Frans van Mieris, The puppy,
ca. 1660, St. Petersburg, Hermitage
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Mauritshuis Royal Cabinet of Paintings, The Hague
From the museum website
Praised by contemporaries as the most important of all Leiden “fijnschilders” (masters of fine painting), Frans van Mieris (1635-1681) is best known for his innovative interior scenes and elegant portraits. Although Van Mieris painted serious allegories and portraits, most of his works are thoughtful yet lighthearted genre scenes. Quacks, peasants, elegantly dressed ladies, soldiers and pets appear in different combinations, mostly painted on copper, often stressing themes such as love, deceit, vanity, and imitation. Van Mieris’s pictures were widely copied by contemporaries and influenced many fellow painters, including Vermeer. Intimate in scale, the masterpieces rarely measure more than fifteen square inches.
The works have been selected in consultation with the Van Mieris scholar Otto Naumann, who will also contribute to the catalogue along with other leading scholars.