Hals’s first civic guard painting: the officers of the Civic Guard of St George at their farewell banquet. These officers served from 1612 to 1615.
Frans Hals has used a straightforward composition to show the hierarchy among the officers. The tip of the flag is the top of an imaginary pyramid within which the officers are ranged. On the left at the head of the table sits the colonel, with the provost marshal on his right. They are the highest-ranking officers. Then come the three captains and finally the three lieutenants. Around them stand the three ensigns and the servant. Ensigns, usually young men of good family, were the only members to stay for longer than three years; they could keep their position as long as they were unmarried. Two ensigns in this painting, Boudewijn van Offenberg and Jacob Schout, were still ensigns in 1627, and also appear in the painting of the Civic Guard of St George dating from 1627. The ensigns carry the flags of the Civic Guard of St George, blue and yellow che-quers at the top, and red and white stripes at the bottom, with the arms of Haarlem in the centre. The seated captain in the foreground is Nicolaes van der Meer.
Frans Hals painted his portrait again in 1631, together with that of his wife, Cornelia Vooght.