* 1616 Dordrecht
† 1680 Amsterdam
Ferdinand Bol (Ferdinand Boel) was born son of the bather surgeon Balthasar Bol at Dordrecht in 1616. It seems likely that he served his painter’s apprenticeship with Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp in his hometown, he presumably also worked in Utrecht for some time, the then center of Dutch baroque painting.
After he had completed his apprenticeship in 1637, Ferdinand Bol (Ferdinand Boel) went to Amsterdam, in order to gain further experience in the studio of Rembrandt. It is not known for how long Ferdinand Bol stayed with Rembrandt, however, the influence the great master had on him was so strong that it must have been quite some time. The immense likeness between some of his works and Rembrandt‘s work has even led to a number of false attributions in the past. A fancy for historical scenes and portraits is also something that Ferdinand Bol (Ferdinand Boel) took on from Rembrandt; additionally, etchings by the hand of Ferdinand Bol that strongly resemble Rembrandt‘s are also in existence.
Ferdinand Bols became active as a self-employed painter in Amsterdam soon after 1640, where he received civil rights ten years later and where he would remain for the rest of his life. In 1653 Ferdinand Bol married Lysbeth Dell, daughter of an important Amsterdam regent family.
In Amsterdam Ferdinand Boel was a successful and popular painter and soon received public commissions, the first in 1649: the group portrait with the regents of the leprous house. Numerous renowned portraits followed, for instance for the Huiszittenhaus (1657) and the wine merchants gild (1659). As far as his style is concerned, Ferdinand Bol (Ferdinand Boel) became emancipate from Rembrandt, his style became softer, "courtly" and showed influence of the southern Netherlands.
In 1669 Ferdinand Bol, who had been widowed since 1660, married his second wife Anna van Arckel. The new spouse came from a rich family, which may be the reason why Ferdinand Bol (Ferdinand Boel) hardly produced any works after his marriage.
In 1680 Ferdinand Bol died a wealthy man of note in Amsterdam.