The technique of this portrait dating from Hals’ early maturity is learned in part from Rubens. Halftones are superimposed in hatched strokes over lighter pigment applied in a thin, fluid coating. The warm but restricted color scheme and the subject’s animated expression and self-confident air are typical of Hals’ major works from this period. Matchmaking between male and female portraits is a popular pursuit among Hals scholars, who sometimes pair the Frick portrait with a female portrait dated 1633 in the Washington National Gallery. The evidence that the two were a couple is, however, far from conclusive.
Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.