This civic guard portrait illustrates yet again how the important posts in the city rotated among a few prominent, wealthy families. Colonel Johan Claesz Loo owned the brewery De Drie Leliën and was also a member of Haarlem town council. From 1630 to 1633 he was colonel of the Calivermen. Sergeant Nicolaes Loo was the colonel’s son. He also had a brewery: ’t Hoeffijser. The colonel’s son-in-law, Florens van der Hoef, was a captain. He was a councillor, sheriff and burgomaster, and held various posts in the civic guard. Captain Nicolaes Grauwert was the colonel’s brother-in-law. He, similarly, was a councillor and sheriff.
Tradition has it that the second figure from the left in the back row is Frans Hals himself. It is true that Hals had been a member of the civic guard since 1612, but ordinary members never appeared in civic guard portraits. It would therefore have been an extraordinary privilege if this is indeed the portrait of Frans Hals. Perhaps he was allowed to give himself a place amidst the officers and sergeants because he had already painted five large group portraits of the civic guard.