This beautifully illustrated book offers a fresh scholarly appraisal of Frans Hals, more than 30 years since the last large exhibition devoted to his work. Essays cover all the important aspects of Hals’s oeuvre, including his militia paintings, his spectacular family portraits and his depictions of laughter: he was one of very few artists throughout the history of Western painting who successfully managed to paint people smiling and laughing. The texts also provide an overview of the artist’s life, and examine his extraordinarily virtuoso technique, which involved painting extremely fast straight on to the canvas.
The authors set out to place Hals and his work firmly in the context of his time, employing new previously unpublished archival research and technical findings. For the first time, an overview is given of all the apprentices who worked for Hals. Other themes, such as the design for portrait prints or the humour seen in the works of Frans Hals, have never before been treated separately.
Published by National Gallery Global/Distributed by Yale University Press
The National Gallery, London
(September 30, 2023–January 21, 2024)
The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
(February 15–June 9, 2024)