Double Portrait of a Young Couple as Granida and Daifilo

Double portrait of a young couple as Granida and Daifilo, Mytens, Rijksmuseum, Public DomainDouble portrait of a young couple as Granida and Daifilo, Mytens, Rijksmuseum, Public Domain

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License of this image: CC-BY-SA
License of original image: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam - Public Domain

By: Johannes Mytens (ca 1614-1670)
Created: 1640-1670, Collection: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands Rights: Public Domain

This painting is best recreated in a park or in the countryside. The trees and the clouded sky divide the backdrop in two halves. You should try to compose your picture the same way. The scene in the foreground is easy to recreate: Daifilo proposes to Granida. The challenge lies in the overall composition out in the nature and in the animals which add a lot of bucolic atmosphere to it.

Johannes Mytens or Jan Mijtens was a Dutch Golden Age painter. The title of the painting refers to the characters in a pastoral play written by Pieter Hooft, the Dutch historian, poet and playwright entitled “Granida”.

The story of the play was that Granida and Daifilo were lovers.   Granida, the daughter of an eastern king, was betrothed to Prince Tisiphernes but one day became lost while out hunting.  She came upon a shepherd Daifilo and his mistress Dorilea who had just quarreled.

Daifilo fetched water for the princess to drink and fell in love with her. That is the moment that has been painted by Mytens in this work. Daifilo then followed her to court and, after several twists and turns in the story, the play had a happy ending and the couple were finally reunited.

Source for the story of Granida and Daifilo: WordPress Blog “My Daily Art Diary”