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Mierevelt, Michiel Jansz. Van

Delft, 1567 - Delft, 1641

Son of the goldsmith Jan Michelsz. van Mierevelt (1528–1612), Michiel was the most prominent representative of official Dutch portrait painting in the first decades of the 17th century. He became a history painter in Anthonis van Blockland’s (1533/34–1583) workshop in Utrecht, where he remained for two years until the master’s death. Afterwards, he returned to Delft where he established himself as a portrait painter. In 1587, he was admitted at the city’s Guild of Saint Luke. In 1607, he was appointed court painter, which obliged him to spend long periods of time in The Hague, where he joined its Guild of Saint Luke in 1625. He married there twice, in 1589 and in 1633, and died on 17 June 1641. The assets he left behind included two houses and land, suggesting the high status he attained. His patrons included members of the House of Orange-Nassau, of the Dutch nobility and gentry, as well as several important foreign diplomats stationed in The Hague. The typologies he followed in his works survived well into the 17th century, repeated and modified by his followers, including Paulus Moreelse (1571–1638) and Jan (1604–1633). This survival was supported by Van Mierevelt’s own clientele, who was very conservative in their tastes and manners and who felt fully represented by these portraits. Thus, when Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange-Nassau (1584–1647) had his portrait painted by the great Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), he indicated a portrait of him painted by Van Mierevelt around 1610 as a model to follow (Posada, T. en: Pintura Holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, 2009, p. 256).

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