Banquet of the officers of the Calivermen civic Guard
Schilder: Frans Hals (Antwerpen c. 1582/83 – Haarlem 1666)
Official title: Banquet of the officers of the Calivemen civic guard
Original: Oil on canvas, 266,5 x 183 cm, bxh
In this banquet of officers of the Calivermen Civic Guard, Frans Hals chose the moment when the ensigns entered. The symmetry of the composition, in which diagonals and triangles can be recognised, is striking. The fact that the depiction nevertheless comes across as a unity is thanks to the interaction between the guardsmen. At the head of the table on the left is the colonel, with his orange sash. Normally, the sashes are in the colours of the guard’s banner, but in this case the colours of the Dutch flag are used. The three sitting men in the middle are the captains. The greyhound on the bottom left is one of the few animals Hals ever painted.
The painter Frans Hals
In his own time, Frans Hals was already famous for the way he could portray people true to life. His group portraits are also strikingly lively. A smile, a hand gesture, eye contact and a blush on the cheek: people of flesh and blood.
Frans Hals is also known as ‘the master of the loose stroke’. He distinguishes himself from his contemporaries by a remarkably loose brushstroke. From close up, the individual brushstrokes are always clearly distinguishable. Seen from some distance, the overall picture emerges.
Read more about the militia pieces on this page
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