Five new Frans Hals portraits discovered

Experts at the Frans Hals museum in Haarlem say that five paintings currently under investigation may well be by the master himself.

Two portraits of men, one owned by the Dutch national collection and another in the hands of an English collector, are certainly the work of Hals in parts, restorer Martin Bijl tells Tuesday’s Volkskrant.

The most important sections – the faces, hands and composition –
are his, but the rest may be the work of other artists.

‘The research is not yet complete. A lot still has to be done: chemical analysis of the paint, research into the pigment itself, the layering,’ Bijl told the paper.

Four of the five works currently under investigation, which include a painting of a young violinist and a child, were previously unknown. ‘They are all in the hands of collectors and just ended up here,’ Bijl told the Volkskrant.

The portrait owned by the Dutch state will be on show at the museum’s new exhibition The Golden Age in Haarlem which opens on October 11.

Frans Hals (1580 to 1666) is famous for his portraits and lively informal brush strokes.

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