WERFF, Pieter van der
(b. 1665, Kralingen, d. 1722, Rotterdam)

Granida and Diafilo

Oil on panel 37 x 29 cm
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

Pieter van der Werff was the younger brother, assistant and close follower of Adriaen van der Werff. In a daybook the brothers kept they recorded the amount of work each did on a picture and then computed its price upon the basis of their calculations. Pieter also copied his brother's work.

This painting was commissioned by Stadholder Frederik Hendrik for his residence at Honselaerdijk as one of a series of paintings on pastoral themes.

Granida and Daifilo were lovers from the Dutch pastoral play Granida (1605) by Pieter Hooft. Granida, the daughter of an eastern king, betrothed to Prince Tisiphernes, lost her way while out hunting. She came upon a shepherd Daifilo and his mistress Dorilea who had just quarrelled. Daifilo fetched water for the princess to drink and fell in love with her. He followed her to court and, after several turns in the story, they fled to the woods together to live a pastoral life. Daifilo was taken prisoner by one of Granida's several suitors. They were finally reunited after the intervention of Tisiphernes who yielded his claim to her. The play set a fashion for pastoral idyll in the Netherlands and long remained popular.

In Werff's representation the lovers are depicted in a woodland setting.