Isabella Coymans

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Portrait of Isabella Coymans
Isabella with her husband Stephanus Geraerdts (d.1671)
Cover of Seymour Slive catalog of Frans Hals paintings in 1989

Isabella Coymans (1626 – 1689), was the Dutch wife of Stephanus Geraerdts best known for her portrait painted by Frans Hals.

Biography[edit]

She was the wealthy daughter of the Haarlem cloth merchant Joseph Coymans and Dorothea Berck. She chose as her husband Stephanus Geraerdts, who was a member of the Haarlem regency, and married him in 1644.[1]

Frans Hals painted an unusual pair of wedding portraits for them, showing Isabella in an active state of presenting her husband with a rose, with only half of the rose showing in the painting. She is standing, and her husband is seated with his hand outstretched in a passive state of expectation. Though many pendant wedding portraits from the Dutch Golden Age have since been split up, this particular pair of portraits, that have been split up since 1886, receive the most commentary about this fact in the documentation. Hals certainly never gave any other woman so much action in a portrait painting. Her hair is also loose on her shoulders, and she is wearing a décolletage, though modest. Most of Hals's female sitters were buttoned up to the chin or wearing a box collar, and had their hair behind a Dutch ladies' diadem or cap.

Her portrait featured on the cover of Seymour Slive's Frans Hals catalogue of the 1989 international Frans Hals exhibition.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephanus Geraards on historici.nl
  2. ^ Frans Hals, by Seymour Slive (editor), with contributions by Pieter Biesboer, Martin Bijl, Karin Groen and Ella Hendriks, Michael Hoyle, Frances S. Jowell, Koos Levy-van Halm and Liesbeth Abraham, Bianca M. Du Mortier, Irene van Thiel-Stroman, Prestel-Verlag, Munich & Mercatorfonds, Antwerp, 1989, ISBN 3791310321
  • Frans Hals: Exhibition on the Occasion of the Centenary of the Municipal Museum at Haarlem, 1862-1962, pg 70, publication Frans Hals Museum, 1962