2024: Frans Hals Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum will hold a solo exhibition of Frans Hals with over 50 paintings in Amsterdam from 16 February to 9 June 2024 (also in London in 2023 and Berlin end 2024).

Frans Hals, Lachende Jongen on display in the Frans Hals Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 2024

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will stage its first-ever major solo exhibition of the Dutch artist Frans Hals during the first half of 2024. Around a quarter of the 200 known surviving paintings by Frans Hals will be on display. Online timeslot ticket reservations will be essential to visit the Frans Hals exhibition. Buy tickets online in advance — although the show is less likely to sell out within days as the Vermeer exhibition did in 2023.

Frans Hals Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam in 2024

Following exhibitions devoted to Rembrandt (in 2015 and 2019) and Vermeer (in 2023), the Rijksmuseum is staging its first major exhibition devoted to Frans Hals from 16 February to 9 June 2024. A similar exhibition is on show at the National Gallery in London from 30 September 2023 to 21 January 2024 and in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin from 12 July to 3 November 2024.

This is the first exhibition of his work on such a scale since the 1989-1990 show which visited The Royal Academy of Arts, London, the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, and The National Gallery of Art, Washington. It is also the first time the Rijksmuseum will stage a solo exhibition to honor Frans Hals.

Frans Hals

Frans Hals, The Lute Player on display in the Frans Hals Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 2024
Frans Hals, The Lute Player © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre) / Franck Raux

Frans Hals (Antwerp 1582/1584 – Haarlem 1666) is regarded as one of the most innovative artists of the 17th century, for his brisk, impressionistic painting style. With unparalleled boldness and talent, he captured the vitality of his subjects – from stately regents to cheerful musicians and children – and made them live and breathe on the canvas.

Frans Hals’s original style and technique earned him a reputation in his own time as a virtuoso, a status equaled only by the likes of Rembrandt in the Netherlands and Velázquez in Spain. He was an in-demand portraitist among the wealthy citizenry of Haarlem and other cities in the region.

The 50 works in this exhibition testify to the aim of Frans Hals to convincingly portray his subjects as living, breathing, kinetic individuals. To this end, Hals deliberately and boldly pursued a unique personal style that was utterly original in the context of 17th-century Dutch painting. He used his quick and lively brushwork style to imbue his subjects with an unprecedented level of dynamism.

The exhibition will also dig deeper into the identities and social milieus of the people Hals painted, bringing them even more to life. Malle Babbe, for example, is believed to have been a familiar figure on the streets of Hals’s home city of Haarlem, while the man portrayed in Peeckelhaering was probably an English actor touring the Netherlands with a theatre group.

Frans Hals — Decline and Rediscovery

Frans Hals, Catharina Hoof with her Nurse on display in the Frans Hals Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 2024
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie / Christoph Schmidt

Over the course of the 18th century, however, Hals’s work gradually fell into obscurity. It wasn’t until the 19th century that French art critic and journalist Théophile Thoré-Bürger (1807–1869) rediscovered his work, as well as that of Vermeer. Until the 1960s, Frans Hals was regarded as one of the ‘big three’ of 17th-century Dutch painting, alongside Rembrandt and Vermeer. Later, however, interest in the artist waned significantly – reason enough for the Rijksmuseum, The National Gallery, London, and Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, to place him on the highest possible pedestal and to show how truly boundary-breaking he was as an artist.

The artist’s expressive, gestural brushwork has always been seen as the most distinctive quality of his art, and he can justifiably be described as the forerunner of Impressionism. Hals’s virtuosic style influenced fellow artists Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, James McNeil Whistler, Claude Monet, Max Liebermann, Vincent van Gogh, John Singer Sargent, and others. Almost all of them visited Haarlem to admire his portraits of individuals and civil militia groups.

Frans Hals Paintings in the Rijksmuseum Exhibition 2024

Frans Hals, Malle Babbe on display in the Frans Hals Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 2024
Frans Hals, Malle Babbe © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie / Christoph Schmidt

Frans Hals presents selected key paintings spanning the artist’s entire oeuvre, which currently comprises some 200 works in all.

The full list of the around 50 paintings that will be on display in the Frans Hals Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in 2024 has not been disclosed yet, but the following paintings have been confirmed:

The Laughing Cavalier (1624, Wallace Collection, London), which is being lent for the first time since 1870; Portrait of Catharina Hooft with her Nurse (c. 1619/20) and Malle Babbe (c. 1640, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin); Family Group in a Landscape (c. 1646, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bomemisza, Madrid); Fruit and Vegetable Seller (1630, private collection); The Lute Player (c. 1623, Musée du Louvre, Paris); and various portraits of civil militia and regent groups from the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem.

Frans Hals Exhibition Rijksmuseum Visitors Information

Malle Babbe (detail) on display in the Frans Hals Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 2024

Buy Tickets for the Frans Hals Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

The Frans Hals exhibition will be in the Phillips Wing of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, from 16 February 2024 to 9 June 2024. Special tickets will be necessary and these must be bought online with timeslot reservations. The indicated time is for entering the Frans Hals exhibition — the regular Rijksmuseum may be visited before and / or after visiting the Frans Hals exhibition.

Regular Rijksmuseum tickets are around €23 and the Frans Hals exhibition surcharge is likely to cost around €30 (and include regular museum admission). Separate exhibition-only tickets are not sold.

Opening Hours of the Frans Hals Exhibition 2024

The opening hours of the Frans Hals exhibition are the same as for the rest of the Rijkmuseum but only the available time slot is really relevant. The Rijksmuseum is open daily from 9:00 to 17:00.

At busy periods, admission to the Frans Hals exhibition is likely from a separate door — don’t arrive too early, or too late. At quieter times, tickets are only checked at the entrance to the special exhibition hall (near the Asian pavilion).

Frans Hals Exhibitions in 2023 and 2024

The special Frans Hals exhibition will be staged in three museums with minor differences. The three museums are:

  • The National Gallery, London, from 30 September 2023 to 21 January 2024
  • The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, from 16 February 2024 to 9 June 2024
  • Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, from 12 July 2024 to 3 November 2024

Tickets are likely to be the cheapest (and timeslots easiest to book) in Berlin.

Henk Bekker in armor

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing online. He is particularly interested in history, art, and culture. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. In addition to European-Traveler.com, he also owns a travel website on the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland and maintains statistical websites on car sales and classic car auction prices. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London.

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