Portrait of a man by Frans Hals
Original: Oil on canvas 80.6 x 66 cm w x h
This brilliantly painted portrait can be dated on the basis of the stylish costume. Duyst van Voorhout was a Haarlem brewer, one of the most lucrative professions of the period. He had forty-seven pictures at the time of his death, but none of the portraits—as was common in estate inventories—is assigned an artist’s name.
The portrait must date from about 1636–38, to judge from the style of the costume, in particular the very broad lace collar that extends over the shoulders.
A Nicolaes (Claes) Pietersz Duyst van Voorhout owned a Haarlem brewery called Het Swaenshals (The Swan’s Neck) in 1629, when he gave his age as twenty-nine. He was the son of the brewer Pieter Claesz Duyst van Voorhout and his wife, Maria Quirijnsdr Aecker. The subject here could certainly be a man in his mid- to late thirties. An inventory of Nicolaes Duyst (or Duijst) van Voorhout’s estate, dated November 7, 1650, indicates that he was an enthusiastic collector of paintings, and owned one or two portraits of himself. Hals’s name is not mentioned in the inventory, but none of the nine portraits in the inventory is attributed.
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