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Frans Hals

Written by Brett Nelson

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Posted on November 16 2019

Born in 1580 in Belgium, Frans Hals was considered innovative in the field of portrait painting and inspired the Impressionist movement over 200 years after his death. After moving to Haarlem at the start of the Spanish Invasion, he studied with Karel van Mander and was a member of Haarlem’s Guild of St. Luke. He quickly became known for his unique style of painting, inventive method of capturing atmosphere and light, and his ability to capture the inner being if his subjects. He also paid careful attention to facial expressions and tended to paint his subjects in a manner that created a narrative.

 Hals choose to paint without regard to what people might think. He was prone to multi layering, using multiple hues and tones to highlight surfaces, adding movement to his paintings, and painting what he perceived to be in front of him. As he became older, he adopted a darker palette and was considered a master at creating character interaction in his paintings. He completed more than 300 paintings including Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Civic Guard (1627), Gypsy Girl (1630), and Singing Girl (1630). He died in 1666.

View Frans Hals Gallery