Frans Hals, Gypsy Woman (Bohemian Woman), 1628-30

This picture was not commissioned; the woman pictured is clearly of a lower class than the types of people who would pay to have their portrait done, as Hals focuses his attention on her ample breasts and messy hair. His quick handling of the paint adds to the instantaneous quality of the image; it’s a moment frozen in time, a hallmark of the Baroque era. At this time, Dutch art was being created at an amazing pace; a painting like this might have hung in a tavern or brothel, and visitors to the Netherlands often marveled at the sheer amount of art that adorned the walls of various structures. 

 

Posted on April 3 2012, with 184 Notes

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