Portrait of a Young Woman

Hendrik Cornelisz. van Vliet, 1611 - 1675

Portrait of a Young Woman

Hendrik Cornelisz. van Vliet 1611 - 1675


Women rarely sat for portraits on their own account and were usually portrayed as part of a pair with their husband. They were seen, as in heraldic conventions, on their husband's left (the less important side). The composition of the two can usually be seen as a whole. This portrait, a companion to Portrait of a Man (Manchester Art Galleries, inv. no. 1909.34), is no exception. The inscription shows that the sitter was 19 years old when the painting was executed in 1661 and it is likely that, in view of the pendant portrait, this would have been commissioned to celebrate their marriage. The popularity of pair portraits in Holland at this time indicates the importance of marriage and a desire to record this. This picture emphasises the sitter's elegance, sobriety and respectability, rather than individual traits of character. The artist, who was born and died at Delft, was the pupil of his uncle, Willem van Vliet and of Michiel Mierevelt. He began by painting portraits and genre scenes, but around 1651 he turned to church interiors, a fast-growing genre at the time, so the switch was probably lucrative.

Object Name

Portrait of a Young Woman

Date Created



unframed: 100.9cm x 91.3cm
framed: 119.5cm x 109.7cm

accession number


Place of creation







© Manchester Art Gallery

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