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.