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Frans Hals, Portrait of Jacob Olycan (1596-1638), 1625

Jacob Olycan was a rich Haarlem brewer. When he married Aletta Hanemans, the couple had their portrait painted by the best portrait painter in town: Frans Hals. He made two paintings – the groom on the left and the bride on the right, completely in line with the convention of the day.

Olycan, aged 29, is looking at us, hand on hip, from above and radiating pride and self-confidence. He is wearing a stylish shiny black outfit and a magnificent collar of white lace that are painted with great accuracy.

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