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HALS, Dirck/ ARTISTS BEFORE 1650/ ART MAIN film and food
Dutch painter (b. 1591, Haarlem, d. 1656, Haarlem) literature and food
Dirck was the younger brother of Frans Hals who was probably also his teacher, but the painters who influenced Dirk were Esaias van de Velde and Willem Buytewech. Apart from a few portraits, he devoted himself exclusively to the painting of conversation pieces - the cheerful domestic life of prosperous burghers in their houses or gardens. He was not interested in the serious side of life; in his work he depicted people in conversation or while flirting, making music and dancing, eating and drinking. His interiors are hardly worked out, all the emphasis is put on fashionable dress and colourful representation. He succeeded in putting across people's high spirits through facial expression, costly dress, posture and loose grouping. music and food
photography and food
artists before 1650 bookshop (UK)
   
Merry Company
Oil on panel, 45 x 67,5 cm
Private collection

Dirck Hals was apprenticed to his older brother. Yet while Frans Hals specialized in portraiture, Dirck Hals concentrated primarily on genre paintings and conversation pieces in the manner of Esasias van de Velde and Willem Pietersz. Buytewech. From the 1620s onwards, he frequently had the figures in his paintings added by his own specialist, Dirck van Deelen. He preferred a courtly setting and noble society, whereas his Merry Company follows in the tradition of the brothel painting and the tale of the prodigal son.

The bed on the left in the background, and the body language of the couples leave us in little doubt as to the situation. At the same time, however, this is also a "five senses" scene: not only is the sense of touch satisfied, but there is also music and singing, smoking and drinking, while the eyes feast on an empty jug or a bodice.

The interior also gives us an idea of how paintings were displayed in Holland at the time. They have been hung on a shabby wall without any evident system: a landscape, a marine painting, a portrait. It is clear that paintings had by now become objects to be taken for granted. Some might be cheaper or more expensive, better or worse painted than others, but they were no longer laden with iconographic significance. 

  Amsterdam, the Hague, Haarlem: Critical Notes on The Rijks Museum, The Hague Museum and the Hals Museum - amazon.uk
 Von Frans Hals bis Jan Steen - amazon.de
Christmas 2012 London Food General Store - UK,EU and USA
Dirck Hals - Amusing Party in the Open Air  The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477-1806 (Oxford History of Modern Europe) - amazon.com  
 
Amusing Party in the Open Air
1621
Oil on canvas, 34 x 61,3 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
  (Detail)
 Collection henri leroux. tableaux de maitres anciens anguissola, boilly, van dyck, hals, lepicie, etc... . dessins anciens. aquarelles, gouaches, pastels, miniature. portraits français XVième, XVIième, XVIIième siecles . 21 05 1968 - amazon.fr

This rather theatrical scene represents the easy-flowing and sparkling style of Dirk Hals.

Dirck Hals tried to emulate the fresh and casual style of his brother Frans, particularly in his spectacular way of painting, splendid clothes made of expensive fabrics. The colours are almost too vivid, like the early genre paintings. In this picture the festive party, seen against a background of columns and draperies on the left, seems to be momentarily frozen into a tableau in which the participants pose to welcome a new arrival - the spectator.