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Portrait of a Woman (Marie Larp?)
Frans Hals
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An eighteenth-century label stuck on the back of this painting names the sitter as Marie Larp, and there was a Maria Larp living in Haarlem around the time the portrait was made. She married Pieter Tjarck in 1634, whom Hals also seems to have painted in a portrait now in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. That portrait (identified by an old label on the back) is set in a similar frame – the two paintings seem like a pair of marriage portraits, although there are very slight differences in the painted frames.

The woman’s pose is formal. She sits upright and stiff; her hand gesture is rather contrived, pointing towards the rich embroidery on her gown. The vertical lines of the bright yellow buttons and the chair back add to the sense of a rather rigid attitude. Perhaps she feels constrained by the awkwardness of her huge, starched millstone ruff, which, along with her lace cuffs, was a fashionable and expensive accessory.

Key facts
Artist Frans Hals
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 Not on display
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