Johannes Mytens (1614-1670)
A Family Portrait 1648
Oil on Canvas, Signed and dated, 111 x 149.5cm
Sold to Private Collector, UK
Mytens was born in the Hague and according to Houbraken, was trained by Anthony van Opstal and later by Nicolas van der Horst. Mytens became a member of the Hague Guild of St Luke in 1642, and helped set up the Confrerie Pictura, a club of artists founded in 1656 in a reaction against the Guild of St Luke. He was the son of a saddle maker, learning to paint from his uncles Isaac Mijtens and Daniel Mitjens, both well known artists. After fifteen years as a member of the Hague Guild of Painters he became its Governor.
Throughout his life, he was a fashionable portrait painter, receiving commissions from prominent citizens, members of the nobility, and high placed government officials. He painted for Dutch Royalty and specialized in portraiture, genre pieces and historical allegories. Mytens was especially skilled at rendering the clothing of his affluent sitters. His portraits can be divided into two major groups: life-size three quarter length portraits of individuals and small scale family groups.