Here, Frans Hals portrays a character rather than the details of a particular physical person. His great talent for capturing a personality is what has made his great and worldwide reputation as a portraitist, which continues to this day. This unknown woman of 53 – her age is mentioned beside her – has stern facial features and a strong mouth. She personifies the bourgeois self-awareness of the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. Her gaze is searching and almost probing. Hals achieves the overall effect by means of a direct and nervous brushstroke. Possibly, Frans Hals may also have portrayed this woman's husband as a counterpart to her picture, but there is no trace of such a pair.
SizeH: 85,2 cm
MediumOil on canvas