Sales cat. Petronella de la Court (1624–1707), Amsterdam, 19 October 1707, no. 16 [for f. 190]: “Een geldtellend Juffertje, met een oud vrolyk Besje, van Jan Mieres.” Other pictures by Jan van Mieris in the catalogue are: nos. 4, 17, 79, 80, 96–98.
The peculiar gesture of the old woman, clasping her upper arm with her left hand, perhaps carried a sexual connotation in those days. For examples of the similar gesture, see, for instance, Tavern Scene with a Drunken Man, by Cornelis Bega (private collection) in Peter van den Brink, ed., Cornelis Bega: Eleganz und raue Sitten (Exh. cat. Aachen, Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum; Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie) (Stuttgart, 2012), 180–83, no. 42.
Jan van Mieris became a member of the Leiden Guild of Saint Luke in 1686, but this does not exclude the possibility that he produced signed pictures before that time. Evidence for this theory may be found in A Woman and a Man in an Interior (see note 4), which is dated 1680. After his apprenticeship with his father, Jan probably started to paint his own compositions while still active in his father’s studio and under his guidance. The handful of works from the early 1680s can be considered such examples.
See, for instance, Training the Little Dog, ca.1680 (sale, Charpentier, Paris, 6 April 1957, no. I), and A Woman and a Man in an Interior, dated 1680 (sale, Lepke, Berlin, 31 March 1925, no. 46). Also, for Lady at Her Dressing Table, ca. 1680, see James A. Welu, 17th-Century Dutch Painting: Raising the Curtain on New England Private Collections (Exh. cat. Worcester Art Museum) (Worcester, Mass., 1983), 57–61, no. 15, as by Frans van Mieris the Elder. Sometimes Jan’s quotation of motifs is so obvious that one could easily discern which of his father’s pictures was his model. His Cavalier and a Lady from the Wallace Collection in London is one such an example. See: Otto Naumann, Frans van Mieris (1635–1681) the Elder, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1981), 53–56, no. 45, fig. C45; John Ingamells, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Pictures IV: Dutch and Flemish (London, 1992), 211–13, no. P176; Stephen Duffy and Jo Headly, The Wallace Collection’s Pictures: A Complete Catalogue (London, 2004), 273, no. P176; Quentin Buvelot, ed., Frans van Mieris 1635–1681 (Exh. cat. The Hague, Mauritshuis; Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art) (Zwolle, 2005), 234, no. 45.
Quentin Buvelot, ed., Frans van Mieris 1635–1681 (Exh. cat. The Hague, Mauritshuis; Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art) (Zwolle, 2005), 239, no. 133; Peter Sutton, ed., Love Letters: Dutch Genre Painting in the Age of Vermeer (Exh. cat. Greenwich, Conn., Bruce Museum; Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland) (London, 2003), 148–49, no. 26.
Frans van Mieris the Elder also portrayed this model as a procuress in his A Woman (Bathsheba?) with a Procuress; see Otto Naumann, Frans van Mieris (1635–1681) the Elder, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1981), 2:99–100, no. 87; Quentin Buvelot, ed., Frans van Mieris 1635–1681 (Exh. cat. The Hague, Mauritshuis; Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art) (Zwolle, 2005), 236, no. 87.
Petronella de la Court’s close connection to Jan van Mieris is also supported by the fact that she owned a group of early works he made during his short period of activity in Leiden before his departure for Italy. The inventory of Petronella de la Court from 1707 (see next note) includes three paintings by Jan van Mieris, and her sale catalogue (see note 1) includes no less than eight pictures by the painter.
Amsterdam City Archive, Notarial Archives, not. G. Ypelaer, inv. 5338, fol. 553-642, 16 August 1707, inventory of Petronella de la Court: for the inventory, see Piet Bakker’s biography of Jan van Mieris in this catalogue.
The characterization of the wood is based on visual examination only.