Category Archives: Franz Hals


Portrait of Franz Wouters 1645

It’s fantastic finally to have Art Galleries and Museums opening again in London  – though you do have to book just to visit, as well as having to book for the wonderful exhibitions now on.

I’ve been attending an excellent Further Education course of Forgeries and Fakes on Zoom, as well as a talk on the same subject by Dr David Bellingham, Programme Director at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. He spoke about the many copies made of paintings by Franz Hals (1582-1666) because his work was so popular and mentioned the exhibition of his male portraits at the Wallace Collection, in Manchester Square.

The Wallace Collection is one of my favourite galleries – I always very much enjoyed the Sunday morning tours by curators who made even porcelain snuff boxes interesting.

It’s a small exhibition of his male portraits including the famous ‘Laughing Cavalier’. The curator assured me that the paintings on show were all bona fide and not copies.

I’ll have to remember to read the labels of paintings in future and see if they say by xxx or from the School of ….

The ‘Laughing Cavalier’ painted in 1624, is always fun to see – you feel he is smiling at you personally. But what I found most interesting was that his painting of François Wouters, painted in 1645, with his plain collar and cuffs just peeping out of his cloak, looks impressionistic and so modern. The others, with their elaborate lace collars, are very much in the precise detailed style we’ve come to  associate with his work.

Many thanks to all of you who wished me Many Happy Returns on October 8th – my 90th birthday –  and wrote saying you were enjoying my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’.

Read more of my stories in my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’ and her previous posts Abby’s Tales of Then and Now. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site and get a taster for free. ‘Woman in a White Coat’ is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £9.99 in paperback. ‘Abby’s Tales of Then and Now’ is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £12.99 for the 7” x 9” paperback. Both are illustrated in colour.

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