A Dutch Master

Frans Hals (Antwerp ca. 1582 - Haarlem 1666)

In the seventeenth century self-conscious, wealthy citizens liked to portray themselves. A portrait should not only look good but also reflect the social status of the person.

Regents also liked to be recorded in group portraits in which their sense of civic expression was expressed. Frans Hals received five times the very important assignment to make a militia piece. He succeeded, like no other, in forging the archers into a lively group. Hals gives the suggestion in his militia pieces that the painting is a snapshot and we come in for a moment.

Hals chose not to finish a painting smoothly, just as all his contemporaries did, but tried to keep 'life' in it. Since life can be recognized by movement, he made sure that the viewer of his work gets the impression that the person in the portrait is in motion. He put his clients down with loose keys.

Hals had an enormous courage, courage and virtuosity, and had a great ability to draw his hands back from the canvas (or panel) as soon as the person depicted was alive and well. 'An onhemeyne (unusual) way of painting, which is eyghen, bynae all (everyone) surpasses', wrote his first biographer Schrevelius in the seventeenth century about Hals' method. That the work of Hals also had great influence in the nineteenth century is evident from the visits that impressionists like Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet and Eduard Manet brought to Haarlem in particular to be able to view the portraits of the regents and regents of the Old Men's House from 1664. to admire.

A visit to the Frans Hals Museum can easily be combined with a visit to Sauna van Egmond!