Portrait of Sara Andriesdr. Hessix
Holland, ca. 1626
Sara Andriesdr is depicted on this canvas. (lit. daughter of Andries) Hessix, wife of Michiel Jansz. van Middelhoven, a pastor from the city of Voorschoten, near Leiden, who also sat for Frans Hals for a painting whose current location is unknown. Both works were part of a pair and are thought to have been produced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his wedding in 1586.
This composition came to be used as a formula for similar portraits executed later on, as it was the painter's first representation of a natural-sized female figure in sitting position. The work relates to a phase in which Frans Hals' style still reveals a rigorous attention to the drawing, something the painter later abandoned when he adopted a more spontaneous brush style. The composition is redolent of the finest Dutch genre painting and suggests the austerity that characterises the bourgeois portraits of that period.
Count André Mniszech, Paris; A. De Ridder, Cronberg. Bought at the Ridder Sale through Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, on June 2nd, 1924, no. 24.
European Paintings from the Gulbenkian Collection, Washington, 1950, pp. 46-47, no. 18
Slive, Seymour, Frans Hals, London, 1974, p. 24, no. 38