Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 Reviews

Groot Heiligland 26 023-5115775

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  • Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
    Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
    by Airpunk
  • Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
    Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
    by Airpunk
  • Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
    Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
    by Airpunk
  • breughel's Profile Photo

    FRANS HALS MUSEUM - I. Introduction

    by breughel Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    The Frans Hals Museum is internationally famous as the museum of the Dutch Golden Age (17th c.) although its collections start with the 16th c.
    It is housed in the former Old Men’s Home, a picturesque 17th century building at Groot Heiligland, south from the Grote Markt. The collection has been gradually built up by the city of Haarlem starting at the "Prinsenhof" – part of the town hall - as early as the 16th century.
    In 1862 a "Stedelijk Museum" (civic museum) was officially opened in the town hall with already more than one hundred paintings.

    Presently the museum rooms with a 17th c. decor are arranged around a square courtyard with gardens. The decoration of the museum is therefore in full harmony with the exposed paintings.

    The museum is famous for the five large civic guard paintings, three regent group portraits and various individual portraits by Frans Hals. But there is much more than Frans Hals. There are many of the best masters from the Golden Age: Jan Steen, the three van Ruysdael, Hendrick and Cornelis Vroom, Johannes Verspronck and Pieter Saenredam.
    The 16th c. is also interesting. The art of painting in the Northern Netherlands started in Haarlem.
    According to the museum they have about 80 works that can be considered as highlights. I will come back on some of them.

    It was the first time I visited this museum and I regret I did not do it before when I was in Amsterdam, which is so close by train.
    Before visiting the collection it is quite interesting to have a look at the "Introduction - Haarlem 1600-1700" about life in the town.

    Open : Tuesday - Saturday 11 - 17 h
    Sundays and public holidays 12 - 17 h

    Admission rates (2013) Adults 10 €, 19 - 24 yr 4,50 €,
    Children (0-18) free
    Museum Card free

    NOTE: There is a new dynamic presentation "A Glimpse into the Fascinating World of Frans Hals"

    Frans Hals museum - Courtyard Frans Hals museum - Entrance Frans Hals museum - A room of the museum Frans Hals - Militia painting.
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    FRANS HALS MUSEUM - II. Civic Guard

    by breughel Updated Nov 28, 2011

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    The Frans Hals museum is famous for its collection of 18 Civic Guard paintings of which 5 by Frans Hals, 5 by Frans de Grebber, 2 by Cornelis van Haarlem as well as others painters from Haarlem.

    The town had two militias: The St-Adrian or Cluveniers (= musket) militia and the St-George militia, together about 400 men. They defended the city and provided order and safety. Night patrols were their most important task. Every citizen could join the militia but had to pay his weapon and equipment.
    The officers, colonel, provost, captains, lieutenants, ensign-bearers belonged to the higher society and were appointed by the city council for a three year period. At the end of this period a banquet was organized which was also the occasion for a large group portrait called "schutterstuk" in Dutch. About 125 such paintings have reached us.

    Frans Hals was himself a guardsman of the St-George militia. In his 5 militia pieces he painted 68 portraits. The officers wear sashes with the white, orange or blue colour from the company flag.
    Remarkable with the militias of Frans Hals is that all these persons are depicted in such vivid manner that the visitor has the impression that the banquet is still going on.

    These paintings were not for the normal guardsman wallet. The price was about 60 Florin of that time per portrayed person. In the 17th c. a weaver in Haarlem earned about 200 Florin per year.

    Open : Tuesday - Saturday 11 - 17 h
    Sundays and public holidays 12 - 17 h

    Admission rates (2011) Adults 10 €; 19 - 24 yr 4,50 €; children (0-18) free.
    Museum Card free .

    F. Hals - St-Joris officers banquet 1627 F. Hals - Cluveniers officers banquet 1627 F. Hals - Cluveniers meeting 1633
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    FRANS HALS MUSEUM - III. Dutch Landscapes.

    by breughel Updated Nov 29, 2011

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    There is no museum in the Netherlands without landscapes. They were one of the major themes of the 17th c. paintings.
    Indeed the Dutch Golden century produced hundred thousands of landscapes of all kinds:
    river views and seaside landscapes, "green" landscapes often with a cottage under some trees, winter landscapes usually with skaters on a frozen river or pond, town landscapes and these interiors of churches which were a Dutch speciality.
    These thousand of landscapes were painted not on order but to be sold to anybody who wanted to decorate his interior. Many Dutch families owed such small sized paintings for decoration. These paintings are most often of good quality but do not necessarily show much originality.
    In rooms 20 and 21 are some very good fluvial and seaside landscapes full of atmosphere by Jan Van Goyen, Jacob van Ruisdael, with a view of the dunes near Haarlem (photo 2), and Salomon van Ruysdael with beautiful riverside landscapes.
    There are also winter landscapes, for example Isaack van Ostade who smoothly painted this skating scene on a frozen river with an inn (photo 1). Remarkable with him is the limited range of brown and grey hues as well as the white horse drawing a sleigh which is found in several of his winter landscapes. Isaack van Ostade, brother of Adriaen, died when he was only 28 years old.

    Open : Tuesday - Saturday 11 - 17 h
    Sundays and public holidays 12 - 17 h

    Admission rates (2011) Adults 10 €; 19 - 24 yr 4,50 €; children (0-18) free.
    Museum Card free .

    F. Hals m. - Winter scene, Isaac van Ostade, 1645 Dunes near Haarlem, Jacob van Ruisdael, 1650
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    FRANS HALS MUSEUM - IV. Church Interiors

    by breughel Updated Apr 1, 2011

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    One of the specialities of Dutch painters, a unique speciality I think, was painting church interiors. This is strange and a paradox because many churches in the Northern Netherlands had been stripped of their decoration when the Calvinists took them over from the Catholics.
    In the history of the Northern Netherlands this is referred to as "beeldstormers" or iconoclasts. After taking away statues, paintings and other decoration elements the walls were just chalked white.

    It were these very sober churches which were most often shown on these paintings of church interiors. It seems to me that these specialized artists like Pieter Saenredam (who lived in Haarlem), Emmanuel de Witte, Hendrick van Vliet were mainly interested in the geometrical and perspective aspects of these churches and the light effects. Gerard Houckgeest was the church interior specialist who showed most interest for optic experimentation.

    Open : Tuesday - Saturday 11 - 17 h
    Sundays and public holidays 12 - 17 h

    Admission rates (2011) Adults 10 €; 19 - 24 yr 4,50 €; children (0-18) free.
    Museum Card free .

    St-Bavo church, 1668, Job Berckheyde St-Anna church, 1652, Pieter Saenredam St-Bavo church, Isaac van Nickelen
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    FRANS HALS MUSEUM - V. Still Life Paintings.

    by breughel Updated Apr 1, 2011

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    Still Life paintings were another speciality of the Dutch school.
    The Dutch words "stilleven" was adopted into English as “still life”.

    Among the various types of still lifes two types flourished in Holland:
    The so called "Pronkstukken" luxurious still life showing tin, silver, sometimes gold plated beakers, cups, plates, a nautilus shell, Venetian glassware.The objects reflects each other and are posed on precious tissues. These still lifes often showed oysters, crab and a half peeled lemon
    Willem Claesz Heda was a master of these "pronk" still lifes rendering different materials and fabrics and the reflections of light on them. Photo 1 shows a still life with pie, silver ewer and crab (1658) and photo 2 a banket piece with cheese and fruit by Pieter Claesz (1623).

    The other type is the still life called "ontbijtgen" (breakfast), bread, fruit, various cheeses more or less old. In the 17th c. the Netherlands were already well known for their large export of cheese.
    Photo 3 shows cheese en fruits by Floris Claesz van Dijck (1613).

    Open : Tuesday - Saturday 11 - 17 h
    Sundays and public holidays 12 - 17 h

    Admission rates (2011) Adults 10 €; 19 - 24 yr 4,50 €; children (0-18) free.
    Museum Card free .

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    FRANS HALS MUSEUM - VI. Sex or innocence?!

    by breughel Updated Apr 1, 2011

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    This painting "the Monk and Nun" from 1591, by Cornelis Cornelsz van Haarlem, is the most looked at painting of the museum.

    Two explanations: this scene is a satire of the dissolute life of monks and nuns of that time. The wine and the fruit are symbols of libertinage.

    In the former catalogues of the museum the painting is referred to as the "Miracle of Haarlem". According to the legend a nun from Haarlem was accused of having secretly given birth. Her detractors wanted to prove her maternity by pinching her breast. If milk would come out her fault would be proved.
    The painting shows a monk "expert in medical sciences" pinching her breast. No milk came out her breast but well wine! The devotion and the innocence of the nun became evident to all.
    In this version the wine and the fruits evoke the virginity.

    It's up to the museum visitor to decide what version he retains.

    Open : Tuesday - Saturday 11 - 17 h
    Sundays and public holidays 12 - 17 h

    Admission rates (2011) Adults 10 €; 19 - 24 yr 4,50 €; children (0-18) free.
    Museum Card free .

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    Frans Hals Museum

    by roamer61 Updated May 20, 2005

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    This marvelous museum shows some of the famous 17th century artists works, primarily the group portraits of the civic guards. The accompanying picture shows just one of these masterworks. In addition, there are works by some of his contempories such as Bray. The museum is situated around a garden that is delightful during good weather. Allow at least an hour.

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    Frans hals museum: Paintings made by Dutch masters

    by AMOQUE Updated Oct 9, 2003

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    16th and 17th century Dutch paintings. Genres: Portraits, still lifes, landscapes, historical and narrative works and scenes from everyday life.

    Lots of Frans Hals paintings are exposed here. For example: Five large civic guard paintings, three regent group portraits and various individual portraits.
    But also work made by other painters (Jacob van Ruisdael, Johannes Verspronck, Judith Leyster etc.) from this periode are exposed.

    There is also a comprehensive collection of furniture, Haarlem silver and pottery.

    Look out for the lovely eighteenth-century doll's house. It's modelled on an Amsterdam merchant's house.

    The Frans Hals Museum has a 17 th century courtyard. There is a maze of boxwood hedges. When the weather is nice, it's a great place to take a break in between looking at art.

    Open:
    Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 5pm
    Sundays and public holidays:
    12 noon - 5 p.m.
    Closed on 25 December and January 1st

    Entrance:
    Adults: 5,40 euro
    65+ : 4,00 euro
    Groups, per person: 4,00 euro
    19: free

    The museum has a very nice courtyard
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    Alms House for old men

    by rexvaughan Written Apr 18, 2004

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    This is a wonderful little museum and the history of the building is good. It was built in the 17th Century as an almshouse for old men. It is great to see what a handsome building the city of Haarlem built just to care for those folks. Don't miss the courtyard as well as the museum.

    Above the entry Old Man with alms box - original is over entrance Courtyard of the museum Front entrance to the museum
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    Frans Hals Museum

    by martin_nl Written Nov 24, 2002

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    The Frans Hals Museum or Museum of the Dutch Golden Age is housed in a picturesque 17th century building which still eminates the atmosphere of that time. It is situated in the middle of the historic centre of Haarlem, the town where painting of the Dutch Golden Age first started to flourish. The Frans Hals Museum offers a unique impression of the art of that time.

    The museum houses paintings not only by Frans Hals, but also by Ruisdael, Jan Steen, Saenredam, Van Goyen, Heda as well as many other painters. The hundreds of paintings hang between oak tables and cabinets full of silver and porcelain. In the centre of the museum there is a beautiful courtyard located.

    Frans Hals Museum

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    Frans Hals museum - a break from Rembrandt!

    by sarahandgareth Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Hals is sometimes forgotten in the pantheon of Dutch old masters - there's some serious competition, what with Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck and so forth - but I think that his portraits in particular are exceptionally subtle and lifelike. He produced dozens of fine portraits of Dutch (and especially Haarlem) luminaries, portraits which, like those of Rembrandt, very vividly capture both the frailties and the qualities of his subjects. Someone once said, I think, that Hals paints with dozens of shades of black, and looking at the clothes and backgrounds in many of his pictures, it's hard to argue!

    The museum itself is also in an interesting building, with some work by other Dutch artists of the same period usually on display. Look, too, for the bullet holes which mark an important event in Dutch history, much better explained by the plaque in the building than by me!

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    FRANS HALSMUSEUM

    by RORRO72 Written Apr 13, 2003

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    Este museo reúne los retartos del maestro y trabajos de otros grandes artistas, por lo que su visita es un deber para los amantes de la pintura holandesa.
    Alojado en una casa de hospedaje donde el artista pasó sus últimos y empobrecidos años, la colección se focaliza en la Escuela de Haarlem del siglo XVII, que es vista como el pináculo de arte manierista holandés. Ocho grupos de retratos por Hals, detallando las compañías de la Guardia Cívica son el orgullo y joya del museo, revelando la excepcional atención que ponía el artista a los estados de ánimo. No debe perderse también dos pinturas conocidas como Los Regentes y las Regentas de las Casas de Acogida de Ancianos (1644).
    Entre otros tesoros están los curiosos trabajos del maestro de Hal, el artista flamenco Carel van Mander: ilustraciones en los techos de la anatomía humana con alusiones bíblicas y mitológicas.

    Frans Halsmuseum

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    Visit the Frans...

    by conny_bazen Updated Sep 2, 2002

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    Visit the Frans Halsmuseum.
    Frans Hals was a painter who lived from 1580 untill 1666. In the museum you will find a lot of work from him but also paintings from other famous Dutch painters like Jan Steen......
    There are also some antique furniture, a beautiful old dollshouse from the 18th century, glassware and ceramics (also 18th century)
    (this picture is a postcard)

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    Frans Hals Museum

    by Airpunk Written Sep 29, 2013

    In my opinion, the number one place to visit in Haarlem - at least if you like art. The museum grew out of the city's collection which was exhibited in the town hall. It was moved to a 17th century building complex, a former almshouse for old men, in 1913. The garden is preserved and can be used for a short break in summertime.
     
    Hals takes a very special role among the Dutch artists as he portrayed people who were usually not shown on paintings. The laughing boy, the lute player, a comedian called "Pekelharing" and the old lady "Malle Babbe" are surely among his best works. Hals was able to do everything with just a few strokes of which every single one is visible in the picture. His paintings have a different impression seen from a distance compared to an observation from just a short distance.
     
    The core of the collection are the Frans Hals paintings, but the museum understands itself as a museum of Dutch 17th century painting. It also has a huge 18th century doll house. The museum has often good temporary exhibitions which include the loan of other works from Hals from all over the world (especially in the Frans Hals year 2013). Therefore, the visit is surely worth the 10,00 EUR (2013) entry fee. Depending on the exhibition, plan between one and two hours for it. There is an audioguide included in the entry fee, but I do not remember in which (or if) other languages beside Dutch and English it was offered.

    Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
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  • An Unpretentious Museum

    by netminerva Written Mar 27, 2005

    This museum is well laid out and is quite sparsely visited, at least by Netherlands museum's standards. The musum's collection happily has an extensive range of paintings from the period. The inner courtyard of the "house" is very tranquil and serene.

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