Frans van der Myn (1719-1782)
An evening conversation piece in an opulent interior of Dr Cornelis and Mrs Henriette Hageman and their son John Jacob, she playing a gilt wood single-manual harpsichord, he leaning on a chair and the child sitting on a cushion playing cards
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated 1746
79.5 x 82.5cm (31 x 32.5 in)
Provenance: Passed by family inheritance to a private collection in Holland.
Cornelius Hageman was born in 1714 and trained as a medical doctor in the Netherlands. In 1745 he married in Amsterdam as his first wife Henriette van Heemskerk (1725-1748). Their only son Johan Jacob Hageman was born the following year at Amsterdam. She died in 1748.
Cornelis re-married the following year (banns read Amsterdam 17th January 1749) to Alida Maria Swedenrijck (Christened 4th June 1728 in Amsterdam). Cornelis died before 1802; his wife Alida died in Bocholt in Limburg (in what is now north Belgium) in 1827. The couple had four children, the eldest son Eduard Hageman becoming a distinguished professor of jurisprudence and Latin scholar at the University of Leiden.
The instrument being played by Henriette Hageman has a notably richly carved base, of a type illustrated in England by Carl Michael Tuscher's 1742 portrait of Burkat Schudi and his family (NPG):
Schudi (1702-1773) was a Swiss harpsichord-maker long working in London who introduced many innovations into his craft. His instruments are considered amongst the finest ever made, and were supplied to many of the courts of Europe. He was the employer and teacher of John Broadwood, (1732-1812) who later dominated keyboard making in England.
Frans van der Myn was the son of the Dutch portrait painter Herman van der Mijn and was born when his father moved to Düsseldorf to work for Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine. He worked in Amsterdam during the years 1742-1748 (when the present picture was painted) and in the Hague. He moved to England with the rest of his extended family in about 1749.
In 1750 Johan van Gool describes his father, his brothers Robert, George, Andreas and Gerard, and his sister Cornelia as “all good painters”. In 1808 Edward Edwards (Anecdotes of Painting in England) describes him thus: "Frank Vandermine, or Vander Mijne: A native of Holland, who lived many years in England, and practised as a portrait painter, both in London and the country. He was some time at Norwich, where he painted several heads. He had considerable merit as an artist, but was of mean address and vulgar manners: He loved smoking and drinking, nor would forego his pipe, though it was offensive to his employers, so that he never acquired the practice which he might otherwise have obtained. He boasted, that after he had painted a portrait, the likeness remained so strong upon his memory, that if the picture were immediately obliterated, he could repaint the resemblance without the assistance of the sitter. He died in indigent circumstances, at his apartments in Moorfields, some time in 1783