Many of Hals's portraits exhibit the bold, jagged brushstrokes typically associated with his work, but this portrait shows him experimenting with a more precise mode of painting. Hals often painted “wet-into-wet,” not allowing the paint to dry before applying additional layers. Here, for example, these blended strokes are used at the figure's hairline to convincingly recreate individual strands of hair. The sitter has recently been tentatively identified as Aeltje Dircksdr. Pater (1597–1678), wife of the Haarlem brewer and burgomaster Jan de Wael (1594–1663). An inscription confirms her age as 41 when Hals painted her.

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  • Title: Portrait of a Woman, probably Aeltje Dircksdr. Pater
  • Creator: Frans Hals (Dutch, c. 1581-1666)
  • Date Created: 1638
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 82 x 67 x 6.5 cm (32 5/16 x 26 3/8 x 2 9/16 in.); Unframed: 66.5 x 52.3 cm (26 3/16 x 20 9/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Private collection, Amsterdam, (Jeronimo de Vries/Johannes Albertus Brondgeest, Amsterdam, sale, September 15, 1851, no. 198, fl. 40 [with pendant], to Brondgeest [bought in]), Baron Anselm Mayer von Rothschild (1803–1874), Vienna (inv. AR705), by descent to his son, Baron Albert von Rothschild, Baron Albert von Rothschild (1844-1911), Vienna, by descent to his son, Alphonse von Rothschild, Baron Alphonse von Rothschild (1878-1942), until confiscated by the Nazis in March 1938., In the possession of the Nazis. Apparently intended for the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, but kept at the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck. By 1945 stored in the salt mines at Alt Aussee., In possession of the Allies. Restituted to Alphose von Rothschild's widow, Baroness Clarice de Rothschild., Baroness Clarice de Rothschild (1894-1967); sold to Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York, (Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1948.137
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Inscriptions: Inscribed upper left: "AETAT SUAE 41 / ANNO 1638"
  • Fun Fact: Jewelry, lace, and sumptuous fabrics show off this woman's wealth—and the artist's skill in painting them.
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: Netherlands, 17th century
  • Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
  • Collection: P - Netherlandish-Dutch
  • Accession Number: 1948.137

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