Students Explore Life Stories of Portrayed 17th-Century Women

A lot is known about both Marten and Oopjen from the Rijksmuseum. However, for many other so-called pendant portraits of married couples created in the 17th century, much more is known about the man than about the woman. In the course ‘Women of the Rijksmuseum,’ led by art historian Judith Noorman, students from the UvA Art History program examined the life story of a portrayed woman each, showing how these women can be presented as more than just ‘the wife of …’.

The course ‘Women in the Rijksmuseum’ was a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum, which launched a research program of the same name in 2021. In the same year, university lecturer in art history Judith Noorman initiated the project ‘The Female Impact,’ focusing on the influence of women on the 17th-century Dutch art market, for which she received a VIDI grant from NWO.

In videos produced by the Rijksmuseum, three students share their research: Meg Koning discusses the portrait medallions of Catharina Hooft and Cornelis de Graeff; Lot Baumann delves into the double portrait of Abraham Casteleyn and Margaretha van Bancken by Jan de Bray; and Judith de Boer explores the portrait of Maria Joachimsdr Swartenhont by Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy.

Click here to read this article in Dutch.

Judith de Boer
Lot Baumann
Meg Koning