Saturday, August 22, 2009

Art History...

All of my old classmates do a nice job posting about art history on their blogs, and I barely ever mention it. So, I thought I'd share one of my favorite works of art by the artist Frans Hals. It's a portrait of a mother and child done around 1619.

The double portrait is an excellent early example of Hals's subtle invention. The mother, it seems, is about to present an apple to the young child when she is interrupted by a spectator, to whom she appears to turn spontaneously. Meanwhile the child, pushes her mother back with the right hand and produces an expression as if to say, "Why on earth, would I want to play with that nasty rotten apple?". Both of the figures serve as one of the many ingenious devices used by Hals to give the impression of a moment of life in his pictures.

Hals, who always dressed his models in costumes from his own studio, chose to decorate the extremely blind mother with a pair of bright red glasses. This feature, which some scholars claim to be 20th century in style, has stirred up a fair amount of debate over the authenticity of this work. While most consider this to be one of Hals' greatest masterpieces, another smaller faction staunchly claims the work to be a fake.