Portrait of a Bearded Man with a Ruff, 1625
Frans Hals (Dutch, 1582/83–1666)
Oil on canvas; 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm)
The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 (49.7.34)
As the original inscription indicates, the sitter was thirty-six years old when Hals painted his likeness, in 1625. The portrait's immediacy is enhanced by vivid brushwork, strong modeling, the glance and gesture (which respond to the viewer), and the oval framing device. The latter had been used for some time in Dutch portrait engravings; Hals used it in an illusionistic manner as early as 1615 (Portrait of a Man Holding a Medallion, in the Brooklyn Museum).