HALS, Dutch family of painters

Dutch family of painters of Flemish origin. The brothers Frans Hals and Dirck Hals were the sons of Franchoys Hals, a clothworker from Mechelen, who moved to Antwerp, where Frans was born. They left Antwerp in 1585 and by 1591 had settled in Haarlem. Frans Hals was one of the first great artists in the new Dutch Republic and is generally regarded as an outstanding portrait painter. His brother Dirck, who, according to Houbraken, trained under him, was noted for small genre paintings. Five of Frans's sons were painters: Harmen Hals, Frans Hals the Younger and Reynier Hals (1627-1671) were all genre painters, while Nicolaes [Claes] Hals specialized in landscape printing, and Johannes [Jan] Hals (active 1635-74) painted portraits, genre and history subjects. Dirck Hals had seven children by his wife, Agneta Jans (d 1662), the eldest of whom, Anthonie Hals (1621-1702), became a painter and, like his father, executed genre subjects.

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