Lot 126
  • 126

Matthijs Naiveu

40,000 - 60,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Matthijs Naiveu
  • Interior with an elegant lady receiving a suitor
  • signed above the fireplace: Naiveu
  • oil on canvas


Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Schley etc., 7 May 1804, lot 123;
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Schley etc., 10 July 1805, lot 115;
Willem Gruyter;
His sale, Amsterdam, Schley, 17 April 1809, lot 149;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 28 October 1987, lot 113;
With Alan Jacobs Gallery, London, 1988;
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 12 January 1989, lot 171;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 13 December 2000, lot 46, when acquired by the present owner(?).


Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, 14 October 2006 – 21 January 2007, Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum, 18 February – 28 May 2007, Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, 21 June – 30 September 2007, Vom Adel der Malerei. Holland um 1700 (Dutch title De kroon op het werk: Hollandse schilderkunst 1670–1750), no. 57.


E. Mai, S. Paarlberg, G.J.M. Weber, Vom Adel der Malerei. Holland um 1700, exhibition catalogue, Cologne 2006, p. 220, no. 57, reproduced.

Catalogue Note

Although it was carried on into the 18th century by Frans van Mieris' sons and pupils, Naiveu represents the culmination of the development of the Leiden Fijnschilder tradition from its founding by Gerrit Dou. Two years younger than Michiel van Musscher, Naiveu was probably Dou's last pupil.

Many of Naiveu's later works depict the performing of plays – a subject matter popularized in Leiden by Jan Steen – or as here, a scene from a play. Unlike those of Cornelis Troost in the 18th century, the dramas depicted in Naiveu's theatrical pictures are seldom identifiable. In this picture the man entering to the right carries over his arm the costume of a Harlequin, or the Commedia dell'Arte figure of Arlecchino. Furthermore, as Marieke de Winkel observed, the two principal figures are dressed op z'n romeins (in the Roman style).1 Her dating of the costumes is in accordance with the style of the painting, which was probably painted circa 1695. The interior of this is very lavish, probably more so than any theatre set would have been, and although the room depicted is arranged as a theatre set, it is probably not a literal depiction of the enactment of a play before an audience. The tapestries in the background depict to the left Bellerophon slaughtering the Chimaera and to the right The Bridle of Minerva.

1. See under Literature, n. 3.