Lot 7
  • 7

Jacob Vrel Active in Delft and Haarlem 1654 - 1662

100,000 - 150,000 USD
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  • Jacob Vrel
  • A Young Woman in an Interior, Keeping watch over an invalid: "The Little Nurse"
  • oil on panel


Frits Lugt, Maartensdijk, The Netherlands, before 1929 (according to Valentiner, see Literature);
M. van Leeuwen-Boomkamp, Oud-Bussum, near Hilversum, The Netherlands, by 1935 (according to C. Brière-Misme, see Literature);
Possibly by descent to P. van Leeuwen-Boomkamp, Oud-Bussum, The Netherlands, by 1955;
Anonymous sale ("The Property of a Gentleman"), London, Sotheby's December 8, 1971, lot 45, to Burton Frederickson on behalf of the the J. Paul Getty Museum for £7,500;
J. Paul Getty Museum, California, no. 71.PB.61.


Paris, Palais des Champs Elysées, Tableaux Anciens Empruntés aux Galleries Particulières, May 1, 1866, no. 112 as Jan van der Meer;
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Kuntschatten uit Nederlandse Verzamelingen, June 19 - September 25, 1955, under cat. no. 135, fig. 141.


W. R. Valentiner, "Dutch Genre Painters in the Age of Pieter de Hooch, II, Jacobus Vrel," in Art in America, vol. XVII, no. 2, February 1929, pp. 88, 91;
W.R. Valentiner, Klassiker der Kunst: Pieter de Hooch, Stuttgart 1929, p. xxxiii;
C. Brière-Misme, "Un intimiste hollandais: Jacob Vrel," in Revue de L'Art Ancien et Moderne, vol. 365, November 1935, pp. 160, 162;
P.C. Sutton, Dutch Art in America, Grand Rapids/ Kampen 1986, p. 144;
D. Jaffé, Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles 1997, p. 134, reproduced;
T.M. Southgate, MD., "The Cover," in The Journal of the American Medical Association, April 7, 2004, vol. 291, no. 13, cover illustration and p. 1539.

Catalogue Note

That over half of the thirty-eight paintings that constitute Vrel's small oeuvre have had the false signature of Jan Vermeer or Pieter de Hooch added to them may not, initially, seem surprising, considering the apparent debt he owes to both artists. Vrel's earliest dated painting, however, of 16541, predates all of De Hooch's and Vermeer's Delft interiors, and there is no mention of him in the Delft archives; it therefore seems likely that he developed his style and technique independently of these two great masters.

The majority of Vrel's interiors repeat the same general setting: a room of plain white walls, interrupted by a fireplace, a window and a door, with a series of plates decorating the mantlepiece or door frame. Each is characterized by a pervading monochromatic, greyish light emanating from the street through a window, and a simply dressed Dutch woman, usually seated near the fire. The present composition was repeated by Vrel on three other occasions, and these compositions, almost identical to the Getty version (down to the size of the panel) are now in public collections, albeit under different titles: Interior with Seated Woman, is in the San Diego Museum of Art, accession no. 1950:117; The Hospital Orderly, is in Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, inv. no. 790; and The Little Nurse is in Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, inv. no. A1070. Like Vermeer and De Hooch, Vrel also ventured out into the street, where an always greyish light hangs over his cramped, almost lifeless alleyways; see his Cobbled Street sold London, Christie's, December 9, 1994, lot 19, for £122,500.

Woman at a Window, in Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. no. 6081.