The son of Frans Hals the Elder (1581/85-1666), Jan Hals specialized in portraits and scenes of daily life. This portrait, painted two years before his death, can be compared with Portrait of a Man (MFA object no. 66.1054) by his celebrated father, likewise painted at the end of his career.
Center left: AETATIS SUA 47 / 1648 / IH (monogram)
By 1788, George Temple-Nugent-Grenville (b. 1753 - d. 1813), 1st Marquess of Buckingham, Stowe House [see note 1]; until 1848, by inheritance through the dukes of Buckingham, Stowe House; September 14, 1848, Stowe House sale, lot 307, to Anthony for £7.7. Mrs. James Whatman (d. 1905), Maidstone, Kent; May 13, 1899, Whatman ("property of a lady") sale, Christie's, London, lot 91, to Lawrie and Co., London, for £2100 [see note 2]. Acquired in London by T. J. Blakeslee, New York; 1901, sold by Blakeslee to the MFA for $24,000. (Accession Date: October 24, 1901) NOTES:  This painting and its companion, a portrait of a man (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto), were first recorded in 1788 in the state dressing room at Stowe House, as portraits of a Burgomaster and his wife by Van Horst. The paintings retained their attribution to Van Horst in guidebooks to the collection through 1832; in a guidebook edition of 1838 they were first attributed to Frans Hals. See Seymour Slive, Frans Hals (London: Phaidon, 1974), vol. 3, pp. 148-149, cat. D59 and pp. 155-156, cat. no. D77.  Sold as a work by Frans Hals.
Henry Lillie Pierce Fund