Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The Richness Of Meagre Company
Franz Hals painted this one. Well, he started painting it. Had a "helper" who painted a lot of it, with enough juice to get mentioned, too; Pieter Codde. Maybe Hals was too tired from naming it to finish it. It's original name is: Officers of the Company of the Amsterdam Crossbow Civic Guard Under Captain Reynier Reael and Lieutenant Cornelis Michielsz. An art critic decided that the men pictured were so slender and his ink was so precious that he'd call them the Meagre Company instead, and the nickname has stuck.
It's hanging around the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. They know a little something about painting in those parts.
Hals was hired because he had a rep for interesting poses for large groups, but he got tired of commuting to Amsterdam from Haarlem, and when the Civic Guard told him to paint faster or he wouldn't get paid, Hals told them that if the postman doesn't come, it's from me. The skinny soldiers hired Codde to finish it for them. People familiar with the two artists can easily tell who did what from looking at the painting. Hals was less fussy and more powerful. I always find that interesting.
I love the black in it. Only Spaniards and Hopper could use black all over the place better.