Completed Continental European before 1800, Dress and Textiles 14 The interior and costumes in this painting suggest c.1730: could the artist be Joseph van Aken?

Topic: Artist

This painting has been attributed to the manner of Gabriel Metsu (1629–1667) since it arrived at The Atkinson in 1904, but the interior and costumes suggest a date nearer c.1730.

Joseph van Aken (c.1699–1749) has recently been suggested as the artist. Could anybody offer information to support this or suggest an alternative attribution?

Amanda Draper, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

Jade Audrey King,

The artist of this work has been changed to 'Matthijs Naiveu (1647–1726)'. An execution date of c.1720 has also been allocated to the record.

This amend will appear on the new version of the Your Paintings website in January 2016. Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.


Foteini Vlachou,

That Penitent St. Jerome on the wall looks strangely familiar and if there were a better-resolution photograph, I'd like also to get a look at the painting on top of the fireplace. Also, the carpet is very distinctive. Could it be Mughal? Dutch and English trade of Indian carpets slowly comes to an end after c. 1680, although the carpet could have been with the family for decades. I wonder if an identification is able based on the objects represented (I do not have an opinion on authorship).

Bart Cornelis,

See, for a useful comparison, exh. cat. De kroon op het werk: Hollandse schilderkunst 1670-1750, Dordrecht (Dordrechts Museum) 2007, no.57, as well as The Atkinson Art Gallery picture is rather awkward, but then so are quite a few late works by Matthijs Naiveu. Could also be by a follower of Naiveu, of course. It is the composition's emphasis on the carpet that is reminiscent of Naiveu.

Toby Campbell,

Agreed with Bart Cornelis. This looks like a painting by Mattijs Naiveu.

Lou Taylor, Dress and Textiles,

Looking only at the clothes: the man's wig could well be c1710-30; the man's grey coat could be dated to around 1715-25 because of the width provided by the pleats in the side seams . The coat's flares are too wide to be around 1690. The coat's cuffs however, do not seem to match that date as they are rather too narrow. They also have some unusual decorative trimming- pity we can't see the front - almost military/naval. The women's clothes are much harder to see and date.. but they have no hoops, which is a clue. Again these are not as early as 1690-1700- but could be c 1720.. if that is any help.

Patty Macsisak,

I am intrigued by the tea kettle, sitting atop a burner mounted on an incredibly light-weight stand. The design seems out-of-place in a Dutch household, even an upwardly mobile household. Could it be a novelty imported from the Far East? In a search of the Internet, I was unable to find comparable examples of the tea stand in the painting.

The Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art ("English Furniture in the Palmer Collection", Vol. 13 Page 282) suggests "... the tripod table used as a tea-kettle or candle-stand occurs in the early Georgian period, and presumably furnished the suggestion from which the tripod tea table was evolved." Could this exquisite example (1724-25) have its roots in cruder one pictured above?

Bart Cornelis,

It is indeed the very same picture in the background. Well spotted! I would think that more or less clinches it.

Eddy Schavemaker,

Yes, this painting must be by Naiveu. I will put this forward to the Naiveu specialist. Please contact me if you need the name and contact details of this specialist.

I agree with Bart Cornelis, whose idea it originally was, Foteini Vlachou, who cleverly spotted the 'Lot and his daughters' and Eddy Schavemaker that this painting is by Matthijs Naiveu - not his best work, but typical of his manner.

Amanda Draper,

Thanks Tim, and to Bart, Foteini and Eddy. I'm in The Atkinson tomorrow and will put forward your recommendation to the team.

Amanda Draper,

The Atkinson's team pass on their thanks to everyone for their input and for getting to a conclusion about attribution. Thanks especially to Bart Cornelis for his original assessment that the painting is most likely to be by Matthijs Naiveu.

It is recommended that attribution be changed to Matthijs Naiveu.

Jade Audrey King,

To clarify, the collection have indicated that they are happy for this work to be listed as by Matthijs Naiveu (rather than attributed to). A execution date of c.1720 can also be given due to Lou Taylor's helpful comments on the clothing.