The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Young Woman in a Brocade Gown
  • Willem Drost (1633 - 1659)
  • Young Woman in a Brocade Gown
  • Netherlands
  • c.1654
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 62.4 x 49.8 cm
    Frame size: 81 x 71 cm
  • P61
  • East Galleries I
Further Reading
  • Willem Drost was a pupil of Rembrandt, possibly in or shortly before 1650. His earliest dated works are from 1653. Little is known about him, although he is believed to have been of German descent. His signed works show his ability to paint in the broad, bravura manner associated with the Rembrandt school and in the new polished style, adopted by artists such as Gerrit Dou and Nicolaes Maes. In about 1655, he travelled to Italy, where he died. Dating from around the same period as Drost’s masterpiece, Bathsheba, 1654 (in the Louvre, Paris), the present picture displays the same creamy flesh tones and sensuous treatment of drapery. The unknown sitter may be a courtesan. Her oriental look with turban and ornate garments reflects the influence of Rembrandt, who introduced this fashion for depicting figures in an eastern manner.

    Despite bearing a false Rembrandt signature (removed in 1976) the picture may well have been acquired as a work by Drost by Sir Richard Wallace. It is recorded as by Drost in his 1874-75 inventories.