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An Officer dictating a Letter

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You are viewing image NG5847

Gerard ter BORCH , 1617 - 1681

An Officer dictating a Letter


Date: about 1655-8
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 74.5 x 51 cm
Acquisition credit: Bequeathed by Mrs M. V. James from the Arthur James collection, 1948

The weary expressions of the standing trumpeter and even of the dog indicate that the dictating of the letter has become a time-comsuming affair. The playing card (the ace of hearts) next to the dog's hind leg suggests that the letter is a love letter, rather than official military correspondence.

The model for the young man in the centre was Caspar Netscher, who was ter Borch's pupil in about 1655. The picture dates from around this time.

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