Hals’s fame rests on his lively and spirited portraits, although he also painted some religious works and genre scenes. He worked almost exclusively in Haarlem, where he developed a remarkable fluency in painting and achieved a sense of immediacy and spontaneity through his animated brushwork. This was invariably combined with animated compositions, especially in group portraits of members of the civic guard and the city’s regents. He lived a long and productive life, and is today known especially for his series of large-scale group portraits, executed for his native Haarlem. His work was much admired by artists such as Manet and the Impressionists in the nineteenth century.