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Hidden Hals I.1

Based on the Portrait of a bearded Man with a Ruff by Frans Hals from 1625 Currently housed at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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Hidden Santvoort I.1 by Volker Hermes
Original work by Frans Hals, owned by Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (public domain)

Portraits from the Dutch Golden Age always impress today with their powerful, seemingly simple structure. At that time, simplicity and modesty were socially required.

But people still wanted to display their high social position or success (a human trait to this day). So if you had a portrait painted of yourself, (that alone being a sign of great wealth) it absolutely had to be in black clothing.

Black fabrics were incredibly expensive at this time. They shimmered discreetly but for all to see, proving their preciousness. The fine white collars were a sign of belonging to an elite; the bigger and fluffier the better.

I ironize this collar, duplicate it, and our sitter's individuality disappears behind the status symbol. The special feature of this portrait is his hand on the heart - a fond gesture to us. I wanted to preserve it, even emphasize it. That is why an eye is visible - an indication that the sitter turns very directly to us.

NFT Contract

The contract for this NFT is Hidden Portraits by Volker Hermes (HPBVH) and was minted using Manifold Studio . The contract is an ERC-1155 standard on the Ethereum blockchain. All images and metadata are stored on the blockchain using Arweave.

Original Image Sources

Hermes sources his original images from museums, and autction houses. All images are within the public domain.


Hermes digitally alters each image ONLY using elements that already exist in the original painting. He finds it important that his painterly modifications credibly blend with the original artwork. This way, the originals’ aura is preserved as they are turned into a newer and more contemporary version.