National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Portrait of a Man Frans Hals (artist)
Dutch, c. 1582/1583 - 1666
Portrait of a Man, 1648/1650
oil on canvas
overall: 63.5 x 53.5 cm (25 x 21 1/16 in.) framed: 92.4 x 81.3 x 9.2 cm (36 3/8 x 32 x 3 5/8 in.)
Widener Collection
1942.9.28
On View
From the Tour: Frans Hals
Object 7 of 7

Conservation Notes

The original support, a medium-weight, plain-weave fabric, has been lined with the tacking margins trimmed. Cusping is visible in the x-radiograph along the left, right, and top edges. Striations are visible from the brush used to apply the thin white ground. Paint is applied in opaque layers, thinly in the sketchy background, and with more body in the figure. Lively brushstrokes are applied wet into wet but left distinct and unblended. Losses are small and scattered, and moderate abrasion is present, particularly in the black hat and adjacent background.

Prior to 1883, when the painting appeared in the art market in Vienna, the background had been overpainted to cover up the hat, and the hair repainted in a longer style.[1] The restoration of the painting in 1990 and 1991 removed the later repaints and exposed the original hat, hair, and background. Although abraded, enough original paint remained to permit reconstruction of these elements.


[1] Pigment analysis, available in the Scientific Research department (28 March 1991), found pigments not available before the eighteenth century in all overpaint and repaint layers.

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