ART 4 2-DAY 01 September v.9.70
BIRTH: 1529 ZUCCAR0
Died on 01 September 1804: Semion
Fedorovich Shchedrin, (or Chtchédrine, Chédrine),
painter born in 1745. Brother of sculptor Feodosiy Shchedrin [1751-1825],
uncle of Italianate landscape painter Sil'vestr
Feodosievich Shchedrin [13 February 1791 08 November 1830]
Semion Shchedrin was born in St. Petersburg into the family of a Life Guard of the Preobrazchencky Regiment. In 1759, he entered the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, and in 1765 graduated with a gold medal and grants to study abroad as a pensioner of the Academy. First Shchedrin went to Paris, then to Rome. In Paris he studied the works of old and contemporary painters. Under the influence of the Enlightenment, the idea that beauty exists not only in classic patterns of arts but also in everyday life and nature, Shchedrin worked much en plein-air. In Rome, however, he fell under the influence of classicism with its ideas that real life needed improvement by antiquity. Unfortunately he would not be able to overcome this influence.
Shchedrin returned to St. Petersburg in 1776 and became a professor of landscape painting in the Academy of Arts; besides, his duties were to draw views of the palaces and parks of Catherine II, the Great. View of the Large Pond Island in the Tsarskoselsky Gardens (1777), a different View of the Large Pond in the Tsarskoselsky Gardens (1777), View of the Farmyard in the Tsarskoye Selo (1777) are some examples. After 1780, Shchedrin also participated in the restoration of pictures in the Hermitage, in 1799 he headed a new class of landscape graphics. The prime of his art career is in 1790s. The most famous of his works of the period are views of parks and palaces in Pavlovsk, Gatchina and Petershof: The Mill and the Bell Tower at Pavlovsk (1792), View of the Gatchina Palace from the Silver Lake (1798), View of the Gatchina Palace from Long Island (1798), The Stone Bridge at Gatchina (1801), View of the Kamennoostrov Palace through Bolshaya Nevka from the Stroganov Seashore (1803). The composition of all of his works is the same in accordance with the rules of academic classicism. His landscapes are comfortable, well balanced, and lyrical. But if compared with the best European landscape masters of his time, Shchedrin looks a timid student. His own students and successors, his own nephew, Sylvester Shchedrin, went further and made Russian landscape paintings of a very high level.
The Eagle Column at Gatchina (1798)
A Cascade in the Gatchina Park (1798)
The Stone Bridge by Connetable Square at Gatchina. (1798)
Landscape with Ruins (1799)
Born on 01 September 1529: Taddeo Zuccaro
(or Zuccari), Italian Mannerist
draftsman, designer, painter, who died in Rome on 02 September 1566.
Born in San Angelo in Vado, near Urbino. He and his brother, Federico Zucccaro [1542 – 06 Aug 1609], were leaders in the development of a classicizing style of painting that succeeded High Mannerism in Rome in the late 16th century. Apart from important commissions for churches, the brothers participated in some of the most significant decorative projects of the period, including the Sala Regia in the Vatican and the Villa Farnese at Caprarola.
Taddeo Zuccaro worked mainly in Rome, including for Popes Julius III and Paul IV. Although Taddeo Zuccaro was only 37 when he died he had made a great name for himself as a fresco decorator, working most notably for the Farnese family in their palace at Caprarola. His style was based on Michelangelo and Raphael and tended to be rather dry and wooden.
Taddeo Zuccaro's father Ottaviano Zuccaro [1505–] taught him to draw, but the flourishing artistic culture of Rome lured him there when he was just fourteen. His younger brother Federico Zuccaro later recorded these experiences — from studying the High Renaissance masters to slaving away for stingy employers and finding his painter cousin unexpectedly hostile — in a series of drawings, e.g. Taddeo Leaving Home with Guardian Angel [below]
Zuccaro borrowed elements of both Mannerism and the High Renaissance style, combining intense emotion and sculptural quality with figures of natural proportion and idealized form. Despite his early struggles, he became one of the most successful painters of the day, flooded with commissions and praised by his peers. When he completed the facade decorations for a Roman palazzo in 1548, Vasari praised them and his reputation was secure. In 1559 Zuccaro began the decoration of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese's villa at Caprarola, a work which brought him further artistic prestige, life-long economic security, and a reputation as an able administrator of a large, busy studio. He also designed maiolica, trophies, and festival decorations with his brother. After his death in 1564, his brother took over the studio, running it successfully until 1609.
— Taught to draw by his father, Zuccaro, at the age of 14, went alone to Rome where he was employed in various workshops and studied independently, particularly the works of Raphael. Through assisting Daniele de Porri [1500–1577], who had been trained in Parma, Zuccaro learnt of the work of Correggio and Parmigianino. He first became known for his paintings on façades, notably scenes from the Story of Furius Camillus on the palazzo of Roman nobleman Jacopo Matteo, done in 1548. Taddeo’s façade decorations were considered to equal those of Polidoro da Caravaggio; none survives, although some are documented in drawings and show his assimilation of Polidoro’s style. Taddeo’s earliest extant works date from 1553 when he collaborated with Prospero Fontana on the decoration (since partly destroyed) of the villa of Pope Julius III outside the Porta del Popolo in Rome; Taddeo’s contributions included scenes of The Seasons in the loggia of the nymphaeum. In these, clarity of form and space, natural proportions and idealization of human form demonstrate his affinity with the classicism of the High Renaissance. He also assimilated the sculptural sensibility of Mannerism, derived from Michelangelo. This awareness of sculptural form can be seen in his drawings, complex compositions that inventively blend stylistic conventions of the High Renaissance with figures of refined expression, gesture and pose derived from the art of such painters as Parmigianino, Bronzino, Francesco Salviati, and Giorgio Vasari.
— Taddeo Zuccaro's students included Federico Barocci, Bartolomeo Passerotti, Trometta.
— Bacchanal (1551) _ detail 1 (558x800pix, 98kb _ ZOOM to 2233x3200pix, 594kb) _ detail 2 (599x290pix, 47kb _ ZOOM to 3256x1576pix, 454kb)
— Fasti Farnesiani (1559) _ detail 1 (599x431pix, 63kb _ ZOOM to 2815x2024pix, 529kb)
— detail 2 (599x432pix, 56kb _ ZOOM to 2806x2024pix, 477kb)
— Adoration by the Magi (1550, 111x86cm; 760x586pix, 67kb)
— The Donation of Charlemagne (753x800pix, 223kb)
— Madonna with Angels (630x424pix, 24kb) _ detail (630x429pix, 25kb)
— Conversion of Saint Paul (630x421pix, 19kb) _ detail (630x426pix, 21kb)
The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist (1560, 66x51cm, attributed)
Died on 01 September 1678: Jan Brueghel
Jr., Haarlem painter born in Antwerp on 13 September 1601.
Grandson of Pieter
Bruegel Sr., son of Jan
Velvet Brueghel Sr. (1568~1625), nephew of Pieter
Brueghel Jr. (1564~1638), brother of Ambrosius Brueghel (1617~1675)
Jan Brueghel the Younger devoted his career to carrying on his father’s painting style. Demand was high for big, decorative landscapes and works by fijnschilders, painters of meticulous detail, who worked in the vein of Jan Brueghel the Elder. To satisfy the market, Jan the Younger sometimes copied his father’s works and sold them under his father's signature. In consequence, it is often difficult to distinguish their styles, though Jan the Younger’s few dated pictures show lighter colors and less precise drawing.
After training under his father, Jan the Younger went to Italy in 1624, traveling with his childhood friend Anthony van Dyck. When Jan the Elder died suddenly in a cholera epidemic, Jan the Younger took over his father’s busy Antwerp studio. He became dean of Antwerp’s guild in 1630. His clients included the Austrian and French courts, and he may have visited France in the 1650s. While Jan the Younger painted many subjects, he is best known for landscapes whose subjects ranged from villages, to mythological scenes, to allegories and, to a new category, animals in landscapes. His allegories depicted the senses, the elements, the seasons, and abundance. Like his father, he created landscape backgrounds for many painters, including Peter Paul Rubens and Hendrick van Balen.
Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (1628, painted in cooperation with Rubens)
Noli me tangere (1630)
–- Landscape with Allegories of the Four Elements with figures by Frans Francken II (1635, 53x81cm; 726x1120pix, 100kb) _ Four seated women representing water, air, earth, and fire are surrounded by a lush landscape. The fish flowing from the water jug and the cornucopia of abundance cradled in the arms of the figure on the right correspond to the tactile elements of water and earth. The birds in the sky and trees and the accoutrements of battle in the foreground correspond to the intangible elements of fire and air. The figures, the still life objects, and the landscape work together as a unified scene, yet two different artists worked to create this painting. Frequent collaborators, the skilled figure painter Frans Francken II painted the women and background figures, and Jan Brueghel the Younger described the landscape. Such collaboration between artists was common in Antwerp during the 1600s, as artists often specialized in either landscape or figure painting. Flemish artists of the time repeatedly painted representations of the four elements, suggesting that it was a popular subject with buyers. The widely admired Brueghel the Younger depicted the senses, the elements, or the seasons as allegories many times throughout his career, either together or individually, as in the pendant to this painting, Landscape with Ceres (Allegory of Earth).
–- Landscape with Ceres (Allegory of Earth) (1636, 53x81cm; 734x1120pix, 95kb _ .ZOOM to 1028x1589pix, 189kb) with figures by Hendrik van Balen [1575-1632] _ Shown separately or together, as in Landscape with Allegories of the Four Elements, the four elements were a popular subject for Jan Brueghel the Younger and his collaborator Hendrik van Balen. Here earth is represented by the goddess Ceres, who is surrounded with a satyr, putti, and a figure holding a sheaf of wheat. Ceres, whose name means “creator,” was the goddess of agriculture, worshiped over a large part of ancient Italy Together Jan the Younger and Van Balen often painted the four elements, which had also been part of the repertoire of Jan the Younger’s father, Jan Brueghel the Elder. Brueghel the Elder taught his son the lush, decorative, yet highly detailed landscape and still life style seen in this painting. Van Balen, one of Jan the Younger’s most consistent collaborators, was known for his attractive nudes. This panel was probably one of his latest works; he had begun painting figures for the Brueghel family years before, working with his friend Jan the Elder in addition to collaborating with Frans Snyders and Frans Francken II.
Jan Brueghel the Younger was born into a famous family of artists which included his father, Jan Brueghel the Elder, and his uncle, Pieter Brueghel. After the Elder Brueghel's death, Jan the Younger took over the running of his father's studio and continued to produce paintings of allegorical and mythological figures, as well as landscapes and still life. Following his father's practice, Jan Brueghel also repeatedly collaborated with the artist Hendrick Van Balen [1575-1632]. This painting is an example of their work done together. Van Balen's skill in depicting nymphs and deities lent itself particularly well to the Brueghels' interest in allegories of the elements (earth, air, fire and water). These skillfully painted pictures are rich in the kind of symbolic imagery that enjoyed tremendous popularity in the seventeenth century. In the Allegory of Earth, the central figure represents the fertile Earth, as evidenced by the ample harvest surrounding her. The nourishment yielded by the land is depicted as divine celebration in a feast of the gods in the upper third of the painting. In the distance is a peaceful, pastoral landscape painted by the Younger from compositions created by his father. [Compare Jan Brueghel the Elder's Allegory of Earth (1618)]
Allegory of Air _ Jan Brueghel the Younger derived both his subject matter and his style from his father, Jan Brueghel the Elder, from whom he received his first instruction in painting. Jan the Elder was drawn to allegorical representations of the four elements; earth, air, fire and water. He often collaborated with other artists on elaborate compositions which incorporated figures, landscape and animals. Jan the Younger operated a workshop which produced variations on the somewhat standardized motifs used by his father. The Museum's version of the Allegory of Air is strikingly similar to a painting of the same title by Jan the Elder now in the Louvre. The female figure which appears on the right of the composition in the Elder's painting has been moved to the left in the Browning version; she also holds the same armillary sphere (representing the relative positions of the ecliptic and other celestial circles) in her right hand. Both images are filled with various birds appropriate to an allegory of air, and in each the Chariot of Apollo can be seen in a distant clearing among dark, swirling clouds.
Died on 01 September 1666: Frans I. Hals,
Haarlem portraitist born between 1581 and 1585.
He was born in Antwerp, the son of Flemish parents who moved to Holland after the city fell to the Spaniards in 1585. His parents had settled in Haarlem by 1591 and he spent his long life there. He was twice married, had at least ten childred, and was constantly in financial trouble. Houbraken says he was `filled to the girls every evening', but there is no real foundation for the popular image of him as a drunken wife-beater. His second wife, however, was more than once in trouble for brawling. During his last years he was destitute and the municipal authorities of Haarlem awarded him a small annuan stipend four years before his death.
Hals was the first great artist of the 17th-century Dutch school and is regarded as one of the most brilliant of all portraitists. Almost all his works are portraits and even those that are not (some genre scenes, and an occasional religious picture) are portrait-like in character. He is said to have been taught in Haarlem by Karel van Mander, but there is no discernible influence from him in Hals's early works, which are not numerous or well documented.
The earliest extant picture is the fragment of a portrait Jacobus Zaffius (1611), and upon the basis of stylistic evidence one or two paintings can be dated a year or so earlier. Nothing he did before 1616 suggested that he would shatter well-established traditions with his life-size group portrait The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Militia Company painted during that year. There is no precedent in either his own work or that of his predecessors for the vigorous composition and characterization of this picture, which has become a symbol of the strength and healthy optimism of the men who established the new Dutch Republic. It demonstrates to the full his remarkable ability his greatest gift as a portraitist to capture a sense of fleeting movement and expression and thereby convey a compelling feeling of vivacity.
From 1616 onwards there is no shortage of dated or documented works and his artistic development is clear. He was at the height of his popularity in the 1620s and 1630s. During these decades he made five large group portraits of civil guards; one is in the Rijksmuseum and the others are in the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, the only place where one can get a comprehensive view of his range and power.
In the 1630s his compositions became simpler and monochromatic effects took the place of the bright colors of the earlier paintings (Lucas de Clercq and Feyntje van Steenkiste (1635). The group portrait of the Regents of the St Elizabeth Hospital (1641) sets the key for the sober restraint of the late period, when his pictures became darker and his brush-strokes more economical. The culmination of this phase indeed of his entire career are his group portraits of the Regents and the Regentesses of the Old Men's Alms House (1664), which rank among the most moving portraits ever painted. By this time Hals was using in his commissioned portraits the bold brushwork and the alla prima technique which early in his career he reserved for genre pictures. No drawings by him are known and he presumably worked straight on to the canvas.
Hals had two painter brothers and five painter sons, but the only artist of substance among them was his brother Dirk (1591-1656), who painted charming small interior scenes. Apart from his sons, Hals taught numerous students, including (with varying degrees of certainty) Judith Leyster, Jan Miense Molenaer, Adriaen van Ostade, Adriaen Brouwer, and Philips Wouwerman.
His reputation did not long outlive him, however, and with rare exceptions Reynolds was one of them few critics before 1850 praised him. It was only in the second half of the 19th century that there was a renewed appreciation of his genius. The spontaneity of his work appealed to the generation of the Impressionists, and from about 1870 to about 1920 he was one of the most popular of the Old Masters, becoming a model for society portraitists. Lord Hertford's purchase of his most famous work, The Laughing Cavalier (1624), for the then enormous sum of 51'000 francs in 1865, was a milestone in the revival of his fortunes, and the buoyant confidence of his paintings later made him a particular favorite with the new generation of fabulously rich US collectors self-made men who were beginning to dominate the picture market. This explains why so many works by him are in US collections.
Frans Hals was one of the greatest portraitists, much admired for his brilliant lighting effects and the freedom of his brushwork. Hals was born in Antwerp, Belgium, and probably trained by the Dutch painter Karel van Mander (1548~1606). He spent all of his adult life in Haarlem, the Netherlands, finding patronage with the wealthy middle-class merchants and burghers of his time. Throughout his life he received important commissions for group portraits of the officers and corporations of Haarlem; toward the end of his life he was granted a small pension by the city. He died September 1, 1666, in what is now the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem.
In all of his portraits Hals achieved an air of complete spontaneity; his subjects give the impression of being caught in a fleeting, but characteristic, pose and expression. The gay mood of the early work The Laughing Cavalier (1624), the subject's apparently momentary smile and stance, demonstrate Hals's ability to attain the immediacy of a sketch by the use of rapid, spontaneous brushstrokes. The broad brushstroke is characteristic of his work and adds a robust and lively quality to his portraits, particularly to the genre or character pieces he painted from 1620 to 1640. One of the most famous, the portrait of the gypsy tavern girl La bohémienne (1630) owes its gaiety and brightness to two other painting techniques Hals employed: fully illuminating the figures with direct light, and blending the brilliant colors directly on the canvas.
Although his portraits appear spontaneous and uncalculated, Hals was an expert technician, and his studies are always skillfully composed. His talent is particularly evident in his nine group portraits of the burgher guards and corporations of Haarlem, all of which are now in the Frans Hals Museum. In these group portraits Hals demonstrates his ability to catch each man in a characteristic pose, thus giving the group an air of informality and naturalness; each individual is clearly portrayed, yet all are linked in a well-balanced pattern in line and color. As his style matured, Hals replaced the bright colors of his earliest canvases with a more monochromatic color treatment. In his last group portrait, Regentesses of the Old Men's Almshouse (1664), he limited his palette to somber shades of black and gray, relying on broader and more vigorous brushstrokes to accentuate light and color value. This work is considered his masterpiece, because the style lends a greater austerity and depth to the study, while simultaneously it fuses the group into a natural and harmonious pattern. In this group portrait, Hals achieves a new dignity and feeling for the character of the subjects that is absent from his earlier works, yet retains a spontaneous effect by the dexterity and facility of his brushwork.
Recent research in the Antwerp civic archives has established that Frans Hals must have been born there about 1582-83, before his parents left for Haarlem in 1585, when Antwerp was retaken by the Spaniards. The role of Hals's teacher has been ascribed to the Haarlem artist-biographer Karel van Mander (1548-1606); however, nothing of that artist's dry mannerism is discernible in Hals's works. Entering the painters' guild of Haarlem in 1610, Hals established his reputation as a superb portraitist with the 1616 group portrait The Banquet of the Officers of the Saint George Civic Guard. Hals's portraits depict prosperous individuals and civic groups of Haarlem and other Dutch cities, as well as prominent thinkers of the day, such as René Descartes, whose portrait Hals painted in 1649. Hals was the leading artistic personality in Haarlem, attracting many students including Adriaen Brouwer, Judith Leyster, and Philips Wouwermans However, not until the mid-nineteenth century were Hals's originality and technical skill fully recognized. In fact, during his later years, mounting debts forced him to apply to the city of Haarlem for a small annual pension to allow him to meet even his modest living expenses.
–- Portrait of a Gentleman in White (1637, 69x59cm; 1106x926pix, 172kb _ ZOOM to 2212x1852pix, 678kb)
Company of Captain Reinier Reael aka The Meagre Company (1637, 209x429cm) _ 'Just to see that painting would make the journey to Amsterdam worthwhile.' wrote Vincent van Gogh in 1885, after having seen this work in the Rijksmuseum. He particularly liked the 'orange banner in the left corner,' he had 'seldom seen a more divinely beautiful figure'. The painting that caused such a sensation was the group portrait of the crossbowmen's militia under Captain Reinier Reael, painted by Frans Hals and Pieter Codde in 1637. The painting has been known for centuries as the 'Meagre Company', because the figures portrayed all appear remarkably thin. In 1633 Frans Hals was commissioned to paint the portraits of Captain Reynier Reael and Lieutenant Cornelis Michielsz. Blaeuw with their militia unit. He had to paint the picture in Amsterdam, where the militiamen lived. Hals himself lived in Haarlem; which meant that he had to travel back and forth regularly. The Amsterdam civic guard had asked Frans Hals because of his reputation for lively civic guard portraits, and because he avoided staid, formally posed group portraits. But the militiamen could not have taken into account that Hals might start to find commuter travel tedious. When, after three years, only half the painting was ready, the militiamen demanded that Hals complete the painting in ten days, otherwise he wouldn't receive a cent. Despite the excellent fee, 1025 guilders, he refused. Let the militiamen come to Haarlem, was Hals's his reply. He had already spent far too much time and money in Amsterdam, without receiving any travel or accommodation expenses. He had 'wasted much in Aemstelredamme in the tavern', as he explained to the crossbowmen in a letter. Hals's clients refused to go to Haarlem. They looked for another painter to complete the work and found the Amsterdammer Pieter Codde. Finishing a canvas of this magnitude was no easy task for Codde, who usually worked in small formats with great precision. The left side, up to the figure in light clothes in the centre, is by Frans Hals. He also painted most of the hands and faces. The rest is by Pieter Codde. Although he tried to adapt to Hals's style, Codde's half is clearly less powerful, it is smoother and more precise and therefore less profound. The rendering of the various textures provides an excellent illustration. While Hals's brushstrokes are clearly defined, Codde's brushwork is hardly visible. This is clear from a comparison of the black in the clothes of two officers, one by Codde and one by Hals. Captain Reael's men are wearing all the various fashions of the mid-seventeenth century, from conservative black broadcloth garments to bright, light-yellow costumes. Two figures are elegantly portrayed in light, glistening fabrics with a profusion of lace: the ensign on the left and the lieutenant in the centre. They are wearing sashes in the 'club colours' of their company: orange. The crossbowmen are also wearing different models of collar: millstone ruffs, simple surreptitious collars and large flat collars. They were made of delicate lace and never lasted very long.
Marriage Portrait of Isaac Massa and Beatrix van der Laen (1622, 140x166cm; 1355x1600pix, 314kb) _ An informal portrait of an extremely rich merchant, Isaac Massa, and a pretty burgomaster's daughter, Beatrix van der Laen. They commissioned their fellow townsman, Frans Hals, to portray them on the occasion of their marriage. Beatrix proudly displays the rings on her right forefinger: the bottom one is an engagement ring and the top one her wedding ring. Isaac holds his right hand over his heart - a sign of love and fidelity. The couple is portrayed in a nonchalant pose. Such informality was unusual for seventeenth-century portraits. Laughing faces were also uncommon at this time. Frans Hals was one of the few portrait painters to picture smiling people. He has captured the faces full of life: these are people of flesh and blood. From their clothes we can see that they are very well-off from Isaac's fine black clothes and Beatrix's shiny, dark-red dress. Hals has cleverly depicted the millstone ruff and the beautiful silk and gold lace cap. Frans Hals has painted large parts of the portrait in a loose and almost nonchalant manner. Sometimes using a single brushstroke he is able to achieve a true-to-life effect. The placing of a couple of white marks on Beatrix's stomach makes the material appear to shine. Details such as the cap, ruffs and cuffs are more accurately depicted. Frans Hals has placed the couple in a so-called 'Garden of Love', an imaginary garden full of symbols that refer to love and marital fidelity. There is a statue of Juno, the goddess of marriage. The peacocks wandering around Juno belong to her. In the courtyard of the castle, clear water spouts from a fountain: a spring is a symbol of fertility. Other couples are walking around the garden. Love gardens like this were often painted in the seventeenth century. The thistle to the left of Isaac is known as 'Husband's fidelity'. At Beatrix's feet lies some ivy, an evergreen plant that binds itself to the place it grows: it refers to eternal love, to the woman who remains bound to her man. And, just as the vine wraps itself around the tree, so must the married couple become bound to each other. The love garden with thistles is also depicted in an engraving in Jacob Cats's Marriage, a popular book about marriage which was published in the time this painting was made.
Portrait of a man, possibly Nicolaes Hasselaer (1632, 80x67cm) _ A well-to-do citizen, fashionably dressed with a wide, lace collar, with one arm cast nonchalantly over the back of a wooden chair. In the other he holds a walking stick. The subject is probably Nicolaes Hasselaer [1593-1635]. Hasselaer, who owned a brewery in Amsterdam, was a member of the city's upper class. He was a governor, or regent, of the Civic Orphanage, a man of status. Hasselaer is known to history as the militia major who quelled the riot of sailors demanding a share in the booty from the Silver Fleet, the Spanish treasure fleet of 1628. This painting has a pendant: Nicolaes commissioned the portrait together with a painting of his second wife, Sara. Double portraits were popular at that time. Sara Wolphaerts van Diemen was about the same age as Nicolaes. Nothing else is known about her, as is often the case with the women in seventeenth-century portraits. Much research remains to be done on wives in these paintings. Frans Hals portrayed his subject with vivid, flowing strokes, giving the impression that the man was an energetic character. The artist's use of the brush is relaxed with here and there a powerful accent, the 'finishing touch'. His loose style of painting was in complete contrast to the detailed work of his contemporaries. Nevertheless, Hals's style has a remarkably suggestive quality. For example, he painted the collar with the same loose strokes and yet the impression is one of delicately worked lace. Frans Hals was already famous in his own day for his remarkable style. Frans Hals portrayed his subject in a nonchalant pose. It is almost as if the man is turning his head to look at the viewer. It lends the portrait a certain informality. In fact, posing for for an artist was not always a pleasant experience, especially if the pose was meant to be 'real' and 'spontaneous'. An amusing record has been left by a contemporary, the English naval administrator Samuel Pepys. He had his portrait painted and, like Hasselaer, was forced to sit for hours with his head to one side. As he wrote in 1666, 'I almost broke my neck while posing'.
Portrait of a woman, possibly Sara Wolphaerts van Diemen (1632, 80x67cm) _ From her clothes it is clear that this woman is a woman of considerable status. She is well-to-do and fashionable: her dress is richly ornamented, around her neck is a millstone ruff and a cap covers her dark hair. The painting is a pendant, or companion piece, of a portrait of a man, probably the Amsterdammer Nicolaes Hasselaer. Hasselaer was married to Sara Wolphaerts van Diemen [1594-1667]. Presumably, therefore, she is the woman in the picture. Nicolaes's portrait is painted in such a way that the light shines on his face. Sara, however, does not catch the light and is less noticeable. It is only when the two paintings are placed together that it becomes clear that Sara is actually seated. Her face is on the same level as her husband's, also sitting on a chair. Sara, Nicolaes's second wife, was roughly the same age as her husband. Unfortunately, we know almost nothing about her. That is often the case with women who were portrayed more as wives than for their achievements.
The Merry Drinker (1629, 81x66cm) _ The merry drinker holds up his right hand and his mouth is open, as if he is about to say something. He raises his glass to the viewer. His large hat is elegantly tilted and contrasts sharply with the light background. In line with the latest fashion, he is wearing a medallion and a loose pleated ruff. These lace collars were extremely delicate. Frans Hals painted the Merry Drinker in the loose style for which he became famous. In the seventeenth century it was not unusual for men to be portrayed with glass in hand. But it seems unlikely that this merry drinker is a genuine portrait. Patrons preferred to present a proper and dignified image to future generations. It was probably a painting of an imaginary drinker, intended for general sale. The drinker is holding a glass decorated with prunts, a berkemeyer. Frans Hals applied liberal streaks of red and white paint: on the forehead, the cheeks, the nose, and the knuckles of the left hand. These patches seem to be where the light shines. In the drinker's moustache Hals scratched into the paint with a knife to show the individual hairs. Hals had a relaxed style of painting and applied his paints in a direct and self-assured manner. For example, the contours of the glass are painted with the thinnest of lines. Only one or two touches of white suggest reflected light. Even more remarkable is the ruff: from nearby it is just stripes, only at a distance is it a real lace collar. Hals avoided painting details, preferring to suggest forms with loose brush strokes. This apparently nonchalant manner of painting was known in the seventeenth century as 'rough'. Most artists painted in far greater detail, as for example in the portrait of Johan van Oldenbarneveldt (1600x1219pix), painted by Van Miereveld [01 May 1567 – 27 Jun 1641]. In his day, Frans Hals was considered one of the greatest artists in the Netherlands. It has been suggested that the Merry Drinker personifies the dangers of drinking. In other words, that the painting is a warning against excess. Yet it may simply be a man drinking who the artist happened to portray from life. Paintings of everyday life were especially popular in the seventeenth century. They provide an idea of what the world looked like in the Golden Age: how people behaved, how they dressed, what they ate and drank. Whether this is a portrait, a personification of the evils of drink, or a picture of everyday life, the vividness of the man makes the Merry Drinker a flesh-and-blood person.
The Laughing Cavalier (1624, 86x69cm)
Pieter van den Broecke (1633, 71x61cm)
Willem Coymans (1645, 77x64cm)
Singing Boy with a Flute (1627)
A Family Group in a Landscape (1632)