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Portrait of an unknown man, painting made by Frans Hals

Painted late in his career, this portrait displays Hals’ distinctive painting technique that gave his sitters an immediacy and brilliance previously unknown in the Netherlands. Lighting them from the left, he painted quickly with loose brush strokes to depict light on form, alla prima or ‘wet-on-wet’, with few pigments: only four are used in this painting, black, white, red and a yellow ochre.