Determining who painted what and when has long been a challenging task for art historians. Indeed, one of the most fundamental and complicated questions in art history is the age-old Whodunit question. In the early 21st century, the question has gained a new relevance, inviting innovative types of interdisciplinary research in order to counter the current confusion on the art market.
Frans Hals has been the focal point of quite a few attribution controversies. The recent lawsuits in England and France underscore the need to reflect on the criteria used in the process. Frans Hals Museum curator Anna Tummers heads and co-heads two NWO research projects, which investigate these criteria and explore the potential of advanced technical and digital research methods: Frans Hals / not Frans Hals and – together with Professor Robert Erdmann – 21st Century Connoisseurship: Developing Smart Tools for the Analysis of Seventeenth-Century Paintings. See this video for a brief introduction to both projects. For more information on the Frans Hals / not Frans Hals project, click here.
Dr. Anna Tummers is curator of old masters at the Frans Hals Museum (since 2008) and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam (since 2016). She published several books and exhibition catalogues, including The Eye of the Connoisseur: Authenticating Paintings by Rembrandt and his Contemporaries (Amsterdam University Press and Getty Publications 2011), Frans Hals: Eye to Eye with Rembrandt, Rubens and Titian (exh. cat. Haarlem 2013), and The Art of Laughter: Humour in the Dutch Golden Age (exh. cat. Haarlem 2018).