Frans Hals: Two Boys Singing

Unlike many traditional Baroque artists, Hals did not paint completely objectively. He would create an atmosphere and a different sense of composure for each subject to convey a true sense of self in his paintings. In this way he would accentuate not only their status in society through various symbolic gestures and dress but also portray features of the sitter that made them human. Furthermore, Hals was noted for his bright pictures and he seemed to love the vivid sheens and clarity of images in daylight.

Frans Hal's first private works were of the ordinary society of Haarlem. The earliest one noted is of two boys singing and playing. He would use these free subjects as a means of practice for his intense draughtmanship and painting style. The 'tavern' or lower classes were not limited in their expressions like the upper classes were and through these subjects that Hals could find new ways of creating and defining character in his subjects.


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