The painters of the Dutch Golden Age have a reputation for favoring a dark, serious aesthetic and subdued, everyday scenes over the bravado of their Catholic counterparts. But in fact, Dutch paintings of this period often contain witty visual puns and a fierce vibrancy in their choice of color and subjects. No one more exemplifies this lushness and vividness more than Frans Hals.
This richly illustrated volume considers Hals’s lively brush strokes and distinctive handling of paint within the context of Dutch Golden Age painting as a whole, and itprovides powerful insight into his influence during his own time and for generations afterward. Christopher D. M. Atkins looks at the world in which Hals lived, mining the Dutch economy, as well as Hals’s relationships with clients, pupils, and assistants, in order to gain a fuller grasp of the evolution of Hals’s instantly recognizable style. A thoughtful study of the commercial and artistic concerns that shaped Hals’s work, this book reflects on ideas of authorship, consumption, and subjectivity in early modern Europe. Combining smart historical analysis and a deep understanding of Dutch consumer culture with a strong sense of Hals as an artist, The Signature Style of Frans Hals offers a wholly new understanding of both the painter and his world.
With discussions of two of Hals’s most famous paintings, The Laughing Cavalier and The Gypsy Girl, this book is required reading for scholars of economic history, art historians, and anyone interested in gaining a deeper insight into life and times of this Dutch master.