FRANS HALS | PORTRAIT OF A MAN, HALF-LENGTH IN BLACK, WITH A BROAD-BRIMMED BLACK HAT AND A WHITE RUFF, HOLDING HIS GLOVES, WITHIN A PAINTED OVAL
Property from A Private Collection, New York
Antwerp 1582/83 - 1666 Haarlem
PORTRAIT OF A MAN, HALF-LENGTH IN BLACK, WITH A BROAD-BRIMMED BLACK HAT AND A WHITE RUFF, HOLDING HIS GLOVES, WITHIN A PAINTED OVAL
inscribed with the sitter's age, signed with monogram and dated: AETAT SVAE 50/ ANO 1635/ FH (centre right)
oil on canvas, within a painted oval
87.5 by 68.5 cm.; 34⅜ by 27 in.
Portrait of a man, half-length in black, with a broad-brimmed black hat
87.5 by 68.5 cm.
The recent restoration undertaken by Martin Bijl has been well carried out and the retouches are effective and invisible to the naked eye in natural or artificial light. The varnish is slightly uneven and could be improved, but the work can otherwise be hung in its present state.
The postwar lining is applied with a traditional glue. This lining is stabilizing the surface, and is itself stable and strong, and the texture of the paint layer remains attractive.
The recent retouches listed in Martin Bijl's report are clearly visible under ultraviolet light, as is to be expected. They are well matched in colour and are undetectable to the naked eye in natural light. The darker colours of the beard, the hat, and the tunic have received retouches to address some thinness to the paint layer, probably due to the naturally increasing translucency of black pigments over the course of centuries. There are scattered small retouchings in some areas, particularly in the chest of the sitter.
Other restorations listed in Martin Bijl's report are visible in the background to the right. There appears to be a restored structural break in the canvas beneath the inscription, measuring about 5 cm by 5 cm. In the upper right, there is a circular restoration addressing a paint loss of about 5 cm in diameter. In the left background, there is a restored 12 cm vertical break, presumably an old tear. In the lower left spandrel, there is a square restoration measuring about 2 cm by 2 cm.
There is a vertical line of retouching beginning in the cheek running into the ruff, which is about 7 cm long, and is almost certainly an old repaired tear. In addition, there are smaller dots of retouching visible under ultraviolet light—some in the shadows in the edge of the ruff, and a few small spots in the nose, cheek, and forehead.
The painting retains a fresh and lively quality, and overall looks very well.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Philippus van der Schley, 21 June 1797, lot 90 (to Aiman for 20 florins, with pendant)
Acquired by James Carnegie in 1850 from Forest in London (according to an inscription formerly on the reverse, noted by Hofstede de Groot)
Cassel, Akademis (according to Slive)
Josef Lippmann von Lissingen, Vienna and Prague
His sale, Paris, Féral, 16 March 1876, lot 21 (with pendant)
With Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris, before 1898
Maurice Kann, Paris, by 1898
Acquired by Duveen, London, in August 1909, with two other works by Frans Hals and other paintings and works of art, for £500,000
With F. Kleinberger Galleries, New York, by 1911 (cat. no. 28)
With Scott & Fowles, New York, by 1922
Sold by Fowles' Estate, New York, American Art Association, 17 January 1922, lot 16
With Lionel Straus, New York
By whose estate sold, New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries, 11 March 1953, lot 9
There acquired by Nicholas M. Acquavella Galleries, New York (bears their label on the reverse, with stock no. 4865)
From whom acquired by Mr and Mrs John J. Hyland, New York
Thence by descent to the present owners
W. von Bode, Studien zur Geschichte der holländischen Malerei, Braunschweig 1883, no. 38 (as Frans Hals)
Illustrated Catalogue of 300 Paintings by Old Masters... being some of the principal pictures which have at various times formed part of the Sedelmeyer Gallery, Paris 1898, p. 62, no. 49, reproduced in etching (as Frans Hals, in the collection of Maurice Kann)
The Burlington Magazine, vol. XVI, November 1909, p. 109 (as Frans Hals, portraying Joseph Coymans)
E.W. Moes, Frans Hals, sa vie et son œuvre, Brussels 1909, p. 105, no. 95 (as Frans Hals)
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné…, vol. III, London 1910, p. 87, no. 304 (as Frans Hals)
W. von Bode and J. Binder, Frans Hals: sein Leben und seine Werke, Berlin 1914, no. 155, reproduced (as Frans Hals)
W.R. Valentiner, Frans Hals: des Meisters Gemälde (Klassiker der Kunst), Berlin 1923, pp. 150, 316, reproduced p. no. 150 (as Frans Hals)
W.R. Valentiner, ‘Frans Hals Paintings in America’, in Art in America, vol. XXIII, 1935, no. 55, reproduced (as Frans Hals)
S. Slive, Frans Hals, London 1974, vol. 3, p. 147, no. D. 53, reproduced fig. 174, and pp. 71–72, under no. 136 (as follower of Frans Hals)
E.C. Montagni, L'opera completa di Frans Hals, Turin 1974, p. 99, no. 104, reproduced fig. 104a (listed among the works by Frans Hals, but citing Slive's opinion)
C. Grimm, Frans Hals, (catalogue raisonné in preparation), no. A1-72, reproduced (as Frans Hals)
Vienna, 1873, no. 158
London, Grafton Galleries, National Loan Exhibition, October 1909 – January 1910, no. 36 (lent by Duveen)
Paris, Jeu de Paume, Exposition des Grands et Petits Maîtres Hollandais du XVII Siècle, 1911, no. 61