Frans Hals

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FRANS HALS (Born in Belgium 1580 – 1666 died in the Netherlands)
Self Portrait The Laughing Cavalier
HALS3 The magic of Hals’ portraiture is that he captures the character of his subjects. He is also noted for the intricate delicacy of the lacework that many of his subjects wore. He followed in Rembrandt’s footsteps with the arrangements of his group portraits.
Banquet of the Officers of the St George Civic Guard
Laughing Boy The Lute Player
Much of the charm of Hals’ formal portraits is that the many of subjects are smiling – a convention sometimes frowned upon by his contemporaries. The “Laughing Boy” epitomises Hals ability to capture character with sensitivity, and while ‘The Lute Player” is one of the many paintings Hals did for pleasure – he painted everybody from the village idiot to boys sneaking a cigarette to fishermen and musicians.
Catharina Hooft with her Nurse Detail from Portrait of a Sixty year old Woman
A trick used by Hals to give the impression of movement is how he posed his subjects. Here it would appear that both the nurse and her charge were distracted as they both look up, their attention taken from the apple the nurse is holding. The details of the brocade gown and the exquisite lacework are almost a trademark of his portraiture as is also depicted in the attention he paid to the careworn hand and delicacy of the cuff in the portrait of a sixty year old woman.