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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Jan Philipsz. van Bouckhorst, Dutch (Haarlem(?), Netherlands c. 1588 - 1631 Haarlem, Netherlands)
Juffrouw Braet-Haringh ("Mistress Grilled Herring")
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Brown ink on light tan antique laid paper
18.1 x 17.9 cm (7 1/8 x 7 1/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Brown ink, right center: JBH(in ligature)orst 161[7]
  • watermark: Strasbourg Lily with reversed 4 and WR below; variant of Heawood 1761 (Schieland, 1592; related to but slightly larger in 1609, 1614, 1616, 1620, and 1625) and Heawood 1721A (Schieland, 1614).
  • inscription: Inscribed by the artist, right center, brown ink: Joffrouw Braet / Haringh
  • collector's mark: verso, lower left, blue ink stamp: L. 3306 (Maida and George Abrams)


Recorded Ownership History
[Bernard Houthakker Gallery, Amsterdam], sold; to Maida and George Abrams, Boston, 1990 (L. 3306, verso, lower left); The Maida and George Abrams Collection, 1999.131

Published Text

Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums
William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson
Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016)

Catalogue entry no. 12 by William W. Robinson:

Jan van Bouckhorst worked as a glass painter and an etcher, but he is best known for a miscellaneous oeuvre of drawings that constitutes “a veritable anthology of the art of his time.”1 Dated drawings survive from 1612 to 1629.2 His technique incorporated influences from older artists, such as Hendrick Goltzius and Jacob de Gheyn II, as well as from his contemporary Willem Buytewech, and he treated a broad range of themes, from biblical and mythological subjects to portraits, merry companies, scenes from everyday life, allegories, and armorial designs.3 Bouckhorst designed the title page to the 1628 edition of Samuel Ampzing’s Beschryvinge ende Lof der stad Haerlem (Description and Praise of the City of Haarlem).4 Ampzing published verses that laud the artist’s “bold and steady” draftsmanship, and the book includes a print after a window Bouckhorst designed for the Great Council Chamber, or Vroedschapskamer, of the Haarlem Town Hall.5

Juffrouw Braet-Haringh belongs to a type of bust-length portrait or head study developed by Goltzius and draftsmen in his circle. The technique of boldly scribbled strokes from a heavily charged pen also derives from Goltzius’s drawings.6 When the work first came to light, it was proposed that the actual Juffrouw Braet-Haringh, or “Mistress Grilled Herring,” must have been “a prominent member of the Haarlem Fishmarket.”7 However, this was more likely a comic character in a popular entertainment, such as a farce presented by a chamber of rhetoricians (rederijkerkamer), a kind of amateur literary society whose public readings and performances figured prominently in the cultural life of Netherlandish towns during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.8

Eddy de Jongh related the Harvard work to a sheet in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, that shows the same technique, dimensions, signature, and date (Fig. 1).9 It depicts a bust-length figure sporting a sixteenth-century-style feathered beret, and Bouckhorst’s inscription identifies the fellow as Sr [Sinjeur] Hans Stockvis (“Mr. Hans Dried Cod”). The two works are so alike, De Jongh noted, that they surely belong together, either as pendants or components of a series whose other drawings have not survived. Their gustatory names and Hans Stockvis’s archaic costume recall popular comedy and rederijker play characters, such as Peeckelhaering (“Pickled Herring”) and Hans Wurst (“John Sausage”), who are familiar from paintings by Bouckhorst’s Haarlem contemporary Frans Hals. If the subject of the Harvard drawing belonged to a troupe of itinerant players or a rederijkerkamer, it is virtually certain that Mistress Grilled Herring was a man, because male actors generally performed the female roles in such productions.10


1 Marijn Schapelhouman, Tekeningen van Noord-en Zuidnederlandse kunstenaars geboren voor 1600 (Amsterdams Historisch Museum, Amsterdam, 1979), cat. 7, p. 20.

2 Ibid., pp. 20–21, lists several dated drawings from 1612 to 1622. Other dated drawings from the 1620s include Old Woman with a Child (inscribed Agniet met de Pouws), dated 1624, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, F-P 5244; A Man, Half-Length, Three-Quarters to the Right, Possibly a Self-Portrait, 1628, and Head of a Man, Three-Quarters to the Right, 1628, both Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Marijn Schapelhouman and Peter Schatborn, Dutch Drawings of the Seventeenth Century in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: Artists Born between 1580 and 1600, Vol. 6, Catalogue of Dutch and Flemish drawings in the Rijksprentenkabinet (Amsterdam and London, 1998), vol 1, cats. 37 and 38, pp. 20–21, repr. vol 2, nos. 37 and 38, pp. 19–20; The Three Ages of Man, 1629, Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, William Robinson, Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection (London: British Museum; Paris: Institut Néerlandais; Cambridge: Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, 2002), cat. 43, pp. 112–13, repr.

3 The Flight into Egypt, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Schapelhouman and Schatborn, vol. 1, cat. 35, p. 20, repr. vol. 2, p. 19; Mercury, 1612, Copenhagen, Kongelige Kobberstiksamling (Statens Museum for Kunst), Tu 42,7; The Rich Man in Hell, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection, Paris, 7367; Merry Company, 1618, British Museum, London, 1946,0713.145; Chimney Sweep, 1619, Peter Schatborn, Dutch Genre Drawings of the Seventeenth Century: A loan exhibition from Dutch museums, foundations, and private collections (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet; New York: Pierpont Morgan Library; Boston: Museum of Fine Arts; Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1972), cat. 16; Two Putti with the Coat-of-Arms of Haarlem, 1625, London, British Museum, 1886,0706.3, Arthur Mayger Hind, Catalogue of Drawings by Dutch and Flemish Artists Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum (London, 1915-31), vol. 3, cat. 3, p. 52, see also vol. 5, by A. E. Popham (London, 1932); The Three Ages of Man (see n. 2 above).

4 Samuel Ampzing, with Petrus Scriverius, Beschryvinge ende Lof der stad Haerlem (Haarlem, 1628), title page.

5 Ibid, p. 373, title page, and print between pp. 148–9. The window depicted The Siege of Damietta. It was Bouckhorst’s most famous work during the seventeenth century, but does not survive.

6 A sheet of studies from circa 1600 by Goltzius (Emil Karel Josef Reznicek, Die Zeichnungen von Hendrick Goltzius, Utrecht, 1961, vol. 1, cat. 425, pp. 449–50, vol. 2, p. 333, repr.) is particularly close to this drawing and its companion, Sr. Hans Stockvis, as noted by Schapelhouman and Schatborn, p. 19.

7 Bernard Houthakker C. V. Gallery, Master Drawings Exhibited by Bernard Houthakker, 1965, cat. 5.

8 Eddy de Jongh, “Joffrouw Braet‑Haringh en Sinjeur Stockvis Een Travestie‑Rol bij Houthakker,” Vrije Nederland, 10 July 1965.

9 Jan Philipsz. van Bouckhorst, Hans Stockvis (Fig. 1), 1617. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, RP-T-1949-539. Brown ink, 185 × 185 mm. Signed, dated, and inscribed, in brown ink, Sr Hans Stockvis / BH [in ligature] orst 1617. Schapelhouman and Schatborn, vol. 1, cat. 33, p. 19, repr. vol. 2, p. 18, fig. 33.

10 De Jongh, and Schapelhouman and Schatborn, vol. 1, cat. 33, p. 19.


Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
The Maida and George Abrams Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • E. de Jongh, "Joffrouw Braet-Haringh en Sinjeur Stockvis Een Travestie-Rol bij Houthakker", Vrije Nederland (July 10, 1965), p. 5
  • Master Drawings exhibited by Bernard Houthakker, auct. cat. (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1965), cat. no. 5, n.p., repr.
  • Marijn Schapelhouman, Tekeningen van Noord en Zuidnederlandse Kunstenaars geboren voor 1600, Amsterdams Historisch Museum (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1979), under cat. no. 7, p. 20 (n. 2)
  • William W. Robinson, Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., H. O. Zimman, Inc. (Lynn, MA, 1991), cat. no. 15, pp. 48-49, repr.
  • Ger Luijten, ed., Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580-1620, exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and Waanders Uitgevers (Amsterdam and Zwolle, 1993), p. 92, repr. fig. 159
  • Marijn Schapelhouman and Peter Schatborn, Dutch Drawings of the Seventeenth Century in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: Artists born between 1580 and 1600, Rijksmuseum and Merrel Holberton (Amsterdam and London, 1998), under cat. no. 33, p. 19
  • Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Seventeenth-Century European Drawings in Midwestern Collections: The Age of Bernini, Rembrandt, and Poussin, ed. Shelley Perlove and George S. Keyes, University of Notre Dame Press (Notre Dame, 2015), under cat. no. 52, p. 136 (n. 63)
  • William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson, Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016), cat. no. 12, pp. 61-63, repr. p. 62; watermark p. 374

Exhibition History

  • Master Drawings Exhibited by Bernard Houthakker, Bernard Houhakker C.V., Amsterdam, 01/01/1971 - 12/31/1971
  • Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings: A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 02/23/1991 - 04/18/1991; Albertina Gallery, Vienna, 05/16/1991 - 06/30/1991; The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 01/22/1992 - 04/22/1992; Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/10/1992 - 12/06/1992
  • Abrams 50th reunion exhibition, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/2004 - 06/14/2004
  • Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2016 - 08/14/2016

Subjects and Contexts

  • Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

Verification Level

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