RKD Study Frans Hals and his workshop – part 1

Frans Hals

The first part of the RKD Study about Frans Hals, written by Prof. Dr. Claus Grimm is now available online. It comprises three monographic chapters on the life, work and reception of Frans Hals, and precedes the comprehensive catalogue raisonné that will be published in the spring of 2024. 

Frans Hals

Frans Hals (1582/83-1666) is one of the most important Dutch masters of the seventeenth century. The Haarlem painter became well known for his striking portraits, colorful genre paintings and large civic guard portraits, but also through the enormous influence he had on 19th and early 20th century artists as well as on the development of modern painting in general.

RKD Study

The present first part of the RKD Study Frans Hals and his workshop comprises three monographic chapters on the life, work and reception of Frans Hals. The author devotes particular attention to his theory on Hals’s workshop practice and the collaboration with other artists. Thanks to new insights gained by technical research, as well as new possibilities for comparing and analyzing works of art in minute detail – using high-resolution digital photographs – Claus Grimm now distinguishes which paintings, or which parts of them, were executed by Hals himself and which were done by studio assistants. A large number of details is reproduced in the publication, providing insight into the arguments for accepting or rejecting specific attributions.

RKD Study Frans Hals and his workshop

Frans Hals
Frans Hals and workshop, Young man and woman in an inn, 1623, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Part 2

The forthcoming second part of Frans Hals and his workshop will consist of a comprehensive catalogue raisonné of all paintings made by Frans Hals and his studio assistants, including works that are only documented through copies or prints, paintings with less straightforward attributions, and modern imitations. To this end, all artworks that are featured in the catalogue have been included in the database RKD images, together with detailed attribution history, provenance information, and references to technical documentation and literature.

Realisation

The production of this RKD Study was an extensive project, undertaken by the RKD, in collaboration with the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, and with the help of many enthusiastic colleagues from all over the world. We specifically express our gratitude towards the Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, the De Gijselaar-Hintzenfonds and Ambassador J. William Middendorf for generously providing additional funding.

Frans Hals
Frans Hals and workshop, Merrymakers at Shrovetider, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York