Portrait of a Lady with a fan
Oil on canvas,
97,5 by 72 cms [38 ½ by 28 3/8 inches]
In a superb 17th century reverse ripple frame with outset corners
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne [inv.no.2158], sold on 2 March 1943;
Private collection, USA
M. Jaffé, Jordaens 1593-1678, exh.cat. [The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa 1968], under 93, pp. 127, 301;
Although the identity of the lady shown is unknown there is some evidence to suggest that she may have been a personal acquaintance of the artist as Jordaens portrayed her another time in a painting now housed in the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Both portraits are life sized, closely related in composition and seem to have been executed around the same time. The Indianapolis version shows the lady seated, (Jordaens exhibition, Ottawa 1968/69, No. 93) and some of the pentimenti in this work are similar to those in the Indianapolis painting. Both date from the 1640s, the period when the artist was the ‘prime painter’ in Antwerp after the death of both Rubens (1640) and Van Dyck (1641), and had all the fashionable customers he might want for portraits.
Whilst this work has the appearance of being unfinished in the background, the refined treatment of the sitters necklace and ear-rings and careful glazing on the face and hands are of superb quality. It is in essence a far more personal portrait to the stilted and more formal version in Indianapolis. It has been suggested that this would have been produced in the first sitting for the portrait and the formal Indianapolis portrait was created from this study from life at a later date.