BANQUET OF THE OFFICERS OF THE SAINT-JONGE MILITIA
Painter: Frans Hals (Antwerp c. 1582/83 - Haarlem 1666)
Official title: Banquet of the officers of the St. George's Militia
Original: Oil on canvas, 324 x 174 cm, wxh
Nice: This militia piece by Frans Hals can be admired at ML in Haarlem in the brasserie.
About the Marksmanship
This is the first civic guard painting by Frans Hals. He painted a total of six, five of which were commissioned by the Haarlem militia and one by an Amsterdam militia. Hals portrayed the officers here at the festive meal at the end of their three-year service.
By placing them around the table, which gives the illusion of a relaxed conversation, he gave the archers all the space in the picture plane. This space and depth creates diagonal lines and a view through the window to the current Provençal house. Frans probably made it on location in the former convent Sint Michielsklooster in Grote Houtstraat because it was too large for his own studio. It was convenient that he himself lived close to the guild in the Peuzelaarssteeg.
Frans himself was also in the guild from 1612 to 1615 as the third drummer of the 3rd corporal and knew all the members.
The people portrayed
On the left are the provost and the colonel (with orange sash), the highest in rank. To the right are the three captains, followed by the three lieutenants. The three ensigns are just making their appearance. Their entrance increases the dynamics of action and reaction within the group.
About the masterful painting of Frans Hals
Frans Hals was not only a master in painting faces and expressions, but also in depicting fabrics and materials, such as the damask tablecloth, the brocade cushion and the halberds (cutlasses).
Frans Hals distinguishes himself from his contemporaries by a remarkably loose brushstroke. From close up, the individual brushstrokes can always be clearly distinguished. Seen from some distance, the overall picture emerges. For this reason, Hals is also known as the 'master of the loose brushstroke'.
This masterpiece by Frans Hals is part of our collection of Haerlemsche Meesters and is on display in the Frans Hals Museum location Hof in Haarlem.
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