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Last updated: 1/25/2017
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Old Master Drawings and Prints / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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Old Master Prints: Ferdinand Bol (Dutch, 1616-1680)

Netherlandish School 15th-17th-Century Drawings / Flemish School, 17th-Century
Bernaert van Orley / Lucas van Leyden / Maarten de Vos / Jan Baptiste de Wael / Abraham Bloemaert
Peter Paul Rubens / Philipp Sadeler / Nicolaes Maes / Rembrandt School

Netherlandish Printmakers 16th-17th Centuries: Lucas van Leyden, Maarten van Heemskerck, Cornelis Cort
Philips Galle, Hans (Jan) Collaert, Adriaen Collaert, Karel de Mallery, Theodore Galle, Hendrik Goltzius
Julius Goltzius, Jacob Matham, Jan Sanraedam, Marten de Vos, Jan Sadeler, Aegidius Sadeler, Raphael Sadeler
Crispin de Passe, Magdalena de Passe, Wierix Brothers, Rembrandt, Rembrandt School, Jan Lievens, Jan Joris van Vliet,
Ferdinand Bol, Govert Flinck

German Drawings: Hans Sebald Beham / Virgil Solis / Hans von Aachen / Joseph Heinrich Roos

German 16th century printmakers: Heinrich Aldegrever, Jost Amman, Hans Sebald Beham, Hans Brosamer, Hans Burgkmair,
Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Durer, Albrecht Durer (After), Hans Holbein (After), Hopfer Brothers, Georg Pencz,
Hans Schäufelein, Virgil Solis, Wolfgang Stuber.

North Italian Illuminated Manuscript / Italian School, 16th and early 17th-Century Drawings
Cherubino Alberti / Michelangelo Buonarotti (After) / Annibale Carracci / Parmigianino / Marcantonio Raimondi
Giulio Romano / Jacopo Palma il Giovane / Andrea Schiavone / Tintoretto / Titian (after) / Veronese / Federico Zuccaro

Italian School, 17th-Century Drawings / Drawings2 / Simone Cantarini / Domenichino / Guercino / Pier Francesco Mola

Italian School Printmakers, 15th-17th Centuries: Venetian School,1497-1507 / Raphael School / Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio
Marcantonio Raimondi / The Master of the Die / Anea Vico / Agostino Veneziano / Nicholas Beatrizet
Michelangelo Buonarotti (After) / Giulio Bonasone / Giovanni Battista Franco /Girolamo Fagiuoli / Cherubino Alberti
Titian (after) / Tintoretto (after) / Parmigianino / Giorgio Ghisi / Diana Scultori / Annibale Carracci / Ludovico Carracci
Simone Cantarini / Elisabetta Sirani / Gerolamo Scarsello

18th-Century Drawings / 19th-Century Drawings / 20th-Century Drawings
Bol was born in Dordrecht in 1616 and received his initial training as a painter from Jacob Gerristz. Cuyp. Bol seeems to have entered Rembrandt's studio about 1637 to study with Rembrandt not as an apprentice but as an assistant (his earliest signed painting was done about 1635) and established himself as a master around 1642. In his paintings, he imitated Rembrandt's style so closely that some of his works were mistaken for Rembrandt's for centuries afterward. Although his style changed, throughout his career Bol painted many of the same subjects as Rembrandt, especially history paintings and portraits, and was an important painter in his own right after leaving Rembrandt's studio. Roseline Bacou, Curator of Drawings at the Louvre, which possesses a number of his drawings, notes that "During his lifetime, Bol's reputation as a portraitist surpassed Rembrandt's" (Great Drawings of the Louvre Museum: The German, Flemish, and Dutch Drawings, trans. Marguerite Hugo [NY: George Braziller, 1968], n. 92). Bol's etching oeuvre is a small but important part of his work. Van Sloten's catalogue raisonné of Bol's prints includes 19 by Bol, 3 she lists as "Ferdinand Bol?," 4 by Rembrandt (for comparison), 1 by Jan Lievens, two 18th-century copies of Bol's etchings, and 1 not by Bol (see Leonore van Sloten, Ferdinand Bol: etsen in eigen huis / etchings at the artist's home [Amsterdam: Museum Van Loon, 2000] for a complete illustrated catalogue of Bol's etchings. Almost all of Bol's etchings are studies of people and what Bol's etched portraits have in common is that they present powerful depiction of serious men (with the exception of three presenting women), mostly older–saints or philosophers–who often seem, like Hamlet or Lear, to be pondering the meaning of human existence. For a brief over-view of Bol's career, see the entry in the Grove Dictionary of Art, 4: 249-251, by Marijke van der Meij-Tolsma.
Old man with leaf of trefoil on his coat (Hollstein 24, van Slotten 29). Original etching. Van Sloten prints an illustration of this, but has some doubts about it: "Whether this etching is attributable to Bol is unsure: the theme is consistent with Bol's work and the fine lines are characteristic of Bol. Yet the character of the etching is rather messy and, in this regard, is different from other Bol etchings. For instance, the way in which the chair is rendered is quite unlike the other chairs seen on the Seated old man with beret (H. 7) or The Astrologer (H. 8)." One might note in passing that chairs are visible in only 5 of Bol's etchings and that no two of them are the same. The image van Sloten prints differs from ours in two important ways: in ours, the leaf on the sitter's right shoulder is still just an outline, but in the first state as reproduced, it is fully etched in. In addition, there is an undefined spot over the old man's head and shoulder, raising the possibility that ours is a proof of the still unfinished etching. In any case, it is a very beautiful impression combining strength and delicacy that presents the full tonal range from pure white to jet black. Image size: 89x74mm. Price: $3500.
Old man with long beard and a cap (H. 350, van Slotten 15). Original etching and drypoint, c. 1640. Formerly attributed to Rembrandt by Bartsch (B. 295) and Constance Schild, Complete Etchings of Rembrandt (1937), S. 368. Ours is a beautiful impression of this spendid portrait. Image size: 74x56mm. Price: SOLD

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