The elegant and seemingly rigid dress with its wide millstone collar and gold embroidery, together with the pronounced upright pose, lend the sitter an air of formality, which is counterbalanced by the evident amiability of her face. Hals has placed her in a niche behind an oval window.

The sitter has been identified as Marie Larp on the basis of an inscription on a label pasted to the stretcher of the painting, which is probably written in an 18th-century hand. A woman with this name is mentioned in the Haarlem archives; she seems to have married twice and to have died in 1675. There is, however, no documented portrait of her which can be compared with this portrait.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1582/3 - 1666
Full title
Portrait of a Woman (Marie Larp?)
Date made
about 1635-8
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
83.4 x 68.1 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by the Misses Rachel F. and Jean I. Alexander, 1972
Inventory number
NG6413
Location in Gallery