European Art
Artist: Frans Hals, Dutch, ca. 1582/83-1666

Portrait of an Elderly Man, traditionally called Heer Bodolphe


Oil on canvas

unframed 122.4 x 97.5 cm (48 3/16 x 38 3/8 in.), framed 150 x 124.4 cm (59 1/16 x 49 in.)
Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903

Frans Hals was born in Antwerp, the son of a clothworker and weaver from Malines. Essentially a figure painter, he painted dazzling military groups and solid bourgeois portraits, such as those of the Bodolphe couple (see also 1961.18.24), as well as quick sketches of fisher-boys, ragamuffins, and tavern revelers. The somber tone of these two portraits contrasts with his earlier pictures executed in bright, slashing strokes of color. This was the accepted style for portraiture at the time, however, when Protestant and other cultural ideals required stern, sober depictions of individuals.

17th century
On view

Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 156–57, fig. 150a.

Michael Conforti et al., The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings, exh. cat. (Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2006), 311, 328, no. 149, fig. 258.

Seymour Slive, Frans Hals, 2 (London: Phaidon, 2014), 254, 274, fig. pl. 153.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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