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Oil painting - The Pancake Woman
  • The Pancake Woman
    Mieris, Willem van, born 1662 - died 1747
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The Pancake Woman

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Leyden, Netherlands (painted)

  • Date:

    between 1710 and 1719 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mieris, Willem van, born 1662 - died 1747 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on oak panel

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Robert Curling

  • Museum number:

    186-1894

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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Willem van Mieris (1662-1747) was the son of the famous genre painter Frans van Mieris who trained him. He was active between 1682 and the mid 1730s when he became partly blind. Around 1694, he founded in Leiden with the painters Jacob Toorenvliet (ca. 1635-1719) and Carel de Moor (1655-1738) a drawing academy he directed with de Moor until 1736.

According to CM Kauffmann, this painting is originally one of a pair with a Woman spinning (maybe in the Residenzgalerie, Salzburg). The artist signed and dated the panel but the date is hardly readable and indicates the second decade of the 18th century. After the turn of the century, Willem van Mieris indeed specialised in shops and kitchens, often seen through an arched window, genre scenes that form the majority of his production. This painting and his presumably pendant both show a similar setting and highly stylised figures with a profusion of objects and minutely rendered details. The still-life compositions are especially noticeable and belong to the great tradition of Dutch still-life paintings that developed greatly during the 17th century. By contrast, the figures look stiff and stereotyped as the artists reemployed the same characters over and over in his compositions.

Physical description

In a rustic interior an old woman is cooking pancakes for a young boy while a woman is looking at him.

Place of Origin

Leyden, Netherlands (painted)

Date

between 1710 and 1719 (painted)

Artist/maker

Mieris, Willem van, born 1662 - died 1747 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on oak panel

Marks and inscriptions

'W van Mieris Fect. Anno 171-'

Dimensions

Height: 49.8 cm estimate, Width: 40.3 cm estimate

Object history note

Bequeathed to Robert Curling, who bequeathed it to the Museum in 1894;
Edward Kensington (label on back);
Lord Crewe sale, London, 16 July 1810, lot 175, bought Soloman £168;
Lord Crewe collection (label on back), sale 1806, bought in (G. Redford, Art Sales, ii, 1888, p. 309);
George Bruyn sale, Amsterdam, 16 March, 1724, lot 6 (G. Hoet, Catalogus of naamlist van schilderyen, i, 1752, p, 299).

Historical significance: Originally one of a pair with a Woman Spinning (de Bruyn sale 1724; Hofstede de Groot, nos. 214, 224a). Its pendant is perhaps identical with the painting now in the Residenzgalerie, Salzburg. The present work was apparently sold singly at the Crewe sale in 1810. Highly prized at the time, it was the only entry in the sale catalogue with its title in large capitals and one of only a few to be honoured by a descriptive text: 'a high finished and valuable work by this esteemed master.'

Both display a similar setting with highly stylised figures and a profusion of objects and minutely rendered details. The still-life compositions are especially prounounced but the figures seem stereotyped. Van Mieris tended to repeat compositions and the present painting resembles his Woman looking after a Child, dated 1728, private collection. The present work is signed and dated 171[?], and can reasonably be assigned to the late 1710s, when his style became more stereotyped and repetitive.

Historical context note

Willem van Mieris (1662-1747) was the son and student of the genre painter Frans van Mieris. He was active between 1682 and the mid 1730s, when he became partially blind. Around 1694, he founded in Leiden, with the painters Jacob Toorenvliet (ca. 1635-1719) and Carel de Moor (1655-1738), a drawing academy which he directed with de Moor until 1736. After 1700 van Mieris specialised in genre scenes of shops and kitchens, indebted to Gerrit Dou and other earlier Leyden 'Fine painters', celebrated for their small scale paintings full of minute detail and executed in a polished style. His technical virtuosity remained unimpaired until the late 1730s, when he went blind.

Paintings of everyday life set in domestic interiors were especially popular in the 17th century in the Netherlands, where he leading genre painters were Jan Steen (1626-1679), Frans van Mieris (1635-1681) and Gerard Ter Borch (1617-1681). Richard Brakenburgh (1650-1702), Willem van Mieris (1662-1747) and Matthys Naiveu (1647-1726) continued this tradition into the eighteenth century.

Descriptive line

Oil painting, 'The Pancake Woman', Willem van Mieris, 1710-1719.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, pp. 191-2, cat. no. 229.
The following is the full text of the entry:

Willem van MIERIS (1662-1747)
Dutch (Leyden) School
Son and pupil of Frans van Mieris the elder (1635-81), he painted mainly genre subjects (especially shop scenes) in his father's style. He lived at Leyden, where he became dean of the Painters' Guild in 1699. Towards the end of his life he became blind; there are no dated pictures after 1736.

229
THE PANCAKE WOMAN
Signed lower centre W van Mieris Fect. Anno 171-
Oak panel
19 5/8 x 15 7/8 (49.8 x 40.3)
186-1894
Originally one of a pair with a Woman Spinning (de Bruyn sale 1724; Hofstede de Groot, nos. 214, 224a), this painting was apparently sold singly at the Crewe sale in 1810. Highly prized at the time, it was the only entry in the sale catalogue with its title in large capitals and one of only a few to be honoured by a descriptive text: 'a high finished and valuable work by this esteemed master.'

Condition. Considerably rubbed in the upper left corner; otherwise good. Cleaned in 1967.
Prov. George Bruyn sale, Amsterdam, 16 March, 1724, lot 6 (G. Hoet, Catalogus of naamlist van schilderyen, i, 1752, p, 299); Lord Crewe collection (label on back), sale 1806, bought in (G. Redford, Art Sales, ii, 1888, p. 309); Lord Crewe sale, London, 16 July 1810, lot 175, bought Soloman £168; Edward Kensington (label on back), bequeathed to Robert Curling, who bequeathed it to the Museum in 1894.
Lit. John Smith, Catalogue raisonné, i, 1829, p. 99, no. 42; Hofstede de Groot, x, 1928, p. 159, no. 214.
John Smith, Catalogue raisonné, i, 1829, p. 99, no. 42.
Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch painters of the seventeenth century, x, 1928, p. 159, no. 214.
Christopher Wright, Dutch Paintings in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collection, London, 1989, p. 219.

Materials

Oil paint; Oak

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Women; Boy; Genre scene; Cooking; Pancake

Categories

Paintings

Collection code

PDP

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Qr_O131979
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