant, depicting her husband, is now in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. More intriguingly, a second version of the pair of portraits—painted in an oval format—exists, suggesting that one of the sets is a copy, made perhaps for members of the couple’s family.

Gerard ter Borch the Younger
Dutch, 1617–1681
Portrait of a Lady
ca. 1660
Oil on canvas
11 ½ x 9 5/8 in. (29.2 x 24.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 77.78