HALS, Frans
(b. 1580, Antwerpen, d. 1666, Haarlem)

Portrait of a Man in a Slouch Hat

Oil on canvas, 79,5 x 66,5 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel

This portrait of an unknown gentleman is one of the artist's last works. Emphatically casual, his hat aslant on his head, the man turns towards us on his chair, a smile on his lips, his eyes gleaming with mischief. There is no sense here of a model holding a pose. The rapid, sketchy manner of painting reinforces the impression of a fleeting moment captured in great haste, and foreshadows the Impressionism of the late nineteenth-century.