About this artwork

The identity of this man and his wife (NG 692) are not known, but the portraits were clearly intended as a pair – the figures are carefully balanced both to face each other and the world beyond the picture frame. Hals must have painted these portraits in the 1640s. His magnificent brushwork, subtle use of black tones, careful modulation of colour, and the sharp characterisation of the sitters make these some of Hals’s best portraits of the period.

  • title: A Dutch Gentleman
  • accession number: NG 691
  • artist: Frans HalsDutch (about 1580/85 - 1666)
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery(On Display)
  • object type: Painting
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: About 1643 - 1645
  • measurements: 115.00 x 86.10 cm (framed: 144.15 x 114.94 x 9.53 cm)
  • credit line: Presented by William McEwan 1885

Frans Hals

Frans Hals

Hals’s fame rests on his lively and spirited portraits, although he also painted some religious works and genre scenes. He worked almost exclusively in Haarlem, where he developed a remarkable fluency in painting and achieved a sense of immediacy and spontaneity through his animated brushwork. This was invariably combined with animated compositions, especially in group portraits of members of the civic guard and the city’s regents. He lived a long and productive life, and is today known especially for his series of large-scale group portraits, executed for his native Haarlem. His work was much admired by artists such as Manet and the Impressionists in the nineteenth century.