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18 DOCTI DIS CANT, ET AMINT MEMINISSE PERITI.
E DIN BU R G H.
M I E
Μ Ι Ε
*IEL (Jan), called Giovanni della Vite, a most might easily be dillinguished. His pictures are rarely Meris,
eminent painter, was born in Flanders in 1599. to be seen, and as rarely to be sold; and when they He was at firt a disciple of Gerard Seghers, in whose are, the purchase is extremely high, their intrinfic va. school he made a distinguishe i figure ; but he quitted lue being so inconteitably great. Beside portraits, his that artist, and went to Italy, to improve himself in general subjects were conversations, perfons perform. design, and to obtain a more extensive knowledge of ing on n.usical instruments, patients attended by the the leveral branches of his art. At Rome he parti apothecary or doctor, chymiits at work, mercers cularly studied and copied the works of the Caracci shops, and such like; and the usual valuation he set on and Corregio; and was admitted into the acadeiny of his pictures was estimated at the rate of a ducat an Andrea Sacchi, where he gave such evident proofs of hour. The finest portrait of this matter's hand is that extraordinary merit and genius, that he was invited by which he painted for the wife of Cornelius Plaats, Andrea to assist him in a grand defign which he had which is said to be still preserved in the family, al. already begun. But Miel, through some disgult, re. though very great sums have been offered for it. In jected those elevated subjects which at first had enga- the poffeffion of the same gentleman was another pica yed his attention, refused the friendly proposal of ture of Mieris, representing a lady fainting, and, a Sacchi, and chose to imitate the style of BamVoccio, physician applying the remedies to relieve her. For as having more of that nature which pleased his own that performance he was paid (at his usual rate of a imagination. His general subjects were huntings, car. ducat an hour) so much money as amounted to fifteen nivals, gypfies, beggars, pastoral scenes, and conver- hundred florins when the picture was finished. The sations ; of those he composed his easel-pictures, which grand duke of Tuscany wilhed to purchase it, and ofare the finest of his performances. But he also paint fered three thousand florins for it, but the offer was ed history in a large size in fresco, and in oil ; which, not accepted. However, that prince procured several though they seem to want elevation of delign, and:ą of his pictures, and they are at this day an ornament greater degree of grace in the heads, yet appear supe to the Florentine collection. One of the molt curious rior to what might be expected from a painter of such of them is a girl holling a candle in her hand, and it low subjects as he generally was fond of representing. is accounted ineitimable. This painter died in 1681. His pi&tures of huntings are particularly admired: the MIERIS (John), son of the former, was born at figures and animals of every species being designed with Leyden in 1660, and learned the art of painting uncommon spirit, nature, and truth. The transparence from his father. The young artist unhappily was feof his colouring, and the clear tints of his skies, enli- verely affitted with the gravel and tone ; and by ven his compositions; nor are his paintings in any de- those complaints was much hindered in the progress of gree inferior to those of Bamboccio either in their his studies. But, aiter the death of his father, he tra. force or luftre. His large works are not so much to velled to Germany, and from thence to Florence, be commended for the goodness of the design as for where the fame of his father's merit procured him a the expression and colouring ; but it is in his small most honourable reception from the grand duke, who, pieces that the pencil of Miel appears in its greatest when he saw some of his paintings, endeavoured to redelicacy and beauty. The fingular merit of this
mas- tain him in his service. But Mieris politely declined ter recommended him to the favour of Charles Ema
it, and proceeded to Rome, where his great abilities nuel duke of Savoy, who invited him to his court, were well known before his arrival, and his works where he appointed Miel his principal painter, and were exceedingly coveted. In that city his malądy afterwards honoured him with the order of St Mauri- increased ; yet at the intervals of ease he continued to tius, and made him a present of a cross set with dia-s work with his usual application, till the violence of monds of a great value, as a particular mark of his his diflemper ended his days in 1690, when he was esteem. He died in 1664.
only thirty years old. He was allowed to have been