Portraits and genre scenes by the great Dutch painter Frans Hals (1582/838211;1666) are celebrated for their immediacy and dazzling brushwork. His dramatic compositions and bold160;technique brought his subjects to life in an unprecedented way. This book160;focuses upon160;eleven major works by Hals from the Metropolitan Museum's collection, supplemented by two Hals paintings from private collections and a selection of other Dutch paintings and prints.160;
The pictures included here span forty years of Hals's career, from the early Merrymakers at Shrovetide of about 1616 to engaging portraits he painted in Haarlem during his later years. The author discusses the formation of Hals's style, emphasizing his stay in Antwerp in 1616 and his knowledge of Flemish masters and of contemporary critical thinking. For the first time, Hals's work is considered in the context of broader European trends, in particular the Early Baroque movement that flourished in Antwerp160;during the 1600s.