No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT payable at 19.6% (5.5% for books) will be added to the buyer’s premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
James Simon; sa vente, Berlin, 20 mars 1900, lot 65 i.
F. Kleinberger, Paris.
Sulley & Co, Londres.
A. Preijer, La Haye.
Klyekamp, La Haye, 1926 (exposition Tentoonstelling van Schilderijen door Oud-Hollandsche en Vlaamse Meesters, no. 16).
Mme J. Goekoop-de Jongh, Breda, avant 1938.
Mme C. Goekoop, Aerdenhout.
S. Nystad, La Haye, 1970.
Douwes Art Gallery, Amsterdam, 1977.
Jeffrey H. Loria & Co Inc., New York; d'où acquis en 1983 par
Saul P. Steinberg; sa vente, Sotheby's, New York, 30 janvier 1997, lot 37; d'où acquis par
Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé.
C. Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch painters, Essligen, 1910, vol. III, cat. no. 290 (avec une erreur de provenance).
Jaarverlag Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, 1919.
W. Valentiner, Franz Hals, Klassiker der Kunst, Stuttgart et Berlin, vol. 28, 1921, 1923, pp. 221 et 224 ('environ 1645').
F. Dülberg, Franz Hals: ein Leben und ein Werk, Stuttgart, 1930, p. 178.
M. H. van Dantzig, Franz Hals, echt of onecht, Amsterdam et Paris, 1937, no. 28.
N. S. Trivas, The paintings of Franz Hals, Londres et New York, 1941, p. 52, no. 84, planche 114 (1641/1645).
C. Grimm, Franz Hals; Entwicklung, Werkanalyse, Gesamtcatalog, 1972, no. 102 ('vers 1639-1640').
E. C. Montagni, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Franz Hals, Milan, 1974, no. 137.
S. Slive, Franz Hals, New York et Londres, 1974, vol. III, p. 74-75, no. 143, ill. vol. II, planche 223.
Burlington Magazine, Commentaire de la Burlington Fine Art Fair de 1977, décembre 1977, fig. 97.
C. Grimm, Franz Hals: The complete work, New York, 1989/1990, p. 291.
Les Echos week end, 20 et 21 janvier 2006, p. 6.
Haarlem, Franz Hals Museum, en prêt de juillet à octobre 1919.
Haarlem, Franz Hals Museum, Franz Hals Tentoonstelling ter gelegenheid van het 75-jarig bestaan van het Gemeentelijk Museum te Haarlem, 1er juillet-30 septembre 1937, no. 92.
Rotterdam, Boymans Museum, Meisterverken uit vier eeuwen 1400-1800... schilderijen ... uit particuliere verzamelingen in Nederland, 25 juin -15 octobre 1938, no. 82.
Rotterdam, Boymans Museum, Kunstschatten uit Nederlandse verzamelingen, 19 juin-25 septembre 1955, no. 71.
Amsterdam, Amsterdams Historisch Museum, 4th C.I.N.O.A. Exhibition, 27 mars - 31 mai 1970, no. 29 (prêt de la galerie S. Nystad, La Haye).
Washington D.C., National Gallery; Haarlem, Franz Hals Museum; Londres, Royal Academy of Arts, Franz Hals, 1er octobre 1989 - 22 juillet 1990, no. 55 (exposé à Londres et Washington).
Post Lot Text
Portrait of a man holding a book
signed with initials 'FH'
oil on canvas
The Portrait of a man holding a book, which Seymour Slive describes as 'exceptionally well-preserved' (exhib. cat., 1989), is a characteristic work from the early 1640s: at this time images of joyful, ordinary people were disappearing, to be replaced by more sober, restrained and dignified portraits. At the same time, Frans Hals used fewer colours, in a search for greater unity and simplicity. Here, the red on the edge of the book subtly reflects the subject's ruddy complexion. The vibrant brushstrokes, which are visible for example in the daring highlight of the shaggy eyebrows, breath life into this unknown man; his informal pose and the confined composition of the picture further heighten the man's presence. The work is built around the tension between the hand, which is brilliantly outlined and which catches the attention of the viewer, and the face, which is 'framed' by the black clothes and white collar, which holds it.
Although the man's glaze is outward, the book which he is holding is a reminder of the importance of inner life. The man is wearing a tabbard, a long robe with flaps at the shoulders, which had been fashionable earlier in the century but which was by that time only worn by clerics or scholars, which points out to his likely profession. There are several copies of this picture in existence ; one is in the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, another modern version appeared in 1925 (sale Wegg, Brussels, 11th May 1925, lot 19, erroneously attributed to Frans Hals) and was exhibited in Brussels in 1937, but this time as a work from the 17th century Dutch school.
What became of the current painting, prior to its reappearance with a dealer in Berlin in 1900, remains a mystery. Our lack of knowledge regarding the previous provenance of this celebrated work demonstrates the neglect into which Frans Hals fell for two centuries. It was only around 1860, at the dawn of impressionism, that the works of this artist, who during his lifetime had been considered one of the greatest portrait painters of the Dutch Golden Age, were once again accorded their true value. At this time, his artistic legacy was proclaimed by the great 'modern' painters including Manet, Courbet, Cézanne and Van Gogh. It was thus in France that Frans Hals was rediscovered, and the glowing comments of the esteemed critic and art lover Thoré-Bürger on the Portrait of the Officers of Saint-Georges painted circa 1639 could also apply to the Portrait of a man holding a book: 'he was then familiar with Rembrandt's contemporaneous paintings, and this budding competition doubtless drove him to use deeper colours, to explore a more intimate expression of physiognomies, to create a more harmonious and peaceful effect, while retaining an energetic strength of execution'.