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Willem van Mieris, A Woman and a Fish-pedlar in a Kitchen

Key facts
Full title A Woman and a Fish-pedlar in a Kitchen
Artist Willem van Mieris
Artist dates 1662 - 1747
Date made 1713
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 49.5 × 41 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1871
Inventory number NG841
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Woman and a Fish-pedlar in a Kitchen
Willem van Mieris

Willem van Mieris belonged to a group of Dutch artists based in Leiden who are known as the Fijnschilders (‘fine painters’) because of their attention to accurate, realistic detail and their smooth technique. They aimed to show each object, each texture so authentically that they would seem tangible.

A kitchen setting provided van Mieris with the opportunity to show off his skills in representing many different textures in one picture: wicker and earthenware, fur and feathers, lace and leather, cabbage leaves and fish scales.

Van Mieris made a successful career from pictures of interiors. He painted kitchens or shops, but always elevated their status by using the arched window with a classical frieze below and by including a profusion of objects. He took this idea from his father and teacher, Frans van Mieris, who had himself followed the example of Gerrit Dou.

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