Simiolus is an English-language journal devoted to the history of Dutch and Flemish art of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, with occasional forays into more recent periods and other schools. Founded in 1966 as an outlet for art history students at the University of Utrecht, it has grown to become an internationally recognized journal of record in its field, publishing contributions by many renowned scholars and promising young art historians.

Volume 43, number 3


The Rijksmuseum’s 1529 portrait of a woman at her spinning wheel is regarded as one of the highlights in the oeuvre of Maarten van Heemskerck (1498–1574). Forming a pair with a painting of her husband, it is among the earliest examples of an autonomous bourgeois portrait in the northern Netherlands.


Jan van Eyck’s famous double portrait in London’s National Gallery, known as Portrait of Giovanni (?) Arnolfini and his wife, is one of the most closely studied paintings in the history of art, having been discussed in many hundreds of publications. Yet the research regularly throws up unsuspected results.


Adriaen van Ostade’s 1654 portrait of an unidentified family has always been one of the public favorites in the Louvre (fig. 1).1 A husband and wife lovingly hold hands while seated amidst a large family of children spanning a wide range of ages. Some are unable or barely able to stand, while others are clearly older, adults in fact.


In the summer of 1935 two young and ambitious American museum directors came separately to Paris to scout for modern works of art for exhibitions back home. They were A[rthur] Everett ‘Chick’ Austin Jr. (1900–57), who had been appointed director of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, and Alfred H[amilton] Barr Jr. (1902–81), who had become the first director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.