Portrait of an Eighty-Year Old Man

Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt1624

Hallwyl Museum

Hallwyl Museum

Mierevelt was one of the more sought-after portraitists in The Hague, although he was born and died in Delft, and he kept a large workshop in order to satisfy all his customers. Many of his portraits also betray the hand of a pupil. This, however, is one of the most powerful and moving of all Mierevelts portraits of old men and must be entirely his own work. One of his more well-known students is Anthonie Palamedesz also represented in the Hallwyl Collection. The painting is signed to the left: M Mierevelt Aetatis 80 Ao1624.

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  • Title: Portrait of an Eighty-Year Old Man
  • Date Created: 1624
  • Tags: Dutch
  • Provenance: Frederik Müller & Cie., Amsterdam, Bukowskis, Stockholm, Wilhelmina von Hallwyl, Stockholm 1906
  • Physical Dimensions: w510 x h635 mm (Without frame)
  • Painter: Michiel Mierevelt
  • Artist info: Michiel Mierevelt was the son of a goldsmith, who apprenticed him to the copperplate engraver Hieronymus Wierix. He subsequently became a pupil of Willem Willemz and Augusteyn of Delft, until Anthonie van Montfoort who had seen and admired two of Mierevelt's early engravings, Christ and the Samaritan and Judith and Holofernes, invited him to enter his school at Utrecht. He registered as a member of the Guild of St. Luke in The Hague in 1625.Devoting himself first to still-life he eventually took up portraits, in which he achieved such success that the many commissions entrusted to him necessitated the employment of numerous assistants, by whom hundreds of portraits were turned out in factory fashion. Today over 500 paintings are or have been attributed to him. The works that can with certainty be ascribed to his own brush are remarkable for their sincerity, severe drawing and harmonious color, but comparatively few of the two thousand or more portraits that bear his name are wholly his own handiwork. So great was his reputation that he was patronized by royalty in many countries and acquired great wealth. The king of Sweden and the count palatine of Neuburg presented him with golden chains; Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, at whose court he lived in Delft, gave him a pension; and Charles I vainly endeavoured to induce him to visit the English court. Though Mierevelt is chiefly known as a portrait painter, he also executed some mythological pieces of minor importance. Many of his portraits have been reproduced in line by the leading Dutch engravers of his time.
  • Type: Oil on panel
  • External Link: Image DIG 4500