Old Woman Emptying Pot Through the Window (Sleazy Bess)

Hendrik Bary (1640-1707),  Old Woman Emptying Pot Throught the Window,  etching and engraving, after the  Frans van Mieris (1635-1681)painting “Goore Besje” (Sleazy Bess), c. 1670. Reference: Hollstein 10, fourth state (of 5); Wurzbach 6, third state (of 4), after the addition of the inscription J. Tangenas exc. In very good condition, on old laid paper with a Foolscap watermark, small margins, 10 1/8 x 7 1/2 inches.

A very good impression.

Simon Schama’s discussion of Dutch paintings such as this one in his Embarrassment of Riches is on point; he notes: “To judge from their art there were no wrinkles quite like Dutch wrinkles.”  Of this print specifically he notes: “Frans van Mieris’s “Sleazy Bess” is despicable because, her honor lost, she throws her own filth on “respectable heads.” But her vileness is so visibly written in her “wrinkled hide” that the legend below the print orders her “away from our sight.”