Jonathan Jones has a nice post over at his blog about the first painting he remembers from childhood (albeit second-hand), was a Frans Hals. (Curiously, the image with his post is this Rijksmuseum painting, not this Hals portrait, which Jones ID’s as ‘his first painting.’)
Jones’ post — and don’t miss his links — took me back to the first painting I remember from my childhood. It’s also a Hals, Portrait of a Member of the Haarlem Civic Guard (1636-38, at left). The painting is now at the National Gallery, one of the works that Andrew Mellon bought from the Hermitage collection by way of a deal with Joseph Stalin.
Like Jones, my first experience with ‘my Hals’ was with something other than the real deal. I was in fourth grade and my teacher, Miss Brown, showed us a color print of a Hals. (She also showed us a Monet, but I don’t remember which one.) She leaned the print up against the blackboard at the front of the classroom and told us to write a paragraph or two about who this man is, why he’s posed that way, why he’s clothed that way, and so on. I have no idea what I wrote (thank god), but every time I’m at the National Gallery I see that orange-red sash and suddenly I’m back in Miss Brown’s classroom…
Who else remembers ‘their first painting?’ Leave it in the comments here or tweet it to me!