in the altes pinarchitek, i saw a painting by gerard dou, and recognized the model. it’s the same girl that i saw in this poorly reproduced .jpg from another painter named barent fabretius: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b1/Barent_Fabritius_001.jpg
after poling around, mr dou has painted this young woman quite a lot.
look down and watch for any woman named ‘young’, be she a mother a cook or a girl in a window.
both gerard dou and barent fabretius were in rembrandt’s workshop as students. i poked around a while, to see if i could find a familiar face among the budding dutch movement of masters:
carel fabretius – alas – was a true master whose work was destroyed with the man when an armory exploded. very little of his work survived.
still, i like to think that he painted her, too, in some stage of her life. she was beautiful, after all, and at least five great painters mastered their art by mastering the lines of her humble face.
she worked in the kitchen. she plucked ducks. when she had her child, she placed the child at her feet near the fire.
there’s a picture of a young boy by gerard dou. the kid looks just like his mother. among all gerard’s self-portrait’s, i think i see a little bit of his face in the child. just a little bit of one.
ah, love. many of the art websites mention that the portrait done of this girl was the first great, distinctive work by these different artists. i bet she was their first love, too.
i wish i could find her name.