oil on canvas
measurements note 40 1/4 by 32 in.; 102.3 by 81.3 cm.
P. Mantz, "Galerie de M. Rothan," Gazette des Beaux-Arts, VII, 1873, pp. 274-275;
W. Bode, Studien zur Geschichte der höllandischen Malerei, Braunschweig 1883, p. 70 (as by Frans Hals and with incorrect provenance);
C. Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue Raisonné of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth-Century, Paris 1910, vol. 3, p. 121-122, no. 423 (as by Frans Hals and with incorrect provenance);
W. Bode and M.J. Binder, Frans Hals, sein Leben und seine Werke, Berlin 1914, vol. II, cat. no.270 (as by Frans Hals);
W.R. Valentiner, Frans Hals. Des Meisters Gemälde in 322 Abbildungen mit einer Vorrede von Karl Voll (Klassiker der Kunst), vol. XXVIII, 2nd revised edition, Stuttgart-Berlin-Leipzig, 1923, p. 281, reproduced (as by Frans Hals, painted circa 1657-60, and with incorrect provenance);
S. Slive, Frans Hals, London 1974, vol. 3, p. 156, cat. no. D78 , reproduced no. 201 (under doubtful and wrongly attributed paintings).
Gustave Rothan, Paris;
By whom sold, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, May 29 - 31, 1890, lot 49, for 30,000 francs;
Possibly M. Siron, Paris;
Joseph Samson Stevens, New York, by 1923.
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PROPERTY OF A TRUST
Long hidden from the public eye and obscured by earlier restoration, this portrait was previously consigned to the category of doubtful paintings,υ1 but first hand examination has shown that it is, indeed, the work of Frans Hals. In its overall conception, it can be compared to a number of female portraits by Hals, but the costume and pose are closest to the Portrait of a Woman in the Louvre of circa 1648 (Slive 171) and another unidentified portrait in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, of 1650-52 (Slive 185), with which it had long been confused. The different sitters are similarly dressed in small caps and dark dresses with wide flat collars and lace cuffs. All three are shown knee-length, turned slightly to the left and with their hands held at their waists. In the present work the sitter is clad in the deep, rich black we associate with Hals and clasps her naked hand in her gloved one. It is in the treatment of these gloves that one clearly sees the mind and hand of Hals. He paints them in broad strokes of grey and white that somehow convey the soft but slightly resistant leather, which bunches around the sitter's knuckles and finger tips; the empty glove with its long cuff, unfurls at the lower left and the tips of the fingers peek out behind the other hand. The provenance of The Portrait of the Woman with Gloves has been a matter of confusion since the nineteenth century when Bode described it as being from the Périere collection.υ2 However, that picture is actually the portrait now in Vienna, as can been seen from the etching by Braquemond that is included in the deluxe edition of the Périere catalogue. 1 See S. Slive, under Literature, who knew the painting only from photographs.
2 See W. Bode, under Literature. The later commentators all followed Bode's description until Seymour Slive, Loc.cit, clarified the situation.