Jewelry, lace, and sumptuous fabrics show off this woman's wealth—and the artist's skill in painting them.
Portraits by Hals often feature bold, jagged brushstrokes. This portrait shows him experimenting with the “wet-into-wet,” technique, in which layers of paint were added in succession without being allowed to dry in between. Note the blended strokes used at the woman’s hairline to suggest individual strands of hair. The sitter has been tentatively identified as Aeltje Dircksdr. Pater (1597–1678), wife of the Haarlem brewer and burgomaster (mayor) Jan de Wael (1594–1663). An inscription states she was 41 when Hals painted her.
Portrait of a Woman, probably Aeltje Dircksdr. Pater
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