The Smart-Ass Guide to Art

Frans Hals (c. 1580-1666)

Country: Netherlands
Style: Baroque
Teachers: Karel van Mander
Major Works:
The Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Militia (1616)
The Laughing Cavalier (1624)
Head of a Young Boy (1625)
Archers of St. Adrian (c.1633)
Regents of the St Elizabeth Hospital (1641)
Willem Coymans (1645)

Interesting Stuff: A biggie in the field of portraiture, surprisingly little is known about Frans Hals. We do know that he had at least two wives and ten sons, five of which were also painters. Add the two painter brothers of Frans' to the mix, and a telephone call to the Hals house turns into an Abbott and Costello type affair:

"could I talk to Mr. Hals please"
   "which one"
"Mr. Hals the painter"
   "which one?"
"The one who has a painter father."
   "Which one?......"

After four hours of variations on this theme a phone call would end in insanity, death, or both (hmmm, kind of like every H.P. Lovecraft story... but I digress). Fortunately, there were no telephones at this period in time.

Hals was known as a keen portaitist in his day, and his stature has only grown since then. Strangely enough, even though portraits were in high demand during this period, he still died almost penniless.

One of the things academicians always point to in his portraits is his uncanny ability to render people as individuals instead of idealized models or forms. Bringing this "psychological insight" into his subjects onto the canvas was quite a jump forward from the stately portraits that came before. It also gives us the chance to play the fun-filled game of...


Guess What These People Are Thinking!

To find out what these folks in "The Archers of St. Adrian" are thinking, just scroll down and check out the number of your favorite person. If you think you have a funnier, more insightful, or just plain more amusing caption, mail the number of the person and the comment to me and I'll add it to the list. Please, keep them clean - and of course, I get to choose which ones go up, so don't get mad if you don't see it!

hals image - 45k

  1. I'm a little teapot...
    where are the other musketeers? - submitted by Dana Brown
  2. I wish I had a scalp like his
  3. I wonder if I got that part on Moonlighting.
  4. I hope nobody is making rabbit ears behind me
    Am I seated on a cheese? - submitted by Kevin
    I hope nobody can smell that. - submitted by Miranda S.
  5. I am soooooo baked...
    OH MAN that reeks! - submitted by Miranda S.
  6. I'm so alone
    Uhmm, Mr. Hals can you like hurry up with this portrait? I can't hold it anymore, so hurry up or the guy in front of me gets it! - submitted by the Los Angeles Texan
  7. I wonder if I'll make the callbacks for Mr. French
    Waltzing in portraits is really going to catch on - submitted by Kevin
    Does my butt look too big?
    Oh my god! Something is attached to my behind and it's moving! - submitted by MBanksue
    To be or not to be - submitted by Dana Brown
  8. Ooof, why did I have that last taco?
    If only the painter could see the 3 foot tall space alien standing behind everyone - submitted by Kevin
  9. You're my best friend Al
    I wonder if he notices I'm checking out his package. - submitted by Art Guy Jim
  10. If I lean a little further, I can snag this guy's wallet
    Kiss me you fool! - submitted by Marsha Ahrens
  11. I am the MAN!
    I will kiss you as soon as that odd little man finishes his silly little portrait. - submitted by Marsha Ahrens
    I may have a bouquet on my butt, but im still MANLY ! - submitted by Charlene M
  12. That guy's taking my beer!
  13. Hey, check out this guy's butt
    Pull my finger - submitted by Stella Johnson
    Is he seriously wearing pansies and ribbons on his behind ?! - submitted by Charlene M
  14. Why, there is a picture of his butt next to the definition of booty in the dictionary
    Actually, I looked it up. it appears to be crysanthimums. - submitted by Charlene M