FRANS HALS

Lot number

20

Estimated price

Description

FRANS HALS
(Antwerp 1580 – 1666 Haarlem)
“A family group of eight”
Oil on panel, 61 x 82 cm.

Estimate on request

Provenance:
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam 1768,
‘The collection of Mr. Aegidius Laurens Tolling’, lot 2,
bought by Jan Maurits Quinkhard (1688 – 1772).
Literature:
Dr. C.Hofstede de Groot, ‘Beschreibendes und Kritisches Verzeichnis
der Werke der Hervorragendsten Holländischen Maler des XVII. Jahrhunderts’, 1910, 3. Teil, Seite 42, Nr. 142e.
Considered an autograph work by Hals, painted late in his career, this extraordinary painting is mostly known only through old black and white photographs. This portrait of an unidentified family was probably painted in the mid-1660s. The parents are seated in the centre while their young children stand and play around them. This charismatic image gives the impression of real people with real relationships.
This portrait is datable on grounds of costume and stylistic handling of Hals to the mid-1660s. For what Hals lacks in his fluid ability, here, he retains in his unconventional informality with the sitters. The background rapidly executed, depict simple obscure paintings hanging on the walls behind. The family are arranged so that the viewer can access each individual. A few of them are in mid-pose; the young man to the right proudly gestures with a goblet indicating a possible family of wine merchants. Another figure appears to have just entered the scene from the left, giving the feeling of movement, while four figures stare out at the viewer.
The work can be compared closely on stylistic and compositional grounds to treatments of the family subject to The Woman Regents (c. 1664). A comparison between the present work reveals a similar spirit to the brushwork, a similar treatment and handling of the characterisation of figures. The painting was restored in 2001 by Mr AL Verheij, restorer RRnl.
Dr. G.D.Gratama, former director of the Frans Hals Museum at Haarlem has confirmed the authenticity of this painting in a letter.

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