Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion (Portraits de Frans Hals: une réunion de famille)
Organized by the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion was prompted by TMA’s acquisition in 2011 of Frans Hals’s Van Campen Family Portrait in a Landscape, as well as the recent conservation of Brussels’ Three Children of the Van Campen Family. These two works originally formed one composition, separated for unknown reasons likely in the late 18th century or early 19th century. The exhibition reunites the sections of the Toledo/Brussels painting and a third fragment from a European private collection, where they will be shown with the three other family portraits painted by the artist and includes loans from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, the National Gallery in London, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Within the realm of family portrait painting, children where a subject in their own right for many seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish painters. The exhibition highlights individual portraits of children ranging from a charming children’s portrait by Nicolaes Maes to the portrait of a young Hugo Grotius at the age of sixteen.
Rembrandt has also often drawn and engraved children. He usually shows them interacting with women (mothers, grandmothers, nurses) or in the guise of young apprentices in his workshop.
In addition to these well-known works, the exhibition also offers many works never from the collection that have never been on display and some new acquisitions.
[Image caption: Nicolaes Maes (1634-1693), Portrait of a Little Girl with a Deer, ca. 1680. Fondation Custodia / Frits Lugt Collection, Paris.]