Petrus Scriverius (1576–1660)

Artist: Frans Hals (Dutch, Antwerp 1582/83–1666 Haarlem)

Date: 1626

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: 8 3/4 x 6 1/2 in. (22.2 x 16.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929

Accession Number: 29.100.8


Scriverius was a distinguished historian, poet, and scholar of classical literature. His wife, Anna van der Aar, was the daughter of a Leiden city councilman. In this pair of portraits Hals employs the scale, oval format, and illusionistic framing device that for several decades had been common in Dutch portrait prints. The male portrait alone was engraved in 1626, by Jan van de Velde II; impressions would have been sent to scholarly colleagues throughout Europe. The panels were retained as family keepsakes, in which Hals achieved the same vivid effects that he usually described on a much larger scale.