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Notes to the User


This catalog first launched in 2014, uniting a long tradition of authoritative, peer-reviewed content with the flexibility of online publishing. The initial online presentation included all of the seventeenth-century Dutch paintings belonging to the National Gallery of Art as of 2009. Subsequent updates have added additional entries for works added to the collection after 2009. Newly acquired paintings appear as part of The Collection, with provenance, exhibition history, and some bibliography; they will be added to this catalog as entries and technical summaries are written. Each artist is given a short biography and selected bibliography. Each painting is discussed briefly in an overview, and at length in a full entry that includes technical information, inscriptions, provenance, exhibition history, notes, and bibliography.

In the 1995 edition of Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century there were a few works that originally entered the Gallery’s collection as seventeenth-century Dutch but have been found to belong to other schools or periods, and are thus not included in this grouping.  These "special collection" works include The Lacemaker and The Smiling Girl, both of which were attributed to Johannes Vermeer when they entered the gallery in 1937 as part of the original Mellon bequest, but were subsequently determined to be twentieth-century imitations.


Dates use the following conventions:

1650               Executed in 1650

c. 1650            Executed sometime around 1650

1650-1655       Begun in 1650, completed in 1655

1650/1655       Executed sometime between 1650 and 1655

c. 1650/1655   Executed sometime around the period 1650-1655


Object Numbers, Dimensions

Accession numbers are noted after the credit line. This is a unique number assigned to every object in the National Gallery of Art’s collection.  It is composed (first) of the four-digit year in which the object officially entered the NGA collections; (second) a number that represents the donation or purchase "lot" within the year of acquisition; and (third) a number recording the object within the lot.  If necessary, these three parts are followed by a fourth letter or number, as, for instance, by ".a" for an obverse and ".b" for a painted reverse.

Dimensions are given in centimeters, height preceding width, followed by dimensions in inches within parentheses.



The Provenance section gives the names of all known owners. A semicolon between two names indicates a direct transfer of ownership of the painting, whereas a period indicates uncertainty about the chain of ownership and the whereabouts of the object between two documented owners. The names of dealers, agents, and auction house sales are given in parentheses. Notes provide sources, details of research, and discussion of outstanding questions.



The following attribution terms are used to indicate the nature of the relationship to a named artist:

Attributed to: Indicates that a degree of uncertainty surrounds the attribution of the painting to the named artist. The basis for the uncertainty may be stylistic or iconographic, but it may also be as a result of the physical condition of the work.

Studio or Workshop: Indicates that the painting was produced in the named artist’s workshop or studio, by students or assistants, possibly with some participation by the named artist. It is important that the creative concept is by the named artist and that the work was meant to leave the studio as his.

Follower of: Indicates that the work was created by an unidentified artist working specifically in the style of the named artist, who may or may not have been trained by the named artist. Some chronological continuity or association or a time limit of about a generation after the named artist’s death is implied.

Circle of: Indicates an unidentified contemporary of the named artist, working in a similar style, who could be either a follower or an independent master who had contact with the named artist.

Style of: Indicates a stylistic relationship only, possibly vague, in which there need not be an implied chronological continuity of association.


Signatures and Inscriptions

If present, signatures and/or inscriptions on the paintings are recorded as accurately as possible. In these transcriptions, a slash with a space on either side of it indicates a new line; a slash without these spaces indicates that the slash is included in the text being recorded. All references to right and left with regard to the location of the signatures and inscriptions are to that of the viewer.


Exhibition Histories

Exhibition Histories record the presence of the paintings in special exhibitions from the time they were painted. They are as complete as available information has made possible and include catalog numbers, unless it is indicated that there was no catalog or the catalog was unnumbered, and a note as to whether the painting was reproduced. We continue to update this information as our objects are included in new exhibitions.



Each object page contains a list of references, in chronological order, which includes only those texts that specifically discuss the piece in the National Gallery of Art’s collection. Catalogs for the exhibitions listed in Exhibition Histories are now included in these references.


Technical Summaries

Each entry includes a technical summary, which documents the materials and techniques used by the artists in the creation of the paintings, as well as any changes and any documented treatments. They are based on the contents of the examination reports prepared by members of the National Gallery of Art department of painting conservation. The technical notes published in the 1995 edition of this catalog were revised for this edition by Joanna Dunn, who also wrote the technical summaries for the paintings acquired after the 1995 catalog was published. Technical terms can be found throughout the entry text, and the glossary of technical terms can be accessed here.


Energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS)

Small samples were examined with energy dispersive spectroscopy using an Oxford Inca 300 spectrometer with a Super ATW Si(Li) detector on aJEOL 6300 SEM.


Fourier-transform infrared (micro)spectroscopy (FTIR)

A Thermo Nicolet Nexus 670 instrument was used, fitted with a Continuum microscope. Spectra were collected in transmission mode at 4 cm-1 resolution. The samples were compressed between two windows of a Diamond Cell (Spectratech).


Gas chromatography / Mass spectrometry (GC-MS)

The samples were methylated with TMTFTH (TCI America, 0.5M in MeOH) or hydrolyzed using 6N HCl for 24 hours under vacuum. After removal of the HCl, the amino acids were silylated with MTBSTFA/TBDMCS. Samples were examined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry on a 30 meter DB-5 column, a Varian Saturn CP3900 gas chromatograph and Saturn 2100T ion trap mass spectrometer.


Infrared examination

When infrared examination is designated as “Vidicon,” a vidicon camera system was used, which included a Hamamatsu c/1000-03 vidicon camera fitted with an N2606-10 or N214 lead sulphide tube and a Kodak Wratten 87A filter. When infrared examination is designated by microns, one of four cameras was used: a Kodak 310-21X PtSi camera configured to 1.5-2.0 microns, a Mitsubishi M600 PtSi camera configured to 1.2-2.5 microns, an Indigo/FLIR Alpha Visible-InGaAs camera, and a Santa Barbara Focalplane SBF187 InSb camera. The latter two cameras were configured with various band filters between 1.1 and 2.5 microns. For the Kodak and Mitsubishi cameras, the images were captured using a ScionPCI framegrabber card in a Macintosh computer with Scanalytic’s IP-Lab software. For the Indigo/FLIR camera, the images were captured onto a Dell computer with an IMAQ capture board housed in a Magma external PCI box, and IRVista software. For the Santa Barbara Focalplane camera, the images were captured using a Windows Empower tower computer andWinIR software. Nikon 55mm macro, 50mm macro lens, and 35mm lenses were used with the various cameras, as were Astronomy J, H, and K filters. The scanned X-ray radiographs films and infrared reflectograms were automatically mosaicked and registered to a reference color imaging using anovel registration algorithm developed by George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art. For more information see Damon M. Conover, John K.Delaney, Murray H. Loew, "Automatic registration and mosaicking of conservation images", in Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology IV, Luca Pezzati; Piotr Targowski, Editors, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 8790 (SPIE, Bellingham, WA 2013), 87900A, (2013). The registration was performed by K. Dooley, D. Conover and J. Delaney.


Optical microscopy of cross-sections

Small paint samples (c. 0. 25mm2) were removed using a scalpel and were mounted in polyester-type resin blocks. The samples were cut at right angles to the layer structure and polished using silicon carbide papers and examined using a Leica DRMX microscope.


Polarized light microscopy (PLM)

Transmitted polarized light microscopy of dispersed samples was conducted using Leitz Orthoplan and Leica DMRX microscopes. Particle identification was accomplished by comparing characteristic features—including particle size, color, refractive index and relief, birefringence, extinction characteristics, pleochroism, and anomalous polarization colors of the unknown—to those of reference materials in the Forbes Pigment Collection and other reference collections.


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)

Small samples were prepared for optical microscopy and examined with a JEOL 6300 scanning electron microscope at magnifications 100x–10000x. A Tetra backscatter electron detector was used to obtain BSE images.



X-radiography was carried out with equipment consisting of a Eureka Emerald 125 MT tube, a Continental 0-110 kV control panel, and a Duocon M collimator or a Comet Technologies XRP-75MXR-75HP tube. The image was captured on Kodak X-OMAT film or digitally using a Carestream Industrex Blue Digital Imaging Plate 5537. The scanned X-ray radiographs films or digital X-radiograph captures were automatically mosaicked and registered to a reference color imaging using a novel registration algorithm developed by George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art. For more information see Damon M. Conover, John K. Delaney, Murray H. Loew, "Automatic registration and mosaicking of conservation images", in Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology IV, Luca Pezzati; Piotr Targowski, Editors, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 8790 (SPIE, Bellingham, WA 2013), 87900A, (2013). The registration was performed by K. Dooley, D. Conover and J. Delaney.


X-ray diffraction (XRD)

The Philips x-ray generator XRG 3100 was used with a tube with a copper anode and nickel filter. The paint sample was mounted on a glass fiber in a Gandolfi camera. Data were collected on film, and line spacings and intensities were estimated using acalibrated rule.


X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF)

This is a non-invasive analytical technique, which was carried out using one of two systems. The first system used a secondary emission Kevex 0750A spectrophotometer equipped with a rhodium tube with either a barium chloride secondary target or a molybdenum secondary target using a variety of excitation conditions and a silicon lithium Si(Li) detector with a resolution of approximately 155eV @Mn Kα. For this system the range of Rh tube excitation was 40kV-60kV and 0.4mA-2mA. The second system used a Bruker ArtTAX Pro μXRF Spectrometer, which uses primary excitation and is equipped with a helium (He) flush, a rhodium (Rh) x-ray tube, and a capillary optic lens with an analysis area of approximately 75μm. In this system the x-ray tube voltage was 50kV, the current was 200μA, and the accumulation time was 200 seconds.