Portrait of a Man, Frans Hals
Frans Hals
Portrait of a Man
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Frans Hals

Portrait of a Man, 1638

94.5 x 70.3 x min. 0.4 cm
maximum depth
0.8 cm
Physical Description
Oil on oak
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1816 with the founder’s bequest
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters, room 1


About the Acquisition

Frans Hals was about fifty-five years old when he painted these splendid portraits of an unknown husband and wife. These life-size likenesses must have played an important role in the private collection of Johann Friedrich Städel (1728-1816), especially because people erroneously believed that the subjects of the paintings were likenesses of Peter Paul Rubens and his first wife, Isabella Brant. It is interesting to note that Städel owned these portraits long before the Dutch portrait painter Frans Hals was properly rediscovered by art academics in the mid-nineteenth century.

The Frankfurt banker and merchant Johann Friedrich Städel had assembled his art collection, which focused mainly on the art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in his house on Rossmarkt. In 1815 he bequeathed it to the foundation which was to bear his name and thus provided the City of Frankfurt with its first public art museum.


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