Dutch School. One of the very greatest portrait painters.
LONDON, NATIONAL GALLERY
A FAMILY GROUP Ten whole-length figures grouped against a landscape background. In the centre the father sits facing us, with his right hand above the head of a little girl, who stands between him and the mother holding up an apple in her left hand. The mother sits looking down at the child. Behind her, on the extreme right, stands a grown-up daughter holding out some preserved fruit towards the child; her left arm hangs down, a Chinese basket in her hand. On the left of the group a nurse holds a baby, and in front of her a lad kneels offering the baby a rose. Behind are two other boys. In the foreground by the father’s right knee a little girl kneels holding a basket.
Purchased in 1908 from Lord Talbot de Malahide for L25,000.
LONDON, WALLACE COLLECTION
“THE LAUGHING CAVALIER.” Half length, half to left. A young man with upturned moustaches and small ” imperial,” his eyes meeting ours. He stands with his left arm akimbo, the right hanging down, hardly seen. He is gorgeously dressed in a full tunic with slashed sleeves, crimson sash, broad falling lace ruff, and broad-brimmed black hat.
THE ARCHERS OF ST. GEORGE (1616) Twelve figures, three-quarter length, of middle-aged men in their fine clothes grouped around a dinner-table in a room with a large window in the centre of the back wall in a bright light from the left. On our side of the table is only one man, in the centre, who turns round to right with the back of his hand on his hip. On the right three men are standing, and a fourth stands behind the table with the furled banner over his shoulder, which cuts diagonally across the window. The rest are seated round the table, two pairs of them conversing, the other three facing us. As in all these groups by Hals, the effect is extraordinarily ” instantaneous “; almost as though they had been recorded, in the first instance, by ” snapshots.”
THE ARCHERS OF ST. GEORGE (1627) Eleven similar figures, three-quarter length, closely grouped against a curtain background. Four at the dinner-table on the right, behind whom three are standing, two of them with broad-brimmed hats holding banners furled. Near the centre to left is another standing with a furled banner over his shoulder, and on the extreme left two are seated, and behind them another stands holding up a wineglass.
THE ARCHERS OF ST. ADRIAN (1627) Twelve figures, three-quarter length, seven seated and five standing at or near a dinner-table in a room with a large latticed window in the centre of the back wall. On our side of the table are two seated back to back, the one to the right turning his glance on us, the other conversing with one standing on the extreme left. Four have their broad-brimmed hats on.
THE ARCHERS OF ST. ADRIAN (1633) Fourteen figures, ten of whom are behind, and four, at three-quarter length, in front of a long wooden table against a background of tall trees and houses. The costumes of the latter, three of whom are standing, are especially rich and effective, and a feature of this group is the introduction of half a dozen halberds beside the furled standard which rises against the background.
THE ARCHERS OF ST. GEORGE (1639) Twelve figures, three-quarter length, standing in a row; and seven more slightly above and behind the leftmost six, with trees and a tall square building in the distant background. This group is inferior both in spirit and in execution to the preceding, and we already begin to miss the ” instantaneous ” effect, which is entirely absent in the later groups in this gallery-viz., The Governors of the Hospital of St. Elizabeth (1641), and the male and female governors respectively of the almshouses (I664). These are, on the other hand, more remarkable for their deeper feeling.
A MAN AND WOMAN Sitting side by side, facing us, their eyes meeting ours, under a large tree on the left, both in their best clothes, with white collars and cuffs. He is on the left side, his right hand on his breast, his left arm concealed behind his wife. She has her right hand laid on his shoulder, and her left in her lap. Beyond the foliage on the right is a sunny garden, and some people walking near a stone fountain.
From the Jan Six Collection, 1702.
Formerly supposed to be Frans Hals and his wife, but more probably, as suggested by Dr. Bode, his brother Dirk and his bride.
MARTJE VOOGT CLAESDR The wife of Pieter Olycan, aged sixty-two. Three-quarter length, slightly to left, seated in a chair with arms. She is dressed in black silk trimmed with dark fur, white widow’s cap, and broad pleated circular ruff. Her left hand clasps the end of the arm of the chair, her right bolds a book bound in black with silver clasps on her right knee.
From the Van den Hoop Collection.