Having spent a number of years in Rome, Michael Sweerts was familiar with Italian art. He, however, concentrated on smaller depictions of genre scenes and portraits. This painting represents the interior of an artist's studio in Rome—a subject he painted on several occasions. While the plaster casts, musical instruments, and books that appear in the painting are studio props, they can also be considered as symbols of all the arts to stress the importance of a well-rounded education for any aspiring artist.
Artist Michael Sweerts, Flemish, 1618-1664
  • In the Studio
Date 1652
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 28 15/16 × 23 1/8 inches (73.5 × 58.8 cm)
Framed: 38 × 33 × 2 1/2 inches (96.5 × 83.8 × 6.4 cm)
Credit Line City of Detroit Purchase
Accession Number 30.297
Department European Painting
On View Decorative Arts S350, Level 3 (see map)
Signed Signed and dated, on scroll on table: Michael Sweerts | fecit | Roma | A.D. 1652
Joseph Deutz (Amsterdam, Netherlands) [as "Een Schilders-academetje"];
by inheritance to Jeronimus Deutz (Amsterdam, Netherlands);
acquired by the brothers of Joseph Deutz's wife, Lucretia [1634-1694]: Joan [1642-1702] and Abraham Ortt [1650-1691] (Amsterdam, Netherlands);
by 1808, Antonio Widmann (Venice, Italy) [together with pendant, Old Man and Boy by a Brazier];
June 2, 1827, sold in (London, England) lot 9 [companion to lot 7];
April 27, 1833, sold by (Christie's, London, England) lot 119 [as View of a Sculptor's Studio, with figures examining a Torso; Lot was withdrawn].
May 25, 1833, sold by (Christie's, London, England) lot 50 [as View of a Sculptor's Studio, with figures examining a Torso; Lot was left unsold].
1833, (George Yates, London, England).
Sir Georges Donaldson (London, England);
1930, (Thomas Agnew and Sons, New York, New York, USA);
1930-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
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