Saturday, March 10, 2012

Frans Hal, The Old World's Modern Portrait Painter


I'm reading Victoria Lisi's Vibrant Children's Portraits,(Amazon). Her how-to paint kids reminded me of my absolute favorite portrait of a child: THE LAUGHING BOY BY FRANS HALS, GOLDEN AGE DUTCH PAINTER OF THE BAROQUE STYLE.

I am awed by the difficulty of this expression and how well it was handled not only in this painting, but throughout Hals painting career.Frans Hals was exceptional portrait painter. There were just a few paintings of stiff nobleman/woman, groups recorded for posterity. His most exceptional work, however,were more like snapshots of folks enjoying life's pleasures. His brush strokes gave the impression of speed, no careful blendings, just loose strokes which made him way ahead of his time. His loose handling of paint and his in-the-moment Impressionistic figurative subjects makes him a real favorite.




YOUTUBE VIEWS OF THE PAINTER WHO DIED OF ALCOHOLISM, AS YOU MIGHT HAVE SUSPECTED:



6 comments:

  1. That's funny, Linda. I spent last night looking at the old Dutch masters, too - still-life and landscape, though. Brilliant work!

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  2. You bet Kathryn, made me want to get on a plane and go to the Hals Museum, Groot Heiligland 62 2011 ES Haarlem, Netherlands
    023 5115775,to take a close look. I'm going to check our museum out; There must be a Hals in there somewhere? --And perhaps a traveling exhibit somewhere in the US? I'm also going to go through family photos to see who's laughing
    out loud. Might be a fun or drive-you-to-drink portrait to do?

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  3. As you say Linda, brilliant portrait painter. So sad of those who are Alcoholics eh? Thanks for showing the work of this brilliant Artist. All the best Linda.
    Vic.

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  4. From what art history I've read, alcoholic addiction was many a painter's affliction, Victor. I think it has to do in part with the quest for the false God Perfection and the disappointment over the discovery that there's no such thing; there's just the next painting and the satisfaction achieved in the doing. I think it's the phony art world of dealers and agents and critics and collectors--hangers on--people involved in the business of art-- who have stoked our ambition to be winners in the race. There's some pretty ugly paintings out there done by some artists with a gift for art gab.

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  5. He da man! . . . Franz! I have always admired his paintings. What brushwork!

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  6. Gorgeous brush work David! And wonderful presentations of subjects--nothing stiff going on. A very modern guy.

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