The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds the most important collection of paintings in America by the celebrated Dutch artist Frans Hals (1582/83–1666), whose portraits and genre scenes were famous in his lifetime for their immediacy and dazzling brushwork. This exhibition will present thirteen paintings by Hals, including two lent from private collections, and several works by other Netherlandish masters.
Several of the Museum's paintings by Hals are famous, especially the early Merrymakers at Shrovetide (ca. 1616) and the so-called Yonker Ramp and His Sweetheart (1623), both bequeathed to the Museum by Benjamin Altman in 1913. Also included in the exhibition will be two loans from private collections in New York—the small, exquisite Portrait of Samuel Ampzing (1630), on copper, and the well-known Fisher Girl (1630–32). A selection of other Dutch paintings from the Museum's collection and a few engravings will set Hals's work in the context of his native Haarlem and will help clarify how exceptional his animated poses and virtuoso brushwork were at the time. A portrait by Manet, inspired by Hals, will also demonstrate how strongly Hals anticipated Impressionist effects.