Admission is always free Directions
Open today: 10:00 to 5:00
Jan Miense Molenaer
Dutch, c. 1610 - 1668
 

Copy-and-paste citation text:

Alexandra Libby, “Jan Miense Molenaer,” NGA Online Editions, https://purl.org/nga/collection/constituent/25213 (accessed January 23, 2020).

 

Export as PDF


Export from an object page includes entry, notes, images, and all menu items except overview and related contents.
Export from an artist page includes image if available, biography, notes, and bibliography.
Note: Exhibition history, provenance, and bibliography are subject to change as new information becomes available.

PDF  
 
Version Link
May 07, 2019 Version
Related Content
Biography

Jan Miense Molenaer was the oldest son of the tailor Jan Mientsen Molenaer and his second wife, Grietgen Adriaensdr. Molenaer was born in Haarlem around 1610.[1] He may have trained with Frans Hals (Dutch, c. 1582/1583 - 1666) or his brother Dirck Hals (1591–1656), as his earliest known works, which date to 1629, favor the same palette and subjects as these two masters, notably energetic scenes of merrymaking.[2] In 1634, Molenaer is mentioned in the register of the Haarlem Guild of Saint Luke.[3]

During the 1630s, Molenaer depicted a wide range of subjects, from merry company scenes to tavern groups, biblical scenes, theatrical subjects, and portraits. His style of painting was quite varied, ranging from precise and refined to loose and free. Above all, Molenaer was able to impart individuality to his figures and convey their relationships with one another. In 1636, Molenaer married his fellow Haarlem artist, Judith Leyster (Dutch, 1609 - 1660). In 1637, the two moved to Amsterdam, where they resided for the next 12 years. Attracted like so many others to the city’s bustling art market, Molenaer found professional and personal success in Amsterdam. He continued to paint a variety of subjects, from theatrical scenes and images of the five senses to religious narratives, but he also produced genre scenes of peasant villages and tavern scenes. While in Amsterdam, the couple had four children, all baptized in the Nieuwe Kerk.[4]

Molenaer and Leyster relocated to Heemstede, south of Haarlem, around 1648. Molenaer’s output during this last phase of his career is large, though not particularly inspired. During this time he was also contending with mounting debts, difficulties with his forays into real estate investments, and illness.[5] On November 6, 1659, Molenaer and Leyster, both in poor health, drew up their wills. Although Molenaer recovered, Leyster died three months later at the age of 50. Molenaer soon moved back to Haarlem, and spent the last five years of his life in a rented house on the Burgwal, where he died in 1668. He was buried in the Grote Kerk four days later.

Notes

[1] Molenaer testified on behalf of the Amsterdam art dealer Joannes de Renialme on November 21, 1637, calling himself “about 27 years old.” See Irene van Thiel-Stroman, “Jan Miense Molenaer,” in Painting in Haarlem 1500–1850: The Collection of the Frans Hals Museum, ed. Neeltje Köhler (Haarlem, 2006), 243, n. 1.

[2] Dennis P. Weller, “Jan Miense Molenaer: Painter of the Dutch Golden Age,” in Jan Miense Molenaer: Painter of the Dutch Golden Age, ed. Dennis P. Weller (Raleigh, 2002), 10.

[3] Hessel Miedema, ed., De archiefbescheiden van het St. Lukasgilde te Haarlem 1497–1798, 2 vols. (Alphen aan den Rijn, 1980), 420, 933.

[4] Irene van Thiel-Stroman, “Jan Miense Molenaer,” in Painting in Haarlem 1500–1850: The Collection of the Frans Hals Museum, ed. Neeltje Köhler (Haarlem, 2006), 241.

[5] Dennis P. Weller, “Jan Miense Molenaer: Painter of the Dutch Golden Age,” in Jan Miense Molenaer: Painter of the Dutch Golden Age, ed. Dennis P. Weller (Raleigh, 2002), 22.

Alexandra Libby

May 7, 2019

Bibliography
1992
Weller, Dennis P. “Jan Miense Molenaer (ca. 1609/10–1668): The Life and Art of a Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painter.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Maryland, 1992.
1993
Welu, James A., and Pieter Biesboer. Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World. Exh. cat. Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem; Worcester Art Museum. Haarlem, 1993.
2002
Weller, Dennis P. “Jan Miense Molenaer: Painter of the Dutch Golden Age.” In Jan Miense Molenaer: Painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Edited by Dennis P. Weller. Exh. cat. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Currier Museum of Art, Manchester. Raleigh, 2002: 9–25.
2006
Van Thiel-Stroman, Irene. “Jan Miense Molenaer.” In Painting in Haarlem 1500–1850: The Collection of the Frans Hals Museum. Edited by Neeltje Köhler. Haarlem, 2006: 241–245.

Filter results by:

Works on View

Limit to works on view

Online Images

Limit to works with online images

Classification

Limit to works of classification:

Nationality

Limit to works of artist nationalities:

Online Editions

Limit to works belonging to editions:

Time Span

Limit to works created between:

Styles

Limit to works containing styles:

Photographic Process

Limit to works containing photographic processes:

Locations

Find works executed in:


Subjects

Find works containing subject terms:


Alternate Numbers

Find works with an alternate reference number (for example, Key Set number) containing:


  • Filters: