National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Portrait of a Young Man Frans Hals (artist)
Dutch, c. 1582/1583 - 1666
Portrait of a Young Man, 1646/1648
oil on canvas
overall: 68 x 55.4 cm (26 3/4 x 21 13/16 in.) framed: 103.2 x 91.4 x 14.6 cm (40 5/8 x 36 x 5 3/4 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
1937.1.71
Not on View
From the Tour: Frans Hals
Object 4 of 7

With an alert glance at the viewer, this portly youth rests his elbow on the back of his chair. Hals' earliest known use and possible invention of a model turned sideways in a chair dates to 1626, but he employed this lively pose often during the 1640s.

The National Gallery's Willem Coymans, dated 1645, relies on a similarly informal posture. Both works are also related in style, with the faces more firmly modeled and detailed than the broader, more suggestive brushstrokes of their costumes and accessories. Portrait of a Young Man may be slightly later because its brushwork appears even more rapidly applied. A few wavy strokes depict the lion's head finial of the chair, and an emphatic criss-cross pattern describes the collar.

Just above the sitter's hand, Frans Hals signed the work with his initials doubled: FHFH. The purpose of the unique double monograms remains unexplained.

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