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Frans Hals, foremost painter in the city of Haarlem, was one of the most original and penetrating portraitists of the 17th century. This work, painted when the artist was in his eighties, is striking for the freedom of its vigorous brushwork. At the time, an admirer described Hals’s late portraits as “very rough and bold, nimbly touched and well‑ordered. They are pleasing and ingenious and, seen from afar, they seem alive and appear to lack nothing.” The sitter wears a Japonse rok (Japanese housecoat), a fashionable article of clothing that Dutch merchants initially received as gifts from the Japanese shogun and later manufactured domestically to meet a growing demand.

Details

  • Title: Portrait of a Man
  • Creator: Frans Hals
  • Date Created: about 1665
  • Physical Dimensions: 85.8 x 67 cm (33 3/4 x 26 3/8 in.)
  • Provenance: By 1873, Dr. Max Strauss, Vienna [see note 1]; sold by Strauss to Dr. Leon Lilienfeld (b. 1869 - d. 1938), Vienna [see note 2]; 1938, by inheritance to his widow, Antonie Schulz Lilienfeld (b. 1876 - d. 1972), Vienna and Gstaad, Switzerland but prevented from export and remained in the custody of Emmerich Hunna (b. 1889 - d. 1964), Vienna [see note 3]; 1941, pawned by Hunna to the Dorotheum, Vienna [see note 4]; May 19, 1944, removed from the Dorotheum and shipped to Alt Aussee, Austria [see note 5]; 1948, returned to Antonie Lilienfeld, Winchester, MA [see note 6]; 1966, gift of Mrs. Lilienfeld to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 14, 1966)
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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