Frans Hals is one of the most familiar and accessible of the Old Master painters. His name is second only to Rembrandt’s in the Netherlands and equals Vermeer’s in its evocation of the golden age of Dutch art. After falling out of favor in the 18th century, Hals’s work was championed from the 1860s onward by Realist and Impressionist masters such as Courbet, Manet and Sargent, and collected by several of the Metropolitan Museum’s major benefactors.
The exhibition will focus primarily on the Metropolitan Museum’s 11 autograph paintings by Hals, which represent the full range of his work apart from large group portraits. Several of the museum’s paintings by Hals are famous, especially the early Merrymakers at Shrovetide (circa 1616) and the so-called Jonker Ramp and His Sweetheart (1623), both bequeathed to the museum by Benjamin Altman in 1913. The Metropolitan Museum has two other genre scenes by Hals, as well as seven fine portraits dating from the 1620s through the 1650s.
Also included in the exhibition will be two loans from private collections in New York – the small, exquisite Portrait of Samuel Ampzing (1630), on copper, and the well-known Fisher Girl (1630-32). A selection of other Netherlandish paintings from the museum’s collection by artists including Rubens, Van Dyck, Steen and Brouwer will set Hals’s work in the context of his native Haarlem and will help clarify how exceptional his animated poses and virtuoso brushwork were at the time.
Frans Hals in the Metropolitan Museum is organized by Walter Liedtke, Curator in the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of European Paintings.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a bulletin written by Walter Liedtke, which will be devoted to Frans Hals’s life and work, and which will also consider in detail each of the Metropolitan Museum’s paintings by Hals. The bulletin will be on sale in the museum’s book shops.
The exhibition is made possible by Bernard and Louise Palitz.
The bulletin is made possible through the generosity of the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, established by the cofounder of Reader’s Digest.
The exhibition will be featured on the Museum’s website at www.metmuseum.org < http://www.metmuseum.org/> .
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