They were brothers, Frans and Dirck, sons of a Flemish textile worker from Mechelen, Franchoys Hals, and his wife Adriaentgen van Geetrtenrycck of Antwerp. With four-year-old Frans, the parents had fled to the northern Netherlands when the Spanish took over Antwerp in 1585. Eventually the family settled in the humanist center, Haarlem, where Dirck was born six years later. Both sons would become well-known painters of the fledgling Dutch republic. (A third son, Joost, also became a painter, but since he attained nowhere near the fame of his two brothers, even the place of his birth is uncertain; it is believed he was born in Antwerp, however.)
Southgate MT. Children Playing Cards. JAMA. 2005;294(24):3062. doi:10.1001/jama.294.24.3062
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