Jan Mijtens specialized in painting group portraits within a landscape setting. This painting depicts Pieter and Sophia van der Graeff with their daughters Machtild, who carries a basket of flowers, and Cornelia, who holds a nautilus shell. A third daughter, Petronella, hovers in the clouds above, a Dutch convention for representing deceased children. She directs a crown of laurel leaves toward her father’s head, who himself died before this painting was completed. Additional symbolic elements include the dog, indicative of marital fidelity, and the act of passing pearls from mother to child, which alludes to virtue. Mijtens was particularly adept at rendering the details of the fashionable and elegant clothing that reflects the affluence of Dutch burghers in the seventeenth century. This painting is signed and dated in the lower right.
Open Content Program
The Birmingham Museum of art makes available digital images of works in the Museum’s collection believed to be in the public domain. Images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Museum for authorization to use these images. They are available through the Online Collection at artsbma.org/collection. See detailed instructions for specific work types below.
Identifying Open Content Images
The mission of the Birmingham Museum of Art is to spark the creativity, imagination, and liveliness of Birmingham by connecting all its citizens to the experience, meaning, and joy of art. The Museum understands that by sharing images of works online without restrictions, the BMA collection becomes more accessible to a larger audience.
For objects with images the rights status is displayed in the “credit line” section of the object information. The rights status or rights holder will be indicated. If the work is in the public domain and/or the image may be downloaded, the download icon will appear in the bottom right corner of the image area. To search the collection click here.
Works With Restrictions
For copyright-protected images that have been approved by copyright holders, a presentation-sized image is available, but can not be downloaded. A copyright statement clearly listing the name of the copyright holder is visible in the credit line area when the image is displayed. Thumbnail-sized images of copyrighted works are displayed under fair use.
When the owner of a work is impossible to determine or contact, the work is deemed an orphan work. The Museum will make thumbnails of orphan works available. If you are the representative or rights holder of an orphan work, please contact Rights and Reproductions.
Please use the following source credit when reproducing an Open Content image: Courtesy Birmingham Museum of Art, followed by the credit line provided in the object description.
Although there are no restrictions or conditions of the use of an Open Content image, the BMA would appreciate a gratis copy of any scholarly publication(s) in which the images are reproduced in order to maintain collection bibliography. Copies may be sent to the attention of:
Open Content Program
Digital Media Department
The Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35203
- If an image is not available under Open Content it may be because the work is still under copyright, the work is not owned by the museum, or the work has not yet been photographed to BMA standards.
- Request Images: If an image of a work is not available online or is under copyright, you may submit a request through our online request form. You may also request files in additional sizes or formats. A fee will be charged for this service.
- Our determination of public domain is made in good faith.
- Electronic records are based on historical information and may not be the Museum’s complete or current knowledge about an object. Research is ongoing.
- The ‘On View’ status may be delayed on the website by 24 hours. Please check with our Rights and Registration Office to confirm that a work of art will be on view before traveling to the Museum.
- Titles Portrait of the van der Graeff Family (Proper)
- Artist Jan Mijtens, Dutch, The Hague 1613/1614 - 1670 The Hague
- Medium oil on canvas
- Dimensions 55 1/4 × 64 in. (140.3 × 162.6 cm) frame: 65 × 73 5/8 × 2 3/4 in. (165.1 × 187 × 7 cm)
- Credit Line Museum purchase with funds provided by Mrs. Bernard Steiner, 1985.279
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Signature None
- Marks None
- Inscription Verso, vertical stretcher bar, top, white chalk: 1 [inscribed in circle] EL 203 Verso, horizontal stretcher bar, right, stenciled in black: EL 203 Verso, horizontal stretcher bar, left: LOT 23 11-12-84 Verso, bottom stretcher bar, center, paper label: Leger Galleries / Art Dealers / 13 Old Bond Street, W.I. / Established 1892 / Title Pieter van der Graaff and his family / in a landscape. / Artist Jan Mytens / Date October 1977 / Old and Modern Masters / Early English Watercolours *The auction catalog for Sotheby's London, July 9, 1975, lot 37 mentions an inscription on the back that gives the names of the two girls as Magtid and Cornelia. This inscription is also mentioned in the Witt Library record for the painting, which has it as with Leger Galleries in 1977. This inscription is no longer visible.
- Provenance Paul Eynard, Rolle, Switzerland [see note 1]. Lucien Baszanger (1890-1971), Geneva, apparently acquired between 1950 and 1953, until at least 1967 [see note 2]. Auctioned as property of a Swiss collector at Christie's London, March 29, 1974, lot 84; Roy Miles, likely Roy Miles (1935-2012) of Roy Miles Gallery, London [see note 3]. Auctioned at Sotheby's, London, July 9, 1975, lot 37 [see note 4]; with dealer Leger Galleries, London, until at least 1977 [see note 5]. Auctioned at Christie's, London, December 11, 1984, lot 23. With dealer Patrick Weiller, Paris; purchased by the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1985
1. Paul Eynard, Rolle, is noted in the provenance of the painting in Cent tableaux de la collection Baszanger, Geneva, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, 1954/5, p. 25, no. 52. Paul Eynard, author of Le Palais Eynard, Geneva, 1986, is a member of the family that built the palace in Geneva c. 1821 and shortly thereafter a residence in Beaulieu near Rolle. Gabriel Antoine Eynard (1739-1814), a rich merchant in Lyon who took refuge in Rolle, Switzerland, in 1795, and his sons Jean-Gabriel Eynard (1775-1863) and Jacques Eynard (1772-1844) built an important collection of paintings. See Renée Loche, Un cabinet de peintures à Genève au XIXe siècle: La collection Eynard. Essai de reconstitution, Geneva, Musée d'art et d'historie Genève 27, n.s. (1979), pp. 177-221. The BMA painting by Mytens does not appear among those paintings acquired by the collection during the nineteenth century, which are catalogued by Loche. An inscription "EL 203" on the back of the painting could perhaps be an inventory number for Eynard. "EL" does not correspond to any ERR code.
2. Not included in Exposition Maitres anciens hollandais: collection Galerie Baszanger, Gèneve, 1946, nor in Louis Réau, Mâitres anciens de la collection Baszanger, 1950 but included in the exhibition Vijftig werken uit de collectie Baszanger te Genève, Delft, Musée Prinsenhof, 1953, no. 25, pl. vii, and Cent tableaux de la Collection Baszanger, Geneva, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, 1954, no. 52. The painting is also included in Louis Réau, Collection Baszanger: Les Mâitres Anciens, 1967, p. 39.
3. Per the results list for the auction, which also lists buyer's names: Roy Miles.
4. Consigned by a dealer in London according to information provided by Sotheby's, see object file.
5. Purchased at the 1975 auction according to information provided by Sotheby's, see object file. Exh. cat. Leger Galleries Apr 1-Apr 30, 1976, no. 1. There is a label on the back of the painting from Leger Galleries, Old and Modern Masters, Early English Watercolors, Oct. 1977. The Witt Library record for the painting has it with Leger Galleries in 1977.