Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dirck and Frans Hals - Dutch Master Artists

My 10th great grandfather, Dirck Hals and his more famous brother, Frans were Dutch Master artists. Born in Haarlem, Netherlands in the late 1500's, both gained fame for their work although Frans was the more commercially successful and best remembered of the two brothers.

Dirck Hals was probably a student of his older brother, the famous artist, Frans.  Other painters who influenced Dirck were Esaias van de Velde and Willem Buytewech.

Apart from a few portraits, he devoted himself exclusively to the painting of conversation pieces of the cheerful domestic life of prosperous burghers in their houses or gardens.

Less famous than this brother Frans, Dirck was not interested in the serious side of life. His work depicted people in conversation, while flirting, making music, dancing, eating and drinking.

His interiors are often not fully worked out, but rather have an emphasis on fashionable dress and colorful representations.

Dirck's art succeeded in putting across people's high spirits through facial expression, costly dress, posture and loose grouping.

A sample of Dirck's paintings are shown in the photo group below:


Frans and Dirck were the sons of the Franchoijs Hals, from Malinas, and Adriaentgen van Geertenrijck, originally of Amberes, Netherlands.  Also included in the family was their younger brother, Joost.  All of the brothers were born in Haarlem, Netherlands and all were artists. Joost's work was never as popular as his brothers and it is rarely found today.

After the census of 1585, their parents do not appear in further census records in Amberes. They probably emigrated, along with many other citizens, when Spanish troops occupied the city on 17th of August. The group of emigrants were undoubtedly looking for refuge from religious persecutions by the Spanish and fled to Haarlem, Netherlands.

Much of Dirck’s art is still found today, however, a larger number of paintings by Frans has survived the ages. The Frans Hals Museum is located in Haarlem and is a big attraction to artists worldwide.  A statue of Frans in found one of the city parks of that city.

Samples of Frans work are shown in the photo group below:



Dirck Hals – Master Painter

Dirck Hals – Art

Dirck Hals – Paintings

The Dirck Hals Project

Works by Dirck Hals

Frans Hals – Web Museum

Frans Hals Museum – Haarlem

Frans Hals – Web Gallery of Art

Ancestors in Hard Times

log_book Prices have changed a lot over the years.  Years ago, I found an old expense book that was recorded by Robert Nicholas Bennett, Charles Harrison Drew and his wife Elizabeth Bennett Drew. Their income in cash was severely limited. They survived because they lived on a farm and grew most of the food they ate.

Here is a sampling of some entries in the account book:

Cash taken in on farm 1918 (Fort Canyon, Alpine, Utah)

  • April 1st 500 Strawberry plants, Everbearing @1.00 per $5.00Bennett Robert Nicholas on farm
  • April 12th 100 Marshalls @ .30 per 100 .30
  • June 14th 3 Cases Berries @ 1.50 5 cases @ 1.25 10.75
  • June 14th 3 Cups of Berries .30
  • July 10th 5 Cases Currants @ $1.25 6.25
  • July 19th 1 Black Currants @ 1.75 1.75
  • July 19th 3 Strawberries @ 2.50 1@ 2.25 7.25
  • Aug 12th 10 Apples 19.95
  • Sept 2nd 4 Plums 1.60
  • Sept 2nd 2 Pears @ 1.10 2.20
  • Apr 8th 4 Doz Eggs @ .30 1.20

Labor for the Month of May

  • Si Bennett 21 « days @ 3.50 75.20
  • CH Drew 5 days@ 4.50 22.50

Other Expenses

  • 13238 ft Timber @ 3.50 per 46.20
  • Bolts 5.25
  • 75 # Powder 35% 7/8* 17.25
  • 100 No. 6 Caps* 2.10
  • 150 ft Pacific Fuse* 1.20
  • *pd to Tintic Lumber
  • 2# Coffee .70
  • 1/5th of Flowers for Rosa Clara Logie Bennett's Funeral 2.00
  • June Flour 100# Coal 200# Powder 250# 2.75

Income from 1913 while Charles Harrison & Elizabeth Bennett Drew lived in Mammoth, Utah.

Mammoth is located about 10 miles south of Eureka, Utah in the Tintic Mining District.

Charles was a teamster and had his own horse team and wagon servicing that area.

  • Work for Bert Bird    Jan 10th Team 2.50

Apparently Charles charged 2.50 per day for hauling. There are a number of entries during the months for many entities such as MammothDrew Charles Elizabeth Elwood.jpg Supply, George Parsons, Jack Bush, Okey Smith, Ed Montague, Joseph Weeks, Lyn Haws, B. Harper, Mammoth City, Stella Harding and many more.

The listings for income aren't listed as daily occurrences, and expenses for feed was .75 a day. A couple of interesting entries were $2.00 to Mammoth City for the Team at a fire on 6 October,$1.50 for a saddle horse to Mammoth City on 10 October. Two passengers to Eureka on 18

October for $2.00 (he wasn't paid until 10 Nov. but it was in cash then).

Apparently the prices changed during the winter months. There are a number of entries for Mr. Sam Cohn involving trips to Eureka during November and December for $1.00 each.

In 1917, Charles and Elizabeth had moved to Salt Lake City.  Charles was still a teamster and his main loads were coal.  A few entries from that year are as follows:

  • Feb. 14th 1000 # to 349 So. 900 East 1.15
  • Feb 15th 2000# to 834 East 300 So. 2.50
  • Feb 19th 2000# to L.E. Hall 78 East 1st North 2.50

log_book2The House Account for February 1917 consumed all of the earnings. The total expenditures were $94.05. Rent was $12.00, meat cost $3.00. Honey and bacon was .35.

Life has changed since then.  Few of us have farms to supply food during tough economic times.  Prices have changed dramatically, but they are relative to the date.  Movies, dinner, electronics and other ‘stuff’ are notably missing from their list of expenditures.  Who had time and energy for the time and energy to be involved in those activities anyway?   Not folks who were barely surviving in a hard scrabble life.