portrait of a girl c1655 circle or studio of johannes mijtens

Portrait of a Girl c.1655; Circle or Studio of Johannes Mijtens.



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Oil on canvas in a very fine quality carved 17th century frame. The frame is not the original as it has been reduced, expertly, in size; however it of the right period and a work of art in its own right.
The frame bears an old label attributing the portrait to van Dyke.
As was fashionable in Dutch portraiture at this time the sitter clothes are a mixture of high fashion and fantasy. To make the costume seem as timeless as possible the lace collar and cuffs of the period are missing, and the girl is decorated with a draped cloth instead; the hairstyle, however, could not be more fashionable and the pearls, the Baroque jewels par excellence, are clearly displayed.
The sitter's eyes are modestly downcast, her arms across her abdomen ... a symbol of future fertility ..and as upper class girls married at 12-14 years of age, it is very likely that this is a pre-marriage portrait. This is a beautiful and quietly moving glimpse of a life lived over 350 years ago. Life expectancy was short and childbirth was dangerous. This girl's faraway look and slight smile make one wonder how her life progressed.....
JOHANNES MIJTENS (JAN MYTENS) 1614-1670, who came from The Hague, made an exceptional contribution to Netherlandish portraiture during what was to become known as the Dutch Golden Age. His sitters are always shown in a landscape setting and sometimes wear fantasy costumes, but for the most part they are dressed in a combination of contemporary fashion and fantasy. Although Mytens was influenced by Van Dyck and Van Honthorst his style is his own.
Mytens became a member of The Hague Guild of Saint Luke in 1642 and helped set up the Confrerie Pictura. He painted for Dutch royalty and specialised in portraiture, genre pieces, and historical allegories. Mytens was especially skilled at rendering the clothing of the affluent Dutch. According to the RKD, his students were Nicolaes Lissant, Gerard de Nijst, Adriaen Stalpert van der Wiele, Pouwels van de Velde, Andries Thijsz. de Wit, and Urbanus Talibert van Yperen. He died in The Hague.
SIZE: 41 x 34.75 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: From the Collection of a Distinguished German Lady.
Internal Ref: 9031


Height = 104 cm (41")
Width = 88 cm (35")
Depth = 5 cm (2")

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