Van der Merck is an interesting genre scene and portrait painter who worked in several Dutch towns.
During the Eighty Years’ War, which lasted until 1648, the local population suffered heavily from plundering enemy troops, especially from mercenaries. Their pay was not that important so they tried to steal as much as possible. Every day they were obliged to sell their booty on the market place of their camp.
About Jacob Fransz. van der Merck
's-Gravendeel circa 1610 – 1664 Leiden
‘s Gravndeel lies close to Dordrecht.
Genre and portrait painter; occasionally painter of still lifes.
Van der Merck was active in several Dutch towns: he is documented in Delft, The Hague, Dordrecht and Leiden. He moved regularly; to be able to sell his paintings in a new town he each time had to join the local Painter’s Guild of Saint Luke.
From 1628 until 1631 he was a member of the Painter's Guild of Saint Luke of Delft.
In 1636 he joined the Painter’s Guild at The Hague, where he seems to have lived for a few years.
In 1640 he joined the Guild in Dordrecht.
He was back in The Hague in 1649.
From 1658 until his death in 1664 he was finally a member of the Painter's Guild of Leiden.