1630s Paulus Moreelse (Dutch artist, 1571-1638) Lady as Shepherdess
Early portraits of women portrayed as shepherdesses were more seductive than those painted later. The subject might be depicted with bare breasts showing, while wealthy, identified sitters would be painted in more traditional, conservative costumes. The theme of the shepherdess was popular in 17C Dutch art, & it was not unusual for fashionable young women to have their likenesses rendered as such. The shepherdess theme remained popular & expanded throughout the 18C on both sides of the Atlantic.