Portrait of a Man, possibly Nicolaes Pietersz Duyst van Voorhout (born about 1600, died 1650)

Frans Hals (Dutch, Antwerp 1582/83–1666 Haarlem)

ca. 1636–38
Oil on canvas
31 3/4 x 26 in. (80.6 x 66 cm)
Credit Line:
The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    This brilliantly painted portrait can be dated on the basis of the stylish costume. Duyst van Voorhout was a Haarlem brewer, one of the most lucrative professions of the period. He had forty-seven pictures at the time of his death, but none of the portraits—as was common in estate inventories—is assigned an artist's name.

  • Catalogue Entry

    This brilliantly painted portrait must date from about 1636–38, to judge from the style of the costume, in particular the very broad lace collar that extends over the shoulders.

    Until 1927, there was a wood panel (now lost) attached to the back of the canvas. It is uncertain when this was added, though it probably occurred decades after the painting was made, when the canvas needed additional support. The panel bore an inscription, transcribed in 1920 by Baker as "Claas Duyst van Voorhout brouwer in des Brouwerij het Zwaanschel?" (Claas Duyst van Voorhout brewer in the brewery Het Zwaanschel?). The 1856 catalogue of the Petworth collection misquotes the same inscription. It is impossible to know whether the inscription refers to this portrait, or whether it was already on the panel when it was attached to the canvas.

    A Nicolaes (Claes) Pietersz Duyst van Voorhout owned a Haarlem brewery called Het Swaenshals (The Swan's Neck) in 1629, when he gave his age as twenty-nine. He was the son of the brewer Pieter Claesz Duyst van Voorhout (ca. 1569–1624) and his wife, Maria (or Maritge) Quirijnsdr Aecker (d. 1646). The subject here could certainly be a man in his mid- to late thirties. An inventory of Nicolaes Duyst (or Duijst) van Voorhout's estate, dated November 7, 1650, indicates that he was an enthusiastic collector of paintings, and owned one or two portraits of himself. Hals's name is not mentioned in the inventory, but none of the nine portraits in the inventory is attributed.

    [2011; adapted from Liedtke 2007]

  • Provenance

    ?Earls of Egremont (until 1763); ?George O'Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, Petworth House, Sussex (until d. 1837); his son, Colonel George Wyndham, later 1st Baron Leconfield, Petworth House (by 1854–d. 1869; cat., 1856, no. 383); Henry Wyndham, 2nd Baron Leconfield, Petworth House (1869–d. 1901); Charles Henry Wyndham, 3rd Baron Leconfield, Petworth House (1901–27; cat., 1920, no. 383); [Duveen, London and New York, 1927–28; sold for $350,000 to Bache]; Jules S. Bache, New York (1928–d. 1944; his estate, 1944–49; cats., 1929, unnumbered; 1937, no. 34; 1944, no. 33)

  • Exhibition History

    London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Exhibition of Dutch Art 1450–1900," January 4–March 9, 1929, no. 367 (lent by Jules S. Bache).

    Detroit Institute of Arts. "Fifty Paintings by Frans Hals," January 10–February 28, 1935, no. 33 (lent by Jules S. Bache, New York).

    Haarlem. Frans Halsmuseum. "Frans Hals Tentoonstelling," July 1–September 30, 1937, no. 66 (lent by Jules S. Bache, New York).

    New York. World's Fair. "Masterpieces of Art: European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300–1800," May–October 1939, no. 174 (lent by the Jules S. Bache collection, New York).

    New York. Duveen Galleries. "Paintings by the Great Dutch Masters of the Seventeenth Century," October 8–November 7, 1942, no. 18 (lent by the Bache collection, New York).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Bache Collection," June 16–September 30, 1943, no. 33.

    Los Angeles County Museum. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Frans Hals, Rembrandt," November 18–December 31, 1947, no. 12 (lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (the Bache Collection)).

    Bordeaux. Galerie des Beaux-Arts. "Profil du Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York: de Ramsès à Picasso," May 15–September 1, 1981, no. 103 (as "Portrait présumé de Claes Duyst Van Voorhout").

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Frans Hals," October 1–December 31, 1989, no. 52.

    Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne," June 23–November 12, 2006, no. 11.

    Barcelona. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. "Grandes maestros de la pintura europea de The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nueva York: De El Greco a Cézanne," December 1, 2006–March 4, 2007, no. 8.

    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.

  • References

    [Gustav Friedrich] Waagen. Treasures of Art in Great Britain. London, 1854, vol. 3, p. 36, records it in the collection of Colonel Wyndham at Petworth; does not identify the sitter and states that he is "inclined to attribute" the work to Frans Hals.

    Catalogue of Pictures in Petworth House, Sussex. London, 1856, p. 41, no. 383, as "Portrait of 'Van Voorhout,'" by Frans Hals; reads the inscription on the back as "Claas Dugalt Van Voorhout brouwer in dos Brouwery Swaan, A.R.P.S.".

    Wilhelm [von] Bode. Studien zur Geschichte der holländischen Malerei. Braunschweig, 1883, p. 92, no. 153, calls it a portrait of a middle-aged man, attributes it to Hals, and dates it about 1630.

    E[rnst]. W[ilhelm]. Moes. Frans Hals, sa vie et son œuvre. Brussels, 1909, p. 101, no. 33, identifies the sitter as Claes Duyst van Voorhout.

    Cornelis Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. 3, London, 1910, p. 55, no. 176.

    Frans Hals, His Life and Work. Berlin, 1914, vol. 1, p. 40, no. 114, pl. 62.

    C. H. Collins Baker. Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures in the Possession of Lord Leconfield. London, 1920, p. 53, no. 383, ill. opp. p. 52, records the inscription on the back that identifies the sitter [see Catalogue Entry]; calls it "a latish example of fine quality".

    Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Frans Hals, des meisters Gemälde. 2nd ed. Stuttgart, 1923, p. 316, ill. p. 154, dates it about 1636.

    C. H[ussey]. "The Petworth Collection of Pictures—I." Country Life 58 (December 5, 1925), pp. 901–2, ill. (with incorrect caption) [reprinted in "Petworth House, Sussex: The Seat of Lord Leconfield," London, 1926, pp. 38–39, ill.], calls it a late work.

    W. R. Valentiner. "Rediscovered Paintings by Frans Hals." Art in America 16 (October 1928), p. 248, calls it "one of the finest portraits painted by Hals in the middle thirties".

    Arsène Alexandre. "L'art hollandais à la Royal Academy." La Renaissance 12 (March 1929), p. 130, ill. p. 117.

    A Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of Jules S. Bache. New York, 1929, unpaginated, ill.

    Walter Heil. "The Jules Bache Collection." Art News 27 (April 27, 1929), p. 4, ill. p. 27 (color).

    Robert Witt. "The Dutch Exhibition at the Royal Academy." Burlington Magazine 54 (January 1929), pl. II.

    Royal Cortissoz. "The Jules S. Bache Collection." American Magazine of Art 21 (May 1930), p. 259.

    Franz Dülberg. Frans Hals: Ein Leben und ein Werk. Stuttgart, 1930, p. 144.

    W. R. Valentiner. An Exhibition of Fifty Paintings by Frans Hals. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1935, unpaginated, no. 33, ill., relates it to Shakespeare's comedic figures.

    W. R. Valentiner. Frans Hals Paintings in America. Westport, Conn., 1936, pp. 11–12, no. 59, ill. [cat. section unpaginated], relates it to Hals's portrait of Willem Heythuysen in the Liechtenstein collection (now Alte Pinakothek, Munich) and his portrait of an officer in the Goldman collection, New York (now Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo).

    A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. under revision. New York, 1937, unpaginated, no. 34, ill.

    M. M. van Dantzig. Frans Hals: Echt of onecht. Amsterdam, 1937, p. 47, no. 19.

    Ella S. Siple. "Paintings from American Collections Now on Loan in the Frans Hals Museum at Haarlem." Burlington Magazine 71 (August 1937), p. 93.

    Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941, unpaginated, no. 192, ill.

    N. S. Trivas. The Paintings of Frans Hals. New York, 1941, pp. 45–46, no. 62, pls. 84, 85 (overall and detail).

    A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. rev. ed. New York, 1943, unpaginated, no. 33, ill.

    Seymour Slive. "Plates." Frans Hals. 2, London, 1970, pls. 195, 197 (overall and detail).

    Seymour Slive. "Text." Frans Hals. 1, London, 1970, pp. 86, 88, 122–23, dates it about 1638.

    Claus Grimm. Frans Hals: Entwicklung, Werkanalyse, Gesamtkatalog. Berlin, 1972, pp. 93–94, 96, 128, 141, 155, 202, no. 73, figs. 95 (detail), 99, dates it about 1635.

    E. C. Montagni in L'opera completa di Frans Hals. Milan, 1974, p. 100, no. 110, ill. p. 99 and colorpl. XLI, dates it 1635 or later.

    Seymour Slive. "Catalogue." Frans Hals. 3, London, 1974, pp. 63–64, no. 119, calls "the simplified silhouette and monochromatic effect" typical of Hals's works of the mid- and late 1630s.

    H. P. Baard. Frans Hals. New York, 1981, pp. 18, 122, colorpl. 30, dates it about 1638.

    John Pope-Hennessy in Profil du Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York: de Ramsès à Picasso. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts. Bordeaux, 1981, pp. 85, 88, no. 103, ill., dates it about 1630–35; notes that the identification of the sitter is not certain.

    Peter C. Sutton. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1986, p. 185, fig. 261.

    Karin Groen and Ella Hendriks in Frans Hals. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. London, 1989, pp. 119, 123 n. 64, pp. 125–27, pl. VIII, fig. g (color detail of paint cross-section).

    Seymour Slive in Frans Hals. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. London, 1989, pp. 170, 280–81, no. 52, ill. (color).

    Claus Grimm. Frans Hals: The Complete Work. New York, 1990, pp. 138–39, 184, 282, 291, no. 81, ill. p. 282, fig. 83, and colorpl. 59 (detail) [German ed., "Frans Hals: Das Gesamtwerk," Stuttgart, 1989, pp. 139, 184, 277, 284, no. 81, fig. 83, colorpl. 59 (detail)], dates it 1635–36.

    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. 52.

    Peter [C.] Sutton. "Washington and London: Frans Hals." Burlington Magazine 132 (January 1990), pp. 67, 69.

    John Ingamells. "Dutch and Flemish." The Wallace Collection: Catalogue of Pictures. 4, London, 1992, p. 138 n. 12.

    Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century. Washington, 1995, p. 74, fig. 1, dates it about 1638 and notes that the pose is the same, reversed, as that of the "Portrait of a Member of the Haarlem Civic Guard" (about 1636–38; National Gallery of Art, Washington).

    Michael Kimmelman. "At the Met with Chuck Close: Sought or Imposed, Limits Can Take Flight." New York Times (July 25, 1997), p. C23.

    Christopher Atkins. "Frans Hals's Virtuoso Brushwork." Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 54 (2003), pp. 297, 306 n. 80, dates it about 1638; notes the existence of a 1650 inventory of a collection of paintings owned by Van Voorhout.

    Meryle Secrest. Duveen: A Life in Art. New York, 2004, p. 447, dates it about 1636.

    Walter Liedtke in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, pp. 19, 70–74, no. 11, ill. (color, overall and detail) [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, pp. 18, 42–45, no. 8, ill. (color, overall and detail)].

    Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. ix, 285–88, no. 65, colorpl. 65, states that it "must date from about 1636–38, to judge from the style of the costume".

    Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 42, 70, fig. 55 (color).