Portrait of the artist Frans van Mieris the Elder

Very fine proof impression with extensive retouching by the artist in grey wash, pen and ink and graphite. Before the letters, here outlined in graphite ‘Frans va Mieris’. With large paper margins, uncleaned platemark and remains of stipple marks. In untouched and fresh condition with a wonderful visible unpressed platemark.

It appears that the first state described by van der Kellen (p. 225) and included by Hollstein, does not exist. No first state is listed in Hollstein and the ‘little spot below the right eye’ that van de Kellen refers to might be an ink spot in one impression. Our print might be a very early impression and pull with various corrections by the artist.
No further changes were made to the composition between our impression and later states. However, the sitter’s right eyebrow (drawn-in with ink in our print) was slightly deepened and enhanced. Compared to the other copy of Hollstein’s second state, the darkened parts of the cloak appear a bit lighter. In the third state these parts are given more depth, possibly via additional engraving of the plate, in order to imitate the texture of velvet. On our print these parts are treated with black wash in order to mark the next working stages for the plate.

The wash in black ink on the portal on the lower left corner of the picture indicates that further roulette treatment might have been planned. For example, Moor used the roulette only slighlty in the first state of his portrait of the painter Jan van Goyen (Van der Kellen 1) and then reworked the shaded parts in the second state.

The print is after a self-portrait drawing by Frans van Mieris, now held at the British Museum (1854,0628.17). Another print dated 1667 (Hollstein 14 (after Mieris)) after this drawing is by Abraham Blooteling (1640 - 1690). This date has erroneously been given to the Moor print as well, but it should be dated around 1690 or later, in line with the date of the paper of our impression and of the other impressions that we have seen.

Van der Kellen 3;
Wurzbach 3;
Hollstein XIV. 3 (possibly unknown state before II/III).