Two masterpieces in a less prominent spot
In 1625, Frans Hals painted portraits of Jacob Olycan, a brewer’s son from Haarlem, and his wife Aletta Hanemans. Although the portraits rightly belong to the Mauritshuis’ masterpieces, in recent years they have been relegated to a less prominent place in the museum, high on a wall. Given the condition of the paintings, it was better that they not be viewed too closely. Discoloured old retouches in the background and a varnish that had turned yellow and lost its gloss over time were very disturbing. It was high time for a restoration.