Jan Mytens

Datesabout 1614 - 1670
BornThe Hague, The Netherlands

The son of a saddlemaker, Jan Mytens learned to paint from his uncles while still a teenager. In his early twenties, he was admitted to The Hague's guild of painters; fifteen years later, he became the guild's governor. In the last decade of his life, he founded the painters' society De Pictura (On Painting), where he spent the remainder of his career teaching students about portrait painting.

Throughout his life Mytens was a fashionable portrait painter in The Hague. He received commissions from prominent citizens, members of the nobility, and high-placed government officials. His portraits can be divided into two major groups: life-size three-quarter length, and half-length portraits of individuals and small-scale family groups. He conveyed his sitters' elevated status by depicting them wearing sumptuous garments and jewelry.