Frans van Mieris the Elder (1635-81), Domestic Scene in a Farmhouse ('Sending the Boy for Beer'), ca. 1655-57
The university town of Leiden came to name a school within 17th century Dutch painting founded by the Rembrandt student Gerrit Dou (1613-1675).
The Leiden School's "fine" painting
The Leiden School is known for its “fine” painting, a very sophisticated and time-consuming style of painting where the brushstrokes are barely visible. These paintings are usually quite small and often depict scenes from everyday life.
The importance of Gerrit Dou
Frans van Mieris the Elder studied under several masters, but the true foundations of his long career were laid at Gerrit Dou’s studio. He was received as a master with the Leiden Guild of Painters in 1658, but by then he had already been selling his paintings for some time.
Van Mieris' paintings of everyday life
Van Mieris specialised in painting scenes from everyday life. Unlike Dou’s dark interiors, his scenes take place within comfortable, light-filled rooms. Like those of Dou, van Mieris’ paintings went for some of the highest prices on the Dutch art market. His pictures were still highly sought-after up through the 18th century, so it is no wonder that Sending the Boy for Beer was among the purchases made by the Danish king Frederic 4 (1671-1730) in Augsburg in 1709.