• Lady at her Toilet

    Artist:
    Mieris, Frans Jansz. van I. 1635-1681
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    51,5x39,5 cm

Mieris, Frans Jansz. van I. 1635-1681

Lady at her Toilet

Holland, circa 1659-1660

The city of Leyden, Rembrandt’s birthplace, gave the world two gifted genre painters in the mid-17th century. One of them was Frans van Mieris the Elder, who is represented in the Hermitage by a number of paintings. Lady at Her Toilet is among the artist’s best works. In his interpretation an ordinary episode from private life has acquired a special attractiveness. Cool morning light penetrates through the half-open shutters into the gloom of the bedroom. It illuminates the figures of the mistress and maid, flares up on the red carpet-like tablecloth and the seat of the armchair and turns the lady’s satin skirt silver. Gold, green and light blue add to the very fresh bouquet of colours in the painting. The 17th-century viewer familiar with the oblique language of details of which the era was s fond would also have detected the hidden meaning in a scene in which everything hints at the recent presence of a man: the opened love letter on the dressing table, the flameless candle, standing on the floor by the bed, and the lady’s elegant shoes on the top step of the flight as if they have been running after the lover. And her playing with the dog would also have had an amorous or romantic subtext in contemporary eyes, recalling the Dutch proverb: “As the mistress, so the dog.”

Title:

Lady at her Toilet

Place:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

51,5x39,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1769; acquired from the Heinrich von Brühl collection, Dresden

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-915

Category:

Collection:

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