A View beyond Delft: Johannes Vermeer’s Woman with a Lute and Its Relationship to Frans van Mieris

 Johannes Vermeer,  A Woman with a Lute,  ca. 1662–64,  New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art

This article provides a critical overview of Johannes Vermeer’s responses to Frans van Mieris’s work before focusing on a case of direct influence involving the former’s Woman with a Lute from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the latter’s Woman Playing a Theorbo-Lute from the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, which seems to have been overlooked in the literature on Vermeer. The Delft artist’s admiration for the work of his Leiden contemporary is also visible in the former’s Guitar Player (London, Kenwood House). In contrast to Vermeer’s paintings, van Mieris’s music scene made a strong impact on contemporary artists.

DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2017.9.1.16
 Johannes Vermeer,  Woman with a Pearl Necklace,  1661–63,  Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie
Fig. 4 Johannes Vermeer, Woman with a Pearl Necklace, 1661–63, oil on canvas, 51.2 x 45.1 cm. Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie, inv. 912B (artwork in the public domain)
 Frans van Mieris,  Woman before a Mirror,  ca. 1662,  Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie
Fig. 5 Frans van Mieris, Woman before a Mirror, ca. 1662, oil on panel, 30 x 23 cm. Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie, inv. 838 (artwork in the public domain)
 Johannes Vermeer,  Woman with a Lute,  ca. 1662–64,  New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fig. 1 Johannes Vermeer, Woman with a Lute, ca. 1662–64, oil on canvas, 51.4 x 45.7 cm. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Collis P. Huntington, 1900, inv. 25.110.24 (artwork in the public domain)
 Frans van Mieris,  Man and a Woman with Two Dogs, known as “Tea, 1660,  The Hague, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis
Fig. 2 Frans van Mieris, Man and a Woman with Two Dogs, known as “Teasing the Pet,”1660, oil on panel, 27.5 x 20 cm. The Hague, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, inv. 108 (artwork in the public domain)
 Johannes Vermeer,  Young Woman Interrupted at Her Music,  1660–62,  New York, The Frick Collection
Fig. 3 Johannes Vermeer, Young Woman Interrupted at Her Music, 1660–62, oil on canvas, 39.3 x 44.4 cm. New York, The Frick Collection, inv. 11.1.125 (artwork in the public domain)
 Frans van Mieris,  Woman Playing a Theorbo-Lute, 1663,  Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland
Fig. 6 Frans van Mieris, Woman Playing a Theorbo-Lute, 1663, oil on panel, 22 x 17 cm. Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland, inv. NG 2795 (artwork in the public domain)
 Johannes Vermeer,  The Guitar Player,  1670–72,  London, Kenwood House, The Iveagh Bequest
Fig. 7 Johannes Vermeer, The Guitar Player, 1670–72, oil on canvas, 51.4 x 45 cm. London,  Kenwood House, The Iveagh Bequest, inv. 88028841 (artwork in the public domain)
  1. 1. Wayne Franits, Vermeer (London and New York: Phaidon, 2015), 131–32.

  2. 2. Edouard Plietzsch, Vermeer van Delft (Munich: Bruckmann, 1939), 41.

  3. 3. Otto Naumann, Frans van Mieris (1635–1681) The Elder (Doornspijk: Davaco, 1981), 1:48–62.

  4. 4. Walter Liedtke, Vermeer: The Complete Paintings (Antwerp: Ludion, 2008), 32, 75, 81. John Michael Montias in Vermeer, Albert Blankert, John Michael Montias, and Gilles Aillaud (New York: Rizzoli, 1988), 40, suggested (referencing Otto Naumann) that Vermeer’s response to the Leiden artist can already be found in The Procuress (Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister) of 1656. This painting includes a self-portrait as a musician with a beret smiling at a viewer, which is supposedly a variation of a similar figure in van ieris’s Charlatan (Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi). However, Vermeer’s figure is more closely related to musicians appearing in brothel scenes by Dutch caravaggist painters such as Dirck van Baburen, to which Vermeer’s Procuress also relates in style and subject matter (see, for instance, Liedtke, Vermeer, 63, figs. 3a, b). See also Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:99). Liedtke, Vermeer, 45–46, argued that the pointilé highlights in van Mieris’s Woman Stringing Pearls (Montpellier, Musée Fabre) resemble those in works such as The Milkmaid (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum). The direction of influence is unclear, however.

  5. 5. On the relationship between The Glass of Wine and ter Borch’s painting, see, for instance, Liedtke, Vermeer, 81.

  6. 6. Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:61.

  7. 7. Vermeer’s painting is generally dated earlier, to 1660–61 (Albert Blankert, with contributions by Rob Ruurs and Willem L. van de Watering, Johannes Vermeer van Delft 1632–1675 [Utrecht and Antwerp: Het Spectrum, 1975] 143); to 1658–60 (Arthur K. Wheelock Jr, Jan Vermeer [New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1981], 90); to 1658–59 (Liedtke, Vermeer, 80); and to ca. 1659–60 (Franits, Vermeer, 92).

  8. 8. Eddy Schavemaker, Eglon van der Neer (1635/36–1703): His Life and His Work (Doornspijk: Davaco, 2010), 53, 55.

  9. 9. Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:61, 64.

  10. 10. Rüdiger Klessmann, Die Sprache der Bilder: Realität und Bedeutung in der niederländisches Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts, exh. cat. (Braunschweig: Herzog-Anton Ulrich-Museum,  1978), 165, was the first to notice the relationship between van Mieris’s and Vermeer’s paintings. See also previous note.

  11. 11. Franits, Vermeer, 126, made the point that a date of 1659–60 for Vermeer’s Young Woman with a Wine Glass, as had been previously suggested (for instance, Liedtke, Vermeer,  86), is too early. A date of 1661–62, as Franits suggested, is more likely.

  12. 12. Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 60.

  13. 13. Van Mieris’s Duet served as inspiration to at least thirteen works by Gabriel Metsu, Jan Steen, Quiringh van Brekelenkam, Caspar Netscher, and Jacob Ochtervelt (see https://rkd.nl/explore/images/239211).

  14. 14. Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 66.

  15. 15. Plietzsch, Vermeer, 41. Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 60, also suggested that van Mieris’s Duet served as an important example to Vermeer as an image of a monumental figure placed against a bright back wall.

  16. 16. See, for instance, Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. in Johannes Vermeer, exh. cat., ed. Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. and Ben P. J. Broos (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, and The Hague: Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, 1995–96), 152, and Liedtke, Vermeer, 116. Earlier, Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:68, argued that the direction of influence between the paintings was unclear due to the lack of dates on both works. While van Mieris’s painting has been dated to ca. 1662 (Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 2:56–59, pl. 46), scholars have proposed the following dates for Vermeer’s picture: 1662–65 (Blankert, Montias, and Aillaud, Vermeer, 179–80), 1664 (Wheelock, Jan Vermeer, 110), 1663–64 (Liedtke, Vermeer, 115–17), and 1662–65 (Franits, Vermeer, 140).

  17. 17. Liedtke, Vermeer, 45, put forward that van Mieris’s Young Woman Stringing Pearls of 1658 (Montpellier, Musée du Fabre) “anticipates two [paintings] by Vermeer,” hinting at A Lady Writing (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art) and Mistress and Maid (New York, Frick Collection).

  18. 18. Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 68, suggested that van Mieris’s Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, Cunera de Cock may have been Vermeer’s source of inspiration when painting his Girl with the Pearl Earring (The Hague, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis). While it is possible that van Mieris’s work played a role in the conception of Vermeer’s tronie, some of Michiel Sweerts’s paintings, including A Young Maidservant (The Kremer Collection, Fondation Aetas Aurea), were of much greater significance for the Delft artist (see, for instance, Liedtke, Vermeer, 132). See also Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:64n4, who saw a relationship between van Mieris’s portrait and the three female figures in Vermeer’s Cavalier and Young WomanYoung Woman with a Water Pitcher (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art), and Woman with a Balance (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art).

  19. 19. On the relationship between Vermeer’s Lady Writing and ter Borch’s Woman Writing a Letter (The Hague, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis,), see, for instance, Wheelock, Jan Vermeer, 124.

  20. 20. Lawrence Gowing, Vermeer (London: Giles de la Mare, 1952), 142n107; Adriaan E. Waiboer, “‘Why buy a Vermeer when a Metsu is available?’: The Relationship between Two Dutch Genre Painters”, in Gabriel Metsu, exh. cat., ed. Adriaan E. Waiboer (Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland; Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum; Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2010–11), 33–34; Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 71; Liedtke, Vermeer, 144–46.

  21. 21. Plietzsch, Vermeer, 41.

  22. 22. Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 78; Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 2:119. Naumann (2:28) also suggested that van Mieris’s Portrait of a Woman, a striking image of a woman wearing an ostentatious green beret, may have stimulated Vermeer to paint Girl with a Red Hat (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art), but this is hard to establish with certainty.

  23. 23. See, for instance Wheelock, Jan Vermeer, 112; Liedtke, Vermeer, 101; Franits, Vermeer, 132, 139. Gowing, Vermeer, 40, coined the term “pearl pictures.

  24. 24. The only scholar who seems to have noticed the connection between the two paintings is Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:64, who mentioned in passing that Van Mieris’s Woman with a Theorbo-Lute “probably served as the basis for Steen’s and Vermeer’s excursions into the subject” without further elaborating this point. E. Korthals Altes in Senses and Sins: Dutch Painters of Daily Life in the Seventeenth Century, exh. cat., ed. Jeroen Giltaij et al. (Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and Frankfurt am Main: Städelsches Kunstinstitut, 2004–5), referenced van Mieris’s painting in an entry on Vermeer’s but did not identify it as the Delft artist’s source of inspiration.

  25. 25. I am grateful to Christian Tico Seifert for clarifying the recent provenance of van Mieris’s painting to me (personal communication).

  26. 26. Although the direction of influence is not documented, it is highly unlikely Vermeer’s painting preceded van Mieris’s work, considering his strong reliance on the work of the Leiden painter in the first half of the 1660s. While van Mieris’s painting is inscribed 1663, Vermeer’s is variably dated to ca. 1664 (Wheelock, Jan Vermeer, 112), 1662–63 (Liedtke, Vermeer, 101), ca. 1662–65 (Franits, Vermeer, 141). Note that Liedtke dated this as well as a number of other paintings by Vermeer earlier than other scholars have done (see http://www.essentialvermeer.com/references/dates.html#.Vm6v49KyOko ) and in the opinion of the present author too early (see also note 11 above). A date of 1662–64 for A Woman with a Lute is more appropriate. This date takes into account that Vermeer may have seen van Mieris’s painting before it was completed.

  27. 27. Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:67, previously argued: “Also close to Van Mieris’s Woman Playing the Lute is Vermeer’s late guitar player in Kenwood House, which exhibits similar concerns for smooth surface and polish finish.”

  28. 28. The only exception is an anonymous copy after a The Guitar Player from ca. 1700 (see Blankert, Montias, and Aillaud, Vermeer, 192).

  29. 29. Majorie E. Wieseman, Caspar Netscher and Late Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting (Doornspijk: Davaco, 2002), 227, no. 84; 252, no. 119 (both illustrated).

  30. 30. Schavemaker, Eglon van der Neer, 466, no. 39 (ill.); 468–69, no. 46 (ill.); 470, no. 52 (ill.); 477, no. 63, color pl. XXI; 481, no. 73 (ill.); 485–86, no. 83, color pl. XXVII.

  31. 31. Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1: 67; for van Musscher’s, see https://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/collections/early-to-modern-international-art/ – detail-8700; Junko Aono, Confronting the Golden Age: Imitation and Innovation in Dutch Genre Painting 1680–1750 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015), 28–30, with illustrations of Verschuring’s, van der Werff’s, and van Dijk’s paintings. http://dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789089645685

  32. 32. Held at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Aono, Junko. Confronting the Golden Age: Imitation and Innovation in Dutch Genre Painting 1680–1750. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789089645685

Blankert, Albert, with contributions by Rob Ruurs and Willem L. van de Watering. Johannes Vermeer van Delft 1632–1675. Utrecht and Antwerp: Het Spectrum, 1975.

Blankert, Albert, John Michael Montias, and Gilles Aillaud. Vermeer. New York: Rizzoli, 1988.

Franits, Wayne. Vermeer. London and New York: Phaidon, 2015.

Giltaij, Jeroen, et al. Senses and Sins: Dutch Painters of Daily Life in the Seventeenth Century. Exh. cat. Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, and Frankfurt am Main, Städelsches Kunstinstitut, 2004–5.

Gowing, Lawrence. Vermeer. London: Giles de la Mare, 1952.

Klessmann, Rüdiger. Die Sprache der Bilder: Realität und Bedeutung in der niederländisches Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts. Exh. cat. Braunschweig: Herzog-Anton Ulrich-Museum, 1978.

Liedtke, Walter. Vermeer: The Complete Paintings. Antwerp: Ludion, 2008.

Naumann, Otto. Frans van Mieris (1635–1681) The Elder. 2 vols. Doornspijk: Davaco, 1981.

Plietzsch, Edouard. Vermeer van Delft. Munich: Bruckmann, 1939.

Schavemaker, Eddy. Eglon van der Neer (1635/36–1703): His Life and His Work. Doornspijk: Davaco, 2010.

Waiboer, Adriaan E. “‘Why buy a Vermeer when a Metsu is available?’: The Relationship between Two Dutch Genre Painters. ” In Gabriel Metsu, edited by Adriaan E. Waiboer, 29–51. Exh. cat. Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland; Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum; Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2010–11.

Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Jan Vermeer. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1981.

Wheelock, Arthur K., and Broos, Ben P. J. Johannes Vermeer. Exh. cat. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, and The Hague: Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, 1995–96.

Wieseman, Majorie E. Caspar Netscher and Late Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting. Doornspijk: Davaco, 2002.

List of Illustrations

 Johannes Vermeer,  Woman with a Pearl Necklace,  1661–63,  Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie
Fig. 4 Johannes Vermeer, Woman with a Pearl Necklace, 1661–63, oil on canvas, 51.2 x 45.1 cm. Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie, inv. 912B (artwork in the public domain)
 Frans van Mieris,  Woman before a Mirror,  ca. 1662,  Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie
Fig. 5 Frans van Mieris, Woman before a Mirror, ca. 1662, oil on panel, 30 x 23 cm. Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie, inv. 838 (artwork in the public domain)
 Johannes Vermeer,  Woman with a Lute,  ca. 1662–64,  New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fig. 1 Johannes Vermeer, Woman with a Lute, ca. 1662–64, oil on canvas, 51.4 x 45.7 cm. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Collis P. Huntington, 1900, inv. 25.110.24 (artwork in the public domain)
 Frans van Mieris,  Man and a Woman with Two Dogs, known as “Tea, 1660,  The Hague, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis
Fig. 2 Frans van Mieris, Man and a Woman with Two Dogs, known as “Teasing the Pet,”1660, oil on panel, 27.5 x 20 cm. The Hague, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, inv. 108 (artwork in the public domain)
 Johannes Vermeer,  Young Woman Interrupted at Her Music,  1660–62,  New York, The Frick Collection
Fig. 3 Johannes Vermeer, Young Woman Interrupted at Her Music, 1660–62, oil on canvas, 39.3 x 44.4 cm. New York, The Frick Collection, inv. 11.1.125 (artwork in the public domain)
 Frans van Mieris,  Woman Playing a Theorbo-Lute, 1663,  Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland
Fig. 6 Frans van Mieris, Woman Playing a Theorbo-Lute, 1663, oil on panel, 22 x 17 cm. Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland, inv. NG 2795 (artwork in the public domain)
 Johannes Vermeer,  The Guitar Player,  1670–72,  London, Kenwood House, The Iveagh Bequest
Fig. 7 Johannes Vermeer, The Guitar Player, 1670–72, oil on canvas, 51.4 x 45 cm. London,  Kenwood House, The Iveagh Bequest, inv. 88028841 (artwork in the public domain)

Footnotes

  1. 1. Wayne Franits, Vermeer (London and New York: Phaidon, 2015), 131–32.

  2. 2. Edouard Plietzsch, Vermeer van Delft (Munich: Bruckmann, 1939), 41.

  3. 3. Otto Naumann, Frans van Mieris (1635–1681) The Elder (Doornspijk: Davaco, 1981), 1:48–62.

  4. 4. Walter Liedtke, Vermeer: The Complete Paintings (Antwerp: Ludion, 2008), 32, 75, 81. John Michael Montias in Vermeer, Albert Blankert, John Michael Montias, and Gilles Aillaud (New York: Rizzoli, 1988), 40, suggested (referencing Otto Naumann) that Vermeer’s response to the Leiden artist can already be found in The Procuress (Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister) of 1656. This painting includes a self-portrait as a musician with a beret smiling at a viewer, which is supposedly a variation of a similar figure in van ieris’s Charlatan (Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi). However, Vermeer’s figure is more closely related to musicians appearing in brothel scenes by Dutch caravaggist painters such as Dirck van Baburen, to which Vermeer’s Procuress also relates in style and subject matter (see, for instance, Liedtke, Vermeer, 63, figs. 3a, b). See also Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:99). Liedtke, Vermeer, 45–46, argued that the pointilé highlights in van Mieris’s Woman Stringing Pearls (Montpellier, Musée Fabre) resemble those in works such as The Milkmaid (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum). The direction of influence is unclear, however.

  5. 5. On the relationship between The Glass of Wine and ter Borch’s painting, see, for instance, Liedtke, Vermeer, 81.

  6. 6. Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:61.

  7. 7. Vermeer’s painting is generally dated earlier, to 1660–61 (Albert Blankert, with contributions by Rob Ruurs and Willem L. van de Watering, Johannes Vermeer van Delft 1632–1675 [Utrecht and Antwerp: Het Spectrum, 1975] 143); to 1658–60 (Arthur K. Wheelock Jr, Jan Vermeer [New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1981], 90); to 1658–59 (Liedtke, Vermeer, 80); and to ca. 1659–60 (Franits, Vermeer, 92).

  8. 8. Eddy Schavemaker, Eglon van der Neer (1635/36–1703): His Life and His Work (Doornspijk: Davaco, 2010), 53, 55.

  9. 9. Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:61, 64.

  10. 10. Rüdiger Klessmann, Die Sprache der Bilder: Realität und Bedeutung in der niederländisches Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts, exh. cat. (Braunschweig: Herzog-Anton Ulrich-Museum,  1978), 165, was the first to notice the relationship between van Mieris’s and Vermeer’s paintings. See also previous note.

  11. 11. Franits, Vermeer, 126, made the point that a date of 1659–60 for Vermeer’s Young Woman with a Wine Glass, as had been previously suggested (for instance, Liedtke, Vermeer,  86), is too early. A date of 1661–62, as Franits suggested, is more likely.

  12. 12. Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 60.

  13. 13. Van Mieris’s Duet served as inspiration to at least thirteen works by Gabriel Metsu, Jan Steen, Quiringh van Brekelenkam, Caspar Netscher, and Jacob Ochtervelt (see https://rkd.nl/explore/images/239211).

  14. 14. Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 66.

  15. 15. Plietzsch, Vermeer, 41. Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 60, also suggested that van Mieris’s Duet served as an important example to Vermeer as an image of a monumental figure placed against a bright back wall.

  16. 16. See, for instance, Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. in Johannes Vermeer, exh. cat., ed. Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. and Ben P. J. Broos (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, and The Hague: Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, 1995–96), 152, and Liedtke, Vermeer, 116. Earlier, Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:68, argued that the direction of influence between the paintings was unclear due to the lack of dates on both works. While van Mieris’s painting has been dated to ca. 1662 (Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 2:56–59, pl. 46), scholars have proposed the following dates for Vermeer’s picture: 1662–65 (Blankert, Montias, and Aillaud, Vermeer, 179–80), 1664 (Wheelock, Jan Vermeer, 110), 1663–64 (Liedtke, Vermeer, 115–17), and 1662–65 (Franits, Vermeer, 140).

  17. 17. Liedtke, Vermeer, 45, put forward that van Mieris’s Young Woman Stringing Pearls of 1658 (Montpellier, Musée du Fabre) “anticipates two [paintings] by Vermeer,” hinting at A Lady Writing (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art) and Mistress and Maid (New York, Frick Collection).

  18. 18. Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 68, suggested that van Mieris’s Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, Cunera de Cock may have been Vermeer’s source of inspiration when painting his Girl with the Pearl Earring (The Hague, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis). While it is possible that van Mieris’s work played a role in the conception of Vermeer’s tronie, some of Michiel Sweerts’s paintings, including A Young Maidservant (The Kremer Collection, Fondation Aetas Aurea), were of much greater significance for the Delft artist (see, for instance, Liedtke, Vermeer, 132). See also Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:64n4, who saw a relationship between van Mieris’s portrait and the three female figures in Vermeer’s Cavalier and Young WomanYoung Woman with a Water Pitcher (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art), and Woman with a Balance (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art).

  19. 19. On the relationship between Vermeer’s Lady Writing and ter Borch’s Woman Writing a Letter (The Hague, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis,), see, for instance, Wheelock, Jan Vermeer, 124.

  20. 20. Lawrence Gowing, Vermeer (London: Giles de la Mare, 1952), 142n107; Adriaan E. Waiboer, “‘Why buy a Vermeer when a Metsu is available?’: The Relationship between Two Dutch Genre Painters”, in Gabriel Metsu, exh. cat., ed. Adriaan E. Waiboer (Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland; Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum; Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2010–11), 33–34; Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 71; Liedtke, Vermeer, 144–46.

  21. 21. Plietzsch, Vermeer, 41.

  22. 22. Blankert, Johannes Vermeer, 78; Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 2:119. Naumann (2:28) also suggested that van Mieris’s Portrait of a Woman, a striking image of a woman wearing an ostentatious green beret, may have stimulated Vermeer to paint Girl with a Red Hat (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art), but this is hard to establish with certainty.

  23. 23. See, for instance Wheelock, Jan Vermeer, 112; Liedtke, Vermeer, 101; Franits, Vermeer, 132, 139. Gowing, Vermeer, 40, coined the term “pearl pictures.

  24. 24. The only scholar who seems to have noticed the connection between the two paintings is Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:64, who mentioned in passing that Van Mieris’s Woman with a Theorbo-Lute “probably served as the basis for Steen’s and Vermeer’s excursions into the subject” without further elaborating this point. E. Korthals Altes in Senses and Sins: Dutch Painters of Daily Life in the Seventeenth Century, exh. cat., ed. Jeroen Giltaij et al. (Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and Frankfurt am Main: Städelsches Kunstinstitut, 2004–5), referenced van Mieris’s painting in an entry on Vermeer’s but did not identify it as the Delft artist’s source of inspiration.

  25. 25. I am grateful to Christian Tico Seifert for clarifying the recent provenance of van Mieris’s painting to me (personal communication).

  26. 26. Although the direction of influence is not documented, it is highly unlikely Vermeer’s painting preceded van Mieris’s work, considering his strong reliance on the work of the Leiden painter in the first half of the 1660s. While van Mieris’s painting is inscribed 1663, Vermeer’s is variably dated to ca. 1664 (Wheelock, Jan Vermeer, 112), 1662–63 (Liedtke, Vermeer, 101), ca. 1662–65 (Franits, Vermeer, 141). Note that Liedtke dated this as well as a number of other paintings by Vermeer earlier than other scholars have done (see http://www.essentialvermeer.com/references/dates.html#.Vm6v49KyOko ) and in the opinion of the present author too early (see also note 11 above). A date of 1662–64 for A Woman with a Lute is more appropriate. This date takes into account that Vermeer may have seen van Mieris’s painting before it was completed.

  27. 27. Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1:67, previously argued: “Also close to Van Mieris’s Woman Playing the Lute is Vermeer’s late guitar player in Kenwood House, which exhibits similar concerns for smooth surface and polish finish.”

  28. 28. The only exception is an anonymous copy after a The Guitar Player from ca. 1700 (see Blankert, Montias, and Aillaud, Vermeer, 192).

  29. 29. Majorie E. Wieseman, Caspar Netscher and Late Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting (Doornspijk: Davaco, 2002), 227, no. 84; 252, no. 119 (both illustrated).

  30. 30. Schavemaker, Eglon van der Neer, 466, no. 39 (ill.); 468–69, no. 46 (ill.); 470, no. 52 (ill.); 477, no. 63, color pl. XXI; 481, no. 73 (ill.); 485–86, no. 83, color pl. XXVII.

  31. 31. Naumann, Frans van Mieris, 1: 67; for van Musscher’s, see https://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/collections/early-to-modern-international-art/ – detail-8700; Junko Aono, Confronting the Golden Age: Imitation and Innovation in Dutch Genre Painting 1680–1750 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015), 28–30, with illustrations of Verschuring’s, van der Werff’s, and van Dijk’s paintings. http://dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789089645685

  32. 32. Held at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

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Review: Peer Review (Double Blind)
DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2017.9.1.16
License:
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Recommended Citation:
Adriaan E. Waiboer, "A View beyond Delft: Johannes Vermeer’s Woman with a Lute and Its Relationship to Frans van Mieris," Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 9:1 (Winter 2017) DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2017.9.1.16