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Key facts
Full title An Old Fiddler
Artist After Frans van Mieris the Elder
Artist dates 1635 - 1681
Date made probably 18th century
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 28.9 x 22.9 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Layard Bequest, 1913
Inventory number NG2952
Location Not on display
An Old Fiddler
After Frans van Mieris the Elder

An old man sits in a window, a glass in his hand, a pile of plump, pink shrimps on the table in front of him. Vine leaves hang down overhead, and on the windowsill is a violin. Carved into the wooden panel beneath the sill are the Latin letters for 1660, ‘MDCLX’ – the year the original picture was painted, though this is a later copy.

The picture is a tronie, a popular genre of painting in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. These pictures showed stock characters in costume with exaggerated facial expressions.

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