Apollo Magazine

Frans Hals

The Dutch portraitist’s vivaciousness is in evidence at the Rijksmuseum’s exhibition of 50 of his greatest works

Portrait of a Couple (c. 1622), Frans Hals. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Frans Hals is having his moment in the European sun. The recent exhibition at the National Gallery – the first major show dedicated to the Dutch portraitist in over 30 years – was one of the most talked-about art events of the past year. Now it’s the turn of the Rijksmuseum to play host to The Laughing Cavalier (1624), The Lute Player (1623/24) and the rest of Hals’ cast of merry renegades. Hals does not have quite the same profile as Rembrandt and Vermeer, but his sense of whimsy and his remarkable knack for capturing life in motion sets him apart from his Golden Age peers. The exhibition contains around 50 of Hals’s greatest paintings, including one, The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Militia Company (1616), that has never before been allowed to leave the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem. Find out more from the Rijksmuseum’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary

Malle Babbe (c. 1640), Frans Hals. Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Banquet of the Officers of the St George Civic Guard (1616), Frans Hals. Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem

Regentesses of the Old Men’s Alms House (c. 1664), Frans Hals. Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem

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