The Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem is also known as the museum of the Golden Age. It is housed in the 17th-century Oudemannenhuis, which used to be a house for elderly men.
The building with its typically Dutch façades lies in a 17th-century court of almshouses. The museum has an annex; museum De Hallen on the Grote Markt. Here is a large collection of modern and contemporary art. In the museum you can admire hundreds of paintings, not only by Frans Hals, but also by his predecessors, students and collegues. It offers a general survey of the Haarlem art of painting from the Golden Age.
In the 17th century is was common that rich citizens had their portrait painted, mainly to depict their social status. Frans Hals was specialized in portraits. Among the paintings are five large group portraits of the Haarlem militias. Frans Hals tried to bring life into his portraits by conveying the impression that the person in the portrait was moving.