Portrait of a Lady

Portrait of a Lady
Gerard Dou (Dutch, 1613-1675)
c. 1635-40
Oil on panel 
19-3/8 x 15-1/4 in. (49.2 x 38.7 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View

Dou was one of Rembrandt's premier students in Leiden. After Rembrandt's move to Amsterdam, Dou successfully established his own studio. His painting technique reflects certain early aspects of Rembrandt's style, particularly his use of chiaroscuro and color. Dou influenced many pupils and followers. He developed formulas such as the use of architectural niches to frame compositions, thus creating a stage-like atmosphere.

This portrait is one of the few examples of this subject that Dou completed during his long career. He was discouraged from continuing portrait commissions because contemporaries claimed he did not capture good likenesses of his subjects. Dou was further accused of requiring his clients to sit too long and charging them exorbitant rates. Ultimately, he abandoned portrait painting, but must be credited with setting the long-lived Dutch vogue for small, carefully finished portraits.


Marquis de Forbin Janson, Paris (sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 4 December 1906, ill., lot 24, as Portrait d'une dame de qualité to);
Mej. C. Brunner, Paris.
possibly M. Depret, Bellevu (Seine), Villa Joliette Allée Pompadour. (Sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 17 June 1910, lot 12, ill., as Portrait d'une Dame de qualité, for 14,200 francs to);
E. Singer, Paris, still in 1913;
Madame Singer, 11 place des Vosges (sale, Paris, Palais Galliera, 14 December 1960, lot 65, pl. XXXIV, for 10,800 francs, as Portrait de femme to);
A. Baude, Paris;
[Frederick Mont and Bruno Meissner, Zurich, the latter consigned his half (no. 61197) 21 April 1969 to];
Newhouse Galleries, New York, sold 1 December 1969 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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