Hals, Frans

(c. 1582-1666)
   Leading Dutch Baroque master who specialized in portraiture. Little is known of Frans Hals' life. He was born in Haarlem to a Flemish cloth worker from Mechelen who had moved to Holland when the Spaniards recaptured Flanders. Hals spent most of his life in his native city and there he trained with Karel van Mander. By 1610, he was a member of the Guild of St. Luke and an independent master. His Shrovetide Revellers (c. 1615; New York, Metropolitan Museum) presents a comical rendition of colorful theater characters who celebrate Mardi Gras by indulging in food and drink. The three-quarter figures compressed into the foreground, their gesticulations, and the still-life elements on the table betray Hals' knowledge of the Caravaggist vocabulary. His Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Civic Guard Company of Haarlem (1616; Haarlem; Frans Halsmuseum) follows a well-established tradition of militia company portraiture, yet Hals infused the work with a dynamism never before seen in these types of representations. His Married Couple (1622; Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) is thought to depict the artist himself and his wife, though some have suggested it is his brother Dirck Hals or his patron Isaac Massa and their respective brides. The work is based on Peter Paul Rubens' Honeysuckle Bower (1609-1610; Munich, Alte Pinakothek), which Hals might have seen during a brief trip to Antwerp in 1616. The Laughing Cavalier (1624; London, Wallace Collection) is an animated portrait rendered with choppy brushstrokes and seen from a worm's-eye perspective, typical of Hals' works. The Officers and Sergeants of the St. Hadrian Civic Guard Company of Haarlem (1633; Haarlem; Frans Halsmuseum) marks Hals' high point in his career as portraitist. As in his earlier militia portrait, the figures have been interrupted by the presence of the viewer, yet the vibrancy of the scene has increased in great measure, mainly due to the loose brushwork, the complex draperies, and the repetitive punctuations of color. By the time Hals rendered this work, he was one of the most sought-after portraitists in the Netherlands. A large number of works recording the likeness of members of the Dutch bourgeoisie by Hals have survived, among them Nicolas Hasselaer (1630-1635; Amsterdam Rijksmuseum), Nicolas Woutersz van der Meer (1631; Haarlem, Frans Halsmuseum), Pieter van den Broecke (c. 1633, London, Kenwood House), and Isabella Coymans (1650-1652; private collection). As Hals aged, his palette became more subdued, though the richness of his pictorial surfaces as a result of his choppy brushstrokes continued. Hals held his prominent artistic position until his death in 1666.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hals,Frans — Hals (hälz, häls), Frans. 1580? 1666. Dutch painter of genre scenes and portraits, such as The Laughing Cavalier (1624). * * * …   Universalium

  • Hals, Frans — born 1581/85, Antwerp, Spanish Netherlands died Sept. 1, 1666, Haarlem, Neth. Dutch portrait painter. He spent his life in Haarlem, where he was registered as a master by the Guild of St. Luke in 1610. His group portraits of members of local… …   Universalium

  • HALS, Frans —    See Painting …   Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands

  • Hals, Frans — ► (1580 1666) Pintor holandés barroco. Realizó algunos lienzos religiosos y pintura de género (la serie Los cinco sentidos, El alegre bebedor, etc.). Sus cerca de 200 retratos destacan por la vivacidad de la mirada: N. Hasselaer, Niña y ama,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • HALS, FRANS —    an eminent Dutch portrait painter, born at Antwerp; is considered to be the founder of the Dutch school of genre painting; his portraits are full of life and vigour; Vandyck alone among his contemporaries was considered his superior (1581… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Hals — Hals, Frans …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Frans Hals — Copia de un autorretrato de Frans Hals. Nacimiento hacia 1580 Amberes …   Wikipedia Español

  • Frans Hals der Jüngere — Frans Hals der Jüngere, eigentlich Frans Franszoon Hals, auch Frans Hals II, (getauft 16. Mai 1618 in Haarlem; † April 1669 ebenda) war ein holländischer Maler des so genannten Goldenen Zeitalters. Er entwickelte sich künstlerisch und vermutlich… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hals — [häls] Frans [fräns] 1580 1666; Du. painter …   English World dictionary

  • Hals [3] — Hals, Frans, holländ. Porträtmaler, geb. um 1580 zu Antwerpen, gest. 1666 zu Haarlem. Berühmt seine Doelenstücke, ferner Vorsteher und Vorsteherinnen des Altmännerhauses (1664); genrehafte Einzelbildnisse. – Vgl. Knackfuß (1896); Prachtwerk mit… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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