Leiden 1662 - 1747 Leiden
Panel, 30 x 23.5
Painted circa 1690
Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague
With its exquisite palette and virtuoso rendering of materials this picture is a small masterpiece. The composition is typical of the Leiden fijnschilders, to which Willem van Mieris belongs. A diagonal line, beautifully delineated by the sword and plumed hat, coupled with the placing of the figure behind the balustrade, bring depth to the painting. Pictures of this kind are rare; we more often encounter the lively drinker cheerfully raising his brimming glass. This militiaman, however, is holding his empty römer upside down, and there is little to tell us how much drink is left in the gleaming pewter wine pitcher.