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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Painting of the Month (19) July 2011: Frans Hals
This is, of course, a very famous painting. Frans Hals painted it in 1624 and but the Title 'The Laughing Cavalier" is a Victorian invention. The man is actually smiling enigmatically and is no more laughing tha the Mona Lisa. Both paintings have in common that the eyes seem to follow you around the room. The painting is in the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square, London. It's a free museum (like all public museums in Britain) and I often pop in if I'm shopping in the West End because, believe me, this one of those pictures that will always make you feel good; you can't help smiling back at him.
Look at that wonderful expression. Doesn't he just love himself and he invites the viewer to do the same! The treatment of the lace and his clothing is superb. The suprise is that the 'detail' of his clothing appears the be quite loose impressionistic brush strokes on close impression.


John said...

Hi Bazza,
I have been lucky enough to have actually seen this painting! It is `spooky` the way the eyes follow you!

joanne said...

the detail in this painting is so amazing and it is really wonderful to examine closely the expression even just in this photo of the painting... how wonderful to be able to pop in to a museum and have something from the 1600s so accessible... and free too!!

p.s. thank you for your kind words today... it really meant a lot to me :)

David said...

Hi bazza,
A wonderful painting, once again.
Got any Carravagio (hope I spelt that correctly) in your archives? I think he may be, perhaps, my all-time favourite of the more "realistic" painters. And then there is Van Gogh and Edward Hopper. In fact my list could go on.
Anyway, I hope you may find time to put up something by one of them in the future. In fact, if my memory serves, I think you have already included Van Gogh.
Anyway, thanks for the continuing education in all things arty, bazza.
With Very Best Wishes,

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Oh yes, paint the eyes on a 90 degree angle... they'll follow you everywhere! I definitely think he's laughing; look at those eyes... hand in the pocket says he's holding onto a Dutch Master(cigar)!!

Currently I'm taking lessons to paint in the same method; it's great fun. I'm so envious of your being able to pop into the museums as well.(sigh)

bazza said...

John: Did you think it was surprisingly small when you first saw it? Its about 3 feet by 2 and I had imagined it much larger.

joanne: It's a pure delight for me....just like your blog!

David: I have had an Edward Hopper lined up for a while as an 'emergency standby'. Also Carravagio is bound to appear before long. There's no reason why a painter should not feature more than once; I'm sure Cezanne will!

dcrelief: Maybe his hand in his pocket is what's making him smile! I assume you are learning to paint with oils. I am a watercolourist myself and go to an art class once a week.

klahanie said...

Ah bazza, old boy. The Cavalier is indeed grinning due to the discreet location of his hand.....interesting moustache, by the way.....

Kelly said...

You should have bought that painting for the Mighty Kezza! Darn it. A missed opportunity.

The spooky eyes do seem to follow you. I shouted with fright the first time I saw it.

I'm impressed with the intricate details of the outfit the guy has on. Great painting. Like the little smile. Makes the character seem clever.

bazza said...

Klahanie: Yes Gary. I think you would need to be a little in love with yourself to grow something like that on your face.

The Mighty Kezza: I do think this is s great painting. When you look beyond the fun side of it, the artist has really captured the man's character

Anonymous said...

Sir Tom Eagerly, says:
Ah Bazza we had a chap like that when I was in the Regiment of Guards. Queer as a nine-pound-note he was. Rather flambouyant as I recall. That was just before they asked me to leave for some indiscretion or other (but it didn't involve whoopsy-boy, Can I say that?)
Bottoms Up! ....oh perhaps not.

bazza said...

Sir Tom: You are able to turn any topic into muck! It must be your special 'gift'.

THE SNEE said...

I'm so glad that you posted this painting. I've been feeling the blues this month, and The Laughing Cavalier's twinkly eyes are infectious!

Hope you are enjoying the summer Bazza!

bazza said...

Hi Snee: I am really pleased that you like this painting and I'm sorry to learn that you've been feeling blue. Hope it helped!
I am having a great summer so far thanks.


Well, I finally can read through a pic, Ahh,thank you for sharing with us these information. Greetings from China

bazza said...

Chinatours: Hello, thanks for visiting and your kind words. There are some wonderful photos on your website!