HALS, Frans
(b. 1580, Antwerpen, d. 1666, Haarlem)

Young Man and Woman in an Inn

Oil on canvas, 105 x 79 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

It is assumed that the painting represents the Prodigal Son. The traditional title "Yonker Ramp and his Sweetheart" dates from the eighteenth century and is based upon a mistaken identification with Pieter Ramp, who appears in a group portrait of about 1627 by Hals. (Yonker is an English rendering of Jonker, or Jonkheer, which means Young Gentleman.)

This painting has been connected to a print serving as an illustration on the title page of Willem Dircksz Hooft's play Heden-daeghsche Verlooren Soon (The Contemporary Prodigal Son) which was performed in Amsterdam on February 3, 1630, and published the same year.

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