Portrait of a Young Woman

Image credit: Ferens Art Gallery

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Although not identified until 1952, Hals 'Portrait of a Young Woman' has acquired an international reputation [...]. The allure of the painting can be attributed to its enigmatic qualities. The sitter remains unknown and even the date when Hals painted her remains conjectural [...]. A few assumptions can, however, be made. The sitter is likely to have been the wife of a Haarlem burgher or merchant, as isolated female portraits are very rare in Dutch 17th-century painting – it is therefore probable that Hals also painted the sitter’s husband, although no surviving portrait can be put forward as the possible pendant. In many of Hals portraits, the sitters' identity has been lost as there are no clues, such as coats of arms. Moreover, the provenance of the painting can only be traced back with near-certainty to the middle years of the 19th century.

Ferens Art Gallery

Kingston upon Hull


Portrait of a Young Woman




oil on canvas


H 60 x W 55.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased from George Wyndham with the assistance of the National Art Collections Fund, the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, 1963

Work type



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Ferens Art Gallery

Queen Victoria Square, Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire HU1 3RA England

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