Currently on View in H215
Cuyp specialized in bust- and half-length portraits, and he also portrayed many children. The girl here is clothed in attire typical of an adult, with an olive-green dress, white apron and collar, and pearl earrings. However, the small bird—a motif frequently appearing in pedagogical treatises to suggest discipline—alludes to her age. The carnation is a common symbol of divine love and resurrection in 17th-century portraits and appears frequently in images of the Virgin and Child. Cuyp seems to use these attributes to evoke the child’s obedience and piety.
Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of Special Projects, at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.