Originally from Antwerp, the protestant Mirou family fled from religious prosecution to Frankenthal in Germany, where Anton became one of the leading painters of the Frankenthal School before returning to Antwerp in 1620. The landscape and the vernacular architecture in this composition relate the painting with the artist's sojourn to Schwalbach in the summer of 1615, as can be seen on a preparatory drawing in the Staatliche Museen, Berlin (Kupferstichkabinett, inv. no. KdZ 12095)1(fig. 1) and another depiction of a similar capriccio view, signed and dated 1612, in the Schönborn collection, Pommersfelden, oil on copper, 29 by 52 cm.2 An engraving after the Berlin drawing is included in Mattheus Merian's `Schwalbacher Reise' series which consists of 26 prints after Mirou's drawing campaign in and around Schwalbach. It was published by Merian in 1620 as Novae quaedem ac paganae regiunculae circa acidulas Swalbacenses delineatae per Antonium Mirulem in aes vero incisae per Mathae Merianem.3
1.See J. Diefenbacher, Die Schwalbacher Reise, exhibition catalogue, Mannheim 2002, p. 96, cat. no. 24a, reproduced.
2. See M. Krämer, in Die Renaissance im Deutschen Südwesten, exhibition catalogue, Karlsruhe 1986, p. 238, no. C 75, reproduced.
3.See Hollstein, xiv, nos 1-26.
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