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The paintings made by Geertje Pieters

 

Geertje Pieters (also: Geertgen / Geertruyd / Geertruyt / Geertruid / Grietge(n))

(bap. Delft May 13, 1636 – bur. Delft May 05, 1712)

also known as:

Geertruyd Wyntges (also: Wijntgens / Wyntgerts / Wynties / Wijnties).

Geertje Pieters was the first daughter of Peter Wyntges and Barbara Michiels, married on July 1, 1635 in Rijswijk. She was baptized on May 13,1636 in Delft. Following her sister Mary (1638) and brother Peter (1644) were born.
In the age of ten to twelve years Geertje went to work as a domestic worker, living in the family Van Oosterwijck in Voorburg. The first mention of the relationship between Maria van Oosterwijck and Geertje Pieters can be found in a will, drawn up by Van Assendelft, notary in Delft, on November 1, 1658. Maria and her brother Lambert bequeathed to Geertje a sum of 100 guilders. This indicates that she was not just a helper in the house. 

Training as a painter
Around 1664 Geertje acted as domestic help employed by Maria van Oosterwijck. Besides her household work she also increasingly burdened with the preparation of painting materials, or as Houbraken states, "that she [Maria van Oosterwijck] used her also to rub her paints”. She received from Maria Oosterwijck drawing and painting lessons. In a few years Geertje developed into a consummate painter of flower still lifes. Her peak was around 1675.

Appraissal by Constantijn Huygens
Accompanied by Maria van Oosterwijck Geertje Pieters visited in 1676 the known Constantijn Huygens in Voorburg. They knew him from the time that they both still lived in Voorburg. Maria van Oosterwijck had a good relationship with this influential art lover. Impressed by the rapid development of Geertje Pieters, Huygens wrote on March 31, 1676 a little poem for her:  

Given on a silver palette to Geertje Pieters, servant girl, painter 

It couldn't be lesser for the hand of Geertje Pieters, new honour of our country: 

If shey would rise like she recently is risen it should be nearly gold.  

In 1679 Constantijn Huygens wrote a poem for Willem van Heemskerck concerning Maria van Oosterwyck and Geertje Pieters. This poem is tribute to both women:

Our fair friend, the rare young Oosterwijck,

Whose peer is yet to be found,

Performs each day wonders unbound.

One wonder, ne'er easily gauged,

Tis that she, yet a maiden bore a maiden, to wit a maid,

And cast work-cloth, broom, and heart aside.

The Oosterwijck maid was nurtured so quick and so well

That 'tis Oosterwijck's brush alone her can quell, 

Think ye, my witty friend it is a great mistake, 

To call Geertje Pieters Geertruyd van Oosterwijck? 

Oosterwijck's teaching has guided her fate, 

She is her own print; 

Or clearer to state, 

She is Oosterwijck's moon; so giver her such shine, 

Think what light must be in the Sun to give off a glare so fine.

Nevertheless, Geertje Pieters became never a big name like Maria van Oosterwijck and Rachel Ruysch. After 1672 the art market was collapsed. Around 1684 ended the cooperation with Maria van Oosterwijck. As an independent artist Geertje went back to her hometown Delft. Geertje Pieters possibly shifted in Delft her field of interest and did she found work in the Delft pottery industry.

Paintings

Here are three works of Geertje Pieters. There have been reports of another picture of her hand: "Twee Troonien in een Notenboom kasje verbeeldende een Oude Vrouw met haar Dienstmaeght, gekopieret naer de Sotte Cleef" (Two portraits on a little walnut chest imaging an old lady and her servant girl, following an example made by the Sotte Cleef). Possibly also a tile picture of her hand is preserved.

For further information: click on one of the paintings below.

This page is updated on 2011-Feb-19