Three Young Girls

Three Young Girls

early 1600s
Artist
British artist
painting
Oil paint on panel
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust
2021.30

British artist, Three Young Girls, early 1600s. Oil paint on wood panel. Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2021.30

Dimensions
image height: 32 1/2 in, 82.55 cm; image width: 44 3/8 in, 112.7125 cm; frame height: 40 7/8 in, 103.8225 cm; frame width: 52 3/4 in, 133.985 cm
Department
European and American Art Before 1900
Collection
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900

The three sisters portrayed here are dressed in matching outfits in the newly relaxed style of the early 1600s—high waist, low neckline, and unstructured sleeves. Their scarlet dresses are decorated with yellow lace, a short-lived accessory popular in the 1610s. The two older girls hold ripe fruit, symbolic of their future roles as wives and mothers, while the youngest girl holds a doll of an adult woman dressed in black, possibly signaling that their mother has died. 

Known Provenance
Lt. Col. R. A. Cooper, D.S.O., Knightstone, Devon (as Paul van Somer), by 1950 [per Country Life article of that date]; Sotheby’s, London, March 18, 1981, lot 48; [“property of a lady”] private collection, U.K.; Sotheby’s, London, May 27, 1987, lot 201 (Manner of Robert Peake); Sotheby’s, London, November 13, 1996, lot 11 (as Circle of Robert Peake) [the foregoing from Witt Library photo documentation]; from which acquired by William M. B. Berger and Bernadette Johnson Berger, Denver, 1997; Berger Collection Educational Trust; on loan to the Denver Art Museum, TL-18018. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

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