HALS, Dirck
(b. 1591, Haarlem, d. 1656, Haarlem)

Merry Company in a Garden

1621
Oil on oak panel, 34 x 61 cm
Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest

Dirck Hals was one of the two brothers of Frans Hals, the first great Dutch painter of the 17th century. He painted mostly charming interior scenes. This rather theatrical scene represents the easy-flowing and sparkling style of Dirck 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.