PORTRAIT OF NICOLAES VAN DER MEER
Painter: Frans Hals, (Antwerp c. 1582/83 - Haarlem 1666)
Official title: Portrait of Nicolaes Woutersz van der Meer
Original: oil on panel, 100.5 x 128c5 cm, wxh
Nice: both portraits can also be admired at ML in Haarlem in the brasserie, in the middle of Haarlem's historic centre!
Married couples: Portraits of Nicolaes and Cornelia
The paintings Frans Hals made of Nicolaes van der Meer and Cornelia Vooght belong together. They are marriage partners of this prominent Haarlem couple, who married in 1598. Van der Meer (c. 1574-1637) was a brewer at the Leeuw brewery, an alderman, more than once mayor and officer of the St. George's Militia. In his position of captain, he was also portrayed by Frans Hals on the civic guard painting Feast of the St. George's Militia from 1616. Hals emphasised Nicholas' casual but confident pose by positioning him standing behind the chair, his hand resting relaxed on the backrest. You will find him on the left of the painting.
That the two portraits belong together can be seen from the wall in the background, which seems to continue from one painting to the other. Traditionally, the portrait of the man hangs on the left and that of the woman on the right. Hals painted many of these kinds of pendents (portraits of men and women) during his career.
Something strange about the painting
However, something strange is going on with these two portraits. X-rays have shown that the faces of Nicolaes and Cornelia were painted over other portraits. Why that happened is not known. Perhaps the patrons were not (or no longer) satisfied with their portrait, or perhaps Nicolaes and Cornelia had a pendant that was already in the family altered with their own faces. (Marriage portraits, after all, remained in a family for a long time).
Coat of arms
The coats of arms on both paintings were also added later - probably in the 19th century. The dye that appears in the family coats of arms - Prussian blue - only came into general use after 1720. Moreover, the coat of arms does not yet appear on a drawing Johan van der Sprang made of Cornelia's portrait in 1762.
The portrait that Frans made of Cornelia can be found here
This masterpiece by Frans Hals is part of our collection of 'Haerlemsche Meesters' and is on display at the Frans Hals Museum location Hof in Haarlem.
A cooperation with the Frans Hals Museum Haarlem®
PORTRAIT OF NICOLAES VAN DER MEER BY FRANS HALS ON YOUR WALL?
Do you want an impressive masterpiece of Frans Hals on your wall?
MOOI: with your purchase you support the Frans Hals Museum Haarlem ♥