Frans Hals

The painter Frans Hals  1582-1666
The life of Frans Hals
Frans Hals was born in 1582 as a the son of a weaver. Around the year of 1586 his family moved from the southern part of Holland to Haarlem. Until 1603 he was an apprentice of Carel van Mander. In 1610 he joined the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke. His first known and certified painting goes back to 1611. But he must have been fully skilled before that year. In 1616 Frans Hals travelled to Antwerp in order to study the work of Rubens Antoon van Dyck. From 1612 to 1624 Frans Hals served the local militia, where the regular sevice was 2 years. Frans Hals painted his first civic guard portrait in 1616, his last one in 1639.

Hals married twice and had 15 children, all baptized. 5 or 6 sons were educated by him to be a painter. Around the year of 1615 he was in such financial difficulties that poverty persecuted his life from there on. Frans Hals died at the age of approximately 84 and was buried in the principal church of Haarlem, St Bavo, in the centre of the city. In 1900 a statue was set up for Hals in the Florapark in Haarlem and in 1968 his portrait was printed on a banknote of 10 guilders.
The work of Frans Hals
Hals is known for his exuberant style, the dashing, loose and intimate use of his brush, and his enigmatic drama. His masterpieces mostly contain multiple layers. Frans Hals was daring and virtuoso. He painted his models alive, not dead, like the most of his contemporaries were doing precisely.