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  • Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Glove

    Artist:
    Hals, Frans, between 1581 and 1585
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    80x66,5 cm

Hals, Frans, between 1581 and 1585

Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Glove

Holland, Circa 1650

The Hermitage’s Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Glove is marked by a rapid spontaneous manner of painting that permitted Frans Hals to achieve an exceptional precision in conveying his subjects’ facial expressions and gestures. The young man in a black outfit with a white collar looks out haughtily from beneath the brim of his black hat. His gloved right hand is placed on his chest, while the left casually holds the second glove, giving his elegant pose a particular sense of relaxed ease. The gloves are an element of costume that testifies to the customers’ high social status. The model for this portrait has not been identified, but according to a legend that has taken root in the scholarly literature, the man may have had some connection to medicine. Soon after Hals painted the original, an engraving was made of it by Edward Le Davis in 1670. In the composition of the print the young man is depicted alongside the So-Called Mulatto, the subject of another well-known painting by Hals (Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig). The caption on the engraving reads “The Mountebanck [sic] Doctor and His Merry Andrew”. The idea of uniting the personages from two works painted at different times undoubtedly came from the engraver himself. Still, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the subject of the portrait was indeed a physician. Older literature quite often calls this painting a “portrait of a doctor”.

Title:

Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Glove

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

80x66,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1764; acquired from the J.E. Gotzkowsky collection in Berlin

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-982

Category:

Collection:

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