A soldier has his glass topped up by the barmaid. With his other hand, he tries to pull her closer. The glances they exchange and her open cleavage leave us in no doubt, as do the mating dogs behind them on the right – this is a brothel.
This is a highlight in the oeuvre of Frans van Mieris, one of the Leiden ‘fijnschilders’, or fine painters. His amazing technique is displayed well in the barmaid’s clothing and the man’s cuirass.
Frans van Mieris the Elder (Leiden 1635 - 1681 Leiden)
Materiale e dettagli tecnici
42.5 x 33.3 cm
Signed and dated
at right, above the doorway: F. van [M]ieris 165[.] almost illegible
Possibly Jeronimo de Bosch, Amsterdam and his sale, Amsterdam, 20-21 March 1780 (Lugt 3107), no. 3; possibly Friedrich II of Hessen-Kassel, Kassel (S. Causid, Verzeichniss der Hochfürstlich-Hessischen Gemählde-Sammlung in Cassel, 1783, p. 203, no. 51, contains a description that may refer to this painting); Chaplin Collection, England, 1838; Charles A. Bredel, London, 1839; by inheritance to his daughter, Miss Bredel, London, 1851-1875; her sale, London, 1 May 1875 (Lugt 35622), no. 119 (for 4,300 pounds to Levy); Albert Levy, London; his sale, London, 6 April 1876 (Lugt 36353), no. 12 (for 3,675 pounds to Dudley); William Ward, Earl of Dudley, London, 1876-1892; his sale, London, 25 June 1892 (Lugt 50974), no. 12 (for 3,570 pounds to Steinkopf); Edward, Baron Steinkopf, London, 1892; by inheritance to his daughter, Mary Stewart-Mackenzie, Lady Seaforth, born Steinkopf, London, 1920-1933; Duits Ltd., London, 1935; Fritz Mannheimer (1890-1939), Amsterdam; sold as part of the Mannheimer Collection to the Dienststelle Mühlmann for Adolf Hitler, Führermuseum, Linz, 1940; Stichting Nederlands Kunstbezit (inv. no. NK 3114), 1946; on loan to the Mauritshuis, 1948-1960; transferred, 1960
This painting is part of the Netherlands Art Property Collection (‘NK collection’): objects that were stolen, seized or purchased during the Nazi regime. After the Second World War they were placed under the administration of the Dutch State. In recent decades, applications for restitution are taken into consideration again and some objects have been returned to the heirs of their rightful owners.