Dutch school, attributed to Michiel van Mierevelt

1626
Low Countries

W Male 32" (frame 41") Female 31 1/2" (frame 39 3/4") × H Male 47" (frame 55") Female 43 1/4" (frame 51 1/2")

Stock # Marh2595

POA

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Pair of Fine Dutch Portraits depicting a gentleman and lady are undoubtedly those of a well to do married couple of some status as evidenced by the inclusion of arms in each of the portraits. The portraits date to the year 1626. Both the husband and his wife are richly attired which would befit their presumed station in life and it is evident that these portraits were commissioned late in the couple’s life as the inscription on the husband’s portrait states that he was 61 years of age, whilst his wife’s age upon her portrait is stated as being 50 years of age which would give them each an approximate year of birth of 1565 and 1576 respectively. Given their dress, together with the origin of the arms of the husband I would conclude that they lived in the Netherlands or the Low Countries which would include Flanders. Upon the balance of probability and without any evidence to the contrary I would tentatively identify the husband as being a member of a family that went by the name of De Beijer whose arms may be blazoned as ‘Argent three bendlets sable’. Presently I have not been able to identify the arms of his wife whose arms appear to be ‘Or three clover leaves vert’. In British heraldry, these leaves would be ordinarily blazoned as ‘trefoils slipped’. Each of the portraits are carefully staged in that the husband is posed by a table surrounded by lavish furnishings resting his right hand upon a couple of books. This may infer that he was a gentleman who was erudite and well-read and was perhaps an antiquarian, academic or lawyer, whilst his wife once again who is found set amongst lavish furnishings is holding a small book in her right hand that may very well be a prayer book or other book of devotion showing that, perhaps, she was devout. Finally, I would hazard a guess as to the identity of the artist who painted these portraits. Given, the initials ‘MM’ appears in both portraits I believe that they refer to Michiel van Mierevelt (born 1st May 1566 died 27th June 1641) who was active as a portrait artist at the time these portraits were painted. He was a member of the painters’ Guild of St. Luke in The Hague in 1625.4 At this time much of his work was found from within the Stadholder's Court in The Hague. He was a prolific portrait artist whose studio produced an unknown number of portraits. It is thought that some 500 portraits which have been attributed to him are known to exist.

The arms of De Beijer and an unknown Family