Portrait of a Woman, probably Aeltje Dircksdr. Pater

Frans Hals1638

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Portraits by Hals often feature bold, jagged brushstrokes. This portrait shows him experimenting with the “wet-into-wet,” technique, in which layers of paint were added in succession without being allowed to dry in between. Note the blended strokes used at the woman’s hairline to suggest individual strands of hair. The sitter has been tentatively identified as Aeltje Dircksdr. Pater (1597–1678), wife of the Haarlem brewer and burgomaster (mayor) Jan de Wael (1594–1663). An inscription states she was 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
  • Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
  • Collection: P - Netherlandish-Dutch
  • Accession Number: 1948.137

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