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Title The Toast
Collection Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport
Artist Attributed to Mieris, Frans van (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1635-1681)
Date Earliest about 1650
Date Latest 1681
Description A half-length figure framed by a window was a typical Dutch compositional device of the seventeenth century. It was utilized by, among others, Frans van Mieris the Elder, Gerard Dou and Gabriel Metsu.
Current Accession Number 1904.98
Subject everyday life (tavern scene)
Measurements 30.5 x 24 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Given by J. H. Bell 1904.
Notes 'Frans van Mieris had two sons who also became painters; the eldest Jan (Johannes) van Mieris, and the fourth child, the more famous, Willem van Mieris. Both were apprenticed to their father. He followed his teacher, Geritt Dou, closely in his earliest known works, probably before the mid-1650s, which include a number of genre scenes with the arched window boarder of the Southport work. But they 'are distinguished from those of his master by the placement of the figures further back in the window space and especially by the more powerful use of light. He also strives to make his brushstrokes invisible, unlike Dou whose brushstrokes can always be distinguished on close scrutiny. Van Mieris often employed a rigidly geometrical layout, with emphatic horizontal and vertical lines that clearly outline spatial structure. He expanded significantly the range of subjects commonly depicted by Leiden artists: his prosperous and sophisticated figures move in elegant surroundings (usually in an amorous context) and are strongly reminiscent of those by Gerard ter Borch. Thematically and stylistically, van Mieris's paintings of the late 1650s and early 1660s soon influenced other masters, as is obvious from the work of Metsu, Jan Steen, Jacob Ochtervelt, Johannes Vermeer and Eglon van der Neer. He occasionally repeated Dou's niche motif and sometimes recalled it in the arched top of the panel.' Eric J.Sluijter, 'Frans van Mieris', Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, 2 March 2006, http://www.groveart.com/. See also Naumann, Otto., Frans Van Mieris (1635- 681) The Elder, Davaco, Netherlands, 1981.
Rights Owner Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, Sefton M.B.C. Leisure Services
Author Lisa Howard



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