15/02/12 Aggiornato il:

Frans Hals | Dutch Golden Age painter



Frans Hals [1580-1666] was a Dutch Golden Age painter especially famous for portraiture. He is notable for his loose painterly brushwork, and helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals was also instrumental in the evolution of 17th century group portraiture.


Hals was a master of a technique that utilized something previously seen as a flaw in painting, the visible brushstroke. The soft curling lines of Hals' brush are always clear upon the surface: "materially just lying there, flat, while conjuring substance and space in the eye". Lively and exciting, the technique can appear "ostensibly slapdash" - people often think that Hals 'threw' his works 'in one toss' (aus einem Guss) onto the canvas. Research of a technical and scientific nature has clarified that this impression is not correct. True, the odd work was largely put down without underdrawings or underpainting 'alla prima', but most of the works were created in successive layers, as was customary at that time. Sometimes a drawing was made with chalk or paint on top of a grey or pink undercoat, and was then more or less filled in, in stages. It does seem that Hals usually applied his underpainting very loosely: he was a virtuoso from the beginning. This applies, of course, particularly to his somewhat later, mature works. Hals displayed tremendous daring, great courage and virtuosity, and had a great capacity to pull back his hands from the canvas, or panel, at the moment of the most telling statement. He didn't 'paint them to death', as many of his contemporaries did, in their great accuracy and diligence whether requested by their clients or not.

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

"An unusual manner of painting, all his own, surpassing almost everyone", wrote his first biographer, Schrevelius, in the 17th century on Hals' painting methods. For that matter, schematic painting was not Hals' own idea (the approach already existed in 16th century Italy), and Hals was probably inspired by Flemish contemporaries, Rubens and Van Dyck, in his painting method. As early as the 17th century, people were struck by the vitality of Frans Hals' portraits. For example, Haarlem resident Theodorus Schrevelius noted that Hals 'works reflected 'such power and life' that the painter 'seems to challenge nature with his brush'. Centuries later Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo: 'What a joy it is to see a Frans Hals, how different it is from the paintings, so many of them, where everything is carefully smoothed out in the same manner'. Hals chose not to give a smooth finish to his painting, as most of his contemporaries did, but mimicked the vitality of his subject by using smears, lines, spots, large patches of color and hardly any details.It was not until the 19th century that his technique had followers, particularly among the Impressionists. Pieces such as The Regentesses of the Old Men's Alms House and the civic guard paintings demonstrate this technique to the fullest.

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter









Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter






Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Hals, Frans - Pittore (Anversa 1582 o 1583 - Haarlem 1666). Pur partecipe delle innovazioni caravaggesche importate dalla scuola di Utrecht, la sua pittura se ne distanzia per l'originalità nell'uso del colore e per la tecnica vigorosa. Essenzialmente ritrattista, si esercitò anche sul ritratto di gruppo, sia privato (Gruppo di famiglia, ca. 1648, Londra, National Gallery) sia ufficiale (I reggenti dell'ospizio dei vecchi, con il suo pendant Le reggenti, 1664, Haarlem, Frans Hals Museum). Apprezzato dai contemporanei, fu criticamente riscoperto solo nel 19º sec. e a lui guardarono con interesse artisti come G. Courbet, E. Manet, ecc.

VITA E OPERE
Iscritto dal 1610 nella gilda di San Luca di Haarlem, dove la sua famiglia si era trasferita dopo il 1585, presumibilmente fece il suo apprendistato presso C. van Mander ma, fin dalle prime opere, la sua pittura si presenta intrisa di un vivace realismo e diretta a ottenere i più liberi e intensi effetti di colore e di luce. Essenzialmente ritrattista, i suoi modelli furono intellettuali e borghesi (J. Zellius, 1611, Haarlem, Frans Halsmuseum; W. van Heythuysen, eccezionalmente a figura intera, 1625 circa, Monaco, Bayerische Staatsgemäldegalerie, e in posa estremamente informale, 1638 circa, Bruxelles, Musées royaux des beaux-arts; J. P. Olycan e A. Hanemans, 1625, l'Aja, Mauritshuis; W. C. Coymans, 1645, Washington, National gallery of art; J. Schade, 1645 circa, Praga, Galleria Nazionale; R. Descartes, 1649 circa, Copenaghen, Statens Museum for Kunst; ecc.); amò, però, anche rappresentare tipi popolari e caratteristici (Buffone che suona il flauto, 1623 circa, e Zingara ridente, 1628-30, Louvre; Peeckelhaerin, detto anche il Mulatto, 1628-30, Kassel, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, e Lipsia, Museum der bildenden Künste; Malle Babbe, detta la Strega di Haarlem, 1633-35, Berlino, Gemäldegalerie). Diede un nuovo impulso al ritratto di gruppo, sia privato (Ritratto di famiglia in un paesaggio, 1620 circa, coll. Boyne, del quale originariamente era parte Tre bambini con carretto tirato da una capra, Bruxelles, Musées royaux des beaux-arts; il già citato Gruppo di famiglia), sia ufficiale (due dipinti con il Banchetto degli ufficiali della guardia civica di s. Giorgio, 1616 e 1627 circa; Banchetto degli ufficiali della guardia civica di s. Adriano, 1627 circa; I reggenti dell'ospedale di s. Elisabetta, 1641, tutti conservati nel Frans Hals museum di Haarlem; e ancora Ufficiali di una compagnia della guardia civica di Amsterdam, noto come De magere compagnie, 1633-36, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, l'unica opera eseguita fuori di Haarlem e terminata da P. Codde). Uniche opere di soggetto religioso, ma che presentano le stesse caratteristiche dei ritratti, sono le tele con s. Luca e s. Matteo (1625 circa, Odessa, Museo). Non sacrificò mai alla oggettiva rappresentazione fisionomica la vigoria della pittura, la qualità brillante dei colori, la prodigiosa rapidità e franchezza del tocco: anzi proprio nell'immediata, repentina evocazione l'immagine acquista una concretezza e un'evidenza straordinarie. | © Treccani

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter

Frans Hals 1580-1666 | Dutch Golden Age painter