(b. ca. 1614, Den Haag, d. 1670, Den Haag)


Dutch painter, member of a family of painters of Flemish origin (spelled also Meytens; Mytens). He was nephew of Daniel Mijtens I. He was the son of Daniel's elder brother David, a saddle-maker in The Hague. Daniel Mijtens I was a portrait painter in England in the Stuart court, Martin Mijtens I was a portrait painter in Stockholm; his son Martin van Meytens II later became a portrait painter at the imperial court in Vienna.

Jan may have learnt to paint from his uncle Isaac Mijtens. After 1634 he may have trained with his uncle Daniel, who had by then returned to The Hague; Jan married Daniel's daughter Anna in 1642. In 1639 he had been admitted to The Hague's guild of painters, of which he became a governor in 1656. In the latter year he helped to found the painters' society De Pictura; from 1667-8 he was a governor of this society and from 1669-70 its dean.

Throughout his life Mijtens was a fashionable portrait painter in The Hague. He received commissions from prominent citizens, members of the nobility, and high-placed government officials. His portraits can be divided into two major groups: life-size three-quarter length, and half-length portraits of individuals and small-scale family groups. He conveyed his sitters' elevated status by depicting them wearing sumptuous garments and jewelry.