December 9, 2018

A Frans Hals family portrait re-united

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 12:58 pm

The Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio, USA is currently displaying three Frans Hals paintings portraying various members of the Van Campen family from 17th century Haarlem.

What is remarkable about this set is that the three works used to be part of a single painting.

Nobody knows why the original painting was cut up, but it could have been something simple like trying to make it fit the place where it was hung—Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, secretly considered by many Dutch as the greatest painting ever, was famously cut up once because it did not fit through a door.

The two larger pieces had long been considered related, but it was only recently that the connection between the middle and the smallest piece became clear. The Art Newspaper reports that during a restoration of the middle part, Children of the Van Campen Family with a Goat-Cart, a painted-over girl appeared that allowed the restorers to link the painting to Head of a Boy.

The exhibition will last until 19 January 2019, after which the paintings will be displayed in either Brussels and Paris or Brussels and Madrid.

Last week, two other portraits by Hals were sold at Christie’s in London for 11 million euro.

(Illustration: collage of two of the three Frans Hals paintings with white space indicating the presumed size of the original painting)

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February 2, 2012

Frans Hals painting fetches 2 million dollars

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 4:26 pm

At the end of January, a 17th-century painting by Frans Hals entitled ‘Portrait of a Man, Half-Length’ owned by deceased American actress Elizabeth Taylor was auctioned for 2 million dollars (roughly 1,521,000 euro), twice as much as it was expected to fetch.

Until last year experts attributed the painting to a student of Frans Hals until an expert from the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem (shown here) proved it was from the master himself, painted between 1625 and 1635.

(Links:, Photo of Frans Hals Museum by Andy Field, some rights reserved)

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March 20, 2009

Postering up the Vijzelgracht with art

Filed under: Architecture,Art by Orangemaster @ 9:56 am

The now infamous Vijzelgracht, a street in downtown Amsterdam where entire houses are sinking into the ground due to a series of major screw-ups in digging the new North-South metro line, was a sorry sight. Families were evacuated and their houses boarded up and declared ‘unfit to live in’.

Across the street, local artist Peter Doeswijk who lives and works on the Vijzelgracht came up with a cultural solution to poster up the boarded houses and hide the inevitable graffiti: by using famous artworks of Dutch Masters (Frans Hals, Vermeer and the likes). He has had other poster exhibitions on the Vijzelgracht during the actual construction and without his efforts, the street, which boasts famous manors such as the one of the Maison Descartes (French institute) would look even worse than it sounds.

When I went by to take pictures around 6 pm last Monday, about 50% of everyone walking by stopped for at least 10 minutes to admire all the artworks and take pictures. Here are mine below. The last one is of the stairs of one of the houses, just to show you how bad the situation is. It reminds me of the stairs in the Mousetrap game.

I also met Peter Doeswijk some 12 years ago when he sold his painted phones before we all had mobiles ones, as his niece was a roommate of mine back in Montréal.








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September 29, 2008

New Frans Hals paintings discovered

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 7:29 am
Frans Hals

The Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem claims to have found five new paintings by the master. Research shows that one of the paintings, a portrait from 1640, was previously considered as not being one of Hals’ works, while the other four were unknown until now. The portrait was discovered recently at the Dutch embassy in Paris.

All the paintings are currently being restored and will be on display at the museum as of 11 October.


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