New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art owns more paintings by Frans Hals than any other museum outside of Haarlem, his own town, which of course is home to the Frans Hals Museum. They were all on display, plus an additional two lent from private collections, in a special exhibition from July to October 2011. This beautifully illustrated extended essay, a reprint of the Summer 2011 MMA "Bulletin," was prepared for the occasion by Walter Liedtke, who for thirty years has been curator of Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Met and knows these paintings more intimately than anyone else. One can consider this a supplement to the fifty-page discussion of the paintings in Dr. Liedtke's exhaustive, two-volume collection catalogue of the museum's Dutch paintings from 2007; it is not intended to be a thorough discussion or even as comprehensive a survey as a general exhibition catalogue like that of this summer's "Eye to Eye" exhibition in the Haarlem museum (see the review on this website). Rather, it is a discursive and general overview and nicely integrates information on Hals's life and on cultural and historical aspects of the Low Countries in the seventeenth century with discussions of individual and group portraiture and elements of Hals's particular style--the so-called "rough" style as opposed to the "neat" style of other contemporary painters. The author discusses Hals's acquaintance with Flemish prototypes of his painting; his study trip to his native Antwerp; the influence of Rubens, who visited Haarlem in 1612, and of Caravaggio; and his painting in relation to that of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen, and others. About a dozen of Hals's major works are presented, spanning about four decades of his long career, and works of eleven other artists are presented by way of comparison. There is a total of forty-five illustrations, several of them full-page reproductions of Hals's works, excellent in color and clarity. These fine illustrations and the authoritative text make this is a good recommendation for someone who wants a concisely packaged introduction to Hals's work.