Portrait of a girl, three-quarter length, in a red satin dress by a fountain, a dog on her lap
signed 'NMAES.' (NM linked, lower left)
oil on canvas
66.5 x 56 cm.
in a carved gilt wood frame of circa 1700, reduced in size
Anonymous sale; A. Mak, Dordrecht, 12 December 1972, lot 170.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, Amsterdam, 22 November 1989, lot 94, where purchased by the father of the present owner.
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Lot Essay

The gathering of water from a spring with a mussel shell derives from P.C. Hooft's famous play Granida of 1605. This motif and the spaniel are to be found in a number of children's portraits by Maes, which date to circa 1675-80, like the present painting. Maes by then had moved from Dordrecht to the wealthy city of Amsterdam, where his fashionable brand of portraiture found particular praise: ‘so much work came his way that it was deemed a favour if one person was granted the opportunity to sit for his portrait before another, and so it remained for the rest of his life’ (A. Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, II, The Hague, 1719, p. 275).

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