National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Portrait of an Elderly Lady Frans Hals (artist)
Dutch, c. 1582/1583 - 1666
Portrait of an Elderly Lady, 1633
oil on canvas
overall: 102.5 x 86.9 cm (40 3/8 x 34 3/16 in.) framed: 142.4 x 126.7 x 15.2 cm (56 1/16 x 49 7/8 x 6 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
1937.1.67
On View
From the Tour: Frans Hals
Object 1 of 7

Conservation Notes

The original support, a medium-weight, plain-weave fabric, has been lined with the original tacking margins trimmed. Part of the painting surface has been turned over the stretcher edges to form a new tacking margin, reducing the height by 3 cm and the width by 2.5 cm. The x-radiograph shows only faint cusping along the top and left edges. Above the book at the juncture of the dress and arm is a large repaired hole and adjacent vertical tear.

Paint is applied over a thin, creamy white ground as a fluid paste, with impasto in thicker passages such as the brocade and book. The face and black dress are thinly glazed. Brushstrokes in the skirt and hands are left unblended, but the brocade, lace, ruff, and cap are painted with precision and restraint. Adjustments to the silhouette of the black drapery are visible to the naked eye. A cluster of small losses is found in the upper right corner, along with scattered small losses in the background and drapery, and a linear diagonal loss that passes through the proper left thumb. The painting has not been treated since its acquisition by the National Gallery.

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