Geertje Pieters (1665-1735). Painter of flower pieces. She was born in Delft and studied with Maria van Oosterwyck whose maidservant she was. One of Pieters' paintings is in the Fitzwilliam museum, Cambridge.
She told Arnold Houbraken the story about Van Aelst's amorous advances: the elderly painter Willem van Aelst could reach Maria's studio from the back of his house. Van Oosterwyck alledgedly stipulated she would yield if he were to sit and paint in his own studio every day for a full year.
A document drawn up by a notary public in 1767, published by Bredius, states that they were once neighbors in Amsterdam (could the Delft story be erroneous?)
Female painters were not enrolled in the Guild but they did play a role in producing paintings in the lower price range - of up to a few guilders a piece. They were also employed to peddle these or other paintings in the street. Known female painters in Delft are Cornelia de Rijck, Maria van Oosterwyck and her assistant Geertje Pieters. Then we find Maria van Pruyssen. Of this group Maria van Oosterwyck has the off position of a highly paid 'art amateur' who was really painting on a professional level.
Note: Arnold Houbraken, De groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols, Amsterdam 1718-1721, facsimile printed in 1943, II, 169-170 and 214-215. E.B.M. Salden-Campfens (red.) Delftse vrouwen van vroeger, Delft 1975, p. 43-55.
Houbraken II p. 214-215 tells of her studio in the back of her Grandfather's house was also near the back of Willem van Aelst's studio. If this happened in 1656/57 then her location is known.
This page forms part of a large encyclopedic site on Delft. Research by Drs. Kees Kaldenbach (email). A full presentation is on view at johannesvermeer.info.
Launched 16 February 2001; Last update March 1, 2017.