Dirck Hals

1591 - 1656

Dirck Hals was born and worked in Haarlem; he was the younger brother of Frans Hals, who influenced him with his painterly and colourful technique. He may have trained with Willem Buytewech, and entered the Guild of St. Luke in Haarlem in 1627. In the late 1620s he worked with the architectural painter Dirck van Delen. He is recorded in Leiden in the 1640s. He was a genre painter, specialising in 'merry company' scenes, a genre developed earlier in the century by Willem Buytewech, Esaias van de Velde and David Vinckboons. Dirck Hals popularised this genre by introducing a better sense of space, and by using a quick, lively brushwork to depict the rich and sophisticated costumes of the fashionable elite of the early 17th century. His influence spread beyond Haarlem and reached Amsterdam painters including Pieter Codde or Willem Duyster.