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Frans Hals, Portrait of a Man, c. 1660

In the first half of the seventeenth century, Frans Hals was the leading portrait painter in Haarlem. He worked on till a ripe old age, probably due to financial problems. This impressive portrait, for example, was painted when he was about eighty.

By that point, Hals was working more freely than ever before, and he portrayed the man with broad, rapid brushstrokes. The glimmers of light in the dark eyes and the mobile lips lend personality and liveliness to the portrait.

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