Because of an inscription on the back, this painting was long considered a portrait of Anna Maria van Schurman, a prominent Dutch scholar and artist. These words, however, were added much later and incorrectly state that Anna Maria was 42 years old, when in reality she would have been 39. Furthermore, Flinck's likeness does not resemble other known portraits of this famous woman. Although her identity remains unknown, his sitter has an austere dignity and emotional complexity that captures her individuality through the careful description of her expression and dress. Due to this naturalism and elegant formality, Flinck achieved wealth and a high social standing throughout the 1640s as one of Amsterdam's most popular portraitists, rivaling his former master, Rembrandt. Joachim Sandrart, a contemporary German painter, once commented that compared to Rembrandt's portraits, Flinck's "were more felicitous in the exactness and in the pleasing quality of the portrayal."

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  • Title: Portrait of a Woman
  • Creator: Govaert Flinck (Dutch, 1615-1660)
  • Date Created: 1646
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 101 x 90 x 5.5 cm (39 3/4 x 35 7/16 x 2 3/16 in.); Unframed: 71.5 x 59.5 cm (28 1/8 x 23 7/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Private Collection, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, (Sale: "Tableaux Anciens", C.F. Roos, Amsterdam, March 14-15, 1882, lot 27.), Dirksen (?)., Raedt van Oldenbarnevelt, (Sale: Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, November 6-9, 1900, lot 35), M. le Chevalier de Stuers, (Sale: Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, December 11, 1923, lot 473)., Hoschek, Prague, Czech Republic., Farrar, (Sale: Sotheby’s, London, July 8, 1925, lot 42)., Rothstien, Kenyon-Slaney, (Sale: Sotheby’s, London, December 10, 1925, lot 44)., (Sale: Gebr. Douwes, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1926)., Victor de Stuers, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Dr. Cornelis Johannes Karel van Aalst (1866-1939), Hoevelaken, The Netherlands, upon his death, by inheritance to his heirs., Heirs of C. J. K. van Aalst, Cramer, The Hague, The Netherlands., Mr. and Mrs. Noah L. Butkin, Shaker Heights, Ohio, by gift to the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1977., The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1977.117
  • Medium: oil on wood
  • Inscriptions: Signed left: "G. Flinck 1646"
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: Netherlands, 17th century
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Noah L. Butkin
  • Collection: P - Netherlandish-Dutch
  • Accession Number: 1977.117

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