41) The Jolly Toper (or drinker) by Frans Hals 1584? 1666
Franz Hals was a portrait painter and lived in the Dutch city of Harlem. He was not terribly successful and worked restoring pictures as well as making them. He did a number of large group portraits and many commissions but may not have been highly paid for them as he was sued and had his property seized by a baker to whom he owed money.Forgotten after his death in poverty his popularity surged in the nineteenth century. Hals is valued for his flashy and expressive brushwork. Like Velazquez, Hals was an inspiration to many painters in the 19th century because of that free brushwork and the immediacy and natural look of his paintings.
42) Isabella Coymans (Franz Hals)
Franz gets two into the hall of fame. The brushwork that makes this ladies costume is as daring and fresh as anything ever painted. Sargent certainly studied this. Hals has also expressed the personality of his sitter well. She seems like a real person we might know and I can imagine something of her good nature. Hals like Velazquez used a lot of black, that always sets off colors well.
43) Leaving the Tavern by Jan Steen 1626-1679
Steen was from a relatively well off family whose family owned a tavern. he studied with Jan Van Goyen and married his daughter. I wanted to include one of these sorts of pictures. Many Dutch painters of this era painted bawdy drinking scenes. There are a few that even have knife fights and many with crude sexual advances made on indifferent drunken harlots. Sometimes the paintings were presented as cautionary moral tales, but I think that was usually a cover story. The Dutch were a wealthy society, rich from trade and appreciated a painting of the party life. Many Dutch painters owned taverns and Jan Steen did. I expect it provided cash flow when the art market was thin. Steen was however a successful and well known artist in his time.
These pictures were different from those that preceded them in that they were made for a merchant class rather than princes and popes, and they wanted pictures of their world, not biblical or mythological scenes.
Some images from artrenewal.org
I am teaching a workshop at the end of next month in Rolling Fork, Missisippi. In the Misissippi Delta country. I love it down there, it is culturally as deep south as you can get. This is a five day workshop and it WILL be spring there. If you want to attend, here is the link: