Mierevelt was one of the most successful and fashionable Dutch portraitists of the 17th century.

From 1590 he devoted himself entirely to portraiture and in 1607 he was appointed official painter of the Stadholder court of Mauritz, the Prince of Orange-Nassau (1567-1625). This painting is characteristic of his work, which comprises pedominantly head and shoulder and half-length portraits, where the sitter is placed at an angle, with head and body in the same direction, against a monochrome background. The eye is led towards the sitter's face through light accents revealed by details such as clothing. Maria, the subject of this portrait was born c.1542 and died sometime after 1612, when the work was painted.


John George Williams (1838-1926), Mayor of Lincoln, 1899; By descent to Mrs Vivien Stapylton-Smith.

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