Jan Mytens (or Mijtens) was the most fashionable portrait painter working in The Hague during the period bracketing the middle of the seventeenth century. It is thought that his initial training may have been with his uncle Isaac Mijtens and after 1634 with his uncle Daniel. Jan was the son of Daniel’s elder brother David, a saddle-maker in The Hague. Daniel Mijtens the Elder, who had been court painter to Charles I in England, was strongly influenced by Anthony van Dyck as well as Peter Paul Rubens and most likely instilled their innate elegance into the work of his nephew. In 1642 Jan married Daniel’s daughter Anna. In 1639 he became a member of the Guild of St. Luke in The Hague and in 1656 one of its governors. He was also one of the founders of the painter’s society De Pictura in The Hague. From 1667 – 1668 he was a governor of the society and from 1669 – 1670 its dean. He was the instructor of his son Daniel Mijtens the Younger, a painter of portraits and mythological scenes.
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