Toledo Museum of Art, Museum News, June 1946, no. 112;
The Toledo Museum of Art, European Paintings, Toledo 1976, p. 25, reproduced Plate 133;
A. Blankert, Ferdinand Bol 1616-1680: een leerling van Rembrandt, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht, 1976, p. 205, no. A69;
S.A. Sullivan, "Jan Baptist Weenix, Still Life with a Dead Swan," in Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Vol. 57, No. 2, 1979, p. 71, no. 24;
S.A. Sullivan, "Rembrandt's Self-portrait with a Dead Bittern," in Art Bulletin, Vol. 62, No. 2, June 1980, pp. 240, 241, reproduced figure 6;
A. Blankert, Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680), Rembrandt's Pupil, Doornspijk 1982, pp. 58, 67, 121, no. 68 (as circa 1650);
W. Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler, Landau/Pfalz 1983, p. 306, cat. no. 140, reproduced p. 379;
P.C. Sutton, Dutch Art in America, Grand Rapids, MI 1986, p. 332;
A Gift to American: Masterpieces of European Painting from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, New York 1994, p. 171.
Although an independent master by the time this portrait was painted, Ferdinand Bol continued to paint tronies and other fanciful portraits in the manner of his master Rembrandt for a number of years after leaving his studio. This Portrait of a Young Man as a Hunter is an example of Bol’s work in this genre; it depicts a young man pausing from the hunt, elaborately dressed, with his dogs at his side, with the open vista of a landscape beyond.
The exact subject of the painting has remained somewhat elusive, although there are other examples of such pictures in Bol’s oeuvre; a painting by Bol of 1647 in the collection at Ranger’s House, Greenwich, affords perhaps the closest comparison1. That picture depicts a slightly older hunter—a falconer in fact— but shares some of the same compositional devices. As in the Toledo canvas, the figure is placed against the trunk of a tree which takes the whole right of the composition, with his hound below him at left, and an open landscape beyond. Both hunters wear similar plumed berets. Blankert has suggested that the Greenwich picture is likely to represent the Roman hero Aeneas Hunting; its pendant picture, which represents a woman holding a bow and arrow, he surmises is likely to represent Dido rather than Diana, as the latter would never have hunted in male company2. Sumowski suggests that the present canvas may also be a depiction of an ancient or biblical figure3.
1 See Blankert literature, p. 99, cat. no. 22, illus, plate 9
2 Bergsten collection, Stockholm (see Blankert, op. cit., pp.. 99-100, cat. no. 23, illus., plate 10
3 See Sumowski literature
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