17th Century Dutch Portrait In An Ideal Frame


Frans Hal's Portrait Of A Gentlemen, Half-Length In Black With Lace Collar And Cuffs, And Wearing A Broad-Brimmed Black Hat, finds its ideal surround in this magnificent 17th century Dutch frame from Diego Salazar Antique Frames.

While there is debate about the date of the painting, with estimates ranging from the 1630's to the 1640's, we know that this is a portrait of a well dressed and well fed man from the period of the Dutch Golden Age, when the Netherlands gained independence from Spain and experienced economic prosperity.

This frame has a broad and graceful profile that slopes away from the wall and into the room, and then it turns and slopes back into the painting. The ornamentation consists of rows of ripple, wave and basket-weave motifs that were common at that time in the Netherlands. Hardwoods like ebony and boxwood, which are ideal woods for this kind of repetitive and intricate carving, became readily available to 17th century Dutch craftsmen because of the new trade markets that flourished during the Dutch Golden Age. Amsterdam in particular became central to most of Europe's trade. In addition there was a large influx of master craftsmen into the Northern Netherlands. The increased availability of resources along with accomplished migrant craftsmen resulted in these exquisite frames with slender rows of delicate texture.

The ripple and basket-weave motifs in this frame echo the figure's rich lace collar and cuffs. The gentle wave pattern located near the outer edge of the frame suggests his loose hair from beneath his hat. The absence of a gilded surface allows the warm tones of his skin to radiate from the painting. There is a majesty in the broad profile and rich color that make this frame seem quite an appropriate surround for this well to do Dutchman. Historically, aesthetically and poetically, this is a superb combination of painting and frame.

rebecca vicars