Frans Hals developed a free technique, similar to impressionism, managed to bring his own lively style to Dutch painting. Hals’ work is evidence of the evolution of the 17th century portrait genre, especially the group portrait.
Frans Hals was alien to the polished texture and smooth application of paint to the canvas, which characterized his fellow contemporaries. In his works, he used massive color spots and three-dimensional strokes. Before Hals, models simply posed while creating portraits he seems to grab them from the stream of life, authentically conveying emotions.
Biography of Frans Hals
Frans Hals was born in Antwerp in 1582 or 1583. At that time, Protestants in Holland were subjected to severe persecution from the Spanish side, and therefore the family of the future painter, like most of the city’s population, left their home and went inland to the city of Harlem. Little information has been preserved about the childhood years of Frans Hals.
It is not known exactly when his talent began to manifest itself, who contributed to its formation, who became the artist’s first teacher. In 1610 the young man became a member of the Guild of St. Luke is a popular society that unites creative people. Franz begins to engage in restoration work, and then tries himself in the portrait genre. In 1616, an order was received from the military, and the painter created the famous work “The Banquet of the Officers of the Harlem Rifle Guild of St. George”. The unity of the general cheerful and good-natured mood is combined here with the bright expressiveness of individual images. The picture glorified Frans, made him a popular artist.
Subsequently, the painter will create many more group portraits, known far beyond the borders of his city. The last two works depict the regents and regents from the nursing homes of Harlem.
Officials and famous writers, military men and doctors, brewers and shopkeepers, philosophers and theologians ordered their portraits to Frans Hals. Among others, René Descartes, a famous French philosopher, posed for the artist. In addition, France loves to portray ordinary people from the people: the poor, ordinary citizens. This is how his well-known paintings “The Jester Playing the Lute”, “The Merry Drinking Companion”, “The Boy-Fisherman” and others appear. Even the holy evangelists in the paintings of the painter appear as representatives of the common people.
Since the 1620s the creative flourishing of Hals is celebrated.
By the age of 60, he was elected president of the Guild of St. Luke. With age, more and more dark tones appear in the master’s works, there is no previous color tint, black and white combinations appear, serious gloomy people appear in portraits. Although Frans Hals never had shortcomings in orders, his financial situation is on the verge of poverty: this is due to the large family of the painter (he had more than ten children). The talented artist ended his life on August 26, 1666 in a nursing home.
Frans Hals occupies a worthy place among the geniuses of world painting. Although after the death of the artist, his works were forgotten for almost two hundred years, in connection with the emerging interest in impressionism, they became in demand in the 19th century. Since then, works have been acquired by museums and private collectors around the world.