Willem van Mieris – The Sleeping Hurdy Gurdy player

Signed W Van Mieris ft anno 1690

The versatile Willem van Mieris was the most successful genre painter of his generation and carried forth the torch of Leiden fine painting lit by Gerrit Dou two generations earlier and kept alight by his pupil Frans van Mieris the Elder, Willem’s father and teacher. Our painting is a typical example of a scene of every-day life staged in plain homes and taverns. Dated 1690 this is a masterpiece of Van Mieris’ early maturity. The artist indulged in painstakingly rendering the countless details and in faithfully describing the many different surface qualities. A stunning example of his virtuosity is the finish of the still life on the table. The hurdy-gurdy is unmatched in its verisimilitude.