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Painting Title A 17th-century Dutch Interior with a Seated Lady
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Mertz, Johann Cornelius (Dutch painter, 1819-1891)
Previously attributed to Meak, J.C.
Date 1849 (dated)
Signed yes
Description The painting shows a domestic interior and figures of the 17th century. In the 17th century the Netherlands was the financial and trading centre of Europe; Dutch society was run by the prosperous middle class, and the upper class was not dominated by the aristocracy. That wealthy Dutch bourgeoisie was mainly Protestant, and they appreciated depictions of interior genre scenes, showing love and the virtues of domestic life, stressing the moral values of the society. Those paintings represented mainly women, located at home as a place appropriate to them. In these paintings they are engaged in domestic tasks, they take care of children and it is stressed that they should develop the virtues of humility and piety. In the 19th century most of the European nations turned towards their own history and cultural roots; in the case of the Dutch painting it was popular to get back to the images of the 'Golden Age' of the 17th century.
Current Accession Number YORAG : 326
Inscription front lr 'J.C. Mertz 1849'
Subject everyday life; figure; interior; animal (dog)
Measurements 84 x 69 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Major R. W. Richardson 1916.
Publications York Art Gallery Catalogue - Catalogue of Paintings, Vol. III: English and European 19th and 20th centuries, The Reserve Collection, City of York Art Gallery, York, 1974, p. 105 as by J. C. Meak; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 310 as by J.C. Meak.
Notes The painter Johannes Cornelius Mertz was born in 1819 in Amsterdam and died in 1891 in Brussels. He was a pupil of J. W. Pieneman. In 1845 he became a member of the Royal Academy in Amsterdam. He lived and worked mainly in Amsterdam and Brussels, and painted genre pieces, although some historical pieces by him are also known.
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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