Michiel Jansz Van Mierevelt (1567-1641)
Michiel Jansz Van Mierevelt was born in Delft, The Netherlands, on May 1, 1567 as the son of the goldsmith Jan Michelz Mierevelt (1528–1612) and the daughter of a glass painter. According to Karel van Mander’s famous Schilder-Boeck, Michiel first trained with Delft artists Willem Willemsz and Augustijn before moving to Utrecht, where at the age of fourteen he started an apprenticeship with history painter Anthonie van Blocklandt. After his teacher’s death, Van Mierevelt returned to Delft, where he registered as a member of the painters’ guild in 1587 and served as its headman from 1589 to 1590 and again from 1611 to 1612. In 1607 Van Mierevelt was appointed court painter to Prince Maurits of Orange in The Hague, where he emerged as the leading portraitist to the city’s aristocracy and wealthy burghers. He joined the city’s Guild of Saint Luke in 1625 and is recorded to have married twice, in 1589 and 1633. Michiel van Mierevelt died a wealthy man in Delft on June 27, 1641. His formal portraits were extremely popular within his home country and abroad, and therefore his oeuvre is very large, consisting of several hundred works. His most renowned students were Paulus Moreelse (1571 – 1638) and Anthonie Palamedesz (1601–1673), as well as his sons Pieter (1596–1623) and Jan (1604–1633), who also became portraitists.