National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Willem Coymans Frans Hals (artist)
Dutch, c. 1582/1583 - 1666
Willem Coymans, 1645
oil on canvas
overall: 77 x 64 cm (30 5/16 x 25 3/16 in.) framed: 105.4 x 92.1 x 10.8 cm (41 1/2 x 36 1/4 x 4 1/4 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
1937.1.69
Not on View
From the Tour: Frans Hals
Object 3 of 7

Willem Coymans (1623–1678) was a member of one of Holland's wealthiest merchant families. Their crest of oxen heads hangs on the wall; the Dutch name Coymans literally translates as "cow men." Below the shield, a Latin inscription states that Willem was 22 years old in 1645. Hals rarely dated his pictures. Since his few datings normally also provide the subjects' ages, the inscriptions must have been requested by the patrons to serve as genealogies.

Hals was the first portraitist who consistently depicted his subjects seated sideways, with their arms hooked casually over the backs of their chairs. Coymans, an elegant dandy proud of his expensive clothes, wears an embroidered jacket and sports a pom–pom on his hat, which is pushed forward rakishly. Hals' dazzling brushwork is especially evident in the gold embroidery and the crisply pleated shirt–sleeve.

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