The sitter for this portrait has traditionally been identified as Catharina de Well (1628-1722), second wife of Guilliam Dircksz. van Bleijswijk (1621-1701), who was painted by Nicolaes Maes (see the preceeding lot). The two pictures have hung as pendants since their inheritance into the Philips collection in the 1930s. However, Catharina would only have been 13 years old in 1641, so it is not clear who the sitter might be. While the configuration of the signature matches that of Jan Anthonisz. van Ravesteyn (1570-1657), on stylistic grounds the painting does not fit easily within his oeuvre, prompting Dr. Rudi Ekkart to suggest an attribution to the artist's nephew Arnoldus, who used his uncle's signature. Dr. Ekkart concludes: 'Since the earliest known works by Arnoldus van Ravesteyn are from 1651, it is difficult to have the attribution confirmed by comparison with his other works, but the painting might be an excellent work from his earlier period'.
We are grateful to Dr. Ekkart for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.