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 Laughing Cavalier, by Frans Hals
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United Kingdom
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Posted - Aug 12 2019 :  16:02:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This oil painting by Franz Halls, of the laughing Cavalier, was bought by an Italian friend of mine over 40 years ago. He was an art dealer.
He bought this painting in a Charity party in London, for children with special needs. There isn't a signature, so I don't know who made this very good copy. The collar, needs to be clean, to get its natural colour white. The time made it yellow.
He sold me it for a very good price, as a consequence of being his friend. I cannot take the painting from the frame, as I do not want to ruin its representation.
When Luigi bought this painting, the painting had another frame, and he paid for having it in this actual one. What I want to say by that is, that we can never judge a painting by the frame or the
Card on which a painting is pasted; the card can be new, and the painting old. The painting can have been glued to the card some years ago. We donít know for sure the painting history.

A bit of information on Frans Hals (1582/3-1666) Dutch Painter. He was born in Antwerp, the son of Flemish parents who moved to Holland after the city fell to the Spaniards in 1585. His parents had settled in Haarlem by 1591 and he spent his long life there. He was twice married, had at least ten children and was constantly in financial trouble. *Houbraken says he was filled to the gills every evening, but there is no real foundation for the popular image of him as a drunken wife-beater. His second wife, however, was more than once in trouble for brawling. During his last years he was destitute and the municipal authorities of Haarlem awarded him a small annual stipend four years before his death.

Hals, was the first great artist of the 17th cent. Dutch school and is regarded as one of the most brilliant of all portraitists. Almost all his works are portraits and even those that are not (some *genre scenes, and an occasional religious picture) are portrait like in character. He is said to have been taught in Haarlem by Karel van *Mander, but there is no discernible influence from him in Hals's early works, which are not numerous or well documented. The earliest extant picture is the fragment of a portrait Jacobs Zuffus (Hals Mus. Haarlem. 1611), and upon the basis of stylistic evidence one or two paintings can be dated a year or so earlier. Nothing he did before 1616 suggested that he would shatter well established traditions with his life-size group portrait The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Militia Company (Hals Mus) painted during that year. There is no precedent in either his own work or that of his predecessors for the vigorous composition and characterisation of this picture, which has become a symbol of the strength and healthy optimism of the men who established the new Dutch Republic. It demonstrates to the full his remarkable ability - his greatest gift as a portraitist-to capture a sense of fleeting movement and expression and thereby convey a compelling feeling of vivacity.

From 1616 onwards there is no shortage of dated or documented works and his artistic development is clear. He was at the height of his popularity in the 1620s and 1630s. During these decades he made five large group portraits of civic guards; one (finished by Pieter *Codde) is in the Rijksmuseum and the others are in the Frans Hals Museum. Haarlem, the only place where one can get a comprehensive view of his range and power. In the 1630s his compositions became simpler and the monochromatic effects took the place of the bright colours of the earlier paintings (Lucas de Clerk and Feyntje van Steenkiste, Rijkistmuseum Amsterdam, 1641) sets the key for the sober restraint of the late period, when his pictures became darker and his brush-strokes more economical. The culmination of this phase-indeed of his entire career-are his group portraits of the Regents and the Regentresses of the Old Men's Alms House (Hals Mus., c. 1664)which rank among the most moving portraits ever painted. By this time Hals was using in his commissioned portraits ever painted. By this time Hals was using in his commissioned portraits the bold brushes and the "alla prima technique which early in his career he reserved for genre pictures. No drawings by him are known and he presumably worked straight on to the canvas.

Hals had two painters brothers and five painter sons, but the only artist of substance among them was his brother Dirk (1591-1656), who painted charming small interior scenes. Apart from his sons, Hals, taught numerous pupils, including (with varying degrees of certainty) Judith *Leyster, Jan Miense * Molenaser, Adraen *Wouwerman. His reputation did not long outlive him, however, and with rare exception-*Reynolds was one of them-few critics before 1850 praised him.

It was only in the second half of the 19 century, that there was a renewed appreciation of his genius. The spontaneity of his work appealed to the generation of the *Impressionists and from about 1870 to about 1920 he was one of the most popular of the Old Masters, becoming a model for society portraitists. Lord Hertford's purchase of his most famous work. "The Laughing Cavalier" (Wallace Collection) London, 1624), for the then enormous sum of 51,00 francs in 1865, was a milestone in the revival of his fortunes and the buoyant confidence in his paintings later made him a particular favourite with the new generation of fabulously rich American collectors-self-made men-who were beginning to dominate the picture market. This explains why so many works by him are in American collections.

The Laughing Cavalier.jpg
Laughing Cavaliere 2.jpg

Edited by - MTC on Aug 14 2019 08:16:55
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