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

Conservation Notes

The original support is a plain-woven fabric composed of heavy threads irregularly spun with numerous slubs, loose ends, and weave faults. It has been lined with the original tacking margins retained. Pressure upon lining has caused an emphasis of the coarse canvas texture and flattening of impasto. The support was laced onto a temporary strainer for priming. Remnants of the thick laces remain along the left and right edges. Cusping patterns also suggest that the primed fabric was relaced to the strainer for painting before attachment to a stretcher. The support is sound, aside from a small hole to the right of the head.

A warm tan granular ground or imprimatura layer is visible between broad brushstrokes of paint, applied in thin layers worked rapidly wet into wet, and modeled with sharp unblended brushstrokes. The background was applied first, with a reserve left for the face, which was painted next, followed by the clothing. The hair was worked over the face to define its precise contours.

Scattered small losses are found overall, particularly along the edges. The bottom edge is ragged and damaged, with many unfilled losses. Abrasion is slight. The thin, aged varnish layer is slightly discolored and matte. The painting has not been treated since its acquisition at the National Gallery.

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