Frans Hals: A Look Behind the Joviality and Spontaneity

A lecture presented by The Arts Society Ealing

The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals

October 18, 2023

This month’s lecture by The Arts Society Ealing is to be given by Mariska Beekenkamp-Wladimiroff on the subject of ‘Frans Hals: A Look Behind the Joviality and Spontaneity’.

Using bold poses, masterly brushstrokes, and emotional connections with his sitter, Frans Hals revolutionised portraiture into something that many critics regarded entirely fresh and novel. Praised for his ability to paint likenesses that seem to ‘live and breathe’, Hals is one of the artists who tells us most vividly about the 17th century Dutch Republic and its Harlem citizens. The cultural flourishing, enrichment and self-confidence of its elite was associated with requests for depictions of status and success. A growing middle and merchant class wanted to celebrate their services to the state and their exceptional accomplishments. Delving deeper, however, the pictorial representation of these achievements and economic prosperity also had disturbing connections to the Dutch East India Company, the transatlantic slave trade, and the ruthless regime in the colonies.

This lecture ties in with the exhibition on at The National Gallery until January 2024.

Lecturer, Mariska Beekenkamp-Wladimiroff, has an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in Dutch Baroque Art, and set up Art Historical London, offering art historical lectures, courses, tours, travel and events from London. Over the years this has expanded to events in New York and Amsterdam, and, since March 2020, online. She also teaches on the public programme of the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

The talk takes place at 7:30pm on Monday 23 October at St Barnabas Church Hall, Pitshanger Lane, Ealing W5 1QG.

Visitors are welcome to attend at £8 per lecture (reduced to £3 for students); payment can be made by cash on the evening or in advance by contacting:

The Arts Society Ealing belongs to the large umbrella organisation, The Arts Society, previously known as the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS), which was founded in 1968. The local Society, which has a membership of around 140, is now one of the 388 member societies of The Arts Society that have been formed throughout the United Kingdom, in parts of Europe and in Australia and New Zealand.

The Arts Society Ealing holds 10 lectures a year and more information can be found by visiting its web site.

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