On each episode of 'Frans Hals Paintings–The Podcast', American-Dutch art historian and Hals scholar John Bezold investigates and discusses the oeuvre of this celebrated artist from the Dutch Golden Age. Eternally overshadowed by his more famous painting peers, Rembrandt and Vermeer; this podcast seeks to discover–and share–why Frans Hals' paintings, and their brushwork, have captivated viewers for centuries.
A Family Group in a Landscape
24:41In the second episode of 'Frans Hals Paintings—The Podcast, I discuss Hals' c. 1647-1650 'A Family Group in a Landscape', which hangs at the National Gallery in London. The painting has long been attributed to Hals by scholars Cornelius Hofstede de Groot (1863-1930), and Seymour Slive, though never by Claus Grimm (1930). Slive numbered the work number 176, in his 1974 catalogue. The painting shows a family of nine, and a nurse, for a total of ten figures; making it the most populated painting by Hals, excluding his famed militia pieces, most of which are housed in the Frans Hals Museum. Slive introduced a debate around the painting concerning the landscape in the background at left, of which Neil MacLaren (1909-1988) first proposed was painted by another painter, in a publication he authored in 1960. In this episode, this debate is unraveled in detail, concerning its origins, its evolvement over the years since 1960, and describes the interaction of the figures on the canvas. To conclude, future research directions are outlined, concerning what could be studied in this work—both attribution debate and concerning the identification of its sitters—of this most fabulously sumptuous, while also problematic, family painting, 'by' Frans Hals. You can learn more about the painting over on the website of the National Gallery. You can find John on X @johnbezold and at his website johnbezold.com.
Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laen
16:25In the first episode of ‘Frans Hals Paintings—The Podcast’, I step inside the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to confront my favorite painting by the artist, which hangs in the ‘Gallery of Honor’, which also houses Rembrandt’s ‘The Nightwatch’ and Vermeer’s ‘The Milkmaid’. The painting discussed in this episode is entitled ‘Portrait of a Couple, Probably Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laen’, dating from c. 1622. The painting has long been attributed to Hals, and is catalogued by many of the artist's connoisseurs over the years—including by Seymour Slive (1920-2014), in his publication from 1974, within which it is number 17. It is the only painting by the artist to show a couple, which is also why it has long been thought to be a marriage portrait. It is one of only four other family portraits by the artist to have survived the test of time, and it came into the collection of the Rijksmuseum, in 1852. Join me as I explain what makes this painting by Frans Hals so unique amongst the paintings in his oeuvre; what makes its composition so seductive and entrancing; and therefore, exciting to spend time viewing in person, in Amsterdam. You can learn more about the painting over at the website of the Rijksmuseum. You can find John on X @johnbezold and at his website johnbezold.com.
Coming Soon: Frans Hals Paintings—The Podcast
0:50'Frans Hals Paintings–The Podcast', is a new show hosted by John Bezold focusing on the c. 222 Hals paintings as physical objects, who each portrays, and their appreciation over time. The podcast discusses one painting per episode, in no set order. Some episodes even confront these artworks in their (mostly Dutch) galleries and museums, to contextualize and share the joy, of viewing Frans Hals' paintings in person. You can find John on X @johnbezold and at his website johnbezold.com. Cover Art: Mainstudio, Amsterdam. Instrumental Music: Andrey, Ukraine.