All About Burgher of Delft and his Daughter by Jan Steen


Title of Artwork: “Burgher of Delft and his Daughter”

All About Burgher of Delft and his Daughter by Jan Steen

Artwork by Jan Steen

Year Created 1655

Summary of Burgher of Delft and his Daughter

The oil on canvas painting by Dutch artist Jan Steen, commonly titled A Mayor of Delft and his Daughter (1655), depicts the mayor of Delft and his daughter. It was painted during the Dutch Golden Age and may now be found in the Rijksmuseum. Double picture of Adolf Croeser (1612-1668) and his daughter Catharina Croeser has been the accepted title since 2006.

All About Burgher of Delft and his Daughter

The Dutch art historian Hofstede de Groot recorded this painting in 1910, writing; “878 Supposed Portrait of the Burgomaster and His Daughter at Delft. The man is seated dead centre on his front porch steps, writing something down.

His daughter walks down two steps to the viewer’s left. The man wears all black, while the woman dons a blue skirt and a bluish-purple dress.

The man on the right is spoken to by a red-clad beggar woman who is accompanied by a boy. The tower of the Oude Kerk in Delft can be seen off to the right, while a smaller tower can be seen off to the left of the man’s head. Overlooking the Oude Delft is a stone bridge proudly displaying the town’s coat of arms.

There’s a bunch of flowers in a vase sitting in the house’s left window. As compared to the other homes on the block, this one sticks out slightly. Part of the image is obscured by tree branches and leaves.

The photograph is genuine, although it’s not really impressive. The size of the man’s head is disproportionate to the woman’s. The painting was originally titled “The Burgomaster of Delft and his Daughter,” but after its sale in 1808 it has gone by various other titles.

According to family lore, the couple depicted here are Geraldo Briel van Welhoeck (1593-1665) and his daughter Anna, who was born in 1638 and married Adriaan Bogaert van Beloys in 1656. Dated and signed in full on the edge of a step in 1655; canvas measures 32 1/2 by 27. No. 238 at the 1882 Royal Academy Winter Exhibition in London.

The Embarrassment of Riches, by Simon Schama, was published in 1987, and the cover of that year’s edition contained this painting. The artwork spent more than a century at Penrhyn Castle before being purchased by the Rijksmuseum for 11.9 million euros in July 2004.

After the single interested party withdrew their bid in August, the British government provided an export licence to allow British institutions to purchase the painting.

The original title was changed in 2006 after much research was done on the depicted Delft cityscape and the depicted inhabitants. By the turn of the century, it was widely accepted that the guy depicted in the painting did not serve as mayor of Delft.

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