Pieter Duyfhuysen

Dutch, (1608–1677)

Portrait of a Young Woman

c. 1645

Oil on panel

Rexford Stead Purchase Fund


The small-scaled painting is by Duyfhuysen, a genre painter from Rotterdam. It was made as the prosperous middle class eagerly commissioned images of themselves to hang in their homes. Yet, the details in the painting suggest other allusions. The woman is wearing severe protestant dress. The clasped Bible on the chair attests to her status as belonging to the respectable middle-class, while the dog may symbolize fidelity. The print on the wall depicts the Remonstrant preacher Simon Espiscopius by another Rotterdam artist Hendrick Sorgh. Episcopius broke with the Calvinists and was expelled from Holland in 1619. He was allowed to return in 1626, preaching in Rotterdam.

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