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Jan Miel (Beveren-Waes 1599? - Turin 1663)

Miel was born at Beveren-Waes (Antwerp) probably in 1599. He studied with Gerard Seghers at Antwerp and may also have trained under Anthony van Dyck. In around 1630 he moved to Rome, although he is documented as having settled there only from 1636.
Although his work was long confused with that of Michelangelo Cerquozzi and Pieter van Laer, in his own time he was extremely successful. He was a member of the Accademia di San Luca and the Accademia dei Virtuosi at the Pantheon and as well as painting numerous genre scenes he received public commissions for San Martino ai Monti (1651), Santa Maria dell’Anima (1650-53) and San Lorenzo in Lucina (around 1654). In 1656-57 he helped to decorate the Alexander VII gallery in Palazzo del Quirinale, painting the Crossing of the Red Sea.
Towards the end of 1658 Carlo Emanuele II of Savoy called him to Piedmont, where he had already despatched an altarpiece in 1651 for the collegiate church of Santa Maria della Scala at Chieri. Many of his paintings are of hunting scenes, such as the ten canvases, signed and dated 1660-61, that he produced for the Venaria Reale (royal hunting lodge). He also decorated ceilings, door surrounds and religious subjects for this and other palaces of the Savoy family (Royal Palace in Turin and the Castle of Racconigi). He died in Turin in 1663.

Alessandro Zuccari