Frans Hals the Elder was a Dutch Golden Age painter, notable for his loose painterly brushwork, and helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals was also instrumental in the evolution of 17th century group portraiture. He was a master of a technique that utilized something previously seen as a flaw in painting, the visible brushstroke. The soft curling lines of Hals' brush are always clear upon the surface: “materially just lying there, flat, while conjuring substance and space in the eye.” Hals was for a long time regarded as a competent but limited painter whose consistent neglect of any subjects other than portraits gave him no place in the history of significant art. It was not until the 19th century that interest in his work was revived. He influenced Edouard Manet with his free style and Vincent van Gogh with his subtle range of colors. In modern times he has been appreciated for the serious and excellent realist painter that he was.