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.
Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 15657, 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.