• Portrait of Man

    Artist:
    Hals, Frans, between 1581 and 1585-1666
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    84,5x67 cm

Hals, Frans, between 1581 and 1585-1666

Portrait of Man

Holland, before 1660

The collection of portraits in the Dutch stocks of the Hermitage includes two superb works by Frans Hals. His manner of painting had a great influence on the visual language of his contemporaries. Many artists learned from Hals and adopted his stylistic devices. This Portrait of a Man painted in the last decade of the artist’s life is striking for the dynamism of the image and the expressiveness of the execution. The subject seems to come to life before our eyes: so mobile are his pose and his facial expression into which so much can be read, Behind the outward bravado one detects disillusionment and in the eyes and in the corners of the contemptuously curling mouth tiredness and bitter irony lie hidden. Hals’s inimitable brush moves at one point in a broad sweeping manner, in another applies short delicate strokes, while in depicting the white cuff it literally begins to dance across the canvas. The brushstrokes are not hidden, not smoothed out – and from their complex interaction, almost as we watch, the image is born The palette of the painting is marked by great restraint. Just two hues dominate: elaborately worked up black and white. The celebrated Vincent van Gogh, another artist of Dutch origin, claimed that in Hals’s work it was possible to distinguish at least 27 shades of black.

Title:

Portrait of Man

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

84,5x67 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage between 1763 and 1773; formerly in the collection of Catherine the Great

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-816

Category:

Collection:

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