Bust of a Young Lady with Plumed Cap (Saskia)
Ferdinand Bol is known primarily as one of the more successful artists to have worked in Rembrandt's studio. Bol entered the Dutch master’s studio shortly after 1635 and was thoroughly dedicated to his etching technique, creating approximately 20 etchings between 1642 and 1651. Sharing a love for printmaking, Bol possibly even used Rembrandt’s workshop to print his etchings. The two artists commonly employed the same models for their artworks. Bol depicted Rembrandt’s first wife Saskia van Uylenburgh on several occasions, including in his etching, Bust of a Young Lady with Plumed Cap (Saskia). This etching is nearest in design to Rembrandt’s print, Saskia with Pearls in Her Hair. In both works, the sitter is shown in three-quarters view facing to the right. Bol’s etching also harks back to Young Woman, a Rembrandtesque painting he made in 1642. The current work is a very fine impression of the second state (of two) of a Bust of a Young Lady with Plumed Cap (Saskia). It has delicate wiping scratches and inky plate edges in areas. The use of drypoint further highlights its artistic appeal. Originally, Bol designed this image on a square plate, but he cut it down to an oval creating a cameo effect in the process. The artist also added a veil to the sitter’s hat when he produced the second state. Impressions of the second state of this etching are extremely rare.