Frans Hals 1581-1666 BACK

Hals, Women Governors
Women Governors of the
Haarlem Almshouse
oil on canvas 170x250cm
Frans Hals Museum

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This is not only one of the last major works by Hals but it is also one of the last historically significant examples of this genre. Whereas Hals previously presented individual gestures, attitudes, and poses in a ceremonial and more than momentary context, here he isolates the individual parts and the individuals themselves. The faces above the white collars seem to float against the dark background of a room that is difficult to distinguish. This group portrait hasbeen imbued with the concept of mortality. Old age and death seem to menace, where once there was activity and sociability.
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