Frans Hals Museum
Lonely Planet review for Frans Hals Museum
The Frans Hals Museum is a must for anyone interested in the Dutch masters. Kept in an almshouse where Hals spent his final, impoverished years, the collection focuses on the 17th-century Haarlem School, which is regarded as the pinnacle of Dutch mannerist art. Eight group portraits by Hals detailing the companies of the Civic Guard are the museum’s pride and joy, revealing the painter’s exceptional attention to mood and psychological tone. Don’t miss his two paintings known collectively as the Regents & the Regentesses of the Old Men’s Almshouse (1664). Among other treasures are ceiling-high illustrations of the human anatomy with biblical and mythological allusions. Five old masters stolen in 2002 were recovered in 2008 and are back on display.