Old Masters in the Frans Hals Museum
The Frans Hals Museum boasts the largest collection of paintings by Frans Hals in the world. In addition to paintings by Hals, the museum has work by his predecessors and his contemporaries. Furniture, ceramics, glass, and silver are also on display.
The earliest paintings date from the 16th century. They are primarily biblical depictions. Around 1590 Haarlem became the middle point of a new style, Mannerism. Typical of this style are masterfully painted figures in contorted poses.
In the 17th century, Haarlem was a powerful and prosperous city and a centre of art and culture. The painters of the Golden Age concentrated on everyday subjects: landscapes, genre scenes, portraits, still lifes, and city views.
Frans Hals, the most famous Haarlem painter of the Golden Age, specialised in portraits. He painted in a very assured and deft style. The Frans Hals Museum owns five large civic guard pieces by him.