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The non-original coats of arms

The coats of arms in the upper corners of the portraits formed an important subject of discussion during the restoration as they were added by another painter at a later date. The heraldic arms were far less skilfully painted than Hals would have done and they were also painted in bright colours without respect for depth in the painting, making them look like cut-outs stuck onto the paintings. Consequently, the coats of arms disrupt the unity and the depth of the paintings and draw the attention away from the sitters.

Jacob Olycan coat of arms Aletta Hanemans coat of arms

In 1989, a scientific investigation of the paintings demonstrated that the coats of arms were not original. The blue paint was identified as Prussian blue, a pigment that only became available after 1710. Recent examination in the Conservation Studio also indicated that there was an old layer of varnish under the two coats of arms. Furthermore there were no indications of earlier, possibly original, shields found.

Two masterpieces in a less prominent spot
The restoration
The non-original coats of arms
The dilemma and the deliberation
Family history
The conservator speaks