MIERIS, Frans van, the Elder
Dutch painter (b. 1635, Leiden, d. 1681, Leiden).
was a Dutch genre and portrait painter. The leading member of a Leiden family of painters, his sons Jan (1660-1690) and Willem (1662?C1747) and his grandson Frans van Mieris the Younger (1689?C1763) were also accomplished genre painters. Frans was the son of Jan Bastiaans van Mieris, a goldsmith, carver of rubies and diamond setter at Leiden. His father wished to train him to his own business, but Frans preferred drawing, and took service with Abraham Toorenvliet, a glazier who kept a school of design. In his father's shop he became familiar with the ways and dress of people of distinction. His eye was fascinated in turn by the sheen of jewelry and stained glass; and, though he soon gave up the teaching of Toorenvliet for that of Gerard Dou and Abraham van den Tempel, he acquired a manner which had more of the finish of the exquisites of the Dutch school than of the breadth of the disciples of Rembrandt. It should be borne in mind that he seldom chose panels of which the size exceeded 12 to 15 inches, and whenever his name is attached to a picture above that size we may surely assign it to his son Willem or to some other imitator. Unlike Dou when he first left Rembrandt, or Jan Steen when he started on an independent career, Mieris never ventured to design figures as large as life. Characteristic of his art in its minute proportions is a shiny brightness and metallic polish. The subjects which he treated best are those in which he illustrated the habits or actions of the wealthier classes; but he sometimes succeeded in homely incidents and in portrait, and not unfrequently he ventured on allegory. He repeatedly painted the satin skirt which Ter Borch brought into fashion, and he often rivalled Ter Borch in the faithful rendering of rich and highly-coloured woven tissues. But he remained below Ter Borch and Metsu, because he had not their delicate perception of harmony or their charming mellowness of touch and tint, and he fell behind Gerard Dou, because he was hard and had not his feeling for effect by concentrated light and shade. In the form of his composition, which sometimes represents the framework of a window enlivened with greenery, and adorned with bas-reliefs within which figures are seen to the waist, his model is certainly Dou. It is a question whether Houbraken has truly recorded this master's birthday. One of his best-known pieces, a party of ladies and gentlemen at an oyster luncheon, in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, bears the date of 1650. Celebrated alike for composition and finish, it would prove that Mieris had reached his prime at the age of fifteen. Another beautiful example, the "Doctor Feeling a Lady's Pulse" in the gallery of Vienna, is dated 1656; and Waagen, in one of his critical essays, justly observes that it is a remarkable production for a youth of twenty-one. In 1657 Mieris was married at Leiden in the presence of Jan Potheuck, a painter, and this is the earliest written record of his existence on which we can implicitly rely. Of the numerous panels by Mieris, twenty-nine at least are dated--the latest being an allegory, long in the Ruhl collection at Cologne, illustrating what he considered the kindred vices of drinking, smoking and dicing, in the year 1680. Mieris had numerous and distinguished patrons. He received valuable commissions from Archduke Leopold, the elector-palatine, and Cosimo III de' Medici, grand-duke of Tuscany. His practice was large and lucrative, but never engendered in him either carelessness or neglect. If there be a difference between the painter's earlier and later work, it is that the former was clearer and more delicate in flesh, whilst the latter was often darker and more livid in the shadows. When he died his clients naturally went over to his son Willem, who in turn bequeathed his painting-room to his son Frans. But neither Willem nor Frans the younger equalled Frans the elder. Related Paintings of MIERIS, Frans van, the Elder :. | The Peasant Inn | Refreshment with Oysters | A Woman in a Red Jacket Feeding a Parrot | The Lacemaker | Duet |
Related Artists:Eduard von Gebhardt
Franz Karl Eduard von Gebhardt (1838-1925) was a Baltic German historical painter. He was born in Järva-Jaani, Estonia, the son of a Protestant clergyman, and studied first at the Academy of St. Petersburg (1855-58). In 1860 he became the pupil of Wilhelm Sohn at Desseldorf, where he permanently settled, and became professor at the academy in 1873. One of his students was the German-Brasilian painter Wilhelm Techmeier.
Italian High Renaissance Painter, ca.1460-1535
was an Italian painter of the Renaissance. He was born at Ferrara, but moved to Bologna by the his early twenties, and would be more influential to the Bolognese school of painting. However, many artists worked in both nearby cities, and thus others consider him a product of the School of Ferrara. There are claims that he trained with Cosimo Tura. In 1483 he painted his famous Madonna and Child with the Bentivoglio family, and other frescoes, on the walls of the Bentivoglio chapel in San Giacomo Maggiore, and he followed this with many other works. He was a great friend of Francesco Francia, who was much influenced by him. In 1509 he went to Mantua, where his patron was the Marquis Francesco Gonzaga, and he eventually died there. His Madonna and Child enthroned is in the National Gallery, London, but his chief works are at Bologna. His sons, Ippolito and Girolamo, were also painters, and so was Girolamo's son, Lorenzo the younger (1537-1583). Taddeo di Bartolo
Italian Gothic Era Painter, ca.1362-1422
Italian painter. Taddeo, son of the barber Bartolo di Mino, was under 25 in 1386 when he was first recorded, painting statuettes of angels for the new choir-stalls in Siena Cathedral. In 1388-9 he was a counsellor to the Cathedral Works and in 1389 he was first listed as an independent painter. His earliest dated work is the polyptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (1389; sold London, Christie's, 8 Dec 1950), painted for the chapel of S Paolo at Collegarli, near San Miniato al Tedesco.