Frans Hals

Frans Hals

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Frans Hals (c. 1580 – 26 August 1666) was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He is notable for his loose painterly
Painterly
Painterliness is a translation of the German term , a word popularized by Swiss art historian Heinrich Wölfflin in order to help focus, enrich and standardize the terms being used by art historians of his time to characterize works of art...

 brushwork, and helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals was also instrumental in the evolution of 17th century group portraiture
Portrait painting
Portrait painting is a genre in painting, where the intent is to depict the visual appearance of the subject. Beside human beings, animals, pets and even inanimate objects can be chosen as the subject for a portrait...

.

Biography


Hals was born in 1580 or 1581, in Antwerp. Like many, Hals' family fled during the Fall of Antwerp (1584-1585) from the Spanish Netherlands to Haarlem, where he lived for the remainder of his life. Hals studied under another Flemish
Flemish people
The Flemings or Flemish are the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Belgium, where they are mostly found in the northern region of Flanders. They are one of two principal cultural-linguistic groups in Belgium, the other being the French-speaking Walloons...

-émigré, Karel van Mander (1548–1606), whose Mannerist
Mannerism
Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe...

 influence, however, is not noticeably visible in his work. At the age of 27, he became a member of the city's painter's corporation, the Haarlem Guild of Saint Luke, and he started to earn money as an art restorer for the city council. He worked on their large art collection that Karel van Mander had described in his book The Painting-Book (Middle Dutch
Middle Dutch
Middle Dutch is a collective name for a number of closely related West Germanic dialects which were spoken and written between 1150 and 1500...

: Het Schilder-Boeck), published in 1604. The most notable of these were the works of Geertgen tot Sint Jans
Geertgen tot Sint Jans
Geertgen tot Sint Jans , also known as Geertgen van Haarlem, Gerrit van Haarlem, Gerrit Gerritsz, Gheertgen, Geerrit, Gheerrit, or any other diminutive form of Gerald, was an Early Netherlandish painter from the northern Low Countries in the Holy Roman Empire...

, Jan van Scorel
Jan van Scorel
Jan van Scorel was an influential Dutch painter credited with the introduction of High Italian Renaissance art to the Netherlands.-Biography:He was born in Schoorl, north of Alkmaar and close to Egmond Abbey...

 and Jan Mostaert
Jan Mostaert
Jan Mostaert, also known by the names Joannes Sinapius and Master Of Oultremont was a Dutch Renaissance painter of portraits and religious subjects, though his most famous creation was the "West Indies Landscape"....

, that hung in de St. Jans kerk in Haarlem. The restoration work was paid for by the city of Haarlem, since all religious art was confiscated after the iconoclasm
Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually with religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes...

, but the entire collection of paintings was not formally possessed by the city council until 1625, after the city fathers had decided which paintings were suitable for the city hall. The remaining art that was considered too "Roman Catholic" was sold to Cornelis Claesz van Wieringen
Cornelis Claesz van Wieringen
Cornelis Claesz van Wieringen was a Dutch Golden Age painter.-Biography:He was the son of a Haarlem captain, and drew, painted and etched with his friends Hendrick Goltzius and Cornelis van Haarlem. He also held important positions in the Haarlem Guild of St...

, a fellow guild member, on the grounds that he remove it from the city. It was under these circumstances that Hals began his career in portraiture, since the market for religious themes had disappeared.

The earliest known example of Hals' own art is the 1611, Jacobus Zaffius. His 'breakthrough' came in 1616, with the life-size group portrait, The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Militia Company. His most noted portrait today is the one he made in 1649 of René Descartes.
Historians have erroneously reported that he mistreated his first wife, Anneke Hermansz (Annetje Harmensdochter Abeel), based on records that a Frans Hals was charged with spousal abuse in Haarlem in 1616. However, as Seymour Slive has pointed out, the Frans Hals in question was not the artist, but another Haarlem resident of the same name. Indeed, at the time of these charges, the artist had no wife to mistreat as Anneke had died during labor earlier in 1616. Similarly, historical accounts of Hals' propensity for drink have been largely based on embellished anecdotes of his early biographers, namely Arnold Houbraken
Arnold Houbraken
Arnold Houbraken was a Dutch painter and writer from Dordrecht, now remembered mainly as a biographer of artists from the Dutch Golden Age. He had ten children. His son Jacobus Houbraken was an engraver of portraits and book illustrations, including books by his father...

, with no direct evidence existing documenting such. In 1617, he married Lysbeth Reyniers, the young daughter of a fishmonger that he had taken in to look after his two children. They married in Spaarndam
Spaarndam
Spaarndam is a small village in the province of North Holland, the Netherlands, on the Spaarne and IJ rivers. The oldest part of the village, on the western side of the Spaarne, belongs to the municipality of Haarlem; the newer part on the eastern side is a part of the municipality of...

, a small village outside the banns of Haarlem, because she was already 8 months pregnant. Frans Hals was a devoted father and they went on to have eight children. Where Hals contemporaries such as Rembrandt moved their households according to the caprices of patrons, Hals remained in Haarlem and insisted that his customers came to him. According to the Haarlem archives, a militia piece that Hals started in Amsterdam was finished by another painter because Hals refused to paint in Amsterdam, insisting that the militiamen come to Haarlem to sit for their portraits.

Although Hals' work was in demand throughout his life, he lived so long that he eventually went out of style as a painter and experienced financial difficulties. In addition to his painting, he continued throughout his life to work as an restorer
Art restoration
Art restoration is related to art conservation. Restoration is a process that attempts to return the work of art to some previous state that the restorer imagines was the "original". This was commonly done in the past...

, art dealer, and art tax expert for the city councilors. His creditors took him to court several times, and to settle his debt with a baker in 1652 he sold his belongings. The inventory of the property seized mentions only three mattress
Mattress
A mattress is a manufactured product to sleep or lie on, consisting of resilient materials and covered with an outer fabric or ticking. In the developed world it is typically part of a bed set and is placed upon a foundation....

es and bolsters, an armoire, a table and five pictures (these were by himself, his sons, van Mander, and Maarten van Heemskerck). Left destitute, the municipality gave him an annuity of 200 florins in 1664.

At a time when the Dutch nation fought for independence, Hals appeared in the ranks of the schutterij
Schutterij
Schutterij refers to a voluntary city guard or citizen militia in the medieval and early modern Netherlands, intended to protect the town or city from attack and act in case of revolt or fire. Their training grounds were often on open spaces within the city, near the city walls, but, when the...

, a military guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

. This fact found in the Haarlem archives has led to speculation that Hals made a self portrait in his 1639 painting of the St. Joris company, though this has never been confirmed. It was not normal for mere members to be painted, that privilege was reserved only for the officers. It is possible that he received the privilege as thanks for painting that company 3 times. Hals was also a member of a local chamber of rhetoric
Chamber of rhetoric
Chambers of rhetoric were dramatic societies in the Low Countries. Their members are called Rederijkers , from the french word 'rhétoricien', and during the 15th and 16th centuries were mainly interested in dramas and lyrics...

, and in 1644 chairman of the Painters Corporation at Haarlem.

Frans Hals died in Haarlem in 1666 and was buried in the city's St. Bavo Church
Sint-Bavokerk
The Grote Kerk or St.-Bavokerk is a Protestant church and former Catholic cathedral located on the central market square in the Dutch city of Haarlem...

. His widow later died obscurely in a hospital after seeking outdoor relief from the guardians of the poor.

Artistic career



Hals is best known for his portraits, mainly of wealthy citizens, like Pieter van den Broecke
Pieter van den Broecke
Pieter van den Broecke was a Dutch cloth merchant in the service of the Dutch East India Company , and one of the first Dutchmen to taste coffee. He also went to Angola three times...

 and Isaac Massa
Isaac Massa
Isaac Abrahamszoon Massa was a Dutch grain trader, traveller and diplomat, the envoy to Muscovy, author of memoirs witnessing the Time of Troubles and the maps of Eastern Europe and Siberia. He was married to Beatrix van der Laen...

, whom he painted three times. He also painted large group portraits, many of which showed civil guards
Schutterij
Schutterij refers to a voluntary city guard or citizen militia in the medieval and early modern Netherlands, intended to protect the town or city from attack and act in case of revolt or fire. Their training grounds were often on open spaces within the city, near the city walls, but, when the...

. He was a Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 painter who practiced an intimate realism
Realism (arts)
Realism in the visual arts and literature refers to the general attempt to depict subjects "in accordance with secular, empirical rules", as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation...

 with a radically free approach. His pictures illustrate the various strata of society; banquets or meetings of officers, sharpshooters, guildsmen, admirals, generals, burgomaster
Burgomaster
Burgomaster is the English form of various terms in or derived from Germanic languages for the chief magistrate or chairman of the executive council of a sub-national level of administration...

s, merchants, lawyers, and clerks, itinerant players and singers, gentlefolk, fishwives and tavern heroes.

In group portraits, such as the Archers of St. Hadrian, Hals captures each character in a different manner. The faces are not idealized and are clearly distinguishable, with their personalities revealed in a variety of poses and facial expressions.

He studied under the painter and historian Karel van Mander (Hals owned some paintings by van Mander that were amongst the items sold to pay his bakery debt in 1652).

Hals was fond of daylight and silvery sheen, while Rembrandt used golden glow effects based upon artificial contrasts of low light in immeasurable gloom. Both men were painters of touch, but of touch on different keys — Rembrandt was the bass, Hals the treble. Hals seized, with rare intuition, a moment in the life of his subjects. What nature displayed in that moment he reproduced thoroughly in a delicate scale of color, and with mastery over every form of expression. He became so clever that exact tone, light and shade, and modeling were obtained with a few marked and fluid strokes of the brush. He became a popular portrait painter, and painted the wealthy of Haarlem on special occasions. He won many commissions for wedding portraits (the husband is traditionally situated on the left, and the wife situated on the right):

Gallery



The only record of his work in the first decade of his independent activity is an engraving by Jan van de Velde
Jan van de Velde
Jan van de Velde the younger was a Dutch Golden Age painter and engraver of animal, landscape and still-life subjects. He was the son of Jan van de Velde the Elder and the father of the still life painter Jan Jansz van de Velde.-Biography:Van de Velde was born in either Delft or Rotterdam...

 copied from the lost portrait of The Minister Johannes Bogardus. Early works by Hals, such as Two Boys Playing and Singing and a Banquet of the Officers of the St Joris Doele or Arquebusiers of St George (1616), show him as a careful draughtsman capable of great finish, yet spirited withal. The flesh he painted is pastose and burnished, less clear than it subsequently became. Later, he became more effective, displayed more freedom of hand, and a greater command of effect.

During this period he painted the full-length portrait of Madame van Beresteyn (Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

), and a full-length portrait of Willem van Heythuysen leaning on a sword. Both these pictures are equalled by the other Banquet of the Officers of the Arquebusiers of St George (with different portraits) and the Banquet of the Officers of the Cloveniers or Arquebusiers of St Andrew of 1627 and an Assembly of the Officers of the Arquebusiers of St Andrew of 1633. A similar painting, with the date of 1637, suggests some study of Rembrandt masterpieces, and a similar influence is apparent in a picture of 1641 representing the Regents of the Company of St Elizabeth, and in the portrait of Maria Voogt at Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

.

From 1620 till 1640 he painted many double portraits of married couples, on separate panels, the man on the left panel, his wife at his right. Only once did Hals portray a couple, Isaac Massa and his wife on a single canvas: Double Portrait of a Couple, (c. 1623, Rijksmuseum
Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam or simply Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum in Amsterdam, located on the Museumplein. The museum is dedicated to arts, crafts, and history. It has a large collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age and a substantial collection of Asian art...

 Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

).

His style changed throughout his life. Paintings of vivid color were gradually replaced by pieces where one color dominated; black. This was probably due to the sober dress of his Protestant sitters, more than any personal preference. One simple way to observe this change is to look at all of the portraits he painted through the years with his trademark-pose leaning over the back of a chair:

Later in his life his brush strokes became looser, fine detail becoming less important than the overall impression. Where his earlier pieces radiated gaiety and liveliness, his later portraits emphasized the stature and dignity of the people portrayed. This austerity is displayed in Regentesses of the Old Men's Alms House and The Regents and Regentesses of the Oudemannenhuis (c. 1664), which are masterpieces of color, though in substance all but monochromes. His restricted palette is particularly noticeable in his flesh tints, which from year to year became more grey, until finally the shadows were painted in almost absolute black, as in the Tymane Oosdorp.

As this tendency coincides with the period that he was less popular among the wealthy, some historians have suggested that a reason for his predilection for black and white pigment was the low price of these colors as compared with the costly lakes and carmines. Both conclusions are probably correct, however, because unlike his contemporaries, Hals did not travel to his sitters, but let them come to him. This was good for business because he was exceptionally quick and efficient in his own well-fitted studio, but it was bad for business when Haarlem fell on hard times.

As a portrait painter Hals had scarcely the psychological insight of a Rembrandt or Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

, though in a few works, like the Admiral de Ruyter, the Jacob Olycan, and the Albert van der Meer paintings, he reveals a searching analysis of character which has little in common with the instantaneous expression of his so-called character portraits. In these, he generally sets upon the canvas the fleeting aspect of the various stages of merriment, from the subtle, half ironic smile that quivers round the lips of the curiously misnamed Laughing Cavalier
Laughing Cavalier
The Laughing Cavalier is a famous portrait by the Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals in the Wallace Collection in London, which has been described as "one of the most brilliant of all Baroque portraits"...

to the imbecile grin of the Malle Babbe
Malle Babbe
Malle Babbe is a painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals, painted between 1633 and 1635 and now in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. The painting has also been titled as Hille Bobbe or the Witch of Haarlem...

. To this group of pictures belong Baron Gustav Rothschilds Jester, the Bohemienne and the Fisher Boy, whilst the Portrait of the Artist with his Second Wife, and the somewhat confused group of the Beresteyn Family at the Louvre show a similar tendency. Far less scattered in arrangement than this Beresteyn group, and in every respect one of the most masterly of Hals' achievements is the group called The Painter and his Family, which was almost unknown until it appeared at the winter exhibition at the Royal Academy
Royal Academy
The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, London. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and...

 in 1906.

Many of Hals' works have disappeared, but it is not known how many. According to the most authoritative present day catalogue, compiled by Seymour Slive in 1970-1974 (Slive's last great Hals exhibition catalogue followed in 1989), another 222 paintings can be ascribed to Hals. Another authority on Hals, Claus Grimm, believes this number to be lower (145) in his Frans Hals. Das Gesamtwerk (1989).

It is not known whether Hals ever painted landscapes, still lifes or narrative pieces, but it is unlikely. Many artists in the 17th century in Holland opted to specialise, and Hals also appears to have been a pure portrait specialist.

Painting technique



Hals was a master of a technique that utilized something previously seen as a flaw in painting, the visible brushstroke. The soft curling lines of Hals' brush are always clear upon the surface: "materially just lying there, flat, while conjuring substance and space in the eye."

Lively and exciting, the technique can appear "ostensibly slapdash" – people often think that Hals 'threw' his works 'in one toss' (aus einem Guss) onto the canvas
Canvas
Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, and other items for which sturdiness is required. It is also popularly used by artists as a painting surface, typically stretched across a wooden frame...

. Research of a technical and scientific nature has clarified that this impression is not correct. True, the odd work was largely put down without underdrawing
Underdrawing
Underdrawing is the drawing done on a painting ground before paint is applied, for example, an imprimatura or an underpainting. Underdrawing was used extensively by 15th century painters like Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden. These artists "underdrew" with a brush, using hatching strokes for...

s or underpainting
Underpainting
In art, an underpainting is an initial layer of paint applied to a ground, which serves as a base for subsequent layers of paint. Underpaintings are often monochromatic and help to define colour values for later painting...

 ('alla prima'), but most of the works were created in successive layers, as was customary at that time. Sometimes a drawing was made with chalk or paint on top of a grey or pink undercoat, and was then more or less filled in, in stages. It does seem that Hals usually applied his underpainting very loosely: he was a virtuoso from the beginning. This applies, of course, particularly to his somewhat later, mature works. Hals displayed tremendous daring, great courage and virtuosity, and had a great capacity to pull back his hands from the canvas, or panel, at the moment of the most telling statement. He didn't 'paint them to death', as many of his contemporaries did, in their great accuracy and diligence whether requested by their clients or not.

"An unusual manner of painting, all his own, surpassing almost everyone," wrote his first biographer, Schrevelius, in the 17th century on Hals' painting methods. For that matter, schematic painting was not Hals' own idea (the approach already existed in 16th century Italy), and Hals was probably inspired by Flemish contemporaries, Rubens and Van Dyck, in his painting method.

As early as the 17th century, people were struck by the vitality of Frans Hals' portraits. For example, Haarlem resident Theodorus Schrevelius noted that Hals' works reflected 'such power and life' that the painter 'seems to challenge nature with his brush'. Centuries later Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Willem van Gogh , and used Brabant dialect in his writing; it is therefore likely that he himself pronounced his name with a Brabant accent: , with a voiced V and palatalized G and gh. In France, where much of his work was produced, it is...

 wrote to his brother Theo: 'What a joy it is to see a Frans Hals, how different it is from the paintings – so many of them – where everything is carefully smoothed out in the same manner.' Hals chose not to give a smooth finish to his painting, as most of his contemporaries did, but mimicked the vitality of his subject by using smears, lines, spots, large patches of color and hardly any details.

It was not until the 19th century that his technique had followers, particularly among the Impressionists. Pieces such as The Regentesses of the Old Men's Alms House and the civic guard paintings demonstrate this technique to the fullest.

Influence


Frans influenced his brother Dirck Hals
Dirck Hals
Dirck Hals , born at Haarlem, was a Dutch painter of festivals and ballroom scenes. He was influenced by his elder brother Frans Hals.-Biography:...

 (born at Haarlem, 1591–1656), who was also a painter. Additionally, five of his sons became painters:
  • Harmen Hals
    Harmen Hals
    Herman, or Harmen Hals , was a Dutch Golden Age painter.-Biography:According to Houbraken he was the son of the painter Frans Hals and was like his brothers Jan and Frans II, good at music and painting. He was a member of the Haarlem Guild of St...

     (1611–1669)
  • Frans Hals Junior
    Frans Hals Junior
    Frans Hals Junior , was a Dutch Golden Age painter.-Biography:According to Houbraken he was the son of the painter Frans Hals and was like his brothers Harman and Jan, good at music and painting. He was a member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke.According to the RKD he painted portraits and genre...

     (1618–1669)
  • Jan Hals
    Jan Hals
    -Biography:According to Houbraken he was the son of the painter Frans Hals and was like his brothers Harmen and Frans II, good at music and painting. He was a member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke. He had two children, Jan Jansz and Klaas, of whom one was still alive when Houbraken was writing...

     (1620–1654)
  • Reynier Hals
    Reynier Hals
    -Biography:According to Houbraken who did not mention him specifically as one of the sons of the painter Frans Hals, he was like his brothers Harman, Frans II, and Jan, good at music and painting....

     (1627–1672)
  • Nicolaes Hals
    Nicolaes Hals
    Nicolaes Hals , was a Dutch Golden Age painter.-Biography:According to Houbraken who mistakenly mentioned him as one of the grandsons of the painter Frans Hals by his son Jan, he was like his brothers Harman, Frans II, and Jan, good at music and painting.According to the RKD he was the son of Frans...

     (1628–1686)


Though most of his sons became portrait painters, some of them took up still life painting or architectural studies and landscapes. Still lifes formerly attributed to his son Frans II have since been re-attributed to other painters, however. Frans Hals painted a young woman reaching into a basket in a still life market scene by Claes van Heussen
Claes van Heussen
Claes van Heussen , was a Dutch Golden Age still life painter who died young.-Biography:According to the RKD he was a still life painter whose birthplace is unknown. He is known for a few fruit still lifes and vanitas pieces during a very short period in Haarlem...

.

Other contemporary painters who took inspiration from Frans Hals were:
  • Jan Miense Molenaer
    Jan Miense Molenaer
    Jan Miense Molenaer , was a Dutch Golden Age genre painter whose style was a precursor to Jan Steen's work during Dutch Golden Age painting. He shared a studio with his wife, Judith Leyster, also a genre painter, as well as a portraitist and painter of still-life...

     (1609–1668)
  • Judith Leyster
    Judith Leyster
    Judith Jans Leyster was a Dutch Golden Age painter. She was one of three significant women artists in Dutch Golden Age painting; the other two, Rachel Ruysch and Maria van Oosterwijk, were specialized painters of flower still-lifes, while Leyster painted genre works, a few portraits, and a...

     (wife of Molenaer) (1609–1660), Haarlem
  • Adriaen van Ostade
    Adriaen van Ostade
    Adriaen van Ostade was a Dutch Golden Age painter of genre works.-Life:...

     (1610–1685), Haarlem
  • Adriaen Brouwer
    Adriaen Brouwer
    Adriaen Brouwer was a Flemish genre painter active in Flanders and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century.-Biography:...

     (1605–1638), South Low Countries
  • Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck
    Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck
    Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck was a gifted Dutch Golden Age portraitist.-Biography:...

     (1597–1662), Haarlem
  • Bartholomeus van der Helst
    Bartholomeus van der Helst
    Bartholomeus van der Helst was a Dutch portrait painter.-Biography:Born in Haarlem, the son of a Haarlem innkeeper, Van der Helst moved to Amsterdam some time before 1636, for he was married there in that year...

     (1613–1670), Amsterdam


Hals had a large workshop in Haarlem and many students, though 19th century biographers questioned some of his pupils, since their painting styles were so dissimilar to Hals. In his De Groote Schouburgh (1718–21), Arnold Houbraken
Arnold Houbraken
Arnold Houbraken was a Dutch painter and writer from Dordrecht, now remembered mainly as a biographer of artists from the Dutch Golden Age. He had ten children. His son Jacobus Houbraken was an engraver of portraits and book illustrations, including books by his father...

 mentions Philips Wouwerman, Adriaen Brouwer
Adriaen Brouwer
Adriaen Brouwer was a Flemish genre painter active in Flanders and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century.-Biography:...

, Pieter Gerritsz van Roestraten
Pieter Gerritsz van Roestraten
Pieter Gerritsz van Roestraten was a Dutch Golden Age painter of still lifes and genre scenes.-Biography:He was a student of Frans Hals and married his daughter Adriaentje in 1654...

, Adriaen van Ostade
Adriaen van Ostade
Adriaen van Ostade was a Dutch Golden Age painter of genre works.-Life:...

 and Dirck van Delen as students. Vincent Laurensz van der Vinne was also a student, according to his diary with notes left by his son Laurens Vincentsz van der Vinne. Roestraten was not only a student (in the Haarlem archives this is proven with a notarised document), but he also became a son-in-law of Hals when he married his daughter Adriaentje. The Haarlem portrait painter, Johannes Verspronck
Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck
Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck was a gifted Dutch Golden Age portraitist.-Biography:...

, one of about 10 competing portraitists in Haarlem at the time, possibly studied for some time with Hals.

In terms of style, the closest to Hals' work is the handful of paintings that are ascribed to Judith Leyster
Judith Leyster
Judith Jans Leyster was a Dutch Golden Age painter. She was one of three significant women artists in Dutch Golden Age painting; the other two, Rachel Ruysch and Maria van Oosterwijk, were specialized painters of flower still-lifes, while Leyster painted genre works, a few portraits, and a...

, which she often signed. She also 'qualifies' as a possible student, as does her husband, the painter Jan Miense Molenaer
Jan Miense Molenaer
Jan Miense Molenaer , was a Dutch Golden Age genre painter whose style was a precursor to Jan Steen's work during Dutch Golden Age painting. He shared a studio with his wife, Judith Leyster, also a genre painter, as well as a portraitist and painter of still-life...

.

Two centuries after his death, Hals received a number of 'posthumous' students. Claude Monet
Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. . Retrieved 6 January 2007...

, Édouard Manet
Édouard Manet
Édouard Manet was a French painter. One of the first 19th-century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism....

, Charles-François Daubigny
Charles-François Daubigny
Charles-François Daubigny was one of the painters of the Barbizon school, and is considered an important precursor of Impressionism....

, Max Liebermann
Max Liebermann
Max Liebermann was a German-Jewish painter and printmaker best known for his etching and lithography.-Biography:...

, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Gustave Courbet
Gustave Courbet
Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. The Realist movement bridged the Romantic movement , with the Barbizon School and the Impressionists...

, and in the Netherlands, Jacobus van Looy
Jacobus van Looy
Jacobus van Looy was a Dutch painter and writer.-Biography:Van Looy was the son of a carpenter, but his father lost his job when his eyesight began to fail. His mother died when he was five years old and when his father died soon afterwards, he ended up in the Haarlem municipal orphanage...

 and Isaac Israëls
Isaac Israëls
Isaac Lazarus Israëls was a Dutch painter.The son of the painter Jozef Israëls, Isaac Israëls developed an interest in painting in childhood. Between 1878 and 1880 he studied at the academy in The Hague...

 are some of the Impressionists
Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

 and realists who have delved deeply into the work of Hals by making study copies of his work and further building on his techniques and style. Many of them travelled to the Frans Hals Museum
Frans Hals Museum
The Frans Hals Museum is a hofje and municipal museum in Haarlem, Netherlands. The museum was founded in 1862 in the newly renovated former cloister located in the back of the Haarlem city hall known as the Prinsenhof...

 in Haarlem (since 1913 on the Groot Heiligland, and before that in the Town Hall), where several of his most important works are kept.

Legacy



Hals' reputation waned after his death and for two centuries he was held in such poor esteem that some of his paintings, which are now among the proudest possessions of public galleries, were sold at auction for a few pounds or even shillings. The portrait of Johannes Acronius realized five shillings at the Enschede
Enschede
Enschede , also known as Eanske in the local dialect of Twents, is a municipality and a city in the eastern Netherlands in the province of Overijssel and in the Twente region...

 sale in 1786. The portrait of the man with the sword at the Liechtenstein gallery sold in 1800 for 4, 5s.

Starting at the middle of the 19th century his prestige rose again. With his rehabilitation in public esteem came the enormous rise in values, and, at the Secretan sale in 1889, the portrait of Pieter van de Broecke Danvers was bid up to 4,420, while in 1908 the National Gallery paid 25,000 for the large group from the collection of Lord Talbot de Malahide.

Hals' work remains popular today, particularly with young painters who can find many lessons about practical technique from his unconcealed brushstrokes. Hals' works have found their way to countless other cities all over the world and into museum collections. From the late 19th century, they were collected everywhere — from Antwerp to Toronto, and from London to New York. Many of his paintings were then sold to American collectors.

A primary collection of his work is displayed in the Frans Hals Museum
Frans Hals Museum
The Frans Hals Museum is a hofje and municipal museum in Haarlem, Netherlands. The museum was founded in 1862 in the newly renovated former cloister located in the back of the Haarlem city hall known as the Prinsenhof...

 in Haarlem.

Hals was pictured on the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 10-guilder banknote.

Sources

  • Seymour Slive: Frans Hals, 3 dln (oeuvre catalogue), New York / London 1970–1974, and Frans Hals (exhibition catalogue Washington/London/Haarlem, 1989.
  • Claus Grimm published his Frans Hals. Das Gesamtwerk in 1989 (Stuttgart/Zürich; also translated into Dutch and English).
  • N. Middelkoop and A. van Grevenstein, Frans Hals. Leven, werk, restauratie (Life, work and restorations) (Haarlem Amsterdam 1988). This work gives an account of restorations of the riflemen's pieces, but it also gives a picture of Hals' life and work.
  • Antoon Erftemeijer; 2004 : Frans Hals in het Frans Hals Museum, Amsterdam/Gent (in Dutch, English and French), in which various chapters are devoted to Hals' life, his predecessors, portrait painting in the Golden Age, Hals' painting technique and other subjects. Many pictures with close-ups in this book show Hals' works in great detail.
  • Christopher Atkins (2004) Frans Hals's Virtuoso Brushwork, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 2003, Zwolle, p. 281-309).


Parts of this article are excerpts of The Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, July 2005 by Antoon Erftemeijer, Frans Hals Museum curator.

External links