Dutch painter 17th century - inv. 199

Dutch painter of 17th century

Portrait of a Woman
57 x 42cm
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 199

Lace Room

The work (which has probably suffered from over-zealous restoration and cleaning) shows the traditional methods in Dutch portrait painting from the first forty years of the 17th century, which was mainly centred in Amsterdam, the Hague and Delft. Characterised by beautifully smooth paintwork and technical skill of great precision, these portraits could depict groups or individuals, half or whole busts, with hands visible or not (these elements often depended on the patron’s economic means).
The rather anonymous tone of this painting makes any precise attribution impossible, allowing only a stylistic reference to be made. Scholars have suggested the name of a painter from Delft, Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt (Delft 1567-1641), whose portraits were much in vogue in the Hague and Delft among both private and public patrons. As a result the artist had a large workshop where his sons and pupils could collaborate on the production of many portraits, and often copy them. In this way models by Van Mierevelt would thus be widely diffused throughout the century among Dutch artists.
The type of cap and wide ‘a lattughe’ ruff would indicate a date in the 1630s for this painting.