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Exhibitions/ Art Object

Frans Hals (1582/83–1666)

Copy after Frans Hals (Dutch, 17th century)
probably 1650s
Oil on wood
12 7/8 x 11 in. (32.7 x 27.9 cm)
Credit Line:
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Accession Number:
Not on view
Until 1935, this small panel was considered to be a self-portrait by Hals of about 1650. A similar work in the Indianapolis Museum of Art is now viewed by Slive and other scholars as the best of the known copies after a lost self-portrait by Hals. In the MMA painting, the sitter's lips are slightly parted, and the work is generally less somber in expression; it is not possible to judge from the available evidence whether this reflects Hals's intention or was introduced by one of his copyists.

There seems no reason to doubt that this panel dates from the period, probably the 1650s.

[2011; adapted from Liedtke 2007]
[Édouard Warneck, Paris, in 1878]; L. Goldschmidt, Paris; Jules Porgès, Paris (by 1903–at least 1914); Michael Friedsam, New York (by 1923–d. 1931)
The Hague. location unknown. "Meisterwerke der Porträtmalerei," 1903, no. 34 (as "Bildnis des Malers (?)," by Frans Hals, lent by Jules Porges, Paris).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Michael Friedsam Collection," November 15, 1932–April 9, 1933, no catalogue.

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.

Wilhelm [von] Bode. Studien zur Geschichte der holländischen Malerei. Braunschweig, 1883, pp. 85, 87 n. 1, p. 93, no. 77, as in the collection of Mr. Warneck, Paris, in 1878; attributes it to Frans Hals, calls it "Kleines Brustbild eines jungen Mannes," and dates it about 1650; identifies a work in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden (Slive 1974, no. L15-2; now private collection, Germany), as a good copy after this painting, possibly by one of Hals's sons; also mentions a drawing in Berlin which he calls a good old copy from Hals's time.

C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. Meisterwerke der Porträtmalerei auf der Ausstellung im Haag 1903. Exh. cat., location unknown, The Hague. Munich, 1903, pp. 13–14, no. 34, pl. 21, questions whether it is a self-portrait because the style is that of Hals's work of about 1650 when Hals was older than the man depicted; identifies an old copy after this painting in the Kirchheim collection, Paris (Slive 1974, no. L15-6; now Sinebrychoff collection, Helsinki); also mentions a version in the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem (Slive 1974, no. L15-5).

E[rnst]. W[ilhelm]. Moes. Frans Hals, sa vie et son œuvre. Brussels, 1909, pp. 28, 101, no. 38, ill. (frontispiece), attributes it to Hals and calls it a self-portrait.

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, p. 46, no. 148, lists the pictures in Helsinki, Haarlem, and a private collection, Germany as copies after this work.

Joséphin Péladan. Frans Hals, 1580(?)–1666. Paris, 1912, pp. 111–12, ill. opp. p. 110, believes this painting to be the most authentic of the versions, and suggests that the work in Haarlem might be a study for it.

Wilhelm von Bode, ed. Frans Hals, His Life and Work. Berlin, 1914, vol. 1, p. 19; vol. 2, p. 15, no. 217, pl. 139B, Binder rejects the identification of the sitter as Frans Hals.

Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Frans Hals, des meisters Gemälde. 2nd ed. Stuttgart, 1923, p. 305, ill. (frontispiece).

W. R. Valentiner. "The Self Portraits of Frans Hals." Art in America 13 (April 1925), p. 154.

Wilhelm R. Valentiner in The Michael Friedsam Collection. [completed 1928], p. 5, dates it about 1650; is inclined to believe it is a self-portrait; lists five copies after it, adding to the works in Haarlem, Dresden, and Helsinki a version formerly in the collection of Mrs. Charles H. Senff, New York (Slive no. L15-4) and mistakenly listing Slive no. L15-6 as two separate pictures.

Franz Dülberg. Frans Hals: Ein Leben und ein Werk. Stuttgart, 1930, pl. 1, attributes it to Hals and calls it a self-portrait; dates it about 1650.

Bryson Burroughs and Harry B. Wehle. "The Michael Friedsam Collection: Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27, section 2 (November 1932), pp. 48–49, no. 85, questions its identification as a self-portrait.

"Friedsam Bequest to be Exhibited Next November." Art News 30 (January 2, 1932), p. 13, prints Bryson Burroughs's survey of the Friedsam paintings; as "in all probability" a self-portrait.

W[ilhelm]. Martin. De Hollandsche Schilderkunst in de zeventiende Eeuw. Vol. 1, Frans Hals en Zijn Tijd. Amsterdam, [1935], pp. 342, 448 n. 461, calls it the best of all the versions.

W. R. Valentiner. "New Additions to the Work of Frans Hals." Art in America 23 (June 1935), pp. 89–90, fig. 5, reverses his earlier position [see Refs. n.d., 1923, 1925] and calls this a copy after the original in the Clowes collection (Slive no. L15-1; formerly Gemäldegalerie, Dresden; now Indianapolis Museum of Art); mistakenly states that Burroughs questions the attribution [see Ref. Burroughs and Wehle 1932; it is actually the identification of the sitter rather than the attribution that is questioned].

"Neuentdeckungen zum Werke des Frans Hals." Weltkunst 9 (August 25, 1935), p. 5, ill., summarizes Ref. Valentiner 1935.

W. R. Valentiner. Frans Hals Paintings in America. Westport, Conn., 1936, under no. 88 [cat. section unpaginated].

Heinrich Kaestner. Essay on a Self Portrait by Franz Hals the Elder, 1645/50. [1950], pp. 1–2, argues that the version formerly in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden, and now in a private collection, Germany, is actually the original self-portrait by Frans Hals of 1645–50.

H. van Hall. Portretten van nederlandse beeldende Kunstenaars. Amsterdam, 1963, p. 126, no. 9a under Frans Hals, lists it as a copy after the Indianapolis version.

Seymour Slive. Frans Hals. Vol. 1, Text. London, 1970, pp. 14, 163, calls the Indianapolis painting the best of "a number of versions after a lost original" of about 1649 which he believes to have been a self-portrait.

Seymour Slive. Frans Hals. Vol. 3, Catalogue. London, 1974, pp. 123–25, no. L15-3, fig. 96, catalogues eight copies and variants after the lost original, also mentioning drawings in Berlin and Haarlem.

E. C. Montagni in L'opera completa di Frans Hals. Milan, 1974, p. 107, under no. 184.

Seymour Slive in Frans Hals. Ed. Seymour Slive. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. London, 1989, p. 9.

Claus Grimm. Frans Hals: The Complete Work. New York, 1990, p. 67 [German ed., "Frans Hals: Das Gesamtwerk," Stuttgart, 1989, p. 67], calls the Indianapolis picture the best of several versions of a self-portrait he dates 1650–55.

Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 302–4, no. 70, colorpl. 70, fig. 81, states that "there seems no reason to doubt that the Friedsam panel dates from the period, probably the 1650s".

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