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Ferdinand Bol (June 24, 1616 – August 24, 1680) was a Dutch artist,
etcher, and draftsman. Although his surviving work is rare, it
displays Rembrandt's influence; like his master, Bol favored
historical subjects, portraits, numerous self-portraits, and single
figures in exotic finery.
Ferdinand was born in Dordrecht as the son of a surgeon, Balthasar
Bol. Ferdinand Bol was first an apprentice of Jacob Cuyp in his
hometown and/or of Abraham Bloemaert in Utrecht. After 1630 he
studied with Rembrandt, living in his house in Sint
Antoniesbreestraat, then a fashionable street and area for painters,
jewellers, architects, and many Flemish and Jewish immigrants. In
1641 Bol started his own studio.
In 1652 he became a
burgher of Amsterdam, and in 1653 he married Elisabeth Dell, whose
father held positions with the Admiralty of Amsterdam and the wine
merchants' guild, both institutions that later gave commissions to
the artist. Within a few years (1655) he became the head of the
guild and received orders to deliver two chimney pieces for rooms in
the new town hall designed by Jacob van Campen, and four more for
the Admiralty of Amsterdam.
By this time Bol was a popular and successful painter. His palette
had lightened, his figures possessed greater elegance, and by the
middle of the decade he was receiving more official commissions than
any other artist in Amsterdam. Godfrey Kneller was his pupil. Bol
delivered four paintings for the two mansions of the brothers Trip,
originally also from Dordrecht.
Bol's first wife
died 1660. In 1669 Bol married for the second time to Anna van
Arckel, widow of the treasurer of the Admiralty, and apparently
retired from painting at that point in his life. In 1672 the couple
moved to Keizersgracht 472, then a newly designed part of the city,
and now the Museum van Loon. Bol served as a governor in a Home for
Lepers. Bol died a few weeks after his wife, on Herengracht, where
his son, a lawyer, lived.
Probably his best
known painting is a portrait of Elisabeth Bas, the wife of the naval
officer Joachim Swartenhondt and an innkeeper near the Dam square.
This and many other of his paintings would in the 19th century be
falsely attributed to Rembrandt.