Scriverius was a distinguished historian, poet, and scholar of classical literature. His wife, Anna van der Aar, was the daughter of a Leiden city councilman. In this pair of portraits Hals employs the scale, oval format, and illusionistic framing device that for several decades had been common in Dutch portrait prints. The male portrait alone was engraved in 1626, by Jan van de Velde II; impressions would have been sent to scholarly colleagues throughout Europe. The panels were retained as family keepsakes, in which Hals achieved the same vivid effects that he usually described on a much larger scale.
This small portrait and its pendant, Petrus Scriverius (The Met, 29.100.8), are certainly by Hals and are each monogrammed and dated 1626. The sitters lived in Leiden, though Hals would have painted them in Haarlem, where they both had close ties. Anna van der Aar was born in Leiden to Willem Govertsz van der Aar (1540/41–1617), the City Councilman and sheriff, and his first wife, Alijt Claesdr den Hartogh (1542–1579). Anna was raised by Geertje Huijgensdr Duyck (d. 1604), who married Anna's father in 1579, four months after her mother died. In 1599, Anna married the poet and historian Pieter Schrijver (1576–1660), better known by his Latinized name, Petrus Scriverius.
Scriverius's portrait was engraved by Jan van de Velde II in 1626 (The Met, 24.57.27). Below the engraved portrait is a tablet inscribed with an anonymous poem in Latin extolling the sitter's admirable qualities. In the case of pendant portraits of a public figure and his wife, it was normal that (as in this case) only the male portrait would be engraved. That a likeness was made of Anna indicates that the scholar's portrait was not only painted as a modello for a print, but also as a personal keepsake.
A possible portrait of the same woman, at the age of eighteen, was painted in 1595 by Isaac van Swanenburg (1537–1614). Van Swanenburg was the next-door neighbor of Anna's parents. Scriverius wrote a long poem in memory of the artist's son in Jan Orlers's Beschrijvinge der Stad Leyden (Description of the City of Leiden), of 1614.
[2011; adapted from Liedtke 2007]
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed: (lower border of painted frame) FHF [initials in monogram] 1626; (left center) Ao ÆTAT / 50
M. J. Caan van Maurik, Oudewater; [Étienne Le Roy, Brussels]; John Waterloo Wilson, Brussels and Paris (by 1873–81; his sale, at his hotel, avenue Hoche, 3, Paris, March 14–16, 1881, no. 57, for Fr 80,000 with pendant [MMA 29.100.8], to Petit); [Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, from 1881]; E. Secrétan, Paris (by 1883–89; his sale, Galerie Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris, July 1–7, 1889, no. 125, for Fr 91,000 with pendant [MMA 29.100.8], to Durand-Ruel for Havemeyer); Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1889–his d. 1907); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1907–d. 1929)
Brussels. Cercle Artistique et Littéraire. "Collection de M. John W. Wilson," 1873, unnumbered cat. (p. 82).
Paris. Palais de la Présidence du Corps Législatif. "Ouvrages de peinture exposés au profit de la colonisation de l'Algérie par les Alsaciens-Lorrains," opened April 23, 1874, no. 232 (lent by M. Wilson).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 11–November 2, 1930, no. 70 [2nd ed., 1958, no. 14].
Detroit Institute of Arts. "Fifty Paintings by Frans Hals," January 10–February 28, 1935, no. 7.
Richmond. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. September 10–October 12, 1947, no catalogue?
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "European Masters of the XVII and XVIII Centuries," January 13–February 5, 1950, no. 4.
Des Moines Art Center. "Masterpieces of Portrait and Figure Painting," November 5, 1952–February 1, 1953, no catalogue.
Pensacola, Fla. Pensacola Art Center. "Opening exhibition," October 26–November 30, 1955, no catalogue.
Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Art Museum. December 15, 1955–January 30, 1956, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Dutch Couples: Pair Portraits by Rembrandt and his Contemporaries," January 23–March 5, 1973, no. 4 (with MMA 29.100.8).
Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Frans Hals," October 1–December 31, 1989, no. 20.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A319.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Frans Hals in the Metropolitan Museum," July 26–October 10, 2011, no catalogue.
Charles Tardieu. "Les grandes collections étrangères II: M. John W. Wilson (1er article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 8 (September 1873), p. 219.
Paul Eudel. L'Hôtel Drouot en 1881. Paris, 1882, p. 72, mistakenly lists the Berlin museum as the buyer at the Wilson sale and gives the purchase price as 80,000 francs for the pair.
Wilhelm [von] Bode. Studien zur Geschichte der holländischen Malerei. Braunschweig, 1883, pp. 55, 84, no. 66, as in the Secrétan collection.
D[aniel]. Franken and J[ohan]. Ph[illip]. van der Kellen. L'œuvre de Jan van de Velde. Amsterdam, 1883, p. 37, under no. 33 [2nd ed., "L'oeuvre de Jan van de Velde: graveur hollandais, 1593–1641, avec additions et corrections par Simon Laschitzer," Amsterdam: G. W. Hissink & Co., 1968, p. 37, under no. 33], lists three states of the engraving by Jan van de Velde after the painting of Petrus Scriverius.
E. W. Moes. Iconographia Batava: Beredeneerde Lijst van Geschilderde en Gebeeldhouwde Portretten van Noord-Nederlanders in Vorige Eeuwen. Vol. 1, Amsterdam, 1897, p. 2, no. 7, as formerly in the collection of M. J. Caan van Maurik, The Hague.
E[rnst]. W[ilhelm]. Moes. Frans Hals, sa vie et son œuvre. Brussels, 1909, p. 32, 103, no. 73.
Cornelis Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Ed. Edward G. Hawke. Vol. 3, London, 1910, pp. 67–68, no. 225.
H. Mireur. Dictionnaire des ventes d'art . . . Vol. 3, Paris, 1911, pp. 405–6.
Joséphin Péladan. Frans Hals, 1580(?)–1666. Paris, 1912, ill. opp. p. 52, as "Une dame".
Wilhelm von Bode, ed. Frans Hals, His Life and Work. Berlin, 1914, p. 39, no. 107, pl. 57B.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Frans Hals, des meisters Gemälde. 2nd ed. Stuttgart, 1923, p. 309, ill. p. 50, states that the two portraits were obviously made as models for engravings.
Frank Jewett Mather Jr. "The Havemeyer Pictures." The Arts 16 (March 1930), p. 462.
H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, pp. 16–17, ill., adds Étienne Le Roy to the provenance.
W. R. Valentiner. An Exhibition of Fifty Paintings by Frans Hals. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1935, unpaginated, no. 7, ill., notes that this picture and its pendant are "perhaps the earliest pictures by Frans Hals to come to America".
W. R. Valentiner. Frans Hals Paintings in America. Westport, Conn., 1936, pp. 8–9, no. 18, ill. [cat. section unpaginated].
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, p. 20.
Seymour Slive. Frans Hals. Vol. 1, Text. London, 1970, pp. 58–59.
Seymour Slive. Frans Hals. Vol. 2, Plates. London, 1970, pl. 61.
Claus Grimm. Frans Hals: Entwicklung, Werkanalyse, Gesamtkatalog. Berlin, 1972, pp. 29, 63, 200, no. A10, considers the two pendants to be copies.
Seymour Slive. Frans Hals. Vol. 3, Catalogue. London, 1974, pp. 22–23, no. 37, states that the two pendants may have been in the collection of Theodorus Schrevelius in Leiden in 1628 [see Ref. Moes 1905].
E. C. Montagni inL'opera completa di Frans Hals. Milan, 1974, p. 92, under no. 46, fig. 46a.
R[udolf]. E. O. Ekkart inGeschildert tot Leyden anno 1626. Exh. cat., Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal. Leiden, 1976, pp. 35, 39 n. 1, fig. a.
Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, pp. 58, 77, 158, 254, ill. p. 74 (photograph from Havemeyer house).
Peter C. Sutton. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1986, pp. 183–84.
Lawrence W. Nichols. "Jan Govertsz. van der Aar: On the Identification of Goltzius's Patron." Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 38 (1987), pp. 245, 252 n. 23.
Seymour Slive inFrans Hals. Ed. Seymour Slive. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. London, 1989, pp. 142, 154, 185, 189, 202, no. 20, ill. p. 187 (color).
Karin Groen and Ella Hendriks inFrans Hals. Ed. Seymour Slive. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. London, 1989, pp. 111, 115, 120, 124.
Irene van Thiel-Stroman inFrans Hals. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. London, 1989, p. 383, doc. 42, p. 409, doc. 166.
Walter Liedtke. "Dutch Paintings in America: The Collectors and Their Ideals." Great Dutch Paintings from America. Exh. cat., Mauritshuis, The Hague. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1990, p. 46.
Claus Grimm. Frans Hals: The Complete Work. New York, 1990, pp. 34, 53, 291–92, no. C8, fig. 49b [German ed., "Frans Hals: Das Gesamtwerk," Stuttgart, 1989, pp. 34, 53, 284–85, no. K8, fig. 49b].
Peter [C.] Sutton. "Washington and London: Frans Hals." Burlington Magazine 132 (January 1990), pp. 67–68.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 20, 310 n. 38.
Susan Alyson Stein inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 209.
Walter A. Liedtke inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 65, pl. 65.
Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen. Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, fig. 30 (photograph of the Havemeyers' Rembrandt room).
Gretchen Wold inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 348, no. A319, ill.
Ute Kleinmann. Rahmen und Gerahmtes: Das Spiel mit Darstellung und Bedeutung. PhD diss., Universität Bochum. Frankfurt am Main, 1996, p. 73 n. 262.
Esmée Quodbach. "'Rembrandt's "Gilder" is here': How America Got its First Rembrandt and France Lost Many of its Old Masters." Simiolus 31, no. 1/2 (2004), p. 99, fig. 7 (photograph of Havemeyer library).
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 15, 18, 70, fig. 15 (Havemeyer library photograph).
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. ix, 256 n. 3, pp. 274–85, no. 64, colorpl. 64.
Dagmar Hirschfelder. Tronie und Porträt in der niederländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts. Berlin, 2008, pp. 88, 91, 410, no. 207.
Dennis P. Weller. Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries. Exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art. Raleigh, 2014, p. 107 n. 4, under no. 16.