A Frans Hals Family Reunion.
November 26, 2018 7:18 AM   Subscribe

Fragments of a family portrait by Frans Hals have been reunited. The Toledo Museum of Art is hosting an exhibit reuniting three fragments of a large portrait of the van Campen family by Frans Hals. Although the two larger pieces were long suspected to be linked, it wasn't until recent restoration work was performed that conclusive evidence showed them to be of a former, much larger piece -- together with another portrait.
posted by Capt. Renault (6 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Can’t see the Toledo Blade page for some reason. This is fascinating, however. I wonder why the original was cut up - could it be that three or four smaller paintings would sell for more overall than one big one? That would be depressing.
posted by Segundus at 9:45 AM on November 26, 2018

Premodern paintings were cut up constantly. More commonly when they were pieces of an altar, but family portraits, too. Reasons of space, personal preference (a family portrait will represent the union of at least two families), physical breakdown of the frame that was never repaired (for dip/tryptichs), plain old damage, ignorant dealers breaking up for scrap, basically you can't walk through any significant medieval or early modern collection without seeing a painting detached from its original context.
posted by praemunire at 9:54 AM on November 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Toledo Museum of Art is one of my favorites. It’s pretty small by current norms and is a little thin on the usual suspects that you expect in renaissance and post-ren European collections. They make up for it with an idiosyncratic and interesting curation.

And it has one of the best modern glass permanent exhibits you’ll find with almost no Chihuly in it.
posted by ardgedee at 10:11 AM on November 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

“When they cleaned it, they found an eyeball in the upper right corner. Everyone was stupefied when this happened,” Nichols said.

I bet!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:08 AM on November 26, 2018

Amazing to see it all come together, but the faces of those small children could give me nightmares...
posted by BlueHorse at 11:56 AM on November 26, 2018

There are really few painters of this period I dislike more than Hals. I can spot his gross ruddy coloring across a room.
posted by praemunire at 4:30 PM on November 26, 2018

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