Frans Hals (c.1582/3–1666) is one of the greatest masters of the Dutch Golden Age, praised by his contemporaries
for his capacity to paint lifelike portraits that seem ‘to live and breathe’.
For this exhibition, the Wallace Collection celebrates Hals’s most famous and beloved, yet still enigmatic, painting The Laughing Cavalier (1624).
The historic purchase of The Laughing Cavalier in 1865 by the 4th Marquess of Hertford (1800– 1870), the Wallace
Collection’s principal founder, was instrumental in the revival of Frans Hals during the 19th century. Prior to this, Hals had been lost to obscurity. At a sale in Paris, Lord Hertford sensationally outbid Baron James de Rothschild (1792–1868) paying the astronomical sum of 51,000 francs for the picture (more than six times the estimate). The publicity around the sale led to the immediate fame of the painting and of Hals, causing prices of his works to soar.
This iconic image has never been seen together with other works by the artist and will form the centrepiece of Frans Hals: The Male Portrait - the first ever show to focus solely on Hals’s portraits of men posing on their own – placing The Laughing Cavalier within the broader context of Hals’s depictions of male sitters.
The exhibition brings together over a dozen of the artist’s best male portraits from collections across the world, making this the first major international loan exhibition at the Wallace Collection.
Contact and Booking Details
More information at this website.
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