Flemish and Dutch painting

Portrait of a Man

Frans Hals
Anvers, 1581 ou 1585 - Haarlem, 1666

Around 1660, Oil on canvas, 69 x 60 cm
Library


It is custom to think that the old style of painting connected to the most faithful representation of reality went hand in hand with an impeccable technique. Yet some great masters from this period emancipated themselves from this method, to dare to innovate in such a way that we believed to be reserved to today. This is the case for Diego Velasquez in Spain or Frans Hals in the Netherlands. In this portrait of a man, the stroke fragments in a way that is almost impressionist, to our great surprise. It is quick, disjointed and the shapes become blurred. The artist shows himself to be a pioneer with this painting, completed when he was 80 years old.

The palette is quite limited: browns, silvery greys and some flashes of white. This man with an extraordinary presence is turning towards the artist. Such movement is often found in portraits by Frans Hals.

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