John Bezold

‘The Frans Hals Family Portraits Exhibition’

2020

Among the paintings in Frans Hals’ (1582/3-1666) existing oeuvre–somewhere between 168 and 222, depending on the Hals connoisseur in question–the family portraits, have always retained an air of being somewhat outliers within Hals historiography.1 Depending on one’s definition of family there are four or five known family portraits by Hals, executed between the 1620s and 1640s. His militia pieces are renowned for innovating the genre of Dutch group portraiture produced in the early-seventeenth century, especially in Haarlem. Though his family portraits have remained understudied and perhaps even underappreciated. This is partly due to their own history, being private rather than public commissions, and so they seem to have defied categorization amongst his other works.2 The precise count of Hals’ family portraits is trickier owing to the relationship between the Brussels museum and Toledo canvases, which were severed somewhere before 8 March 1810.3 As is now clear, Hals’ foray into group portraiture composed of families, is muddied in both its categorization, and the precise number of them, due to the tri-fragmentation of one of Hals’ family portraits.

Even Aloïs Riegl did not consider Frans Hals’ family portraits to be ‘group’ portraiture, precisely because a family, to him, was defined as a closely-knit unit, or, “two sides of the same coin, their children of the same stamp, and all of them are naturally of the same mintage.”4 Thus, for Riegl, ‘group portraiture’ was but only an elaboration and combination of numerous individual portraits. However, he also proclaimed that, “a group portrait, as opposed to an individual portrait, unites a number of figures in one picture.”5 He reasons that being a family leads to a natural unity in portraiture, creating no need for, “any special tricks of pictorial conception or composition.”6 This reasoning supposes that the vast inner-worlds of a family’s members is transferred to the canvas, leading to this ‘natural unity’. That family portraits are most often not considered to be group portraiture, has largely been the reason for their relative obscurity, within the scholarly literature of seventeenth-century Dutch portraiture–ranging from studies on the individual, well up to the large militia groups. This has relegated them to just a few studies of seventeenth-century Dutch family portraits, focusing mostly on iconography.7

fig. 1 Frans Hals, Van Campen Family Portrait in a Landscape, c. 1620, oil on canvas, 151 × 163.6 cm., Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio

Therefore, in my own opinion, there are five known family portraits by Hals. They are: Van Campen Family Portrait in a Landscape (c. 1620, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, fig. 1), Three Children from Cloth Trader Gijsbert Claesz. van Campen and his Wife Maria Jorisdr. with a Goat Cart (c. 1620, Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels, fig. 2), Head of a Boy (c. 1620, Private Collection, Brussels, fig. 3),Portrait of a Couple, Probably Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laen (c. 1622, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, fig. 4), Portrait of a Dutch Family (c. 1635, Cincinnati Art Museum, fig. 5), Family Group in a Landscape (c. 1645-1648, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, fig. 6), and A Family Group in a Landscape (c. 1647-1650, National Gallery, London, fig. 7). The Toledo and Brussels museum fragment had been exhibited together, both in 1971 in Brussels and again during 1990, at the National Gallery and the Frans Hals Museum.8 For the first time since the separation of the Toledo canvas and its accompanying fragments, today in Brussels; those three canvases were displayed next to one another to recreate the original composition, during the exhibition ‘Frans Hals portraits: A family reunion’. They were accompanied by the other family portraits by Hals, and were all displayed as part of the exhibition, which began in Toledo during the autumn of 2018, travelling to Brussels, before concluding in Paris in summer of 2019.9

fig. 2 Frans Hals, Three Children from Cloth Trader Gijsbert Claesz. van Campen and his Wife Maria Jorisdr. with a Goat Cart, c. 1620, oil on canvas, 152 × 107.5 cm., Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels

The exhibition’s publication is far from a traditional exhibition publication; it is not a catalogue.10 There are no entries on the family portraits, nor is there included, extensive investigative research done into the core group of works that compose the exhibition. Rather, instead, is a highly focussed publication aimed at numerous museum audiences, which is, more or less, a celebration of the Toledo Museum of Art’s 2011 acquisition of its family portrait by Hals; the last in private hands.11 This publication is also exemplary in its research, in that its contributors combine the methodologies of literary, technical, and archival research; exemplified by, respectively, Larry Nichols’, Liesbeth De Belies’, and Pieter Biesboer’s essays. It combines these three research modes, while curiously excluding formalism, to come to a new ensconcement of Hals’ family portraits, by illuminating Hals’ social standing in Haarlem and by identifying his sitters. Yet it’s the Toledo canvas and its two fragments from Brussels, which it explores in depth. In this way, it lacks what Grimm and Slive’s catalogue studies on Hals’ oeuvre have added to Hals literature, as these are pure formalists Hals connoisseurs. Though simultaneously, and because of its methodologies, it continues the tradition of culling a diverse group of historians, restorers and curators for contributions–much like Slive’s 1989 catalogue.

The Toledo exhibition was the most exhaustive in terms of what the exhibition sought to achieve; relating these portraits to the casual museum visitor, through the theme of family. To do so, that showing was accompanied by a vast array of artworks from the Toledo Art Museum’s own permanent collection–culling from its art across the ages to incorporate those from as far back as ancient Egypt, with a focus on portrayals of family. Simultaneously on exhibit was commentary sourced from local residents on what the definition of family meant to them; perhaps reflecting Midwest American art museums’ didacticism. The exhibition in Brussels accompanied a rehang of the museum’s Dutch and Flemish collection (entitled ‘A Dutch Spring’). Two pendants by Hals on loan from the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati–which is a fixed collection, making their showing in Toledo even more special–served as anchors to the Toledo exhibition’s visitors, to better convey to them the significance of Hals’ family portraiture, by contrasting them to a pair of his individual portraits.12 In Paris it was accompanied by the parallel show, ‘Children of the Golden Age’, which was an exhibition of artworks from the Fondation Custodia’s own collection, conveying the many ways Dutch and Flemish children were represented in paintings and drawings by the era’s artists. Some of the included works had never before been exhibited; such as the 1626, Portrait of a Six Month Old Child, and the c. 1635, Half-Length Portrait of a Small Girl, both in oil and on panel.13 All exhibitions included a drawing by Jan Gerard Waldorp portraying the mother from the Cincinnati family portrait, dating from 1782–which was on loan from the Crocker Art Museum, in Sacramento. A nineteenth-century drawing, made after the Brussels museum fragment was also included in the exhibition, and was on loan from the Rijksprentenkabinet. The publication includes an index of which works appeared where in each exhibition’s iteration.14

fig. 3 Frans Hals, Head of a Boy, c. 1620, oil on canvas, 52 × 45.7 cm., Private collection, Brussels

Nichols’ essay, the first in the book, ‘Frans Hals: The family group portraits’, begins and ends with a board survey of family and group portraiture produced in the sixteenth- and seventieth-century Republic. This is essential to further understand why the family subgenre in paintings of the seventeenth-century Low Countries, is of importance. The essay traces the development of Riegl’s first through third divisions of the many types of group portraiture.15 Nichols also manages to craftily skirt the issue of the definition of family, by naming these works by Hals as ‘family group’ portraits.16 Nevertheless, the central aim of the essay–which traces the well-trodden scholarship of the evolution of group portraiture produced in Amsterdam and Haarlem–is to examine where these works by Hals fit into his oeuvre, and those of other portraitists of families in those cities. Nichols introduces the historiography of the Toledo and the Brussels museums’ fragments, noting they were first observed to be similar in their formal characteristics by the Brussels museum’s curator, Leo van Puyvelde, in 1929.17 The idea that the two canvases were once one larger composition, was first put forward by Roger A d’Hulst in 1963, and then affirmed by Slive in 1969.18 Grimm added to this, in 1972, by suggesting that the Brussels fragment of the boy’s head, catalogued as a Hals by Wilhem Valentiner in 1923, also belonged to the proposed Toledo-Brussels canvas.19 Slive never believed the boy to belong to the Toledo-Brussels canvases, instead suggesting that it was but a fragment from a still missing family portrait by Hals, made in the early-1620s.20 Nichols recounts this historiography, then compares how Hals, unlike most contemporaries and predecessors, constructed his family portraits in an outdoor setting, thus introducing the ability to add copious amounts foliage and landscapes, and in one case, a tapestry.

fig. 4 Frans Hals, Portrait of a Couple, Probably Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laen, c. 1622, oil on canvas, 140 × 165.5 cm., Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

While most of Hals’ family portraits are set outdoors, only the Cincinnati portrait sees itself accompanied by drapery. It is also the only family portrait by Hals that is relatively small, being three-fourths the size of his other family portraits, much in the same vain as the family portraits by Thomas de Keyser.21 Nichols recounts that the background of the Cincinnati family portrait might have been painted by Pieter de Molijn; a notion put forward by Niel McLaren toward only the London portrait in 1960 (a point Nichols omits),22 later endorsed by Slive and expanded by him to include backgrounds of the Madrid and Cincinnati family portraits. The question of the landscapes in Hals’ group portraiture, is a subject first explored by Bode in 1922.23 This brings forth the question of who collaborated with Hals, with Nichols only echoing Slive. He only briefly mentions the London and Madrid family portraits, which is somewhat surprising given that they are the two largest canvases in the exhibition. It is recounted that the London portrait was cropped at its bottom and top edges, and that the sitters of both the families still remain unidentified, even as notes in the archives of the National Gallery suggest Hals’ later sitter, Cornells Guldewagen and his family, as a real suggestion.24 Concerning the Madrid portrait, he focuses on the presence of the black child among the family, noting black individuals began to appear within Dutch and Flemish paintings, in the 1630s.25

By introducing historiography and the numerous ways previous authors have studied formal components of previous scholars’ work on Hals, Nichols was able to compare Hals’ ‘family group’ portraits to the ‘family group’ portraits of Hals’ contemporaries in Haarlem and Amsterdam. Nichols does not, however, explain to the reader the defining feature of Haarlem group portraiture–that is, its internal coherence: where sitters gaze toward one another, as opposed to the external coherence present in Amsterdam group portraiture, where most sitters gaze out toward the viewer. However, considering the essay’s broad-audience aim, it seems within that context, somewhat unnecessary in that it will not be noticed by casual exhibition visitors.26 An in-depth discussion of these aspects would have strengthened his transmission of the importance of this sub-genre within seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, to the casual exhibition viewer. Aptly, Nichols ends by alluding to coherence, reflecting: ‘The genius of Hals’ family group portraits, their composition and contrivance notwithstanding, is that through their inward focus and deliberate theatricality, they radiate outward to us over the centuries the fleeting moments of lifelikeness.'27

fig. 5 Frans Hals, Portrait Of A Dutch Family, c. 1635, oil on canvas, 111.7 × 91.6 cm., Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio

De Belie’s essay, ‘A new reconstruction of Frans Hals’ earliest family portrait’, continues where Nicholas’ left off, and expands on the historiography of the entirety of the Van Campen canvas. It recounts the restoration process of the Brussels museum fragment: Three Children from Cloth Trader Gijsbert Claesz. van Campen and his Wife Maria Jorisdr. with a Goat CartThe most interesting proposition brought forward in her essay is the reasoning as to why the canvas was cut on its right-hand side. She notes it was common in prior centuries to cut canvases that were large, or damaged, keeping sections that were in a condition allowing their resale. In this regards she states that it might have been possible that the canvas in its entirety, may have stood in a pool of water on its right-hand side, thus sustaining damage from that water as well as mold.28 De Belie’s essay is the most interesting essay in the publication in terms of the volume of research it presents, and will be of special interest to the dedicated Hals scholar, as well as technical art historians and restorers who are interested in minute steps that compose a years-long painting restoration. Also included is a hypothetical proposal of the Van Campen canvas in its entirety–somewhat unfortunately applying De Brey’s later addition to the right hand side.29 Finally and with certainty, from this essay, it is proven that the Toledo, Brussels, and private collection portraits were indeed at one point in the past, whole–due to the technical discoveries when Three Children from Cloth Trader Gijsbert Claesz. van Campen and his Wife Maria Jorisdr. with a Goat Cart was restored, and the uncovering of two children along its right-hand edge.  

fig. 6 Frans Hals, Family Group in a Landscape, c. 1645-1648, oil on canvas, 202 × 285 cm., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Biesboer’s astute essay, ‘The identification of a family in a group portrait by Frans Hals: New documents’, shows the necessity of conducting such research into the subjects of, not just family portraits, but all portraits. Regardless of a portrait’s seductive formal qualities, decoupled from their place in the stylistic evolution of their creator, and without the identification of sitters within portraits, it is in essence an anonymous individual. As Biesboer has shown, the painstaking process of conducting archival research into seventeenth-century Dutch portraits–such as a sitter’s birth, baptism, marriage, and death date–are if even found, only loose documents detached from the works of art that illuminates the illustrious past, of those named in archival documents. The lack of that sort of personal information is to the detriment of formalists, as without it, there are less opportunities for researchers to branch off and explore sitters’ direct family members, and others in their social networks. As Claartje Rasterhoff stated in 2017: ‘It is rare that the historian of seventeenth-century Dutch artists combines the areas of research into the business of painting, the identity of the sitter, and the background of the artist in question.'30 Taken on its own, Biesboer’s essay only touches on the identity of the sitters, and as a whole, the publication neglects Hals’ ‘business of painting’. Further, Biesboer also relays the rolling, continual need to revise all archival research into the sitters of portraits. As, in 2013 he published the identity of the sitters in the Toledo and Brussels museum fragments, coming to the conclusion that those portrayed were indeed Haarlem’s Van Campen family.31 Though as of 2013, before the Brussels museum fragment was restored, the family in question was only thought to have had 10 children. After the completion of restoration on the Brussels museum’s fragment–when a skirt, collar, and head of another child was found–the fragment of the boy’s head from the Brussels private collection, could be confirmed as belonging to the canvas once composing the entire Van Campen family. Serendipitously, Biesboer found new archival documents supporting his prior conclusion that this was, indeed, the Van Campen family. Though unlike 2013, this time they had two more children, which contently fit into the painting’s new number of sitters, and family members.32

fig. 7 Frans Hals, A Family Group in a Landscape, c. 1647-1650, oil on canvas, 148.5 × 251 cm., National Gallery, London

This concentrated exhibition and publication presents that Hals’ family portraits are a wealth of objective material sources: their sitters remain unidentified, except for Toledo and Amsterdam; their landscaped backgrounds are still up for debate, concerning their attributions; and given their size, their individual components remain ripe for study in relation to Hals’ still hypothetical collaborators and possible pupils. While the research methodologies used for each essay in this publication–which intertwine at a meta-level–may be lost to the casual exhibition viewer; the compact and concise publication is a welcome contribution to the field of Frans Hals studies. It has furthered appreciation for Hals among the public, while simultaneously pointing the way forward for researchers of Hals, in its combinatorial approach to this very restricted and tightly selected group of works from Hals’ oeuvre. The publication owes this accolade to the collaborative essays that mix the knowledge of its curators, historians, and technical restorers, whose findings are impossible to conclude without the work of the others. It will be treasured among future scholars, museum goers, and curators for its encapsulating the spirt of the late-2010s, when Dutch museum curators seemed to begin to understand these three areas can no longer be decoupled from one another–thanks in part to the Mauritshuis’ publications, which holistically incorporate technical research.33 In this way, this publication heads the call set forth by Mariëtt Westermann in 2002, when she promulgated to the field: ‘Berensonian connoisseurship, Wölfflian history of style, and Panofskian iconography–would no longer do.'34 It is hoped future studies on Hals’ group portraiture, incorporate his five family portraits, and in doing so, finds a method to create a new definition of the group portrait; one that welcomes them, rather than shuns them. Hals’ family portraits are thus, still to be explored. Perhaps because of this publication, they can now be studied from Riegl’s viewpoint–redefining their categorization as group portraits by exploring the boundaries of their internal and external coherence, inclusive of the viewers’ gazes.

Originally published at Oud Holland Reviews in December 2020.

  1. Claus Grimm, Frans Hals. Entwicklung, Werkanalyse, Gesamtkatalog (Berlin: Mann, 1972). –––Frans Hals: Het Gehele Oeuvre (Maarsen: SDU, 1989). Seymour Slive, Frans Hals, Volume 3 (London and New York: Phaidon, 1970-1974). Seymour Slive (ed.), Frans Hals (Munich: Prestel, 1989).
  2. Ann Jensen Adams,Public Faces and Private Identities in Seventeenth Century Holland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 26. Ann Jensen Adams, ‘Civic Guard Portraits: Private Interests and the Public Sphere’, In Beeld en Zelfbeeld in de Nederlandse Kunst, 1550-1750, eds. Reindert Falkenburg, Jan de Jong, Herman Roodenburg, and Frits Scholten, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 46 (1995): 168-197.
  3. Lawrence W. Nichols, Liesbeth De Belie and Pieter Biesboer, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion (Brussels: Hirmer, 2018), 63.
  4. Aloïs Riegl, The Group Portraiture of Holland (E. Kain, Trans.) (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 1999), 62.
  5. Ibid., 62.
  6. Ibid., 62
  7. Eddy de Jongh, Portretten van echt en trouw: huwelijk en gezin in de Nederlandse kunst van de zeventiende eeuw (Zwolle: Waanders, 1986). V. B. Greep, Een beeld van het gezin. Functie en betekenis van het vroegmoderne gezinsportret in de Nederlanden (Hilversum: Verloren, 1996). Frauke. Laarmann, Families in beeld. De ontwikkeling van het Noord-Nederlandse famileportret in de eerste helft van de zeventiende-eeuw (Hilversum: Verloren, 2002). Ruddi Ekkart, Lief en leed. Realisme en fantasie in Nederlandse familiegroepen uit de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw (Zwolle: Waanders, 2018).
  8. Seymore Slive (ed.), Frans Hals (Munich: Prestel, 1989), 156. Lawrence W. Nichols, Liesbeth De Belie and Pieter Biesboer, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion (Brussels: Hirmer, 2018), 63.
  9. The dates of each exhibiton’s duraton were: Toledo, 13 Ocotber 2018-6 January 2019; Brussels, 1 February-19 May 2019; Paris, 8 June-25 August 2019. The family portrait from Amsterdam was exhibited only in Toledo. For an overview of the Toledo museum’s events programmed around its exhibition, see: https://www.toledomuseum.org/about/news/toledo-museum-art-celebrates-families-frans-hals-portraits-family-reunion-special
  10. The exhibition catalogue was published in English, Dutch (ISBN: 9789462302440), and French (ISBN: 9789462302457).
  11. The Toledo canvas was placed on the market by the 11th Viscount Boyne (1965-), through the late dealer, and his eponymous galley, Robert Holden Ltd., London. (Extensive communications between Nichols and Holden, and Nichols and Biesboer (before the purchase), are available in the Toledo Museum of Art’s curatorial file for the painting).
  12. In the 1995 Taft catalogue of its European and American paintings, Walter Liedtke, the late Dutch art scholar and curator at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, noted that the pendants have a ‘seriously worn condition’. In the 1995 Taft catalogue of its European and American paintings, Walter Liedtke, the late Dutch art scholar and curator at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, noted that the pendants have a ‘seriously worn condition’. Walter Liedtke, ‘Seventeenth Century Dutch and Flemish Paintings’, in The Taft Museum European and American Paintings. Edward Sullivan (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1995), 142. This was further confirmed before the 1989/90 Hals exhibitions: Ella Hendriks Ella and Koos Levy-van Halm, ‘Report Concerning a Preliminary Technical Investigation of Paintings Exhibited During the Frans Hals Exhibition, Held From May 11 to July 22, 1990 in the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, 1991’, 24.
  13. Maud van Suylen and Cécile Tainturier, Children of the Golden Age: Works from the Fondation Custodia, Paris 2019: www.fondationcustodia.fr/Children-of-the-Golden-Age
  14. Lawrence W. Nichols, Liesbeth De Belie and Pieter Biesboer, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion (Brussels: Hirmer, 2018), 98-99.
  15. Wolfgang Kemp, introduction to The Group Portraiture of Holland, Aloïs Riegel (E. Kain, Trans.) (Los Angles: Getty Research Institute, 1999), 14. Riegel divides the group portraiture of Amsterdam and Haarlem into three distinct periods that mirror its evolution, with Hals being in the third and final period: The “symbolic period” ‘1529-1566’; the “genre period” ‘1580-1624’; and ‘1624-1662’, wherein “internal and external coherence coincide”, and “the gazes of those portrayed no longer meet those of the viewer, as they did in the earlier period; instead, the viewer is enabled to identify with them.” Hals’ family portraits all fit, according to this definition, in Riegel’s last stage.
  16. Lawrence W. Nichols, Liesbeth De Belie and Pieter Biesboer, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion (Brussels: Hirmer, 2018), 34.
  17. Leo van Puyvelde, ‘Children with a Goat, by Frans Hals’, Burlington Magazine 13 (1929): 85.
  18. Roger d’Hulst, ‘Frans Hals (1581/95-1666), De bokkewagen’, Openbaar kunstbezit in Vlaanderen 1 (1963): 18a-b. Seymour Slive, ‘A proposed reconstruction of a family portrait by Frans Hals’, Miscellanea I. Q. van Regteren Altena (1969): 114-116.
  19. Claus Grimm, Frans Hals. Entwicklung, Werkanalyse, Gesamtkatalog (Berlin: Mann, 1972), fig. 18
  20. Seymour Slive (ed.), Frans Hals (Munich: Prestel, 1989), 160.
  21. Peter Sutton, ‘Frans Hals: Washington and London,’ Burlington Magazine 132 no. 1042 (Jan. 1009): 70.
  22. Neil MacLaren, The Dutch School 1600-1900, Volume 2 (London: Publications Department, National Gallery, 1958-60), 147. Within my own 2015 study of Hals’ family portraiture, I utilized Slive’s theory that Molijn painted the background of the London, Madrid and Cincinnati family portraits – as a framework to formally analyse the landscaped backgrounds of all Hals’ family portraits, in person. (New technical technical-research was done on the Madrid canvas, by the museum with thanks to Dolores Delgado, for that research study. The results are available in the curatorial files of the Madrid canvas). The analysis concluded that Molijn did not paint those of: Cincinnati, Toledo and the Brussels museum fragment (and by extension the Brussels fragment, of the boy’s head), nor that of Amsterdam’s. John Bezold, Contrasting Connoisseurs: Attributing the Family Portraiture of Frans Hals, University of Amsterdam (MA thesis), 2015. See, also: Lawrence W. Nichols, Liesbeth De Belie, and Pieter Biesboer, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion (Brussels: Hirmer, 2018), 66.
  23. Wilhelm von Bode, ‘Frans Hals als Landschafter’, Kunst und Kunstler 20 (1922): 223.
  24. Lawrence W. Nichols, Liesbeth De Belie and Pieter Biesboer, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion (Brussels: Hirmer, 2018), 63.
  25. For a well-rounded discussion of black individuals in seventeenth-century Dutch paintings see: Elmer Kolfin and Epco Runia (eds.), Black in Rembrandt’s Time, Zwolle 2020. Kolfin notes of Hals’ family portrait, today in Madrid: 21. See, also: Elmer Kolfin and E. Schreuder (eds), Black is Beautiful: Rubens to Dumas (Zwolle: Waanders, 2008).
  26. For a brief overview of the notions of internal and external coherence in Haarlem group portraiture see: Aloïs Riegel, The Group Portraiture of Holland (E. Kain, Trans.) (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 1999), 217-306.
  27. Lawrence W. Nichols, Liesbeth De Belie and Pieter Biesboer, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion (Brussels: Hirmer, 2018), 54.
  28. Ibid., 58.
  29. Ibid., 74.
  30. Claartje Rasterhoff, Painting and Publishing as Creative Industries: The Fabric of Creativity in the Dutch Republic, 1580-1800 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017). It is rare for any study of Hals to combine these three categorisations of research, beyond that of Christopher D.M. Atkins’ 2012 study on the artist–though admittedly he takes no aim to truly study the identity of sitters beyond what is already known; he instead focusses on Hals’ business of painting. Atkins frames his study, somewhat anachronistically, in that he compares Hals’ business of painting to a ‘corporate brand’. Simultaneously and oppositely, this exhibition publication on Hals’ family portraits lacks a true discussion of Hals’ business of painting. Christopher D. M. Atkins, The Signature Style of Frans Hals: Painting, Subjectivity, and the Market in Early Modernity (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017), 179-154.
  31. Pieter Biesboer, ‘The identification of a family portrait by Frans Hals recently acquired by the Toledo Museum of Art’, Burlington Magazine 155, no. 1319 (Feb. 2013): 72-76.
  32. Lawrence W. Nichols, Liesbeth De Belie and Pieter Biesboer, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion (Brussels: Hirmer, 2018), 96-97.
  33. See, for instance: Arianne van Suchtelen and Quinten Buvelot (eds), Genre Paintings in the Mauritshuis (Zwolle: Waanders, 2016). Patricia Noble, Sebrina Meloni, Carol Pottasch, and Epco Runia (eds.), Bewaard voor de eeuwigheid: conservering, restauratie en materiaaltechnisch onderzoek in het Mauritshuis (Zwolle: Waanders, 2008. See also, the museum’s In-Focus publications, especially those published under the direction of Frits Duparc, from 1991-2007, and later under Emilie E. S. Gordenker, from 2008-2019; both linked such technical research to exhibitions.
  34. Mariëtt Westermann, ‘After Iconography and Iconoclasm: Current Research in Netherlandish Art, 1566-1700’, The Art Bulletin 84, no. 2 (June. 2002): 351.