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Rare Jan van Mieris Self-Portrait Acquired by Leiden’s Museum De Lakenhal

July 8, 2014
Jan Van Mieris Autoportrait, vers 1685 Oil on canvas: 80,\.4 x 64,\.3 cm,  Leyde, Museum De Lakenhal. Photo : Bob Haboldt & Co

Jan van Mieris (1660-1690) Self-portrait,1685
Oil on canvas: 80.4 x 64.3 cm
Leiden, Museum De Lakenhal.
Photo : Bob Haboldt & Co

The Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden, The Netherlands, has acquired a rare self-portrait by the 17th Dutch painter Jan van Mieris, son of the better known Frans van Mieris the Elder, from Old Master painting dealer Bob Habolt, reports the Art Tribune. Frans the Elder, along with Gerrit Dou and others, was one of the fijnschilders, or “fine painters” who created genre scenes and portraits that dazzled with brilliantly depicted surfaces and textures like velvet, silk, glass- and metal-ware, among others.  There’s another self-portrait in the Kunshtalle Hamburgh from 1688 (below).  Jan’s brother Willem as also an accomplished artist.

According to the museum’s Web site, Jan van Mieris’ extant body of work covers some twenty paintings.  Museum director Meta Knol: “After centuries of wandering the painting is now back ‘home’ in Leiden. It fits perfectly with our collection of the best paintings of the Golden Age. ”

The self-portrait was executed in 1685 and shows the 25-year-old artist staring directly at the viewer, holding paintbrushes in his left hand. During his short career, van Mieris painted portraits and genre scenes. The museum claims: “The painter made the self-portrait on the eve of his departure for Rome, perhaps especially for his famous father, the painter Frans van Mieris the Elder.”  In 1688, he traveled to Italy with stops in Venice, Florence and Rome. He died in Rome on March 17, 1690, exactly three months to the day before his 30th birthday.

The museum’s Web site notes: “The acquisition was made possible with support from the Rembrandt Society, thanks to her BankGiro Purchase Lottery Fund and its Fund Theme 17th-Century Painting and the Mondriaan Fund.”

Jan van Mieris, Self-Portrait, 1688, Kunsthalle Hamburg.

Jan van Mieris, Self-Portrait, 1688, Kunsthalle Hamburg.

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