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Frans (1582) Hals (1580 - 1666)

Lot 24: Frans Hals , Antwerp 1581/5 - 1666 Haarlem portrait of an old woman oil on canvas, a fragment


December 3, 2008
London, United Kingdom

More About this Item


oil on canvas, a fragment


measurements note 40 by 37.5 cm.; 15 3/4 by 14 3/4 in.



Newsweek, November 22, 1937, no. 21, p. 37, "Dutch Lady: Boston Now Knows She Belongs to Franz Hals", reproduced (as by Hals);
C.C. Cunningham, "A Recently Discovered Portrait by Frans Hals", Burlington Magazine, vol. LXXII, 1938, pp. 87-88 (as by Hals);
W.G. Constable, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Catalogue, 1955, p. 31, no.21.1449 (as not by Hals);
S. Slive, Frans Hals, vol. III, London,1974, p.154, cat. no. D72, reproduced fig. 193 (as not by Hals);
E.C. Montagni, L'opera completa di Frans Hals, Milan 1974, pp. 97-98, no. 96, reproduced (as by Hals);
Meesters der Schilderkunst: Frans Hals, Rotterdam,1976 (Translation from the Italian), pp. 98-99, no. 96, reproduced (as by Hals);
A.R. Murphy, European Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston 1985, p.128, reproduced (as by a follower of Hals);
C. Grimm, Frans Hals: Das Gesamtwerk, Stuttgart-Zürich 1989, p. 28, (reproduced fig. 15), p. 275, cat. no. 64 (as by Hals);
C. Grimm, Frans Hals: The Complete Work, New York 1990 (translated from the German), p. 28, (reproduced fig.15), p.279, cat. no. 64 reproduced (as by Hals).


Acquired by William Sturgis Bigelow, Boston, in the late 1880s and presented by him to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1921, inv.no. 21.1449;
Private collection, USA.


We are grateful to Professor Claus Grimm for confirming that this is an autograph work by Frans Hals of circa 1633.

It is so catalogued in both the German and the subsequent English edition of his catalogue raisonné, but in the text of the latter (p. 28) it is wrongly described as a work by Hals with the original face removed and replaced by a copy. The text is meant to refer to the three-quarter length portrait reproduced on the previous page (p. 27, figs 14d and details figs. 14a & 14c), but the translator (Jürgen Riehle) has confused them. In his German text Professor Grimm cites the present work as an example of one of the many portraits by Hals that were later cut down in size from an original half- or three-quarter length, retaining the most important part, the face of the sitter.

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Old Master Paintings Evening Sale

December 3, 2008, 12:00 PM GMT

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