Frans Hals, the son of a weaver, was born in Antwerp some time between 1581 and 1585. Hals joined Haarlem’s artist guild in 1610. Hals was famous for his loose manner of painting, referred to by his contemporaries as 'the rough style'. This style has been both admired and reviled down the centuries. Hals tended to concentrate on portraits, and painted some superb civic guard pieces. He died in 1666 and was buried at St Bavo's, Haarlem’s principal church.
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